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Publication numberUS3653079 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1972
Filing dateJul 6, 1970
Priority dateJul 6, 1970
Publication numberUS 3653079 A, US 3653079A, US-A-3653079, US3653079 A, US3653079A
InventorsElroy E Bourgraf, Kenneth R Self
Original AssigneeFerno Washington
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable break-away splint-stretcher
US 3653079 A
Abstract
An adjustable break-away splint-stretcher having a tubular frame mounting body supporting panels, the stretcher frame being provided at its opposite ends with pivot locks which are selectively disengageable to permit the opposite halves of the stretcher frame to be pivoted outwardly about the other pivot lock, the stretcher frame also being provided with an extensible leg supporting section and/or a folding head supporting section mounted on the frame by locking hinges, the pivot locks and the locking hinges each being provided with finger actuated release means arranged to prevent accidental disengagement of the parts.
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Unite States Patent 1 1 3,653,79 Bourgraf et al. Apr. 4, 1972 54] ADJUSTABLE BREAK-AWAY SPLINT- 3,125,766 3/1964 Halperin ..5/82

STRETCHER 3,343,180 9/1967 Lothschuetz 3,417,412 12/1968 Andrews Inventors: Elroy Bfmrgraf, Cmcmnan; e 3,514,821 6/1970 Saxmark ..24/230 Self, Washington C. H., both of Ohio F t I G f Id Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg [73] Asslgnee arm as mg on M teen 1e 0 lo AttorneyMelville, Strasser, Foster & Hoffman [22] Filed: July 6, 1970 21 Appl. No.: 52,535 [57] ABSTRACT An adjustable break-away splint-stretcher having a tubular frame mounting body supporting panels, the stretcher frame US. Cl. 5/812,6 1871/9096 2222130112; being provided at its pp ends with pivot locks which are 58] i Search i A selectively disengageable to permit the opposite halves of the stretcher frame to be pivoted outwardly about the other pivot lock, the stretcher frame also being provided with an extensible leg supporting section and/or a folding head supporting [56] References Cited section mounted on the frame by locking hinges, the pivot UNITED STATES PATENTS locks and the locking hinges each being provided with finger actuated release means arranged to prevent accidental disen- 2,394,494 2/1946 Schwinn gagemem f h parw 2,417,378 3/1947 Robinson... 2,841,801 7/1958 Crown et a1. ..5/92 13 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 4 I972 SHEET 1 OF 2 kaok 23 INVENTOR/S 220) 6". 804/2624: KENNETH R. 861:,

ATTOR N EYS ADJUSTABLE BREAK-AWAY SPLINT-STRETCI-IER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various types of break-away or splint-stretches have hitherto been proposed for use in transporting a critically injured person. In such cases it is desirable to immobilize the injuries before the patient is removed from the scene of the accident without lifting, twisting, turning or rolling the patient, thereby preventing further injury and decreasing the risk of complicating original injuries. One such type of stretcher is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,417,378 and a modification thereof in U.S. Pat. No. 3,125,766. The stretcher frame is composed of opposing halves the ends of which lie in overlapping relation and are secured together by bolts and wing nuts, or by ball screws.

In another form of break-away splint-stretcher, the opposing frame parts are interconnected by a screw collar which, while permitting the opposing frame members to be disengaged, does not permit them to be pivoted relative to each other for removal from beneath the patient.

In contrast to the foregoing, the present invention provides a break-away splint-stretcher which is both readily adjustable and capable of being folded to conserve space, the opposing halves of the stretcher being connected together by readily releasable pivot locks which are fail-safe, together with failsafe locking hinges for the foldable part of the stretcher.

RESUME OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention, the stretcher frame is composed of complimentary frame parts preferably formed from aluminum tubing which mounts body, head and leg supporting panels which also may be fonned from aluminum, although if desired the head and/or leg supporting panels may be formed from fabric detachably connected to the tubular frame.

The complimentary frame parts are connected together at their opposite ends by means of pivot locks which rigidly connect together the complimentary frame parts yet permit them to be readily pivoted in the plane of the stretcher frame. To this end, each of the hinge locks comprises a first part having a horizontally disposed tongue adapted to be received in a bifurcated second part, the tongue having an open-ended slot therein engageable with a pivot pin extending between the bifurcations in the second part, the first part also mounting a spring biased latch member engageable about the pivot pin to lock the parts together, the latch member being recessed and provided with a finger engageable release button which must be depressed within the confines of the part to release the latch from engagement with the pivot pin to permit separation of the parts. Such arrangement provides a positive lock which cannot be accidentally released; yet the parts of the pivot hinge may be readily and quickly disengaged even while gripping the frame simply by pressing the release button with a finger or thumb.

