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Publication numberUS3344445 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1967
Filing dateAug 12, 1966
Priority dateAug 12, 1966
Publication numberUS 3344445 A, US 3344445A, US-A-3344445, US3344445 A, US3344445A
InventorsDavid C Crawford
Original AssigneeInstitutional Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Side panel construction for stretcher-beds
US 3344445 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 3, 1967 D. C(CRAWFORD SIDE PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR STRETCHER-BEDS Filed Aug. 12., 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Oct. 1967 D. c. CRAWFORD SIDE PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR STRETCHER-BEDS Filed Aug. 12, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 jizzle7a ort ,Daya'd CGdZl/fara m all- W1 Sheets-Sheet 3 D. c. CRAWFORD SIDE PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR STRETCHER-BEDS Filed Aug. 12, 1966 IM M Oct. 3, 1967 flueafor' flaapd 6. Crazufami. m J e MW iii 06L 1967 D. c. CRAWFORD SIDE PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR STRETCHER Filed Aug. 12, 1966 BEDS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 \H P I I I HH "huhi U IUHHI I T a mi E B I. H 1 C.1.|| l H H H H kw R R Q WW A R C. c m V A D v OE ATT'YS United States Patent 3,344,445 SIDE PANEL CONSTRUCTION FOR STRETCHER-BEDS David C. Crawford, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to Institutional Industries, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Aug. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 575,486

14 Claims. (Cl. 5331) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In combination, a stretcher-bed having a frame and an elongated mattress supported thereon and a side panel assembly. The side panel assembly includes a horizontally elongated side panel pivotally connected to a pair of arms at opposite ends of the bed frame. The arms in turn are pivotally connected to the frame for movement between raised and lowered positions. The side panel is movable from a raised vertical position in which it provides a protective side guard to a lowered horizontal position to provide a smooth surface for sliding a patient on or off the mattress.

Background of invention The present application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application, Ser. No. 497,840, filed Oct. 19, 1965.

This invention relates to a side panel construction particularly suitable for use with stretcher-beds of the type commonly used in hospitals, clinics, and the like.

The term stretcher-bed refers to a structure which is capable of functioning as a stretcher, or as a bed, or as both. In modern hospitals, such structures generally take the form of narrow beds having enlarged casters so that they may be readily moved about for the treatment of patients in the various sections or departments of the hospitals. To the extent that they are well suited for supporting patients for extended periods, such structures function as true beds; however, because of their mobility, they also perform a function normally associated with stretchers. The side panel assembly of the present invention, although suitable for use with conventional beds, is particularly adapted for use in connection with bed structures which, because of their mobility, also perform a significant function in transporting patients from place to place.

It frequently occurs in hospitals that a patient must be transferred from a stretcher-bed to another supporting surface such as, for example, an operating table. While devices and procedures have been developed in the past in an effort to simplify the lifting and transferring of patients, and to reduce the attending dangers to patients or to hospital personnel, such rocedures and devices have at most been only partially satisfactory in achieving the desired results. Normally, the combined effort of four attendants is still necessary to safely transfer a patient between a stretcher-bed and an operating table. Even then, difiiculty is often encountered as the patient is shifted over the gap between the two surfaces. Since the mattresses of the respective units are compressed by the weight of the patient, there may be a substantial ridge or shoulder over which the patient must be lifted, despite the fact that the surfaces of the respective units are at substantially the same elevation when the mattresses are in an uncompressed state. Devices which have been used in the past to help bridge the gap are not only inconvenient to manipulate, especially in emergency situations, but also tend to present additional obstructions over which the patient must be lifted.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a side panel construction for stretcher-beds which may be positioned to facilitate transfer of a patient from one surface to vanother and which overcomes the aforementioned defects and advantages of prior devices and procedures. Another object is to provide a transfer panel assembly which is capable of vertical self-adjustment so that it remains substantially flush with mattress surfaces despite compression of the mattresses as a patients weight is shifted thereon.

A further object is to provide a simple and highly effective side panel assembly for a stretcher-bed, the panel being movable into a raised vertical position to provide a protective side guard and into a lowered horizontal position to provide a smooth surface for sliding the patient to or from the unit.

