US 3368550 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 13, 1968 l H. GLAscoc-:K 3,368,5.50-
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Feb. 13, 1968 H. GLASCOCK 3,368,550
RESPIRATORY CUIRASS Filed April 26, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I 'vvE/vroe. .Hem/ GL/Jscocz A? r Toen/E Ys United States Patent O 3,368,550 RESPIRATORY CUIRASS Harry Glascock, Los Angeles, Calif. (620 E. Dyer Road, Santa Ana, Calif. 92705) Filed Apr. 26, 1965, Ser. No. 450,850
4 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 2) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A relatively rigid one-piece respiratory cuirass provides at upper and lower ends spaced body encircling openings. Disposable iiexible skirts 22 and 23 cooperate with the cuirass to define a sealed space to which positive and negative pressure may be applied as by the aid of a connector 12. The cuirass 10 is substantially transparent to X-rays, an-d the connector 12 is located at the side whereby the cuirass is adapted for use in cineiluorography.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to medical appliances, and particularly to a cuirass adapted substantially to seal about the thoracic cage whereby external pneumatic positive and negative pressures may be applied.
Methods for early diagnosis and treatment of emphysema, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases are being constantly improved. Currently, cinefluorography has been used not only for diagnosis, but also for accurate control of corrective therapy. Such methods require assisted full deep breathing which usually is beyond the normal capacity of the patient. The external pneumatic positive and negative pressures may be of the order of from 10 to 55 centimeters of water.
The primary object of this invention is to provide an improved cuirass especially adapted for use in conjunction with cineiluorographic methods. For this purpose, the cuirass is made in such manner as to have maximum transparency to X-rays. Thus the cuirass is made as a unitary molded plastic shell, with connectors for the pneumatic power unit located at the sides rather than at the front. Also, the cuirass is so designed that it may be sealed to the bod-y of the patient by means located beyond the normal fluoroscope field. Furthermore, the cuirass is so designed that it may be relatively comfortably used while the patient' is sitting, standing, supine, or prone. These positions may ybe required in carrying out the -cineiluorographic methods.
In order to lprovide a cuirass capable of such versatile use without discomfort, the cuirass itself extends only from beneath the armpits, and a seal about the neck and the arms is not necessary. This materially enhances the mobility of the patients head and arms. This may be contrasted with prior devices which materially restrict the movement of the patient, particularly his chin when the patient is supine. I have found that this tubular structure does not in any manner detract from the efficient application of positive and negative pressures, apparently because the upper thoracic region is relatively inflexible, and does not need to be included within the sealed space. It is the lower thoracic area, particularly at the region of the upper abdomen, that is liexible and primarily responsive to the variations inexternal pressure.
A companion object of this invention is to provide a cuirass of this character that is quite easily sealed. Thus the cuirass, being essentially tubular, has but two large accessible openings that are easily sealed.
Cuirasses of this character are often used by out patients. Prior devices usually required the assistance of a nurse to install, and usually resulted in the patients being 3,368,550 Patented Feb. 13, 1968 Another object of this invention is to provide a cuirass of this character that is capable of sanitary use. For this purpose, the cuirass itself may be sterilized, and the sealing elements or skirts used with them may be made as disposable film plastic.
Another object of this invention is to provide a cuirass that is lightweight and readily portable.
This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of several embodiments of the invention. For this purpose, there are shown a few forms in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification, and which drawings are true scale. These forms will n-ow be described in detail, illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that this detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE l is a front elevational view of a cuirass incorporating this invention in place upon the body of the patient;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational View thereof;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along a plane transverse to the cuirass and corresponding to line 3--3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the plane corresponding to line 4 4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along a plane extending longitudinally of the cuirass and corresponding to line 5k5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 1, but illustrating how some of the parts may be preassembled and placed as a unit on the body of the patient;
FIG. 7 is an exploded view illustrating the components of the cuirass assembly; and
FIG. 8 is a pictorial View of an alternate skirt element.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In FIG. 1, there is illustrated a cuirass 10` that is shown in place upon the body of the patient, the cuirass encompassing the lower thoracic region.
The cuirass 10 is in the form of a tubular shell, and preferably is made in one piece by drawing fluid, irnpervious plastic material, such as Plexiglas. This mate- -rial is substantially transparent to X-rays, and in the form of a tubular shell, s sufficiently rigid to hold its shape when subjected to positive and negative pneumatic pressures of the order lof 50 centimeters of water.
The cuirass, as shown in FIG. 3, is gently curved at the back portion, and as indicated at 10A, so as to be sufficiently iiat to allow substantial conformance to the back of a chair, for example, while yet retaining the requisite curvature to provide the strength characteristics of a shell. The frontal portion 10B is curved in a more pronounced manner and allows sufficient space for body movements. The sides 10C and 10D of the cuirass are curved smoothly to join the frontal portion 10B with the back portion 10A to maintain the shell configuration.
The cuirass is adapted to form a chamber sealed about the area of the lower rib cage of the patient for application of positive and negative pressures from a power unit (not shown). The power unit is connected to the chamber defined by the cuirass by the aid of a flexible hose 11 (FIGS. 1 3). This hose carries a connector 12 (FIG. 3) that has a slightly reduced extension 13. Two locking lugs 14 extend on diametrically opposite sides of the very end of the extension 13. The extension may be inserted into an aperture 15 at the side wall 10C, or into an aperture 16 at the other side wall 10D of the cuirass. In the present instance, the connector 12 is shown installed at the aperture 16.
