US 3401686 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 7, 1968 E. H. EDWARDS 3,401,686
SELF-OPERABLE RESPIRATORY AID Filed March 28, 1966 INVENTOR. EVAN Hv EDWARDS BY MALLINCKRODT 81 MALLINCKRODT 120, AIM
. ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,401,686 SELF-OPERABLE RESPIRATORY AID Evan H. Edwards, P.O. Box 156, Caliente, Nev. 89008 Filed Mar. 28, 1966, Ser. No. 537,839 Claims. (Cl. 128-28) This invention relates to therapeutic devices for aiding respiration; and is particularly related to instruments, operable by the individual himself, for applying pressure to the lungs as an aid to exhalation.
In certain pathological lung conditions, such as emphysema, the lungs apparently lose elasticity, the diaphragm fails to operate properly during expiration, and breathing occurs primarily in upper portions of the lungs. Hence, the victim becomes unable to expel body secretions that accumulate in lower portions of his lungs. Such accumulated material then apparently contributes to gradual deterioration of lung tissue and the condition becomes progressively worse.
The present invention was developed to assist persons, who are afllicted by emphysema and similar lung conditions, in expelling mucus, liquids, and other accumulated body secretions from the lower portions of their lungs, in promoting introduction of fresh air into the lungs, and in strengthening their diaphragms.
The device is made to be operated by the afflicted person himself. This allows the person to apply pressure where, from experiment, he finds it does the most good and enables him to carefully control the amount of pressure applied. No other person can determine the proper amount of pressure and the most effective location for its application. It is of great importance that an injurious application of pressure be avoided.
In advanced cases of emphysema, the inability to breathe is sometimes a very frightening experience, causing panic reactions in some people. As a result, any apparatus for treatment of such patient should, ideally, be so simply constructed and operated that the necessary functions can be performed by even a very excitable person.
An object of the invention is to provide a device for selftreatment of respiratory ailments that can be used by an individual while in either a standing or a prone position and without having to brace the device against or support it on some stationary structure.
Another object is to provide a device capable of being adjustably positioned relative to a users body to thereby vary the placement of pressure and the direction in which it is applied.
A principal feature of the invention is its simple two piece construction wherein one piece serves as a fulcrum, adjustably anchored to the users body, and the other piece is a lever that is readily connected to the fulcrum and that includes an operating handle at one of its ends and a pressure transmitting pad carried by the lever intermediate its length.
There is shown in the accompanying drawing specific embodiments of the invention representing what are presently regarded as the best modes of carrying out the generic concepts in actual practice. From the deailed description of these presently preferred forms of the invention, other more specific objects and features will become apparent.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation showing the device of FIG. 1 as it would be applied in use; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another form of that part of the device that serves as a fulcrum.
Referring to the drawing:
In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the invention includes, as one principal component, an anchor member 10 made of a bow-shaped yoke 11 to which is attached an arm 12 that extends substantially normal to the yoke. A small loop 13, pivotally attached to the end portion of the arm 12 by a screw and nut combination 14, swings in a plane perpendicular to the bow-shaped yoke 11. The other principal component of the invention comprises a long lever 15 to which a pressure pad 16 is fastened near the center thereof, by a bracket shown generally at 17. The bracket includes a crossbar 18 having two pressure disks 19 that are spaced from the crossbar 18 by spacers 20, to which they are integrally attached. Disks 19 and spacers 20 are fixed adjacent the ends of the crossbar 18 by screws 21 that are threaded into the spacers. A spacing rod 22, having one end connected to the side of the crossbar 18 opposite the pressure disks 19, terminates at its other end in a reduced diameter threaded post 23. A nut 23a is then turned onto the post to fasten the assembly to lever 15. As is best seen in FIG. 2, the spacing rod 22 holds the lever 15 sutiiciently far away from a users body to allow him to easily operate the lever.
In using the invention, an individual places the bowshaped yoke 11 of the anchor member 10 behind his legs, as shown in FIG. 2, so that arm 12 protrudes forwardly between his legs. A hook 24 on one end of the lever 15 is then coupled with the fulcrum loop 13, and a handle at the opposite end 25 of the lever 15 is grasped to pivot the lever about the fulcrum loop coupling. In this Way, a user may exert as much force as he may desire on the upper abdomen, just beneath the rib cage, to force air and impurities from the lower portion of his lungs. Repeated pressure applications have proved beneficial, not only in the strengthening of the diaphragm of users, but in the strength of other muscles as well. Thus, tests have indicated a reduction in heart embarrassment and waist size and a strengthening of stomach muscles of users.
Another embodiment of the anchor member of the invention is shown in FIG. 3. In this illustrated construction a belt 26 replaces a yoke and arm previously disclosed. A fulcrum loop 27 is fixed to a bearing plate 28 and the loop is passed through a slot 29 provided therefor through one end of the belt, strap 30, so that the other end of the belt strap can be overlapped with one of the slots 31 then surrounding the loop. This embodiment of the invention is especially useful for women victims of respiratory diseases who may be Wearing dresses, since the belt will wrap around the lower torso and no projecting arm is used to extend between the users legs.