An additional object is to provide a side panel assembly for a stretcher-bed in which the assembly, when the panel is in raised position as a side guard, also provides end rails useful for the protection of the patient and for the manipulation by an attendant not only of the side panel assembly but also of the stretcher-bed :as a whole.

An additional object is to provide a stretcher-bed having a side panel assembly which may be easily and quickly shifted between a raised protective position, a lowered position below the level of the mattress, or an intermediate self-adjusting position for transfer of :a patient.

Other objects will appear from the specification and drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a stretcher-bed equipped with side panel assemblies embodying the present invention, one of the assemblies being illustrated in a raised protective position and the other of the assemblies being shown in a lowered position as it would be oriented for transfer of a patient between the stretcherbed and an adjacent bed, the adjacent bed also being shown for purposes of illustration;

FIGURE 2 is a broken side elevational view illustrating structural details of the side panel assembly;

FIGURE 3 is a transverse sectional view showing a side panel assembly in raised position and also showing, in broken lines, alternative positions for the side panel assembly;

FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of a modified side panel construction constituting a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged sectional view of one of the panel elements of the second embodiment;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged end view of one member of a panel element showing details of construction thereof.

Referring to FIGURE 1, the numeral 10 generally designates a stretcher-bed having an elongated frame or base 11 upon which a mattress 12 is supported. A plurality of casters 13 are connected to the frame and support the stretcher-bed for movement over a floor surface. Decorative side panels 14 may be secured to opposite sides of the frame below mattress 12 and conceal much of the frame structure and its operating mechanism. In general, such a stretcher-bed includes an operating mech anism which permits the mattress to be raised and lowered and to be shifted or flexed into any of a variety of positions used for supporting a patient such as, for example, a Trendelenberg position, a reverse Trendelenberg position, a Fowler position, a semi-Fowler position, a cardiac position, a hyperextension position, etc. Since such posia and a supporting bar 17. The bar of each assembly has a horizontal and longitudinal section 17a which extends along the longitudinal midline of a panel 16, and also has a pair of integral arm sections 1721 which extend inwardly at substantially right angles to longitudinal section 17a and which terminate in sleeve portions 170 pivotally connected to transverse end members 13 of the frame 11. The arms or arm sections at the ends of each bar are disposed in substantially parallel vertical planes and such planes are spaced apart a distance greater than the length of mattress 12.

Tubular sleeve portions 17c are supported by capped horizontal pivots 19 (FIGURE 2) secured to end frame members 18. The spaced tubular portions 170 for each side panel assembly extend along a horizontal pivot line disposed in close proximity to the longitudinal midline of the elongated stretcher-bed and, preferably, at an elevation lower than the top surface of mattress 12. In the illustration given, arm sections 1712 do not extend in a straight line from sleeves 170 to longitudinal section 17a but, instead, are bent at 17d to define protective end rails or guards when a side panel is in its raised vertical position (FIGURE 1).

Each side panel 16 comprises a substantially flat sheet of transparent plastic material. Preferably, however, the straight parallel longitudinal edge portions of each panel curve outwardly, when the panel is viewed in a vertical postion (FIGURE 3), or downwardly, when the panel is viewed in a horizontai position. Brackets 20, spaced along the outer surface of each panel and secured thereto by rivets 21, or any other suitable connecting means, rotatably receive the longitudinal section 17a of bar 17. The brackets thereby connect the parts for pivotal or rotational movement of the panel about the axis of longitudinal section 17a. It will be noted that section 17a extends generally along the longitudinal midline of the panel and that the distance between section 17a and pivot sleeves 170 is great enough so that when the pivot lines for the arms and for the panel are in the same horizontal plane, the panel (if positioned substantially vertically) will easily clear the sides of the mattress and of the frame immediately below the mattress.

At each side of the frame or base 11 alongside mattress 12 are one or more channel-providing members 22. The channel members are welded or otherwise appropriately secured to the frame and the upwardly-opening channels defined thereby are of sufiicicnt width to receive lower longitudinal edge portions of the panels when each panel is in the raised vertical position illustrated in solid lines in FIGURE 3. The channel members therefore constitute holding means for supporting the panels in vertical positions extending upwardly along each side of the mattress. If desired, the portions of the panels receivable in such channel members may be provided with protective metal edge covers 23 (FIGURE 2).

