US 3565483 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 23, 1971 J. T. POSEY 3,565,483
SAFETY HARNESS Filed Dec. 18, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVEN" a/p/w Tim! Arron/5K;
J. T. PQSEY SAFETY HARNESS Feb. 23, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. 18. 1968 United States Patent O 3,565,483 SAFETY HARNESS John T. Posey, 1739 Meadowbrook Road, Altadena, Calif. 91001 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 688,572,
Dec. 6, 1967. This application Dec. 18, 1968, Ser.
Int. Cl. 3601' 21/10; A621!) 35/00; A47d /00 US. Cl. 297389 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A safety harness including a V-shaped shoulder piece adapted to be placed over a patients head and secured to a first transverse strap provided with loops at each end for connecting it to handles of a support such as a wheel chair. The apex of the V-shaped shoulder piece is adjacent the patients chest, and is secured to a second transverse strap extending away from the apex in opposite directions, Ends of the second transverse strap are adapted to be secured to the chair to restrain a patient in it. Velcro material is secured to the handles and the loops at each end of the first transverse strap.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 688,572, filed Dec. 6, 1967, now US. Pat. No. 3,466,090 and relates to a harness for restraining patients in a support structure such as a wheel chair, for example. The harness is placed over the patients shoulders and secured to the chair.
State of the prior art Patients sitting in a chair sometimes cannot control their movements. Spasms can cause them to fall out of. the chair and sustain injuries. In addition, such patients are often infirm and require full support to restrain them to the chair. Such support is particularly required where the patient is temporarily or permanently paralyzed, has sustained injuries which require him to be substantially immovable, such as back injuries, for example, or where the patient is infirm for other reasons such as old age.
There are a number of restraining devices presently available which support the patient while he is disposed in a wheel chair. One class of such devices provides straps which are substantially horizontally disposed about the patients lower trunk and which are looped around a back rest of the chair and are there tied together. Although these devices restrain the patient to the chair, they do not prevent the trunk of the patient from slumping forward. Moreover, the relatively narrow straps become uncomfortable to the patient after a relatively short period of time since they rub against the patients body and can pinch should he bend his upper trunk forward.
A particular shortcoming common to all presently available wheel chair patient-restraining devices is that they are not easily adjustable for use on patients and chairs of different sizes. When applied to a chair, the typical prior art restraining device is disposed at the same position relative to the chair. This causes it to fit against d1fferent portions of the patients body, depending upon his size. The most comfortable and effective position for a patient of one size might be a relatively ineffective and uncomfortable position for a patient having a different size. To meet this problem, hospitals and other institutions providing chairs for all types and sizes of patients must stock a large number of different sizes of such "ice restraining devices. This, of course, is costly and further contributes to the already high cost of patient care. On the other hand, failure to stock an adequate number of different sizes results in an undesirable compromise on the care given a patient.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a safety harness for use on support structures such as chairs and the like to restrain a patient therein and prevent him from falling out of it. Briefly, it includes a first transverse strap and a V- shaped shoulder piece. The latter includes first and second belts which are angularly inclined relative to each other. Portions of the belts remote from each other are secured to the first transverse strap, Adjacent ends of the belts are secured together to form an apex which is secured to a center piece which fits near the midrifi of the patient. The ends of the first strap are adapted to be connected to the support structure. A second transverse strap is secured to the center piece, extends away from it in opposing directions and is disposed substantially transversely to the center piece adjacent the patients trunk. The ends of the second strap are adapted to be secured to a member of the support.
The safety harness of this invention comfortably supports the patient While he sits, and prevents him from slumping forward. The V-shaped shoulder piece gently restrains the patients shoulders and maintains his body in an upright position adjacent the back rest of the chair. The center piece is disposed adjacent the patients chest bone and restrains the lower portions of the patients trunk from moving away from the chairs back rest. Additionally, the second transverse strap fits snugly against the sides of the patients trunk and restrains lateral movement in the chair.
