US 3587592 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent (UX),102;55/279(A.C.)(W.B.); 128/395, 396; 269/11, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328; 132/73 (inquired); 108/23, 50
[ 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,096,551 10/1937 Johnson 297/424X 2,709,954 6/ 1955 Baker 55/279X 2,341,628 2/ 1944 Koweindl l08/50X 2,904,926 9/1959 Cifredo 108/50 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerChanning L. Pace AttorneySparrow and Sparrow ABSTRACT: Apparatus for use by podiatrists for the treatment of feet. The patient's foot is supported by a pillow located in the path of an airstream rendered bacteria free through a germicidal lamp. Dust particles or particles originating from the patients foot, which may enter the airstream, become trapped and removed from the airstream while the latter is recirculated in bacteria-free form. The airstream is maintained by a fan mounted below the supporting pillow.
Pomlmuc STAND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the treatment or examination of feet by podiatrists, it is useful to direct a stream of air, free of bacteria and dust particles, at the patient's foot. At the same time, it is desirable to remove any particles which may enter the airstream after striking the patients foot, by loosely adhering to the surface of the foot. After thus removing the undesired particles from the airstream, it is desirable to recirculate the airstream in its bacteria-free state. Heretofore, the examination and treatment of feet by podiatrists have taken place in an environment normally laden with bacteria and dust particles. Furthermore, particles of skin loosely adhering to the patients foot were not readily removable, The present invention provides a new and useful apparatus for improvement over the existing art.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An arrangement for use by podiatrists in the examination and treatment of feet. The patients foot is comfortably supported .by a pillow below which a fan is mounted. The fan evacuates the air in the proximity of the pillow and forces it into a dust bag where any particles within the air are trapped and filtered out. The particle-free air is directed along a passage or duct containing a germicidal or antiseptic lamp. The lamp renders the airstream free of bacteria and directs it downward upon the patients foot. The arrangement is such that the airstream striking the patients foot is free of any particle and bacteria.
Objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in parts hereafter and in parts will be obvious herefrom or may be learned by practicing the invention, the same being realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations pointed out in the appended claims.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a device for use in podiatry which is economical, efficient and practical for use by the podiatrist in the treatment of a patient's foot.
It is further object of the present invention to provide such a device which has foot supporting means providing a surface for the placement of the pateints foot to be treated and air blower means located in proximity of said foot supporting means for directing a stream of air against such surface whereby loosely adhering particles on the patient's foot are caught in the airstream and are removed from the foot by being carried away from the foot by the airstream.
Various further and more specific purposes, features and advantages will clearly appear from the detailed description given below taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which form part of this specification and illustrate merely by way of example one embodiment of the device of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the following description and in the claims, parts will be identified by specific names for convenience, but such names are intended to be as generic in their application to similar parts as the art will permit. Like reference characters denote like parts in the several FIGS. of the drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational sectional view of the apparatus in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing, the apparatus, in accordance with the present invention, includes a main frame supported by legs 12. Three legs are chosen for the support, since this design assures that the frame, and hence the apparatus, will not rock back and forth when any weight applied to the apparatus is shifted in location. Such stable support using three legs is based on the principle that three points determine a plane. The bottom of the leg is provided with rubber bumpers 14 to prevent marking of the floor by the legs after prolonged standing in one spot. At the same time, these rubber bumpers may be rotatable about an axis at the bottom of the leg, to facilitate movement of the apparatus across any flooring, with ease and without marking the floor.
The frame 10 supports an airflow enclosure 16 upon which a pillow l8 rests. The pillow 18 is provided so that the patient may place his foot comfortably thereon for treatment by the podiatrist. A disposable paper cover 20 is placed upon the top surface of the pillow '18 before usage, to protect the pillow from the sanitary viewpoint. By using disposable paper covers, in this manner, it is unnecessary to cleanse the pillow 18 after each use by a patient. A screen 22 is placed between the lower surface of the pillow I8 and the pillow supporting bed 17 secured to the airflow enclosure 16.
At the lower portion of the airflow enclosure 16, a fan or air blower 24 is mounted. The fan 24 is held in place at the bottom of the airflow enclosure through means of bolts 26. The bottom end of the airflow enclosure is a flange-shaped portion 1611 from which a dust bag 28 may be suspended. The top rim of the dust bag 28 has a curved portion 28a adapted to cooperate with the portion 160, so that the dust bag may be attached quickly and with ease at the bottom end or rim of the airflow enclosure. The dust bag 28 is of porous material which permits air to stream readily through its wall, but traps any dust particles which may be carried by the airstream. Thus, while the wall of the dust bag does not interfere with the flow of air through the wall, the material of the dust bag is too dense to permit particles of the order of dust to be transmitted through the wall. A bag enclosure 30 is attached to the frame 10 and surrounds the dust bag 28. The bag enclosure 30 is secured to the frame 10 and designed such that an airtight space 32 is established exterior to the dust bag 28. The airspace 32 is confined by the lower surface of the airflow enclosure 16, the main frame 10, and the bag enclosure 30.
