US 3521301 A
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July 21, 1970 s. H. COWEN DISPOSABLE EXAMINATION AND X-RAY GARMENTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Jan. 4, 196B Sdmue/ h. Cowen INVENTOR BY ATTORNEY July 21,1970- SHCQWE 3,521,301
DISPOSABLE EXAMINATION AND X-RAY GARMENTS I Original Filed Jan. 4, 1 968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Samuel Ii Co'wen INVENTOR ATTORNEY United States Patent Office 3,521,301 Patented July 21, 1970 3,521,301 DISPOSABLE EXAMINATION AND X-RAY GARMENTS Samuel H. Cowen, Detroit, Mich., assignor to W. R. Grace & Co., a corporation of Connecticut Continuation of application Ser. No. 695,710, Jan. 4, 1968. This application Aug. 22, 1969, Ser. No. 853,617
Int. Cl. A41d 9/00 US. Cl. 2114 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 695,710 filed I an. 4, 1968, now abandoned.
This invention relates to a disposable, reversible, twoway garment for clinical examination, X-ray and the like. In particular, this invention relates to examination and X-ray capes and gowns formed from a tissue paper polyethylene film laminate which is stronger and has greater opacity.
In summary, the disposable, reversible, twoway garment of this invention for clinical examination, X-ray and the like is formed from a tissue paper-polyethylene film laminate and comprises a back section; a side section along each side edge of the back section folded over an adjacent portion of the back section to form a respective front section, the polyethylene film side of the laminate facing inward; the top edge of each front section being heat sealed to the top edge of the back section in contact therewith; a central neck opening defined by the top edge of at least one of said front and back sections; and arm openings on the side edges of the garment defined by at least one of said back and front sections. In summary, the process of this invention for forming this disposable, reversible, two-way examination and X-ray garment comprises the steps of longitudinally folding a sheet of tissue paper-polyethylene film laminate into a 2. (lazy W shape), the tissue layer facing outward; cutting arm and neck holes at one end ofthe folded sheet and applying heat and pressure along said end of the folded sheet to heat seal adjacent polyethylene film layers of said folded sheet together to form shoulder seams between the-neck hole and the respective arm holes. In summary, a package of disposable, reversible, two-way garments of this invention comprises a hanger with a hook means for supporting said hanger from a bar and with a horizontal support for supporting said reversible garments thereon, a stack of more than one of the disposable garments being folded over said horizontal support and supported thereby. Large numbers of gowns and capes are used in doctors offices, clinics, hospitals, X-ray clinics and the like. Particularly in the olfice of a physician whodoes a large volume of examination work requiring the disrobing of or partial disrobing of the patients, the number of gowns needed creates a storage problem. Because each robe must be cleaned before being reused, a large inventory of robes is required, and the laundry and other maintenance eX- penses in connection with them are very high. As a result, eiforts were made to develop a disposable garment to replace the conventional cotton garment.
One type of disposable garment which has been previously developed is a paper garment such as disclosed in US. Pat. 2,692,989. A light gauge paper is required for such a garment for comfort. The construction of such a garment is difficult because some portions of the garment are generally glued and the glue tends to penetrate layers of the tissue to provide undesired bonding between adjacent parts. Since the tissue paper is easily torn, heavier and less comfortable paper is generally required, and large neck and arm holes must be provided to minimize tearing when the garment is used. As a result, the paper garments do not provide the desired privacy to the wearer and have not been found generally satisfactory. Efforts were made to develop a plastic disposable garment, but this garment also was found to have serious deficiencies. In order to provide the necsssary opacity, a very heavy gauge of plastic was generally required, making the garment uncomfortable to the wearer. Pebbling or other embossing operatings on the surface of the plastic tended to increase opacity, but the desired opacity for lightcolored garments could not be obtained. The plastic was found to have a cold feel and particularly as a result of the nervous perspiration of the wearer normally present during examination, the plastic tended to cling to the surface of thewearer, becoming relatively transparent in those areas. Hence, the privacy of the wearer of the garment was not satisfactorily provided. One solution to this problem was provided by preparing garments from special fabric-reinforced paper prepared by an expensive process. Although the product had a cloth-like feel and was stronger than simple paper garments, its cost of manufacture made it too expensive for many small examination and X-ray clinics.
It is an object of this invention to provide a disposable garment formed from a polyethylene film-paper laminate. It is another object of this invention to provide a stronger disposable garment having smaller arm and neck holes, made of cheaper, lighter materials, with sufficient opacity to provide privacy for the wearer. It is a further object of this invention to provide a disposable polyethylene film-paper laminate having a highly effective design making it a reversible, two-way garment. It is a still further object of this invention to provide a package of these disposable garments which can be conveniently stored in the closets of examination and X-ray clinics and doctors offices. It is also an object of this invention to provide a highly efficient method for forming this disposable garment.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following description and appended claims when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this specification, wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.