This harness not only provides large contact areas with the patients body to reduce surface pressure on the patients body and accompanying skin irritations, but also applies the restraining forces to those parts of the body where they are most effective. Thus, the belts of the V-shaped shoulder piece restrain the body at the shoulders which are farthest removed from the hips about which the trunk pivots when it slumps forward. A minimal restraining force is therefore required since a maximum moment arm relative to the pivotal axis is obtained.
This safety harness is ideally adapted to be adjustable to accommodate patients of different heights and weights. The sec-0nd transverse strap can :be moved toward or away from the V-shaped shoulder piece according to the height of the patient. The second transverse strap is further adjustable in a lengthwise direction to increase or decrease is length according to the patients size. It is, herefore, on longer necessary to stock safety harnesses of different sizes, resulting in a corresponding reduction of the operating expenses of hospitals and similar institutions.
A separate loop on each end of the first trans-verse strap fits over rearwardly extending handles on conventional wheel or patient chairs. A first kind of Velcro material is secured to the handles, and a second kind is secured to the interior of the loops to lock them firmly to the chair. Preferably, the length of the first strap is adjustable to facilitate putting the loops on and taking them off the chair handles.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the safety harness on a patient in a conventional wheel chair;
FIG. 2 is a plan 'view of the safety harness shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view on line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is aview on line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
3 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a safety harness includes substantially parallel, laterally spaced first and second transverse straps 12 and 14, a V-shaped shoulder piece 16 connected at its apex to an elongated center piece 18. The safety harness can be constructed of any suitable material, but preferably it is of a strong, reinforced webbing which can be laundered by ordinary means.
A separate loop 20 is at each end of the strap. The loop is preferably constructed integrally with the strap by securing an end '21 to a portion of the strap intermediate the end and the center of the strap. The inner face of each loop is lined with a layer 22 of Velcro material of either hook or pile type. Each handle 23 of a wheel chair 24 is wrapped with a layer 25 of a type of Velcro material opposite from that in the loop at the ends of the first strap so the loops can be firmly, but temporarily, secured to the handles. Velcro material is well known and described in U.S. Pats. Nos. 2,717,437 and 3,009,235.
The V-shaped shoulder piece 16 includes a pair of belts 26 which are angularly inclined relative to each other and secured together at adjacent ends to form the apex of the V-shaped shoulder piece. Ends 27 of the belts, remote from each other, are secured to the first transverse strap 12 adjacent the loops 20 thereof. The ends 28' of the belts at the apex are secured to an upper end 30 of the downwardly extending and rectangularly shaped center piece 18.
In the preferred embodiment of this invention the first transverse strap 12, the belts 26 of the shoulder piece 16, and the center piece 18 are connected to each other by stitching. Alternatively, they can be secured to each other by other mean, such as by glue or rivets (not shown).
The centerpiece 18 preferably includes three vertically spaced transverse openings 32, greater than the width of the second transverse strap 14 to enable the second transverse strap to facilitate easy removal and insertion from and in the openings. Most conveniently the center piece is constructed by looping a strap 34 about its middle such that one-half the strap is disposed adjacent the other half and ends 36 of the strap are disposed adjacent each other. Intermediate portions of the now doubled up strap are stitched to define the openings 32. The openings can, of course, be defined and constructed otherwise such as by securing individual lengths of material to the strap 34 to define the openings or by using a pair of straps (not shown) having a length equal to the length of the center piece and by suitably stitching the two straps together.
The elongated second transverse strap 14 is disposed in one of the openings 32 of the center piece 18 and has a separate buckel 38 secured to each end of the strap. Each buckle engages the second strap intermediate a respective end thereof and center piece 18 to define a separate loop 40 at each end. The length of the second transverse strap is adjusted by moving the buckles axially along the second transverse strap. To facilitate the free removal of the second transverse strap from one opening 32 and reinsertion of the strap into another opening, the buckles have a width which is less than the width of the openings. The buckles 38 are preferably of the type which have three substantially parallel bars 42, the ends of the strap being secured to the center bar of the buckle, and which are connected with each other by a pair of substantially parallel cross bars 44, the cross bars being disposed closely adj acent the sides of the strap.