Where the stretcher is provided with a foldable section to reduce its overall length for storage purposes, the foldable section is provided with locking hinges of somewhat similar construction to the pivot locks, but in this instance the bifurcated member is provided with a bifurcated extension adapted to project downwardly from the plane of the stretcher frame, the tongue part having a mating extension pivotally connected to the bifurcated extension by a pivot pin, the parts thus pivoting so as to bring the foldable section to a position underlying the remainder of the frame. In this instance, the latch member which locks the parts together engages a second pin extending through the bifurcated part in the plane of the stretcher frame.

The body supporting panels may be formed from cast alu minum, as may be the head and leg supporting panels, although preferably they will be of fabricated construction, the tubular frame members mounting a series of spaced apart ribs covered with an aluminum skin.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a break-away splint-stretcher is assembled condition.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the stretcher with the complimentary frame parts pivoted outwardly relative to each other.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of one of the pivot locks.

FIG. 4 is a plan view ofthe pivot lock illustrated in FIG, 3.

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating a stretcher frame with a foldable head section,

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the locking hinge for the foldable section.

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the locking hinge.

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view with internal parts in dotted lines, illustrating the hinge lock in partially open condition.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the stretcher comprises complimentary frame parts indicated generally at l and 2, the opposite ends of the frame being interconnected by the pivot locks 3 and 4. In the embodiment illustrated, the tubular frame members 5 and 6 mount the body supporting panels 7 and 8, and the head supporting panels 9 and 10, respectively. Similarly, the extensible tubular members 11 and 12 mount leg supporting panels 13 and 14, respectively.

The various supporting panels may be formed from cast aluminum, or molded from plastic, although it is preferred that they be fabricated from a series of ribs, such as the ribs 15, 15a fixedly secured to the tubular frame members, the ribs being covered by a skin of aluminum sheeting, indicated at 16, secured to the surfaces of the ribs. In the case of the body supporting panels 7 and 8, it is preferred that they be provided with spaced apart hand-hole openings 17 so that the stretcher bearers may conveniently grip the tubular frame m embers to carry the stretcher from its opposite sides.

The extensible tubular members 11 and 12 are preferably disposed inwardly with respect to the frame members 5 and 6, being telescopically received within the body supporting panels 7 and 8. In this connection, locking fixtures l8 and 19 may be conveniently secured to the endmost ribs 15 of the body supporting panels. If desired, tubular members (not shown) may be mounted within the body supporting panels to telescopically receive the tubular members 11 and 12; or the ribs 15, 15a, etc., may simply be provided with aligned openings through which the extensible tubular members may extend. In any event, the locking fixtures l8 and 19 permit the extensible tubular members 11 and 12 to be moved outwardly or inwardly relative to the tubular members 5 and 6, thereby adjusting the length of the stretcher to fit any size patient.

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 illustrate the construction of the pivot locks, such as the pivot lock 3, which comprises a first part 20 having a horizontally disposed tongue 21 adapted to be received in a bifurcated second part 22. The first or tongue part 20 terminates rearwardly in a plug 23 adapted to be received within and secured to the end of tubular member 6, whereas the bifurcated second part 22 terminates rearwardly in a plug 24 adapted to be secured within the end of tubular frame member 5. The tongue 21 has an open-ended slot 24 therein adapted to engage about a pivot pin 25 extending between the bifurcations of the second part 22, the closed end of the slot seating against the pin when the parts are in their fully assembled condition. The first part 20, including the horizontally disposed tongue 21, has an elongated slot 26 extending inwardly from one side thereof, preferably the inside, i.e., the side facing inwardly toward the cot frame, the slot mounting a latch member 27 pivotally connected in the slot by pin 28. The latch member has a hooked end 29 adapted to engage about the pivot pin 25 when the parts 20 and 22 of the pivot lock are in the assembled position. The latch member 27 is biased into locking engagement with the pin 25 by a spring 30 received in a bore 31 underlying the elongated slot 26 adjacent the rearmost end of the latch member, the bore 31 opening upwardly in an enlarged bore 32 which receives a button 33 secured to the rearmost end of the latch member 27.