This aperture 16 has diametrically located notches 17 (FIG. 4) that permit the lugs, when aligned, to pass through. By turning the connector 12 after the lugs have passed through the notches 17, the connector 12 is locked in place. A sealing ring 18 (FIG. 3) tits on the extension 13 and seals about the aperture 16. A baffle plate 19 is mounted on the inside ofthe aperture to ensure continuous communication between the interior chamber and the hose 11.
The aperture 1S provides for optional installation of the hose 11, and is formed in the same manner as the aperture 16. A baiiie plate 20 is provided at the aperture 15. In the present instance, the aperture 1S is closed by a detachable plug 21.
Since the connector 12 is installed at the side rather than at the front of the cuirass 10, the crucial field for cinefluorography is unobstructed.
The chamber defined by the cuirass 10 must, of course, be fairly well sealed about the body of the patient. For this purpose, sealing skirts 22 and 23 (see, also, FIGS. 5 and 7) are provided. These skirts are tubular, and made of pliable, conformable, impervious material, such as polyethylene film. The skirts must have sufficient strength to withstand pressures of the order 50 centimeters of water. The skirt 22 is partially telescoped over the upper end of the cuirass 10, and the skirt 23 is partially telescoped over the lower end of the cuirass.
Elastic straps or bands 24 and 2S respectively clamp and seal the telescoping portions of the skirts 22 and 23 to the upper and lower ends of the cuirass. These bands 24 and 2S are made preferably of surgical rubber, capable of being sterilized by conventional hospital techniques without deterioration. The bands simply surround the cuirass and the skirts, and their ends are fastened together to hold the bands in tension, appropriately to exert clamping pressure on the skirts 22 and 23. For this purpose, companion Velcro fastener elements 26 and 27 are provided for the band 24, and similar fastener elements 28 and 29 Iare provided for the band 25.
In order to secure the telescopic connection of the skirts to the cuirass, the upper and lower ends of the cuirass are provided with beads or iianges 30 and 31 (FIG. 5) to confine the bands 24 and 25 on the cuirass.
The free ends of the skirts 22 and 23 are similarly clamped to the body of the patient, as by the aid of elastic bands 32 and 33 that are identical to the bands 24 and 25. These bands 32 and 33, as shown in FIG. 5, are held in a slightly tensioned relationship by the fasteners at their ends, thus providing a suitable seal to the body of the patient.
To facilitate placement of the cuirass on the body, the skirts 22 and 23 are preassembled with the cuirass 10 by the aid of the bands 24 and 25. The patient either steps into the preassembled cuirass and skirts and lifts it into position, or passes it downwardly over his arms and head. When `the cuirass is in position, the bands or straps 32 and 33 are finally installed.
The skirts 22 and 23 may take different forms. For example, in FIG. 8, there is illustrated a length of plastic film 34 vthat may be Wrapped about the cuirass and the body. Two such elements 34 would be provided in place 7 of the skirts 22 and 23. With sufficient turns in the elements 34, the elastic straps might not be needed, especially if the ends of the elements can be tucked under a patient when he is in a supine position.
The skirts 22 and 23 or the elements 34 can be simply discarded after use in the interests of sterile procedures. The bands and the cuirass 10 can readily be sterilized.
1. In a medical appliance for use in cineuorography or the like: a relatively one-piece tubular cuirass made of plastic material that is substantially transparent to X-rays, all operative wall parts of said cuirass being fixed relative to each other, said cuirass having edges forming two and only two body encircling openings, namely an upper opening and a lower opening; said openings being substantially of equal size and being substantially aligned; said cuirass being designed to encompass the body of a patient at the thoracic region and to form a pneumatic pressure chamber thereabout with the front and rear walls thereof spaced closer together than the side walls thereof; said cuirass having an access aperture at one side wall for connection to a source of pneumatic pressure; the front and rear walls of said cuirass being impervious; and means at the said upper and lower openings for establishing a seal between said openings and the body of the wearer including relatively iiexible upper and lower skirts forming substantially sealed extensions of the cuirass at said upper and lower openings respectively, and with the free end of said skirts adapted to be sealed against the body of the patient.
2. The combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said cuirass has a second aperture at the side opposite said first aperture for alternate connection to a source of pneumatic pressure; and a plug for one of the apertures.
3. The combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said skirts comprise tubular film elements of uniform diameter partially telescoped over the upper and lower openings of said tubular cuirass; a first pair of at least partially elastic straps securing skirts in position about the cuirass; and a second pair of at least partially elastic straps constricting the free ends of the skirts against the body of the patient.
4. The combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said seal means comprises relatively flexible upper and lower skirts forming substantially sealed extensions of the cuirass at said upper and lower openings respectively; said upper and lower skirts comprising strips of impervious plastic film material having a length suliicient to wrap more than once about the openings of the cuirass.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,079,952 5/ 1937 Sahlin 12S-30.2 2,309,361 1/1943 Terhaar 12S-30.2 2,480,980 9/ 1949 Terhaar 12S-30.2 2,490,395 12/1949 Wilm 12S-30.2 2,629,372 2/1953 Wallin 12S-30.2 2,707,948 5/ 1955 Emerson 12S-430.2 2,833,275 5/ 1958 Tunniclife 12S- 30.2 3,075,521 1/1963 Grassl 128-75 3,190,444 6/ 1965 Kelson 206-63.2
FOREIGN PATENTS 527,744 10/ 1940 Great Britain.
OTHER REFERENCES J. D. Stratton, Plastics, January 1946, pp. 29-32, 121- 122.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
K. L. HOWELL, Assistant Examiner.