US 3612049 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Veldon A. Manson Hammond, Wis. 54015 821,817
May 5, 1969 Oct. 12, 197 1 Inventor App]. No. Filed Patented PERSONAL HUMIDIFIER 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 128/195,
I 128/205 Int. Cl ..A6lm1 5/F0 Field of Search 128/ l 95,
UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,121,690 12 1914 Timian 128/188 '1,465,316 8/1923 Rice 128/195 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-G. F. Dunne Attorney--Merchant & Gould ABSTRACT: Apparatus for providing humans with a breathing zone of high humidity. The apparatus comprises a face mask, including an absorbent pad, and means for supplying water, with or without added medication, to the face mask.
PERSONAL HUMIDIFIER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION One class of humidification apparatus is the institutional.
equipment used for adding moisture, or a combination of moisture and medication, to a gas (e.g. oxygen) utilized for therapeutic resuscitation or other medical purposes. The apparatus of US. Pat. No. 3,206,175 is illustrative of this class of apparatus.
A second and more commonly used class of therapeutic humidification apparatus is the commonly used room humidifier which can be of either the cold water or steam types. The steam type of room humidifier operates by generating steam which is then exhausted from the humidifier through a small jet or series of jets into the room which is to be humidified.
The cold water type of room humidifier operates by atomizing cold water, frequently by causing the water to be thrown from rapidly spinning disks or plates, and then ejecting the atomized water into the room through a directionally oriented nozzle.
The disadvantages of therapeutic humidifiers of the room type is that they create conditions of abnormally high humidity throughout the entire room, frequently to the discomfort of occupants of the room (other than the patient) who do not require or desire such conditions of high humidity. Additionally, the exceptional degree of high humidity which is sometimes encountered can cause room maintenance problems through, for example, the condensation of moisture on walls and windows.
At the present time, there exists a need for a simple, personal humidifier which avoids the problems associated with prior art room humidifiers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a personal humidifier. The apparatus comprises a face mask which, in use, is positioned over the mouth and nose of the patient. Means are provided for supplying water to the face mask, with or without medication. A bottle and connecting hose can be used as this water supply means. The face mask should be porous to permit air to penetrate through the mask in both directions (i.e., as the patient inhales and exhales). The mask is lined or covered with a water absorbent pad which receives the water from the water supply means, becomes saturated, and provides a humidifying effect on air that is breathed into the face mask. Control means can be used to prevent massive flow of water from the water supply means to the face mask. After the water absorbent pad becomes contaminated or partially blocked (e.g., through mineral deposits), it can be removed and replaced with a new liner.
THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation showing the personal humidifier in use.
FIG. 2 is a view in top plan of the apparatus of FIG. 1 with portions thereof broken away to better illustrate the face mask.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged and expanded view in side elevation of the face mask shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional viewof the face mask of FIG. 2 taken generally along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of the face mask shown in FIG. 2 taken generally along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the flow control means shown in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The personal humidifier comprises a face mask, generally designated 1, which is in liquid communication with means for supplying water, including a water reservoir generally designated 2. Water reservoir 2 can be a glass jar such as those commonly used to administer glucose or blood. Water reservoir 2 is adapted (e.g., by means of strap assembly 3) to be held in an elevated position with respect to face mask 1. Water reservoir 2 is attached to a hose or conduit 4 for liquid communication with face mask 1. If desired, a flow control means 5 can be attached to conduit 4 for controlling the flow of water from reservoir 2 to face mask 1. Face mask 1 is provided with an adjustable or elastic strap 6 for holding it in position over the patients nose and mouth.
As shown in FIG. 2, the face mask 1 includes a porous base or support generally designated by the numeral 7 which sup- 1 ports or carries an absorbent pad 8 which is held in place by a retaining-means generally designated by the numeral 9. Conduit 4 can be connected to retainer 9 and the flow of water from conduit 4 will be directed onto absorbent pad or liner 8 The base 7 of face mask 1 is equipped with two ears 10 which provide a point of attachment to the face mask for head band 6 as shown in FIG. I.
The construction of the face mask I is shown in more detail in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5.