As will be evident from FIG. 5, the arrangement of the parts is such that the latch member 27 lies substantially within the confines of the slot 26, with the button 33 lying within the confines of enlarged bore 32 or with its uppermost surface projecting just slightly therebeyond. With such arrangement, a stretcher bearer may firmly grip the end of the cot without accidentally disengaging the latch member. However, it if is desired to separate the parts of the pivot lock, the bearer may do so, even while gripping the stretcher, by pressing a thumb or finger against the button 33 to urge it downwardly within the enlarged bore 32. This movement causes the latch member 27 to pivot in a clockwise direction (as seen in FIG. 5) thereby releasing the hooked end 29 of the latch member from engagement with the pin 25. The parts and 22 may then be disengaged, whereupon release of the button 33 will cause the latch member to assume its closed position under the influence of spring 30. Reengagement of the parts of the pivot lock is essentially automatic in that as the parts are moved toward each other, the pivot pin 25 will contact the inclined leading edge 29a of the hooked portion 29 of the latch member, thereby causing it to pivot in a clockwise direction against the resistance of spring 31. When the hooked end 29 passes beyond the pivot pin 25, the spring will automatically return the latch member to its closed, pivot pin engaging position. Thus, the stretcher bearer has only to press the button 33 to disengage the parts of the pivot lock, and has only to snap the parts together to reengage them. It should also be apparent that when the parts are in the assembled position, they are nonetheless free to pivot in a horizontal plane; yet due to the interfitting of the tongue part and the bifurcated part, the assembly is held against relative vertical movement, thereby maintaining the tubular frame members 5 and 6 in rigid relationship insofar as relative vertical movement is concerned.

Where it is desired to reduce the overall length of the stretcher for storage purposes, a portion of the stretcher frame may be made foldable. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the tubular frame members 5 and 6 may be severed adjacent the head ends of the body supporting panels 7 and 8 to provide foldable extensions 5a and 6a connected to the tubular frame members 5 and 6 by means of locking hinges 34 and 35, respectively, the extensions being movable from the extended position, indicated by a dotted line, to the folded position illustrated in solid lines. The construction of the locking hinges, such as the hinge 34, is illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, and as in the case of the pivot lock, the locking hinge comprises a first part 36 having an elongated tongue 37 which, in this instance, is vertically disposed. In addition, the tongue has an angularly related extension 370 preferably extending downwardly at right angles to the tubular frame members 5 and 6. The second or bifurcated part 38 is adapted to receive the tongue 37 and is provided with a bifurcated extension 380 to receive the extension 37a of the tongue. The two parts are pivotally connected together by a pivot pin 39 extending between the bifurcated extension 38a through the tongue extension 370.

As in the case of the pivot lock, the part 36 of the locking hinge is provided with an open-ended slot 40 adapted to engage about a locking pin 41 when the parts are pivoted to the closed position; and when in this position the end edge 42 of the part 36 will abut and seat against the surface 43 of the part 34, thereby preventing the hinge from pivoting upwardly beyond position in which the tubular members 5 and 5a are in axial alignment. The hinge is, however, free to pivot downwardly thereby permitting the tubular members 5a and 6a to be folded beneath the frame members 5 and 6 to assume the position illustrated in full lines in FIG. 6.

To prevent accidental buckling or collapsing of the foldable head section, it is preferred to provide the part 36 with a latch member 44 of essentially identical construction to the latch member 27 described in conjunction with the pivot lock, the latch member having a hooked end 45 engageable about the locking pin 41 when the pin is fully seated in the open-ended slot 40. The latch member 44 pivots on pin 47 and includes release button 48 and biasing spring 49.

As should be evident, the foldable frame members 5:: and 6a will be normally locked in their extended position, in which they lie in prolongation of the frame members 5 and 6. The hinges cannot be unlocked unless a finger or thumb presses the button 48 downwardly within the confines of the part 36, whereupon the latch member is disengaged and the hinge is freed to pivot about pivot pin 39 in a clockwise direction. The locking hinges are self-locking when the tubular members 5a and 6a are returned to their extended position, the inclined leading edge 45:: of the locking member contacting the locking pin 41 which cams the latch member in a clockwise direction against the resistance of spring 49, whereupon when the locking pin 41 is seated against the end of slot 40, the spring will cause the latch member to move in a clockwise direction with the hooked end 45 engaging about the locking pm.