As in the previously described anchor member embodiment, the fulcrum loop should be positioned centrally at the front of a user to receive the hook 24 of lever 15.
It may be noted that in both embodiments of the anchor member, the fulcrum loop connection with lever 15 has some characteristics of a universal joint. Since the hook 24 of the lever 15 is loosely engaged in the loop, considerable latitude in side-to-side motion, as well as motion toward-and-aWay-from the user, is provided, to permit the pressure to be applied to the proper places on a users body. Also, easy longitudinal adjustment of the location at which pressure is applied to a users body is possible simply by moving the yoke 11 or belt 26 to change the location of the fulcrum. A conventional belt can also be used to provide a fulcrum for lever 15, in which case the hook 24 will be coupled to the belt strap itself. However, a belt so used is subjected to a great deal of Wear and strain at the pivot point and may fail at a time when it is badly needed. In addition, when the lever is coupled to the belt strap there is no structure available to keep the book 24 from moving around the belt and away from the front, central portion of the users body. Thus, although a conventional belt can be used as an anchor means, especially in an emergency, the special anchor means described above are preferred.
It should be noted that the plane of action of lever 15 is disposed substantially longitudinally relative to a users body. This enables him to use the invention in either a standing or prone position and to apply the desired amount of pressure in such a manner that it does not tend to twist his body. If the lever 15 were disposed other than substantially longitudinally for example, at right angles to his body, the greatest portion of the force exerted through using the lever would tend to twist the users body and to twist the apparatus around him. As a. result, it would be virtually impossible for a user to exert a desired force in a desired location unless the apparaus was anchored to a stationary structure. The spacers 22 and disks 21 insure equal distribution of a maximum amount of pressure to each lung and the pressure pad 16 serves as a cushion and prevents injury to the user, while at the same time insuring an application of pressure to his entire lung region.
Whereas there are here illustrated and specifically described certain preferred constructions of apparatus which are presently regarded as the best modes of carrying out the invention, it should be understood that various changes can be made and other constructions adopted without departing from the inventive subject matter particularly pointed out and claimed herebelow.
1. A reciprocatory aid, operable by a user upon himself, comprising a lever;
a pressure pad fixed to said lever intermediate the length of said lever for exerting pressure on the lower lung region of said user; and
an anchor means providing a fulcrum engageable by one end of said lever and anchorable to a lower portion of the users body so that the lever is disposed centrally and substantially longitudinally relative to said users body.
2. The respiratory aid of claim 1, wherein the pressure pad is fixed to the lever intermediate its length by a bracket, said bracket including a crossbar extending at right angles to the lever;
a pair of spacers each having one of their ends fixed to the crossbar; and
a pressure disk fixed to the other end of each of the spacers, the sides of said pressure disks opposite said spacers being fastened to said pressure pad to provide two spaced-apart points of pressure.
3. The respiratory aid of claim 2, wherein the bracket further includes a spacing rod having one end attached to said lever and its other end attached to said crossbar on the side thereof opposite said pressure disks, whereby said crossbar is spaced from said lever.
4. The respiratory aid of claim 1, wherein said anchor means includes a belt that is adapted to encircle a lower body portion of a user.
5. The respiratory aid of claim 1, further including a hook on one end of said lever adapted to engage the anchor means.
6. The respiratory aid of claim 5, wherein the anchor means comprises a yoke adapted to engage the backs of the legs of a user,
an arm attached intermediate said yoke and extending substantially normal thereto for protrusion between the legs of a user; and
a loop attached to the free end of said arm for engagement with said hook, to thereby provide a fulcrum for said lever.
7. The respiratory aid of claim 6, wherein the yoke is bow-shaped to provide greater comfort for a user.
8. The respiratory aid of claim 6, wherein the loop is pivotally connected to the arm.
9. The respiratory aid of claim 5, wherein said anchor means comprises a belt adapted to be fastened around a users body; and
a loop fastened to said belt for engagement with said hook thereby providing a fulcrum for said lever.
10. The respiratory aid of claim 8, wherein the loop includes a bearing plate and is located near one end of said belt, the other end of said belt being slotted, so that, when said belt encircles a users body, said slotted end of said belt is adapted to fit over said loop and to be confined thereon by said hook.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,754,817 7/ 1956 Nemeth 272 2,798,480 7/1957 Bruzenak 12828 3,219,031 11/1965 Rentsch 12828 3,228,392 1/1966 Speyer 128-60 CHARLES F. ROSENBAUM, Primary Examiner.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PATENT OFFICE Washington, D.C. 20231 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,401,686 September 17, 1968 Evan H. Edwards It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 3, line 29, "reciprocatory" should read respiratory Signed and sealed this 27th day of January 1970.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents