US 3398971 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 27, 1968 L. E. SEIDEL 3,398,971
DEVICE FOR TRANSPORTING INVALIDS 7 Filed on. 4, 1966 a Sheets-Sheet1 INVENTOR LLOYD E. Sf/DEL BY WWW TOR/V575 Aug. 27, 1968 1.. E. SEiDEL DEVICE FOR TRANSPORTING INVALIDS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 4, 1966 K 7 Q 6 i BY A rbmvEYs 1968 E. SEIDEL 3,398,971
DEVICE FOR TRANSPORTING INVALIDS Filed Oct. 4, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOI? LLOYD E. SE/DEL ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,398,971 DEVICE FOR TRANSPORTING INVALIDS Lloyd E. Seidel, Rte. 3, Georgetown, Ohio 45121 Filed Oct. 4, 1966, Ser. No. 584,256 Claims. (Cl. 28047.11)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vehicle having a body portion which includes means for supporting a patient and a steering mechanism which includes a frame pivotally mounted on the body and carrying a pair of wheel supporting assemblies pivotally mounted on the frame. The body portion is linked to one of the wheel supporting assemblies whereby relative turning motion of the body with respect to the frame causes the attached wheel assembly also to turn with respect to the frame. Means are provided interconnecting the front and back wheel supporting assemblies so that a turning moment applied to the front wheels by means of the body portion is transmitted to the rear Wheel assembly in a manner to cause an opposite turning moment. The turning of the wheel assemblies in opposite directions provides a highly responsive steering mechanism which makes the vehicle maneuverable and easy to handle. The body portion is provided with a bed of adjustable inclination and with means for preventing a patient occupying the bed from accidentally falling off the vehicle.
Background and summary of the invention This invention relates to a wagon-like vehicle intended for use with non-ambulatory patients.
On occasions, patients in hospitals and confined to private homes are unable to stand or walk, and it becomes necessary to provide some means for transporting them from one place to another. This situation is particularly aggravated when the patient is confined within a heavy cast, perhaps extending from his chest to his feet. The excessive Weight which the cast adds to that of the patient will, of course, make it difficult or impossible to carry this patient without special devices.
One situation which creates a need for vehicles such as the one disclosed herein is when a child is afilicted with hyperthia, a weakness of the muscles in the hips and upper legs which causes frequent dislocation of the hip joints. Treatment of this condition requires that the child be' placed in a chest-to-feet cast with the legs arranged in a diverging manner.
The prior art has been deficient in that it has provided no satisfactory vehicles for moving patients of the aforementioned type, or for maintaining such patients in a comfortable attitude. For this reason, it is a primary purpose and object of this invention to provide a wheeled vehicle with a patient-supporting member that may be adjustably suited to the desires and activities of the individual patient. The particular means disclosed in this specification includes an adjustable inclined planar bed or supporting member with a crotch-supporting projection which lies at its midportion.
Another object of the invention is to provide a vehicle which is easily maneuvered due to the structure of its chassis and steering arrangement. This is particularly of V importance when a patient is confined to a private residenoe where there are moderately small rooms, narrow passageways and confined areas as contrasted to the spacious surroundings often existing in hospitals and similar institutions. The steering mechanism described herein also may control large wagon-like wheels and thus enables use of the vehicle on any type of floor covering, including carpets. This renders the vehicle considerably 'ice more satisfactory than those having small castered wheels such as those often utilized on small maneuverable vehicles.
Another object of the invention is to provide a steering mechanism which, while being easily operable, does not add appreciably to the overall length of the vehicle, as would the tongue on a regular coaster wagon or the long, rearwardly-extending handle on a standard infants stroller. Reduction of the length of the wagon is, of course, especially desirable when the vehicle must be moved in close quarters.
The satisfaction of the foregoing objects is a direct result of the apparatus described hereinbelow, which is but a single preferred embodiment of the invention.
Brief description of the drawings The invention, in one of its practical embodiments which has proven successful for transporting small children, is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the entire apparatus;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the vehicle partially in section;
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the vehicle in which the frame member of the vehicle is twice illustrated to show both its upper and lower surfaces;
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the device taken when the Wheels are aligned for forward motion;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, showing the wheels in a turning position; and
FIG. 6 is a view taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 2 showing the mechanism for raising and lowering the patient supporting bed.
Description of a preferred embodiment Referring first to FIG. 1, it will be noted that the vehicle includes a body 2 which has a rear wall 4, a front wall 6, and side walls 8 and 10. The rear wall has height approximately twice that of the front wall, and the side walls taper downwardly toward the front wall so that the legs of a patient may extend outwardly as is often necessary. In FIG. 2, it will be noted that the front wall 6 and side walls 8 and 10 immediately adjacent thereto are at a height which is no greater than the lower end of the crotch support 12 of the patient-supporting bed 14. When the bed 14 is in its position of least inclination, which is substantially horizontal, the side walls 8 and 10 extend above that portion of the patient-supporting bed 14 which is spaced longitudinally from the crotch support member 12.
The nonambulatory patient is supported on the patientsupporting bed 14 which constitutes an inclined generally planar member which may be dished inwardly toward its center in order to provide for convenient support of the patient. The bed may be padded with resilient foam and covered with any suitable upholstery material as shown in FIG. 1 to improve the comfort of the patient and to add a pleasing appearance to the device.
The angle of inclination of the bed 14 may be adjusted in order to suit the needs of the individual patient. It is tiltable about a horizontal axis by virtue of the pivotal connection between the brackets 16 on the bed and the pivot rod 18 which is fixed to the body of the vehicle. The patient when in an inclined position is prevented from slipping downwardly by means of the crotch support 12 which also may be padded in a manner similar to the patient-supporting bed 14. The crotch support extends and projects outwardly from the midportion of the bed 14. In the illustrated embodiment, the crotch supporting member is also attached to the bed 14.
The means for adjusting the angle of inclination of the patient-supporting bed is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 6. Toward the upper end of the bed 14 on the bottom side 3 thereof, there is a bracket to which an upper lever 22 is pivotally attached. At the lower end of lever 22 there is a rod 24 which pivotally interconnects the upper lever 22 with a lower lever 26. The lower lever 26 is pivotally connected at its lower end to a bracket 28 which is mounted on the body 2, specifically on the lower wall thereof.
In order to adjust the inclination of the bed 14, means are provided for moving the juncture of the levers 22 and 26, i.e., the rod 24. This means constitutes the threaded elevation worm 30. As shown in FIG. 6, the elevation worm is threadedly engaged with the boss member 32 which is connected to the pivot rod 24. Toward its rear end, the worm is rotatably retained in member 34 which is attached to the rear wall for the body. At the point of attachment to member 34, the worm 30 cannot be moved axially. Rotation of the worm 30 is accomplished by means of a conventional crank 35 which extends rearwardly of the vehicle body. In order to lend stability to the bed adjusting arrangement, it is desirable to provide spaced pairs of these levers in the manner illustrated in FIG. 6 where the levers 22' and 26 extend parallel to the previously described levers 22 and 26, and operate in substantially the same manner. The above-described mechanism is particularly suitable to devices of the type disclosed since it provides for convenient adjustment of the inclination of the patient-supporting bed 14 and, at the same time, provides for a stable support therefor.
The vehicle is supported on a chassis which includes a horizontal plate or frame member 36, wheel supporting assemblies 38 and 40, and a plurality of rotatable wheels 42, 44, 46 and 48. The construction of the chassis will best be understood by reference to FIG. 3 in which, as mentioned above, the frame member 36 is twice illustrated in order to show both its upper and lower surfaces.
The frame member is a fiat plate which is pivotally attached to the underside of the body by means of a kingpin 50 which extends downwardly from the body and through an aperture 52 located in the frame member 36. Of course, suitable means are used to prevent vertical sep aration of the body 2 and frame member 36 without affecting their ability to move pivotally with respect to each other. The underside of the body 2 is provided with a plate 54 which carries a plurality of partially recessed ball bearings 56 which serve to reduce frictional resistance to the relative pivotal movement of the members 2 and 36. A hard surfaced plate 58 is located on the upper portion of the frame member 36 in order to cooperate with the bearings 56.
The underside of the frame member 36 has at its opposite ends a pair of downwardly extending kingbolts 60 and 62 which are used to interconnect pivotally the frame member and the wheel supporting assemblies 38 and 40 in a manner similar to that described above. A plurality of ball bearings 64 are used to reduce the friction at the interface between the frame member 36 and the disc-like members 66 and 68 which are rigidly attached to the wheel supporting assemblies 38 and 40.
Due to the various connections between the elements set forth above, it will be observed that the frame member 36 may pivot with respect to the body member 2 and each of wheel supporting assemblies 38 and 40 may pivot with respect to the frame member 36.
It has long been recognized that a vehicle may cut a sharper corner if its front wheels turn in a direction opposite to its rear wheels. The particular vehicle disclosed herein provides for such a short turn by means of a rod 70 which has its opposite ends attached to the left portion of the front wheel supporting assembly 38 and the right portion of the rear wheel supporting assembly 40. The manner in which this produces opposite turning will be recognized immediatey upon inspection of FIGS. 4 and 5.
Actual turning of the wheels in the vehicle of the present invention is caused by relative pivotal movement between the body 2 and the frame member 36, so that a per- 4 1 son pushing the vehicle may simply apply a slight turning force to the handle 72 or any other portion of the body 2. This causes the body 2 to turn with respect to the frame member 36 and, due to the mechanism described below, the vehicle will make an abrupt turn.
The particular means disclosed for producing turning includes a tongue member 74 which is provided with an elongated longitudinal slot 76. The tongue member 74 is nonrotatably and rigidly attached to the forward wheel supporting assembly 38.
Riding within the slot 76 of tongue 74 there is a projection member 78, the construction of which is best illustrated in FIG. 2. This projection includes an enlarged portion 78' at its lower end which prevents disengagement of the tongue 74 and projection 78.
