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Publication numberUS3310816 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1967
Filing dateOct 1, 1964
Priority dateOct 2, 1963
Also published asDE1491264A1
Publication numberUS 3310816 A, US 3310816A, US-A-3310816, US3310816 A, US3310816A
InventorsRichards Derek John, James David Richard
Original AssigneeMecanaids Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for assisting disabled persons
US 3310816 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

arch 28, 1967 D. R. JAMES ETAL 3,310,816


DEKEK d Am/M nos ATTQENEH March 28, 1967 R JAMES ETAL 3,310,816

APPARATUS FOR ASSISTING DISABLED PERSONS Filed Oct. 1, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 I-vE--roas DAV/D 1?. JAMES DEREK J 19/ CHARDS A-rTo RN av arch 2, 1%57 D, JAMES ETAL 3,319,816

APPARATUS FOR ASSISTING DISABLED PERSONS Filed Oct. 1, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS DA V/D 2?. JAMES DEREK d. fi/cxmxws ATTOEMEV v March 28, 1967 D. R. JAMES ETAL 3,310,816

APPARATUS FOR ASSISTING DISABLED PERSONS Filed Oct. 1, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOES 0,4 we R. JAMES DEREK J Am/m/ws ATTOEMEV United States Patent 3,310,816 APPARATUS FER ASlISTiNG DISABLED PERSONS David Richard James, Hasfield, and Derek John Richards, May Hill, Longhope, England, assiguors to Mecanaids, Limited, Gioncester, England, a British company Filed Oct. 1, 1964, er. No. 460,755 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Oct. 2, 1963, 33,727/63 2 Claims. (Cl. 5-83) This invention relates to apparatus designed to facilitate handling of hospital patients or other persons who are disabled or infirm. The invention is particularly though not exclusively applicable to the handling of bedridden patients to assist in moving them from a bed to another situation, for example a bathroom or lavatory.

There are a variety of methods and types of equipment at present employed to assist a patient in this way but most suffer from one disadvantage or another. For example with the usual wheel-chairs, the patient has to be lifted manually into and out of the chair by a nurse or an attendant, an operation placing undue physical srtain upon the nurse. There are also available a variety of mechnical hoists from the boom of which the patient is normally carried in some form of sling seat. While such devices largely eliminate the excessive strain imposed upon the nurse, certain other disadvantages arise in so far as the sling makes neither a particularly comfortable nor entirely safe support for the patient. After immersion in a bath the slings have to be laundered and dried, and since the supporting equipment usually in cludes a chain or other flexible member, the patient is inclined to swing as a pendulum and rotate, which combined effect causes the patient mental strain and a feeling of insecurity.

In addition to those methods of patient handling described above there are a variety of fixed-base mechanical aids to facilitate handling patients into and out of baths. Such equipment however does not overcome the problem of lifting a heavy patient from his bed and back thereto, and transporting the patient from the bedroom to the bathroom or lavatory.

An object of the present invention is to provide improved apparatus of this general type which will facilitate the initial stage of moving the patient from the bed on to the equipment, which will then transport the patient smoothly and without undue movement to any required situation, and which can then be manipulated to raise or lower the patient as required, and preferably to allow a patient to be bathed.

According to one aspect of the invention apparatus for supporting a disabled or infirm patient comprises a wheeled chassis supporting lifting mechanism including a cantilever arm which in turn carries and is directly connected to a chair, stretcher or other support member for the patient.

The support member may be in permanent or temporary connection with the cantilever arm which may be in two pivotally connected parts to allow the orientation of the patient to be altered with respect to the wheeled chassis. The cantilever arm is conveniently in the form of a drop arm or bracket to enable the support member, and supported patient, to be lowered into and raised from a bath or other similar equipment.

Thus according to another aspect of the invention apparatus for supporting a disabled or infirm patient comprises a mobile hoist unit which is temporarily or permanently in rigid connection with a support member for the patient through a drop arm or bracket which enables the support member to be lowered into or raised from a 3,3 l d,% id Patented Mar. 28, 196? ice bath or similar piece of equipment whilst supporting the patient.

If the cantilever arm is in two parts which are relatively pivotable about a vertical axis such an arrangement can be used alternatively with baths which necessitate a side or end approach, the support member being turned appropriately with respect to the chassis so that the patient is correctly aligned with the bath.

