US 3563234 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent inventor Donald E. Umstead 24 W. Manor Ave., Youngstown, Ohio 44514 Appl. No. 754,367 Filed Aug. 21, 1968 Patented Feb. 16, 1971 SPLlNT 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs. U.S. Cl 128/90, 1281157; 264l 222; 18 /5.1 Int. Cl. A611 5/04 Field of Search 128/90, 91,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,947,307 8/1960 Hoppe 128/90 3,083,708 4/1963 Gottfreid 128/165X 3,314,419 4/1967 Quick 128/90 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-.1. Yasko Attorney-Webster B. Harpman ABSTRACT: A splint for holding a fractured limb or other part of a patients body in an immovable position and a method of making it wherein a flexible perforated tubular sleeve is positioned about the limb to be immobilized, both of the ends secured to the limb to form closures and a foamable fluent self-hardening material used to fill the area about the limb and within the confines of the perforated sleeve to form a rigid lightweight structure about said limb.
PATENTJEUFEB 1 8197i FIG. 3
DONALD E. UMSTEAD W/7% GAL ATTORNEY SPLINT 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to splints formed of plastic foam such as polyurethane and a method of forming the splint through the use of a expendable perforated sleeve formed of a suitable plastic film.
2. Description of the Prior Art Prior structures of this type have been proposed and have utilized several approaches to the problem. A typical method coats the limb to be immobilized positions a rigid thin walled shell of a tubular form there about and fills the cavity around the limb with a foaming material. The thin walled shell is left in place when it is integral or cut and removed or it can be provided with a split longitudinally to facilitate its removal.
The foaming ingredients do not react uniformly when confined and the device is therefore not practical under many conditions (see Pat. 2,947,307)
Still other proposals to form splints of foamable materials may be seen in US. Pat. Nos. 3,110,307 and 3,301,252. The first of these patents provides a cellular structure which defeats its purpose by sacrificing needed strength but does provide an answer to the venting of the gases resulting from the foaming action of the material introduced thereinto.
The second patent wraps the limb and then applies the foaming material over the wrapping in a buildup layer by layer application. Still other proposals to form lightweight inexpensive quickly applied splints have proposed to use double walled inflatable tubular structures depending upon air pressure to hold the same rigid about the limb to be immobilized as for example, in Pat. RE 26,046.This invention eliminates the problems heretofore experienced with the proposalsto form lightweight inexpensive quickly appliedfoam splints.
SUMMARY OF THE. INVENTION A foam splint and a method of making it including a'thin perforated plastic film sleeve with means at each of its ends for forming closures relative to a limb over which the sleeve is positioned and means for introducing a fluent foamable material such as a polyurethane foaming mixture into the sleeve around the limb to be immobilized and progressivelyfrom one end thereof to the other to fill the same so that when the foaming material solidifies a desirable foamed plastic splint is formed about the limb.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In its simplest form the plastic foam splint disclosed herein comprises a thin flexible plastic film sleeve perforated as at 11 and provided with heat sealed hems 12 on its opposite ends. The heat sealed hems 12 provide channels in which drawstrings 13 may be positioned. Openings in the channels permit the ends of the drawstrings 13 to be manipulated so that the ends of the sleeve 10 may be partially closed as for example about a limb to be immobilized as may be seen by referring to FIG. 2 of the drawings.
The sleeve 10 is formed of plastic film such as cellophane which is provided with minute perforations throughout its area and when applied to a limb to be immobilized as seen in FIG. 2 of the drawings wherein the limb is indicated in broken lines.
. 2 One or both ends of the sleeve 10 is closed about the limb by drawing u the drawstrings l3 and foamable plastic material such as po yurethane [5 introduced into the area between the limb and the sleeve l0 as by an aerosol container 14 having a suitable injection nozzle 15. A suitable, foamable polyurethane composition may comprise a polyaryl alkylene 'polyisocyanate and particularly a mixture of 4, 4 primediphenyl methane diisocyanate and its polymers. A suitable formula for such a polyurethane foamable material may be found in US. Pat. No. 3,301,252 and those skilled in the art will recognize that other formulas capable of producing similar lightweight structurally strong polyurethane foams of desirable density are known and commercially available. One such foam is sold under the trademark MINUTE-FOAM by Kerr ChemicalsCompany of Des Plains, lll. Such commercially available foams are commonly packaged in pressurized containers such as suitable for use in this invention and in jection nozzles may be readily applied thereto so that the foaming material may be progressively introduced into the sleeve 10 adjacent one end and progressively filling the cavity between the limb being immobilized and the sleeve 10 as will occur to those skilled in the art and as may be seen in the illustration of the method of forming the foam splint and comprising FIG. 2 of the drawings.
By referring now to FIG. 3 of the drawings, it will be seen that the foamable materials have expanded and formed a suitable polyurethane foam about the limb to be immobilized, the foam being indicated in FIG. 3 by the reference numeral 16 and as will be understood by those skilled in the art comprises a plurality of bubbles of polyurethane adhered to one another in closely spaced relation and inflated by the gas produced during the foaming action of the particular foamable material use g The thin flexible perforated plastic sleeve 10 is still in place as seen in the cross section and it may be removed, if desired, by simply slitting the same and untying the drawstrings. The resultant plastic foam splint will suitable immobilize the limb about which it is positioned, it is of extnemely lightweight, it is rigid and strong structurally and it may be very easily removed and replaced periodically to permit frequent inspection of the limb if desired by the attending physician.
It will thus be seen that a plastic foam splint has been disclosed and more particularly an inexpensive quick and novel manner of forming it about a limb and specifically consisting of the thin plastic film perforated sleeve which is secured about the limb to form a suitable means for enclosing the foaming plastic material injected thereinto. The many perforations in the plastic sleeve permit the foaming plastic material to foam naturally and evenly throughout its entire area and thus form a desirable structurally strong tfoam splint.
Although but one embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.
1. A splint for immobilizing a limb and comprising a sleeve of thin flexible perforated plastic film adapted to be positioned on said limb and having means at its ends for reducing the diameter thereof and adapted to form closures with respect to said limb, an extruded and selfset foamed material within and filling said sleeve so as to form a rigid light weight splint about said limb.
2. The splint defined in claim 1 and wherein said extruded self-set foaming material is polyurethane.
3. The splint defined in claim '1 and wherein the flexible material of said sleeve comprises polyurethane film.
4. The splint defined in claim 1 and wherein the means for reducing the diameter of the end portions of the sleeve comprise hems having drawstrings therein.