The mode of operation of the steering assembly will readily be appreciated by referring to FIG. 5. In this drawing, the person moving the vehicle has directed the handle 72 toward his left, thus causing the frame member 36 and the body 2 to become angularly displaced from each other. This also causes angular movement between the body member 2 and the tongue 74, due to the relative movement of the projection 78 which extends downwardly from the body. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the forward wheel supporting assembly 38 with it wheels 42 and 44 turns to the right. Due to the action produced by the rod 70, the rear wheel supporting assembly 40 and its respective wheels 46 and 48 will turn to the left, thus permitting the vehicle to perform an abrupt turn to the right. This can be done with little effort, due both. to the presence of the bearings 56 and 64 and to the advantageous leverage which is provided by this arrangement.
From the foregoing disclosure, it will be recognized that the presently-described vehicle is one which satisfies the objects of the invention and which is a most satisfac tory answer to the needs of certain types of patients who must be moved in confined places. As mentioned above, the disclosed embodiment is but one of many variations of the vehicle which fall within the scope of the invention. For this reason and in accordance with accepted principles of patent law, the invention is not restricted to the sole embodiment disclosed, but encompasses any modifications, substitutions and improvements which fall within the scope of the following claims.
1. A wagon for supporting invalids comprising (a) a body;
(b) means for supporting a patient in said body;
(0) a frame mounted on and beneath said body for pivotal movement about a generally vertical axis;
((1) a pair of wheel supporting assemblies pivotally mounted on and beneath said frame for pivotal movement about generally vertical axes;
(e) means interconnecting said wheel supporting assemblies producing turning of said wheel supporting assemblies in opposite directions;
(f) rotatable wheels mounted on said wheel supporting assemblies; and
g) means interconnecting said body and one of said wheel supporting assemblies to produce turning of said wheel supporting assemblies in response to relative pivotal movement between said body and said frame.
2. A device according to claim 1 having handle means on said body, said handle means located on the end of said body which is opposite to the end at which said means interconnecting said body and one of said wheel supporting assemblies is located.
3. A device according to claim 1 in which said frame is a horizontal plate pivotally attached to the underside of said body.
4. A device according to claim 1 in which said means interconnecting said body and said one of said wheel supporting assemblies is a tongue member rigidly attached to said one of said wheel supporting assemblies, and a projection fixed on said body engaged with said tongue member to turn said tongue member and its respective wheel supporting assembly upon relative movement between said body and said frame.
5. A device according to claim 4 having handle means located on said body that end of said body which is opposite to the location of said projection member.
6. A device according to claim 1 in which said means for supporting a patient includes an inclined generally planar bed member with a crotch supporting member projecting outwardly from its midportion.
7. A device according to claim 6 in which said planar member is tiltable about a horizontal axis, and means provided for adjusting the angle of inclination of said planar member.
8. A device according to claim 7 in which the means for adjusting the angle of inclination of the planar member includes a pair of levers pivotally interconnected at their juncture, one of said levers having its opposite end pivotally connected to the body, and the other of said levers having its opposite end pivotally connected to said planar member, and means for adjusting the location of said juncture of said levers.
9. A device according to claim 6 in which said planar member is tiltable about a horizontal axis to provide variations of its angle of inclination, and means for adjusting the angle of inclination of said planar member.
10. A device according to claim 9 in which said means for supporting a patient includes an inclined generally planar bed member with a crotch supporting member projecting outwardly from its midportion.
.11. A wheeled vehicle having a frame, a body pivotally attached to and above said frame for relative pivotal movement about a vertical axis, a pair of wheel assemblies pivotally mounted on and beneath said frame, means interconnecting the wheel assemblies to produce opposite turning movements thereof with respect to each other, and means interconnecting the body and one of said wheel assemblies to produce turning movement of said wheel assemblies in response to relative pivotal movement between said frame and said body.
12. A device according to claim 11, in which said body has supporting means for supporting a human, said sup- 6 porting means including a planar bed member mounted for adjustable inclination about a horizontal axis and crotch support means projecting outwardly from the midportion of said inclined planar bed member.
13. A device according to claim 12, in which the horizontal axis about which said planar bed inclines is located approximately at the transverse centerline of said planar bed.
14. A device according to claim 12, in which said body has side walls which extend above said horizontal axis in only that portion of the body which lies rearwardly of said axis.
15. A wagon for supporting invalids including (a) a body having means for supporting a human, in-
cluding a planar bed member mounted for adjustable inclination;
(b) a crotch support means projecting outwardly from the midportion of said inclined planar bed member;
(0) a supporting and steering assembly for said body comprising a frame pivotally attached to said body, a pair of wheel assemblies pivotally attached to the under surface of said frame, means for interconnecting said body and one of said wheel assemblies, and means for interconnecting said wheel assemblies to produce opposite turning movements with respect to each other, whereby relative pivotal movement of said body with respect to said frame causes turning of said wheel assemblies to permit steering of said Wagon.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,233,262 2/1941 Jacobson 248-421 3,026,542 3 1962 Tabbert 562 3,293,667 12/1966 Ohrberg 5-62 3,329,439 7/1967 Gebien 280-l6 FOREIGN PATENTS 480,557 8/1916 France.
BENJAMIN HERSH, Primary Examiner.
L. D. MORRIS, JR., Assistant Examiner.