In one preferred construction the support member takes the form of a detachable legless chair, comprising a seat and back, attached to the cantilever arm at a point near the top of the chair; a gap is provided behind the chair the back of which slopes forward so that it can be lowered conveniently into a bath. Preferably the chair has a hook-on connection with the cantilever arm as this enables the chair, when detached, to be placed under the patient for example on a bed and the hoist to be run up behind the chair and the cantilever arm raised to make the connection with the chair.

Preferably a mobile trolley is provided for supporting the chair when detached. To this end the chair seat may have on opposite sides two parallel spaced guide tubes or slots, and the trolley may comprise a tubular framework having a base, a supporting leg structure, and two parallel horizontal members arranged at an upper level for engagement with the guide tubes or slots in the seat.

According to a preferred feature of the invention the chair is formed of reinforced synthetic plastic material. This provides an extremely strong construction which is of light weight and can readily be wiped clean and dried so that it can be immersed with the patient.

According to another preferred feature of the invention the chair is formed with a pair of parallel, substantially horizontal guides, level with the seat of the chair, to accommodate a leg rest, or leg rests, which can be pulled forward and supported on the guides.

Preferably the apparatus includes an arm rest or safety device in the form of two arc-shaped arm rests pivotally attached to the sides or back of the chair, and movable forward into a position in which they restrict or close the gap between them.

In any case the lifting mechanism preferably comprises a mast, along which runs a carriage comprising vertically spaced rollers engaging the mast, and includes hoisting mechanism in the form of a flexible driving member such as a roller chain, which is connected to the carriage, and manual or power-operated means providing the drive.

According to another preferred feature of the invention the lifting mechanism is mounted on a wheeled chassis comprising two spaced parallel members interconnected at one end by a cross-member on which the lifting mechanism is supported. This arrangement provides an apparatus which can readily be placed in position to support a patient on a bed, normal chair or lavatory seat, or in a bath.

An embodiment of the invention, and a modification thereof, will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a part view of the embodiment,

FIGURE 2 is a side view thereof,

FIGURES 3 and 4 are respectively side and from detail sectional views of part of lifting mechanism of the embodiment,

FIGURE 5 is a side detail sectional view of another part of the mechanism, and

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the modified arrangement.

In the illustrated examples the apparatus comprises essentially a mobile hoist 1 and a detachable seat 2 in the form of a legless chair which may be connected to the hoist 1. The hoist 1 consists of a lower chassis having two rectangular tubular section members 3 crossconnected at one end by a cross member 4 and provided with four casters 5. At the centre of the member 4 there is mounted a square box section vertical mast 6 having an elongated slot 7 in its front wall. Within the mast 6 is mounted a carriage 8 (see FIGURES 3 and 4) which consists essentially of a guided member 9 having guide rollers 10 adjacent its upper and lower extremities and a bracket 12 forming a cantilever arm which projects forward through the slot 7. The upper rollers 10 engage the front wall of the mast 6 and the lower rollers engage the back wall thereof.

A lifting mechanism is provided for raising and lowering the carriage 8 and for providing a suitable mechanical advantage for manual operation. For this purpose a roller chain 13 is secured at one end 14 to an anchorage 15 adjacent the centre of one side wall of the mast. From this anchorage the chain 13 extends downwards under an idler pulley 16 pivotally mounted towards the bottom of the carriage 8 and thence upwards over a driving sprocket 17 mounted in bearings at the mid-point of the opposite side wall of the mast 6. The free end of the chain 13 passes over the sprocket 17 through an aperture in the side wall into an enclosed receptacle or chain guard 18. The sprocket 17 is connected through a slipping clutch and ratchet device 19 to a manually operated lever handle 20 providing two end hand grips 22. The chain path provides a 2:1 mechanical advantage while the handle 20 itself may provide a further advantage of perhaps 8:1. This is sufiicient to enable a nurse of average strength easily to lift a heavy patient on the seat 2.

The clutch and ratchet device 19 is shown in detail in FIGURE 5. The sprocket 17 is fixed on the inner end of a driving shaft 23 on the outer end of which is mounted the boss 24 of the lever handle 20. Screw threads 25 couple the handle 20 to the shaft 23, and the handle is held captive by a stop member 26 fixed to the outer end of the shaft 23. A recess 27 in the boss 24 accommodates the member 26 and allows a limited degree of unscrewing of the threads 25.