Referring to FIGURE 3, it will be seen that each panel assembly is also movable into a fully lowered position wherein arms 17]) extend outwardly and downwardly, and panel 16 is positioned beneath channel member 22. Continued downward and inward movement of the panel is limited by stop members 24 provided alongside the stretcher-bed frame beneath the channel members 22 (FIGURE 1). Each panel member may therefore be shifted between a fully lowered vertical position beneath the level of the mattress, a normal raised vertical position resting upon channel 22, and one or more intermediate horizontal positions resting upon the surface of mattress 12 and also upon an adjacent supporting surface. In FIGURE 1, the adjacent supporting surface is indicated as the mattress surface of a conventional bed 24a.

In shifting a side panel into or from its raised position, limited upward movement of the panel beyond the normal raised position illustrated in solid lines in FIGURE 3 is necessary in order to insert the lower longitudinal edge of the panel into channel member 22, or in order to remove such edge from the channels. The additional raising of the panel, and the position which the panel assembly assumes when so raised, is also indicated in broken lines in FIGURE 3. An outwardly-protruding protective bumper strip 25 may be provided along each side of the stretcher-bed immediately below the channel members to protect the stretcher-bed against forceful contact with walls, doorways, furniture, and other objects generally, and also to prevent contact between the channel members and the panel as the panel is swung into or out of its fllll lowered position. Since the bumper projects laterally beyond the channel members, scratching of the transparent plastic panel by the channel members is thereby avoided.

It is believed evident from the foregoing that the structure of the present invention constitutes a highly effective protective side panel which may be partially lowered to serve as a self-adjusting transfer panel for sliding a patient to or from the stretcher-bed and for bridging the gap between such a stretcher-bed and another supporting surface. When the panel is in its horizontal transfer position bridging the two supporting surfaces, the curved longitudinal edges of the panel tend to sink into the resilient surface of mattress 12 (and also into the resilient surface of an adjacent mattress or pad) so that there are no sharp edges or corners over which the patient must be pulled. The thin plastic panel remains substantially flush with the top surface of mattress 12 and of the surface of the adjacent bed or table and, should the weight of the patient compress the mattresses in the vicinity of the horizontal panel, the panel assembly will simply adjust itself into a lower position to maintain the flush relationship.

It will also be noted that when each side panel assembly is in its raised position (FIGURE 3), arms 1712 provide effective end rails for the protection of the patient. Such end rails may also be gripped by an attendant for the purpose of shifting the stretcher-bed along a floor surface, or for manipulating the panel assembly into another position. When the panel assembly is fully lowered, arms or end rails 17b are positioned substantially entirely below the top surface of the mattress and therefore cannot obstruct treatment or examination of the patient.

In the structure so far described, the smooth plastic panel 16 provides an imperforate surface over which a patient may he slid as he is moved between the stretcherbed and an adjacent support. In some instances, however, it may be desirable to provide openings in such a panel. Furthermore, if such openings are of sufficient size, the perforated panel, even if formed of opaque material, will not obstruct a patients view to any objectionable extent when raised.

A perforate panel embodying the present invention is illustrated in FIGURES 4-6. It will be seen that side panel 16 is somewhat similar in outline to transparent panel 16 but, unlike the transparent plastic panel, is composed of interconnected rails 26 and spanner elements 27 of opaque material. In the illustration given, the rails and spanner elements are formed of metal, but other materials such as plastics (opaque or otherwise) may be used.

In other respects, the side panel assembly is identical to the structure already described. The panel 16 is carried by a supporting bar 17 adapted for pivotal connection 7 to a stretcher unit as previously illustrated in FIGURES l3. Brackets 20' are affixed by rivets 28 or by other suitable means to alternate spanner elements 27 along the length of panel 16' and rotatably receive the longitudinally elongated portion 17a of the support bar. Like panel 16, panel 16' is supported for movement between a raised vertical position extending upwardly alongside a mattress and a lowered horizontal position resting upon a mattress, and is also movable into a fully lowered vertical position as already depicted in FIGURE 3. In short, the side panel assembly of FIGURES 4-6 is capable of all of the movements, and of assuming all of the positions, referred to in connection with the description of the panel of the first embodiment.

