US 3559216 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1971 D. F; KYTE 7 3,559,216
PORTABLE BATHTUB Filed April 15, 1968 INVENTOR. .fioea r/m FKW'E United States Patent Oflice 3,559,216 PORTABLE BATHTUB Dorothy F. Kyte, 2747 Rimpau, Los Angeles, Calif. 90016 Filed Apr. 15, 1968, Ser. No. 721,502
Int. Cl. E03c 1/18 US. Cl. 4-178 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A portable bathtub is provided for use on a bed by bed patients. It is designed especially to allow the patient to enter and leave the bathtub with a minimum amount of lifting of the patient, the bathtub resting upon the bed when in use. It is a lightweight portable structure.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to bathtubs and the like, and it is more particularly concerned with a bathtub designed especially for use on a bed to permit bathing a patient who is confined to bed.
The problem of providing adequate bathing for patients 3,559,216 Patented Feb. 2,, 1971 rounding the bottom wall on all four sides. The flat portion of the bottom wall and one side wall are joined to- 5 of the one side wall, whereby the tub can be rocked on the confined to bed is a well-known problem occurring in many hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent homes and the like for patients who are confined to bed for many days or perhaps weeks. An extension of this problem is the geriatric care of elderly patients who, because of age and infirmity, are confined to bed.
After remaining in bed for considerable time, pressure at various points on the body where it rests upon the bed is apt to produce bed sores, if proper precautions are not taken. The situation can be relieved by turning or other- Wise moving the patient but it can also be helped greatly by daily bathing. It is desirable to immerse the patient in water, if possible, rather than to merely provide a sponge bath as is common practice in hospitals currently. Soaking the skin in Water often helps problems arising from dry skin, and gives an opportunity for effective medication or treatment of the skin. The buoyancy of the body in water aids in reducing pressure on those areas of the skin where the body normally rests and the entire operation generally improves the morale of the patient.
This problem of bathing becomes acute in the case of patients who cannot walk to a bathtub. At the same time, it is not practical to lift patients above the bed in order to place them in a tub of known design resting on the bed since they would necessarily be lifted over the wall of the usual design of the tub to enter it.
Accordingly, it becomes the general object of the present invention to provide a bathtub of novel design which can be used to care for bed patients without removing them from the bed.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a portable bathtub which can be used on the bed and which is so designed that the patient can enter and leave the tub with a minimum of lifting of the patient above the surface of the bed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention are achieved by providing a portable bathtub for use by a bed patient that comprises a basin with a flat bottom wall and upstanding side walls surcurved wall section to place a patient in the tub or remove him therefrom, without lifting the patient from the bed.
The upper edge of this one side wall is lower than the top edge of the opposite side wall, the latter side wall being provided with a deeply rolled rim at the upper edge thereof, providing a hand-hold whereby the tub can be rocked, tilted, lifted, or otherwise manipulated for various purposes. The bottom of the tub is preferably composed by two walls which are inclined with respect to each other. The upper one of these two walls is the flat bottom of the basin in contact with the water in the tub and is inclined gently toward one end of the tub at which there is located a sump and a drain connection through which water can be discharged from the tub. The lower one of the two walls of the bottom provides a base designed to support the tub on a bed with a substantially level surface and preferably extends for most of the length of the wall above it in order to provide a good bearing against the soft surface of the mattress on the bed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 3 is a vertical transverse section as on line 22 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a sketch showing the position of the tub relative to a patient during the process of placing a patient in or removing him from the tub.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing, and more particularly to FIG. 1, the bathtub indicated generally at 10 is constructed according to the present invention. The complete tub is of unitary construction with the principal element molded from a synthetic resin such as polyethylene. Or it may be a resin suitably reinforced, as by glass fibers, polyester or silicone resins being examples. Various other ones of the synthetic resins or modern plastics are suitable for this purpose and they are utilized in order to produce a lightweight portable article of the necessary size which, as will become apparent, is suitable for use on a bed.
The bathtub comprises a bottom wall 12 surrounded on four sides by upstanding side walls. Viewed in plan, the tub is rectangular in outline, having two relatively longer walls 14 and 15 connecting by two intervening relatively shorter walls 16 and 17. For convenience in description, the side walls 14 and 15 will be referred to as the front and back walls respectively and the walls 16 and 17 as the end walls. Wall 16 may be regarded as the head and wall 17 as the foot of the tub. The designation of one wall as the front wall is arbitrary as the nurse may work at either side of the tub.
While all of these walls are joined by curves or fillets, as is common practice in molding, and in order to eliminate any sharp corners which are difficult to clean, front wall 14 and bottom wall 12 are connected by curved sections of walls 1' having a relatively large radius as indicated at 18. This radius may be somewhat larger than shown and, as will become apparent, should be as large as possible. Generally speaking, the radius 18 is desirably at least equal to half of the total vertical height of wall 14 above the bed since a lesser radius reduces the adaptability of the tub to rocking or rolling on this curved rocker surface for the purpose of placing a patient in or removing a patient from the tub. It will be seen that if a tub with the usual fillet corner were to be rocked thereon, great force would have to be exerted to lift the tub and patient until the center of gravity of the tub and patient reached and then passed vertical alignment with the point of contact of the tub corner with its support. Immediately thereafter, the tub tends to fall to the other side, and must be sustained with great effort against falling. With the large-radius rocker or roller surface on which to turn, the tub and patient can easily be rolled over, barrel-like, without strenuous etfort on the part of the operator.