In said drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a disposable cape. according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a tissue paperpolyethylene film laminate folded in the E or lazy W shape preliminary to forming the disposable garment of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a front view of the folded disposable cape according to this invention;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the package of disposable garments according to this invention;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a disposable gown according to this invention worn in a manner so that it can be opened in the front; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing an examination gown according to this invention worn for access to the back of the patient.
In reading the hereinafter detailed description of the present invention, it should be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. It is to be understood also that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation, and it is not intended to limit the invention claimed to less than the full scope of the invention.
Referring to FIG. 1, which shows a disposable cape according to this invention, the disposable garment in general comprises a back section 2 with the side portions along each side edge 4 of the back portions 2 folded over adjacent respective portion of the back section 2 to form a respective front section 6.
The garment is made from a tissue layer (paper tissue)- thermoplastic film laminate, the layers of the laminate being bonded together over at least percent of the .surface of the layers, and preferably are continuously bonded over the full surface of the layers. In the view shown in FIG. 1, which is an illustration of the garment in the unreversed position, the plastic film side 8 of the laminate faces inward, that is, it is on the inside of the garment, and the tissue layer surface 10 faces outward. The top edge 12 of each front section 6 is bonded to the top edge of the back section 2 in contact therewith. Preferably, the top edges are bonded together by heat sealing.
A central neck opening 14 is defined by the top edges of at least one of said front and back sections. The preferred form is shown wherein both the front and back portions of the garment are defined by an oval, circular, arcuate, or V-shaped edge which will accommodate the wearer when the garment is worn in either position, that is, whether the front portions are worn at the front or the back of the patient. Arm openings 16 adjacent the shoulders are defined by at least one of said front and back sections, preferably by oval, circular, arcuate, or curved edges on both the front and back sections of the garment. The length of the garment from the top edges 12 to the bottom edge 18 can vary depending upon its use. For example the garment can be a cape (as illustrated) or a gown.
A wide variety of thermoplastic film-tissue layer laminates can be used to make this garment. Any thermoplastic film can be used, such as polyolefins, including polyethylene or polypropylene or copolymers containing ethylene and/or propylene groups, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinylidene chloride, polyesters, and the like. Preferably the film is a performed polyethylene film having a thickness of at least 0.5 mil. The maximum thickness is limited only by the feel of the garment, that is, if the plastic film is too thick the garment is uncomfortable. Preferably the polyethylene film has a thickness of about one mil.
The tissue layer portion of the laminate from which the garment of this invention is made is one or more plies or layers of a facial grade tissue paper. The weight of the paper suitable for use in the laminate depends upon the number of plies to be used. If only a single ply of tissue is to be used to form the laminate, 1016 pound tissue paper should be used. If two or more plies are to be used, 8-l6 pound tissue paper should be used. Up to four plies of facial grade tissue paper can be used. The paper layers should be integrally associated to form an intact sheet composed of these several layers as is conventional with facial tissue. The preferred tissue paper is a 12 pound facial grade tissue paper, and this weight of paper forms an exceptional garment material when laminated to polyethylene film having a thickness of one mil.
It is essential that the polyethylene film layer be per formed, that is, not be formed by extrusion or calendering against the paper layer. If the polyethylene is bonded to the paper as it is formed into a film, a very weak structure is obtained.
Referring to FIG. 2, the plastic film-tissue layer laminate is folded into a 2 or lazy W shape as a first step in forming the disposable garment. The folded layers can be heat sealed at 20 (simultaneous heat sealing of both shoulder portions of the garment), and the arm openings 16 and neck opening 14 are cut out. The heat sealing and cutting operations can be performed simultaneously. Obviously, thegarment can be formed by other procedures such as a simple folding of end portions of a sheet forward over the back portion 2 either before or after the arm and/or neck openings are cut in the laminate, followed by heat sealing of the shoulder portions, one at a time or simultaneously. Forming the garment from the folded laminate shown in FIG. 2 has the advantage of economy and simplicity. Furthermore, because the polyethylene sheets are in the inside 8 of the folded layers a single heat sealing operation can be used to simultaneously heat seal both shoulders without the undesired sticking of the shoulder portions to each other. The cut and heat-sealed folded garment of this invention is shown in FIG. 3.
FIGS. 1-3 illustrate a disposable, reversible, two-way cape. This invention also relates to gowns which differ only in being longer.