Referring to the sectional view of FIGURE 5, it will be observed that the longitudinal edge portions of the panel 16, as defined by side rails 26, slope outwardly so that when the side panel is in its fully lowered horizontal position bridging two resilient supporting surfaces, the downwardly sloping side rails will tend to sink into such surfaces so that the rails provide no sharp edges or corners over which the patient must be pulled. Also, as viewed in FIGURE 6, each connecting or spanning element 27 is provided with longitudinal edge portions 27a which slope away from the plane of the panel in the same direction as side rails 26. Consequently, when the panel is in its horizontal patient-transferring position, the edges of the spanner elements also extend downwardly into the resilient surfaces of the mattresses and protect the patient against contact with abrupt corners. As shown in FIGURE 6, the end portions of the spanner elements are apertured at 29 to receive rivets 30 for interconnecting the spanner elements to side rails 26 (FIGURE 5).

While in the foregoing I have disclosed embodiments of the invention in considerable detail for purposes of illustration, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that many of these details may be varied without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. In combination, a stretcher-bed having a frame adapted to support a mattress in a horizontal plane above a floor surface, an elongated mattress supported upon said frame, and at least one side panel assembly extending along a side of said mattress, said side panel assembly including a horizontally elongated side panel, and supporting means connected to said frame and pivotally connected to said panel to support said panel for movement between a raised vertical position extending upwardly alongside said mattress and a lowered horizontal position resting upon said mattress, and holding means for selectively holding said panel in said raised position.

2. The structure of claim 1 in which said supporting means is connected to said panel for pivotal movement of the panel about the approximate longitudinal midline thereof.

3. The structure of claim 2 in which said supporting means includes a pair of arms at opposite ends of the stretcher-bed, said arms being pivotally connected to said frame for movement between raised and lowered positions and being pivotally connected to said panel for pivotal movement of the panel about the approximate longitudinal midline thereof.

4. The structure of claim 3 in which said arms are disposed above the level of said mattress when said panel is in raised position to provide protective end rails for the stretcher-bed.

5. The structure of claim 1 in which said panel is formed of transparent plastic material.

6. The structure of claim 1 in which said panel comprises a pair of spaced parallel side rail members and a plurality of interconnecting spanner members.

7. The structure of claim 1 in which said panel is pro vided with transversely curved longitudinal edges which curve downwardly when said panel is viewed in its horizontal lowered position.

8. In combination with a stretcher-bed having a frame supporting an elongated mattress in a horizontal plane above a floor surface, a side panel assembly comprising a side panel of generally planar and horizontally elongated shape, supporting means connected to said frame and pivotally connected to said panel for pivotal movement of said panel about the approximate longitudinal midline thereof, said means supporting said panel for movement between a raised position extending upwardly alongside said mattress, a lowered position beneath the level of said mattress, and an intermediate horizontal position wherein a portion of said panel rests upon the surface of said mattress, and holding means for selectively retaining said panel in said raised position.

9. The structure of claim 8 in which said supporting means includes a pair of arms at opposite ends of the stretcher-bed, said arms being pivotally connected to said frame for movement between the raised, lowered, and intermediate positions of said panel.

10. The structure of claim 9 in which said arms are of sufiicient length to provide substantial lateral clearance between said panel and said mattress and frame when said panel is in substantially vertical position and is being shifted between raised and lowered positions.

11. The structure of claim 9 in which said arms are disposed above the level of said mattress when said panel is in its raised position to provide protective end rails for protecting a patient upon said stretcher-bed.

12. The structure of claim 8 in which said panel is formed of transparent plastic material.

13. The structure of claim 8 in which said panel is formed of a pair of spaced parallel side rails and a plurality of spanner elements connected to said rails.

14. The structure of claim 8 in which said panel has transversely-curved longitudinal edge portions which curve downwardly when said panel is viewed in its horizontal intermediate position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 856,788 6/1907 Levy 269-328 3,100,899 8/1963 Wright 5-92 3,210,778 10/1965 Robinson 561 3,238,539 3/1966 Koch 5'331 X DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner. FRANK B. SHERRY, Examiners.

R. D. KRAUS, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/430, 5/81.10R
International ClassificationA61G7/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61G7/103, A61G2007/052, A61G7/0507, A61G7/1046, A61G2200/32, A61G2007/0509, A61G2007/0515, A61G2007/0524, A61G2007/051
European ClassificationA61G7/10S6, A61G7/10P4, A61G7/05S