A blowpipe 34 communicates with the airspace 32 and extends in an upward direction above the pillow 18. At its top, the blowpipe 34 has a curved portion 34a terminating in a cup-shaped portion 36. The interior of the blowpipe portion 34a is adapted to hold a lamp socket 38. The lamp socket serves to retain a lamp 40 which may be an ultraviolet light lamp, a germicidal lamp, or a therapeutic lamp conventionally used in medical applications. In its principal use, the lamp 40 is of the germicidal or antiseptic type by which it destroys microorganisms or bacteria within its proximity.
The airflow enclosure I6 is shaped to include at its top surface, a flange portion 16b. This flange portion is curved, further, so that its rim extends downward toward a flat portion 160. This flat portion surrounds the pillow 18 and contains a plurality of openings 160. The opening 160 serves as air passages or ducts. The flat portion 160 is located below the top surface of the pillow 18. Thus, a channel-shaped space 42 surrounds the pillow 18 within the airflow enclosure 16.
In operation, the fan 24 generates an airstream directed through the fan, in accordance with the arrows shown in the drawing, and into the dust bag 28. The airstream passes through the walls of the dust bag and enters the airspace 32, leaving any particles of dust or other substance behind in the dust bag. From the space 32, the airstream is directed into the blowpipe 34 from which it emerges into the cup 36. When thus entering the cup 36, the airstream is in close proximity to the lamp 40, and any bacteria within the airstream is destroyed as a result of the germicidal or antiseptic rays emitted by the lamp 40. The cup 36 is a directional cup in that it directs the exiting of the airstream along a predetermined path. The open end of the air cup 36 is concentric with a portion of the exterior surface of the lamp 40, and hence the airstream exiting from the cup 36 is directed along an annular area concentric with the outline of the pillow. As a result, the airstream from the cup 36 is forced downward upon the pillow in a fully surrounding manner, as shown by the projection lines with arrows on'the drawing to indicate the-movement of the airflow between the cup 36 and the pillow 18. The airstream in its downward motion strikes the patients foot which may be supported by the pillow, and passes into the annular or channel-shaped space 42. When thus striking the patients foot, the airstream is bacteria free. After passing within the space 42, the airstream which may now carry particles contributed by the patients foot after contact therewith, flows through the openings of passages 16b and enters the interior 44 of the airflow enclosure 16. From this space 44, the air is evacuated by the fan 24 and forced into the dust bag 28 to commence a new cycle of circulation. The fan 24 is provided with blades 25 shaped to direct the flow of the airstream through the fan in a downward direction along the axis of the fan.
While the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to certain preferred examples which give satisfactory results, it will be understood by those skilled in the art after understanding the principle of the invention that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and it is intended therefore in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications.
We claim: i
1. Apparatus for use in podiatry comprising, in-combination, a supporting frame; impermeable foot support means resting on said frame and providing a surface for the placement of the patients foot to be treated; an annular passageway surrounding said surface; air blower means supported by said frame beneath said foot support means having an inlet communicating with said annular passageway and directing a stream of air away from said surface of said foot support means, whereby loosely adhering particles on said patient's foot are caught in said airstream and are removed from said foot by being drawn away from said foot by said airstream, so that the patients foot is left free of loosely adhering particles.
2. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 including disposable cover means covering said foot support means prior to the placement of the patients foot thereon.
3. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 including lamp means in the path of said stream of air and radiating onto said foot support means.
4. The apparatus as defined in claim 3 including lamp mounting means for mounting said lamp means above said foot support means.
5. The apparatus as defined in claim 4 including tubular means communicating with said air blower means and said lamp means, said tubular means directing said air stream into proximity with said lamp means.
6. The apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said lamp means is a germicidal lamp.
7. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 including dust bag means in the path of said stream of air for trapping particles within said stream of air.
8. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 including mounting means for mounting said air blower means and particle trapping means below said foot support means, said particle trapping means being in the path of said airstream and trapping particles therein.
9. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 including supporting legs secured to said frame means for supporting thereof.