With respect to FIG. 4, a group of several, for example, from 2 to 50 and preferably around 25, of the folded garments such as shown in FIG. 3 can be folded and supported on a hanger means 22. The hanger 22 can be formed of wire, wood, plastic, or other suitable materials and comprises a hook means 24 for hanging the wire support on a closet bar and having suitable dimensions for this purpose, the hook portion being connected to a horizontal portion 26 by one or more connecting means 28. A stack of the disposable garments is folded over the horizontal support portion 26 of the hanger means for support thereby.
In general, the process for forming the disposable garment of this invention comprises longitudinally folding a sheet of the plastic film-tissue laminate into a E shape such as is shown in FIG. 3, the tissue layer facing outward; cutting arm and neck holes at the corners at one end of the folded sheet; and applying heat and pressure at the end of the folded sheet with or for the arm and neck holes to heat seal adjacent folds of the sheet together at 20 to form shoulder seams 12 (either before, concurrently with, or after the arm and neck hole cutting operating).
The unique design of the garment of this invention provides a reversible garment which can be worn with either the tissue layer or plastic film side outward, and also a garment which can be worn so that the front portions or flaps 6 are located at the front or the back of the wearer. The garment is suitable for clinical examination, X-ray, and the like, and can be provided in either gown or cape length.
FIG. 5 shows a gown length garment according to this invention worn with the front panels 6 at the front of the wearer, and FIG. 6 shows a garment of gown length Worn with the front panels 6 at the back of the wearer.
The disposable, reversible, two-way garment of this invention offers several significant advantages over the prior art disposable garments. Because of this unique plastic film-tissue paper layer laminate construction, a stronger garment having a more pleasant feel and design is provided. The laminate has much greater strength than the heaviest permissible paper garments made solely from tissue paper material. Because of this improved strength characteristic, the arm and neck holes can be made smaller, thus providing improved privacy for the wearer. Another and equally significant advantage is the increased opacity of the garments of this invention. Because of the shadowing and other optical characteristics of this laminated garment, the paper tissue-plastic film laminate is more opaque than either the paper tissue or plastic film layers by themselves or the sum of their opacities. Pebbling or other embossing operations on the surface of the plastic and paper increase opacity when light-colored materials are used.
The feel of the garment is more comfortable than with either a heavy gauge self-sufficient tissue paper or a plastic film heavy enough to have the desired opacity. If the plastic side of the garment of this invention is found to be too cool against the skin of the wearer, the garment can be reversed with the plastic side facing outward and the warmer tissue layer surface facing inward. The garment is very suitable for use in X-ray clinics and the like.
The package of garments according to this invention provides a great convenience to clinics and examination rooms where space is limited. A package of the gowns can be hung in any closet, thus releasing for other uses the shelf or drawer space normally required for storage of such garments. The garments can be individually removed from the package as needed.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the invention as hereinabove set forth can be made without departing from the essence and scope thereof, and only such limitations should be applied as are indicated in the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A disposable, reversible garment useful for medical and X-ray examination of a patient which comprises:
,(A) a length of an embossed lamination folded to a Z traverse configuration, said lamination consisting of a sheet layer of polyethylene film and one to four piles of -16 pound facial grade tissue paper, said sheet of polyethylene film having a thickness of about 0.5 to 1 mil;
(B) an arcuate shaped cut-out configuration formed at the upper corner which corner includes the free length-wise edges of said 2 traverse configuration;
(C) a tapering ]-shaped cut-out configuration formed at the other upper corner of said 2. traverse configuration; and
(D) a heat sealed seam disposed intermediate said j-shaped cutout configuration and said arcuate cut-out configuration;
whereby the garment so defined may be worn with either the tissue layer or the polyethylene-layer adjacent the wearer.
2. The disposable, reversible garment of claim 1 wherein the tissue paper layer is at least two plies of from 8l4 pound tissue paper.
3. The disposable, reversible garment of claim 1 Wherein the polyethylene film has a thickness of about one mil and the tissue paper layer is one ply of approximately 12 pound tissue paper.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,556,931 6/1951 Miller 2-1 14 2,580,388 1/1952 Allen 249 2,668,294 2/1954 Gilpin 21 14 2,692,989 11/1954 Jelstrup.
2,756,431 7/1956 De Luca 287 2,830,297 4/1958 Sabee 249 2,925,175 2/ 1960 Williamson et al.
2,982,398 5/1961 Makrauer.
3,299,440 1/ 1967 Grable 249 3,329,969 7 1967 Farber et al. 249 3,353,189 11/1967 Zimmon 2114 ALFRED R. GUEST, Primary Examiner