An annular ratchet wheel 28 surrounds the shaft 23 and is engaged by a fixed pawl (not shown) which is overrun when the wheel 28 is turned clockwise as viewed from behind the hoist 1. Anticlockwise turning of the ratchet wheel is prevented by the pawl. A clutch disc 29 of friction material is positioned between the ratchet wheel 28 and a flange 30 on the shaft 23. The opposite side of the ratchet wheel 28 is engaged by a clutch disc 32 also of friction material fixed to the handle boss 24.

The device 19 operates in the following manner to control the height of the hoist and retain it at any position along its height range. If the handle 20 is turned clockwise the screw threads 25 tighten and the ratchet Wheel 28 is clamped to and turns with the shaft 23, the ratchet pawl being overrun. The sprocket 17 thus turns to raise the hoist. When the handle 20 is released the tendency for the supported weight to turn the sprocket is resisted by the ratchet pawl; the ratchet wheel 28 remains firmly clamped as the tendency for the shaft 23 to turn acts to tighten the screw threads 25.

To lower the hoist the handle 20 is turned anticlockwise. This loosens the screw threads 25 and the ratchet wheel 28 is no longer held by the clutch discs 29 and 32. Thus the sprocket 17 and shaft 23 can turn under the supported weight with the clutch slipping until the operator ceases to turn the handle 20 and the screw threads 25 again tighten up. The height of the hoist is now once more retained by the clutch and ratchet.

The bracket 12 which extends forwardly through the slot 7 in the mast 6 is formed for detachable hook-on connection to the seat 2. The seat 2 itself comprises a generally flat base 33 with a back 34 which is inclined to the base 33 at an angle of approximately 110. The base 33 and back 34 which will be in contact with the patient are formed of a synthetic plastic material which is both warm to the touch and easy to clean and dry, these parts being fixed to a tubular frame 35. The frame 35 has at the upper end a laterally extending handlebar 36 the ends of which are provided with moulded hand grips 37.

The connection between the bracket 12 and the seat 2 is provided by a forwardly and upwardly directed hooklike projection 38 on the bracket. This hooks beneath the handlebar 36 between two upright tubular frame members which locate the seat 2 laterally. These frame members engage and rest against a cross support or steady 39 on the bracket 12 to provide a rigid three-point support for the seat 2 which can nevertheless pivot upwardly about the handlebar 36. A safety catch 40 pivoted on the bracket 12 moves above the handlebar 36 and must be moved to one side before the latter, and hence the seat 2, can be removed from the hoist.

In the seat base 33, along its opposite side edges, there are provided two parallel bores 42 through the moulded structure of the base 33 and having openings at both ends. Within the bores 42 can be mounted a leg rest 43 (see FIGURES 2 and 6) comprising two parallel tubes 44 cross-connected at their outer ends by a contoured member 45 providing a leg support. Thus the leg rest, which is particularly convenient when a patient is to be bathed is detachable and simply fitted by inserting the tubes 44 into the bores 42 which they fit.

The back 34 of the seat is provided at an intermediate position of its height and on opposite sides with two parallel tubular sockets 46 which are inclined forwardly and upwardly and have forwardly facing openings. Tubular steel arm rests 47 are pivotally mounted in the two sockets. The shape of the arm rests 47 is such that they can be turned back behind the seat 2 while the patient is being positioned on the seat and then replaced to retain the patient firmly in position.

In use, for transporting a patient for example from a bed to a bath, the detached seat 2 is placed under the patient whilein a sitting position facing one side of the bed. The hoist is brought up to the side of the bed and moved in towards the patient with the front of the seat aligned with the side of the bed, the height of the bracket being such that the hook projection 38 moves under the handlebar 36. The hoist is raised to engage the handlebar 36 after the safety catch has first been moved aside. The lifting mechanism can now be operated to lift the seat 2 off the bed so that the hoist 1 can be moved away from the bed. The leg rest 43 can then be placed in position if required.

When approaching the bath the hoist 1 of the arrangement of FIGURES 1 to 5 is aligned with the length of the bath and made to approach from the top end of the bath. The overhang of the bracket 12 and the seat 2 itself are sufiicient to allow the seat 2 to be lowered into the water with the patients legs extending forward on the leg rest 43. After bathing the patient can easily be dried in position on the seat 2 and the seat itself can also be dried before the patient is returned to bed.