The first transverse strap 12 is of sufficient length to engage the loops 20 over rearwardly extending handles 23 (shown in FIG. 1) of the conventional wheel chair 24. Alternatively, they are fitted over rearwardly extending members (not shown) of a conventional patient chair or other support capable of receiving a patient in a sitting position. The first transverse strap preferably is made up of first and second sections 45, 46, respectively.
A rectangular metal ring 47 is secured by stitching 48 in one end of the first section 45. A layer 48A of one type of Velcro material is secured to one end of the second section 46. A layer 49 of the opposite type of Velcro material is secured to the same side of the second section as the layer 48A so the first section with layer 48A can be passed through ring 47 and folded back on itself to lock the two Velcro layers together at any desired point to provide proper spacing between the loops at the ends of the first stra-p. This enables its application on supports having different sizes and configurations, and facilitates engaging and disengaging the first strap loops on the chair handles.
This harness is particularly adapted for use on wheel chairs such as are found around hospitals, rehabilitation homes, etc. It is constructed for the size of chair it is used on, which is generally a standard size, and permits quick and time saving installation.
The belts 2-4 of the V-shaped shoulder piece 16 are of a sufficient length to enable them to be placed over the head and neck of the patient sitting in the wheel chair such that the center piece 18 is disposed adjacent the chest bone of the patient. The second transverse strap 14 is substantially longer than the first transverse strap 12 to allow it to be looped about the patients trunk as well as about a back rest 50 of the wheel chair to connect its ends to an outward protrusion 52 or to another suitable member of the wheel chair.
Turning now to the application of the safety harness 10, it is applied to a sitting patient, shown in FIG. 1 by initially placing the V-shaped shoulder piece 16 over the patients head such that the belts 26 rest on the patients shoulders, The first transverse strap 12 is disposed adjacent the patients back and loops 20 of the first strap are slipped over the handle bars 23 of the wheel chair 24. The second section of the first strap is slipped through the metal ring 47 and pulled back over itself until the loops are taut against the handles, firmly engaging the Velcro layers in the loop and on the handles. The Velcro layers on the second section are then pressed together, locking the first strap in place. Thereafter, the second transverse strap 14 is adjusted by inserting it in that opening 32 which most comfortably restrains the patient in the chair. According to the patients height, this may be the opening adjacent end 30 of the center piece or one remote therefrom. The second transverse strap is then looped around the trunk of the patient and vertical members 54 of the back rest 50. The second strap is crossed behind the back rest of the chair and loops 40 are secured to the rearwardly extending protrusions 52 of the wheel chair. The second strap is tightened by moving the buckle 38 along the strap until the second transverse strap fits snugly around the patients trunk and securely restrains it to the back rest and seat of the wheel chair. In this position, the patient is comfortably but securely constrained. The V-shaped shoulder piece prevents the patients trunk from slumping forward in the seat, and the center piece 18, together with the second transverse strap 14, secures the patients trunk to the back rest and prevents it from sliding away from under the harness. The second transverse strap itself, together with the V-shaped shoulder piece, prevents the patients body from slumping sideways.
1. A safety harness for supporting a patient in a chair having a pair of rearwardly projecting and horizontally spaced handles, the harness comprising:
(a) a first elongated transverse strap having a loop at each end adapted to fit over a respective one of the handles;
(b) a first type of Velcro material secured to each of the handles;
(c) a second type of Velcro material secured to the loops so they adhere to the first type of Velcro material on the handles;
(d) a V-shaped shoulder piece including first and second belts joined together at an apex and extending away from each other, a portion of each of the belts remote from the apex being secured at longitudinally spaced locations to the first transverse strap;
(e) a second elongated transverse strap connected to the apex of the shoulder piece and extending away from the apex in opposite directions; and
(f) means for securing the ends of the second strap to the chair.
2. A harness according to claim 1 which includes means References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1967 Scruggs 297-389 9/1969 Posey 297-389 REINALDO P. 'MACHADO, Primary Examiner