This procedure may be described with reference to FIG. 4 which shows how the side 14 of the bathtub can be slipped underneath a patient lying on a bed when the patient has rolled over on one side, so that the patient by then rolling over on his back rolls into the tub. By then rocking the tub in a counterclockwise direction to bring the bottom of it down upon the bed, the tub rocks on the top surface of the bed, or more particularly the mattress, on the curved surface connecting walls 12 and 14 and in so doing the patient slides down along the curved surface onto the bottom of the tub. Though not necessary, it is preferred that the top edge of front wall 14 have a short radius curve to avoid a sharp edge in contact with the patient.
In order to lift the tub, rock it in the manner described, and otherwise manipulate it, the bathtub is provided with hand-hold means 20 in the form of a deep roll shown at the top of wall 15. This roll 20 preferably extends for the full length of rear wall 15 and then around onto at least a portion of each of the end walls 16 and 17, as shown in FIG. 1. By curving the upper edge of these walls through an arc of somewhat greater than 180", a ledge or rim is provided along the one side and at both ends of the bathtub by which the tub can be firmly grasped and moved by a nurse or attendant. The rolled rim is preferably made a little narrower at the corners to aid in gripping the tub.
It is preferable that at one end of the tub a neck receiving recess 22 be provided. The roll of handhold means is preferably continued across this recess in order to provide a surface of suitable width upon which the neck of the patient in the tub can rest, as shown in FIG. 2. In use, this recess is preferably partially filled with a pillow or the like to pad the wall and remove any discomfort from contact with the tub.
It will be obvious that the patient must be placed in the tub according to the above-described procedure before the water is placed in the tub; and it follows that the water must be drained out before the patient is removed from the tub by reversing the entry procedure. In order to provide for removal of the water, a sump and drain duct connection is preferably provided at one front corner of the tub, as shown at 23 and 24, respectively. The drainage duct can be a piece of flexible hose which is of any suitable length and closed by a pinch clamp 25 or other suitable means.
To facilitate drainage of water in the tub to sump 23, it is preferable that the tub be provided with base 26 which supports the tub in such a manner that bottom wall 12 of the tub is inclined slightly toward the foot of the tub, that is toward sump 23, when base 26 is resting in a substantially horizontal position upon the bed. To accomplish this, base 26 has a substantially flat lower wall which is adapted to rest upon the bed, a short upstanding wall 27 near the head end of tub 10 and side walls which taper from the height of Wall 27 to zero height at or near the foot end of the tub. The base is made of a molded plastic. If formed separately, it can be cemented or otherwise attached to wall 12 of the bathtub so as to become an integral part of the entire tub structure. Some manufacturing methods permit base 26 to be made as an integral part of the basin above it.
In order to support the bottom wall 12 of the tub to prevent sagging when the weight of the patient and the water in the tub is imposed on top of wall 12, it is preferred to fill the tapered space between bottom wall 12 and base 26 with a solid foamed plastic indicated at 28. Many plastics are available for this purpose, such as polyurethane which can be injected into this base to completely fill it and which then quickly solidifies. The solidified form is very light in weight, has adequate compressive strength, and bonds well to the plastic material from which base 26 and bottom wall 12 are formed so that the entire product is bonded together as a unit.
It will be apparent from the foregoing description that various changes may be made in the size or detailed shape of the component parts of the bathtub described above, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the foregoing description is considered to be illustrative of, rather than limitative upon, the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. A portable bathtub for use with bed patients that comprises a basin with a bottom wall and upstanding end and longitudinal side walls surrounding the bottom wall, the bottom wall and one longitudinal side wall being joined by an externally convex, curved wall section of relatively large radius forming a rocker support along the corresponding lower longitudinal corner portion of the tub whereby the tub can be rolled transversely on the rocker support afforded by said curved wall to place a patient in the tub without lifting the patient.
2. A portable bathtub as in claim 1 in which the top edge of said one wall is lower than the edge of the opposite side wall.
3. A portable bathtub as in claim 1 in which said one side wall terminates at its upper edge in a short radius curve and the side wall opposite thereto terminates in a deep roll for substantially the full length of the opposite side wall forming hand-hold means by which the tub can be rolled or lifted.
4. A portable bathtub as in claim 3 in which the radius of said curved wall section is substantially equal to onehalf of the height of the adjoining side wall.
5. A portable bathtub as in claim 1 which also includes:
a base under the bottom wall of the bathtub supporting the bathtub with the bottom wall thereof sloping toward one end of the bathtub, the base comprising a wall adapted to rest on a bed in a substantially horizontal position; and
in which the bathtub also includes a sump and drainage means at said one end of the bathtub.
6. A portable bathtub as in claim 5 in which the space between said two walls of the bottom is filled with a solid foamed plastic bonded to the two Walls.
7. A portable bathtub as in claim 1 in which the upper edge of said one side wall is lower than the top edge of the side wall opposite thereto and the two end walls have at least a portion of each wall extending up to the height of said opposite side wall,
and one of said intervening walls has a neck receiving recess, said higher opposite wall and said neck recess having a deeply rolled upper edge forming handhold means by which the tub can be manipulated.
8. A portable bathtub as in claim 1 in which the two a roller surface on which the tub can be rolled between end walls each have at least a portion adjacent said one a tilted-up position and the normal horizontal position. side wall terminating at substantially the level of the upper edge of said one side wall. References it d 9. A portable bathtub as in claim 1 in which the bath- 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS tub is a lightweight unitary structure moulded from a syn- 821,755 5/1906 Sloman 4-173 thetic resin. 3,403,411 10/1968 Steinemann 5-81 10. The bathtub of claim 1, in which the curved wall section has an effective radius which is at least a material AV G G Primary EXaminel' fraction of the height of the adjoining side wall to form 10 DODGE, Assistant Examiner