The seat 2 is formed with a central cut-out aperture so that it can serve as a mobile commode, or for a transporting a patient to or from a lavatory. A removable moulded closure member may be provided which fills in the cut out aperture when not required and provides a more comfortable seat.

In place of the hoist with lifting mechanism the seat 2 can also be used in conjunction with a simple wheeled trolley 48 as shown in FIGURE 2. The trolley 48 is of tubular construction with two forwardly directed members 49 which engage in the rear ends of the two bores 42 formed on either side of the seat base 33. In FIGURE 2 one tubular side member of the trolley is cut away to show the adjacent member 49.

The trolley is provided with a suitably positioned foot rest 50, and also with four casters 51 to allow the seat 2 to be used as a simple transporting device for purposes where the lifting mechanism is not needed, or for example after the hoist 1 has been used to remove the patient from bed. The trolley 48 is particularly useful for conveying a patient to a conventional water closet, since the tubular structure allows the trolley 48 to be moved rearwards over and straddle the water closet.

The modified arran ement of FIGURE 6 differs from the other in the form of the bracket 12 which is constructed in two parts 12a and 12b. The part 12a projects through the slot 7 in the mast 6 as already described and is pivotally connected to the part 1211, which is of generally arcuate form, through a vertical pivot pin 52. Thus the part 12b can be turned about a vertical pivot axis to alter the orientation of the seat 2, and a patient supported thereon, relatively to the hoist 1.

Such a modification is particularly valuable when the apparatus is to be used to transport the patient to or from equipment with which the available angle of approach for the hoist is not aligned with the necessary position of the patient. For example the arrangement of FIGURES 1 to 5 is well suited for use with a bath providing an end approach but is inconvenient if only a side approach to the bath is possible. With the modification of FIGURE 6 the patient and seat 2 can be turned through 90 and lowered directly into a bath which has been approached from the side.

The drive mechanism of both arrangements is identical, but for simplicity the lever handle 20 has been omitted from FIGURE 6.

We claim:

1. Apparatus for supporting a disabled or infirm patient, comprising a wheeled chassis, an upright column sup ported on said chassis and of hollow box section with a longitudinal slot in one side wall, a cantilever arm projecting from said column through said slot, lifting means to raise and lower said arm including a carriage which is connected to the arm and runs along said column within the box section thereof, a legless chair which provides a support member for the patient in a sitting position, the legless chair being directly and rigidly connected to said arm at the back of the chair to provide a spacing between the chair and the column which allows the chair and a patient thereon to be lowered into a bath, and a mobile trolley for supporting the chair when detached from said arm, the chair having on opposite sides two spaced parallel guide recesses, the trolley being of tubular construction with two parallel horizontal members arranged at an upper level for engagement in the guide recesses.

2. Apparatus for supporting a disabled or infirm patient, comprising a wheeled chassis, an upright column supported on said chassis, a ctanilever arm projecting from said column, lifting means to raise and lower said arm, a legless chair having a rigid frame structure and which provides a support member for the patient in a sitting position, the legless chair being directly and rigidly connected to said arm at the back of the chair to provide a spacing between the chair and said column which allows the chair and a patient thereon to be lowered into a bath, and arm rests mounted on the chair for swinging movement about inclined pivot axes so that they can be turned from a position behind the chair to an operative position in front of the chair while the patient is seated thereon.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 156,357 12/1949 Marti 5-87 795,524 7/1905 Lelfrnann 5-87 X 2,187,283 1/1940 Scheutz 5-83 X 2,375,907 5/1945 Farmer 5-86 2,934,211 4/1960 Shivek 254-4.6 2,962,730 12/1960 Carnes et al 586 3,104,399 9/1963 Dalton 4-185 3,137,011 6/1964 Fischer 5-86 3,220,575 11/1965 Batty et al. 587 X FOREIGN PATENTS 451,952 10/1948 Canada.

89,770 8/1957 Norway.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

R. D. KRAUS, Assistant Examiner.

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U.S. Classification5/83.1, 4/562.1
International ClassificationA61G7/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61G7/1059, A61G7/1076, A61G7/1098, A61G7/1015, A61G5/00, A61G7/1003, A61G7/1046
European ClassificationA61G7/10Z4, A61G7/10T10, A61G7/10Z10H, A61G7/10S6, A61G7/10N2