As shown in FIG. 3, the face mask 1 is comprised of an assembly of three major elements, i.e., a support or base 7, absorbent pad 8, and retainer 9. The dome-shaped or upwardly projecting portion of base 7 is porous or cutaway to pennit the easy inhaling and exhaling of air. This dome-shaped portion of base 7, designated by the numeral 11, can be of wire mesh, perforated plastic, orsimilar construction. Absorbent pad 8 can be of any porous, water absorbent material or its equivalent. Cotton, synthetic fabric, paper or the like can be used. Absorbent material of the type used for nursing cups is well suited. Retaining means 9 can be of any of a variety of shapes, including the four-legged spider configuration as shown in these drawings. Retaining means 9 includes a water distributor 12 to which is attached conduit means 4. Alternatively water distributor means 12 can form a part of conduit means 4 (not shown). The legs 13 of retaining means 9 are each provided with a small out-turned flange or dimple 14 for engagement with the inwardly turned rim or lip 15 of base 7. The face mask 1 can be disassembled for cleaning and/or replacement of absorbent pad 8 by merely squeezing legs 13 together to thereby disengage out-turned flanges I4 from the curved lip 15 of base 7, and thereafter separating the elements of the face mask.
In FIG. 4, the face mask 1 is shown in cross-sectional view. In this view, the details of construction of base 7 can be seen (e.g., multiple perforations 16 and curved lip 15). In this figure, absorbent pad 8 is shown intermediate base 7 and retaining means 9. Note the spring engagement between flange l4 and lip 15. As shown in this figure, water, with or without medication, would flow through conduit 4 into distributor 12. From distributor 12, the water would flow onto absorbent pad 8 where it will moisturize air which is being inhaled through the face mask by the patient.
Similar details of construction are shown in FIG. 5.
In FIG. 6 are shown the details of construction of the flow control device 5 of FIG. 1. The flow control device 5 includes a frame 17 through which is passed conduit 4. Mounted within the frame 17 is a knurled nut 18 which can be rotated by the patient or an attendant. As the knurled nut 18 is rotated, a threaded shaft 19 is caused to move toward or away from conduit 4 to thereby apply pressure against conduit 4 or release pressure previously applied to the conduit 4.
The personal humidifier of this invention can be operated in the following manner. Water reservoir 2 (e.g., a glass bottle) is disconnected from conduit 4 (e.g., a flexible hose) and filled with water, with or without added medication. Conduit 4 is then attached to water reservoir 2 (e.g., as by using a hose connected to a bottle cap which is also provided with an air vent for equalizing the pressure inside and outside of the water bottle). Water reservoir 2 is then raised or elevated to a position above the intended level of use of face mask 1. The patient then straps the face mask to his head over his mouth and nose. Through proper adjustment of the size of conduit 4, or by adjusting the elevation of water reservoir 2 above face mask 1, or by operation of control means 5, the rate of flow of water from reservoir 2 to face mask 1 can be controlled to provide an amount of water sufi'icient to keep the absorbent pad wet without allowing water to flow onto the patients face. As the patient then breathes normally through face mask 1, the air adjacent to the absorbent pad 8 is humidified or moisturized. To terminate use, control means 5 can be used to stop the flow of water or face mask 1 can be elevated to a position above that of the water reservoir 2. Absorbent pad 8 can be replaced as desired or needed.
Numerous modifications of this apparatus will become apparent to those skilled in this art. For example, the water in reservoir 2 can be heated by the use of an immersion heater or a heating mantle (not shown). Also, carbon dioxide buildup within face mask 1 can be reduced by the use of a flutter or butterfly valve on the face mask (not shown).
What is claimed is:
l. A personal humidifier consisting essentially of:
a. A face mask of sufficient porosity to permit air to be inhaled and exhaled therethrough and suitable for wear over the mouth and nose for extended periods of time,
said face mask including:
i. a dome-shaped porous base having an outwardly turned lip around the bottom thereof;
2. a water absorbent pad carried by said base; and
3. means for retaining said pad on said porous base in cluding a plurality of legs each extending generally outwardly and downwardly from the top of said domeshaped base to the bottom thereof, each leg having an out-turned flange portion suitable for engagement with said outwardly turned lip of said base; and b. water supply means in liquid communication with said absorbent pad for generally saturating said pad with water thereby moisturizing the air adjacent said pad to provide a humidifying effect to air inhaled through said face mask.
2. The personal humidifier of claim 1 wherein: I. said water supply means comprises:
a. a bottle adapted for inverted support;
b. a cap for said bottle;
0. means on said cap for equalizing the air pressure inside and outside of the bottle;
d. a hose having a first end attached to said cap and having means associated therewith for controlling the flow of water therethrough; and
ll. said retaining means includes means for distributing water onto said water absorbent pad and a second end of said hose is attached to said water distributing means.