Where the head end of the stretcher is foldable, it is preferred that the head supporting panels 9 and 10 be replaced with a fabric support 50 (FIG. 6) to avoid interfering with the body supporting panels 7 and 8, which preferably curve downwardly with their innermost edges lowermost. Since the fabric support must be removed or at least loosened before the opposing parts of the stretcher can be separated, the fabric support can be conveniently formed as an essentially flat tube extending around the frame members 5a and 6a and joined together by a readily releasable closure 51, such as a strip of Velcro or similar fastening means.

As should now be evident, the instant invention provides an extremely versatile break-away splint-stretcher in which the complimentary frame parts can be readily disengaged and reengaged, and in which the tubular frame members may be hinged to fold the stretcher into a compact unit for storage purposes. Both the pivot locks and the locking hinges are failsafe in that they are positively locked together and cannot be accidentally disengaged during normal handling of the stretcher, the release of the latch members requiring the depression of the release buttons well within the confines of the parts with which they are associated. Yet the stretcher bearer may readily release the latches even while gripping the stretcher.

Modifications may be made in the invention without departing from its spirit and purpose, and numerous such modifications have already been given and others will occur to the skilled worker in the art upon reading this specification. It will be evident, for example, that the foot end of the stretcher may be hinged, if desired, and various others of the supporting panels may be replaced by suitable fabric provided with means for readily detaching the fabric from the opposing frame members.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A break-away splint-stretcher comprising a complimenta ry pair of frame parts detachably interconnected at their ends by a pivot lock, said pivot lock comprising a tongue part connected to one of said frame parts and a bifurcated tongue receiving part connected to the other of said frame parts, said bifurcated part having a pivot pin extending therethrough and said tongue part having an open-ended slot therein engageable about said pin, said tongue part including a movable latch member having a first position in which said latch engages about said pin to maintain said pin in said slot and at the same time permits the parts of said lock to pivot relative to each other about said pin, said latch being movable to a second position in which it disengages said pin to permit the parts of said lock to be separated.

2. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 1 wherein said tongue is horizontally oriented with respect to the plane of said stretcher as defined by said complimentary frame parts, and acts in cooperation with said bifurcated part to rigidify said frame parts in a vertical direction while selectively permitting pivotal movement and separation of said frame parts in a horizontal direction.

3. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 2 wherein said tongue part has an elongated slot extending inwardly from an outer surface thereof at right angles to said open-ended slot and connecting with said open-ended slot, said latch member being received in said elongated slot and pivotally connected to said tongue part for pivotal movement relative thereto.

4. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 3 wherein said latch member has a hooked end engageable about said pin, and spring means normally biasing the hooked end ofsaid latch member into engagement with said pin.

5. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 4 wherein said latch member mounts a release button at its end opposite said hooked end, wherein said release button is received in a bore in said tongue part at the corresponding end of said elongated slot, said release button being depressible in said bore to pivot said latch member in a direction to release its hooked end from engagement with said pin.

6. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 5 wherein the hooked end of said latch member includes an inclined outer surface positioned to be contacted by said pin when said tongue part is inserted in said bifurcated part, said pin acting on said inclined surface to pivot said latch member to an open position in which said pin may pass the hooked end of said latch member, whereupon said latch member will be returned to a pin engaging position by said spring means.

7. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 1 wherein said complimentary frame parts each include tubular frame members mounting body supporting panels, wherein said body supporting panels comprise rib members secured to said tubular frame members, and a covering skin overlying said ribs.

8. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 7 wherein saidcomplimentary frame parts include an extensible frame section having tubular frame members telescopically received in said body supporting panels, and locking means for maintaining said extensible section in its desired position of use.

9. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 1 wherein said complimentary body parts include a foldable frame section, and locking hinges connecting said foldable frame section to said frame parts, said locking hinges each comprising a tongue part and a bifurcated tongue receiving part, said parts each having an angularly related extension projecting downwardly from the plane of said stretcher as defined by said complimentary frame parts, and a pivot pin interconnecting said extensions for pivotal movement relative to each other.

10. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 9 wherein the tongue part of said locking hinge has an openended slot therein engageable about a locking pin extending through said bifurcated part and lying in spaced relation to said pivot pin, said tongue part including a latch member engageable about said locking pin to maintain said locking pin in said open-ended slot.

11. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 10 wherein said latch member has a hooked end engageable about said locking pin, and spring means normally biasing the hooked end of said latch member into engagement with said locking pin.

12. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 11 wherein said latch member is pivotally mounted in an elongated slot in the tongue part of said locking hinge, said elongated slot extending inwardly from an outer surface of said tongue part at right angles to the open-ended slot therein and connecting with said open-ended slot, said latch member mounting a release button received in a bore in said tongue part in communication with said elongated slot, said release button being depressible in said bore to pivot said latch member in a direction to release the hooked end thereof from engagement with said locking pin.

13. The break-away splint-stretcher claimed in claim 12 wherein the hooked end of said locking hinge latch member includes an inclined surface contactable by said locking pin when said locking pin is caused to enter the open-ended slot in the tongue part, said locking pin acting on said inclined surface to pivot said latch member to an open position in which said locking pin may pass the hooked end of said latch member, whereupon said latch member will be returned to a locking pin engaging position by said spring means.

14. A pivot lock for detachably and pivotally interconnecting a pair of opposing member, said pivot lock comprising a tongue part adapted to be connected to one of said opposing members and a tongue receiving bifurcated part adapted to be connected to the other of said opposing members, said bifurcated part having a pivot pin extending therethrough and said tongue part having an open-ended slot therein engageable with said pivot pin, said tongue part also having an elongated slot therein lying at right angles to said open-ended slot and in communication with said open-ended slot, a latch member pivotally mounted in said elongated slot, said latch member having a hooked end engageable about said pin when seated in said open-ended slot, and spring means normally biasing the hooked end of said latch member into engagement with said pin.

15. The pivot lock claimed in claim 14 wherein said latch member mounts a release button at its end opposite said hooked end, said release button being received in a bore in said tongue part in communication with said elongated slot, said release button being depressible in said bore to pivot said latch member in a direction to release said hooked end from engagement with said pin.

16. The pivot lock claimed in claim 14 wherein the hooked end of said latch member includes an inclined outer surface contactable by said pin when said tongue part is inserted in said bifurcated part, said pin acting on said inclined surface to pivot said latch member to an open position in which said pin may pass the hooked end of said latch member, whereupon said latch member will be returned to a hook engaging position by said spring means.

17. A locking hinge for hingedly connecting a pair of members for folding movement relative to each other and for releasably locking the members in a fixed position of use, said locking hinge comprising a tongue part and a bifurcated tongue receiving part, said parts each having an angularly related extension, a pivot pin interconnecting said extensions, said tongue part having an open-ended slot therein engageable about a locking pin extending through said bifurcated part and lying in spaced relation to said pivot pin, said tongue part including a latch member engageable with said locking pin to maintain said locking pin in said open-ended slot.

18. The locking hinge claimed in claim 17 wherein said tongue part has an elongated slot therein lying at right angles to said open-ended slot and in communication with said openended slot, said latch member being received in said elongated slot and pivotally mounted for movement relative to said tongue part, said latch member having a hooked end engageable about said locking pin, spring means normally biasing the hooked end of said locking member into engagement with said locking pin, said latch member mounting a release button at its end opposite said hooked end, said release button being received in a bore in said tongue part in communication with said elongated slot, said release button being depressible in said bore to pivot said latch member in a direction to release said hooked end from engagement with said locking pin.

\ 19. The locking hinge claimed in claim 18 wherein the hooked end of said latch member includes an inclined outer surface positioned to contact said locking pin when said locking pin is inserted in said open-ended slot, said pin acting on said inclined surface to pivot said latch member to an open position in which said locking pin may pass the hooked end of said latch member, whereupon said latch member will be returned to a locking pin engaging position by said spring means.

Patent No, 3,653,079 Dated April 4, 1972 Invent0r(s) Elroy E. Bourgraf and Kenneth R. Self It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Cancel claims lithrough 19.

Signed and sealed this 26th day of June 1973.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. I ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attestlng Officer Commissioner of Patents oRM PO-1050 (10-69) USCOMM-DC Goat's-P69 1&- UTS. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1969 0366-33A

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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/627, 24/611, 403/325, 403/92, 4/241
International ClassificationF16C11/04, F16B7/00, E05D11/00, A61G1/00, A61G1/003
Cooperative ClassificationE05D11/00, A61G1/003
European ClassificationE05D11/00, A61G1/003
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 15, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, OHIO
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:FEMO-WASHINGTON, INC.;REEL/FRAME:014363/0213
Effective date: 20030623
Owner name: U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 425 WALNUT STREETCI