US 3656247 A
A unitary identification assembly and method, the assembly comprising a band having a pocket at the exposed surface for receiving and storing an encoded identification plate and a lower pocket for receiving a visually readable identification card, the band being eccentrically connected at one end to a tether across a fold line. The tether is looped through a slot in the identification plate and a single male-female fastener mechanism unites the tether to itself and the identification band to itself in overlapping relation with the tether folded out of the eccentric position upon the identification band when in use.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Bushnell et al.
[451 Apr. 18, 1972 4  IDENTIFICATION ASSEMBLY AND METHOD  Inventors: Dwitht J. Bushnell, Murray; Billy M. Jensen, Sandy, both of Utah  Assignee: Bio-Logics, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah  Filed: Mar. 5, 1970  App]. No.: 16,886
 US. Cl. ..40/21 C  Int. Cl ..G09f 3/14  Field of Search ..40/21, 300, 303, 304, 216, 40/129 A, 21 C; 224/58, 5-24  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 539,367 4/1922 France ..40/129A 164,981 6/1921 GreatBritain ..224/58 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras Attorney-Lynn G. Foster 57 ABSTRACT A unitary identification assembly and method, the assembly comprising a band having a pocket at the exposed surface for receiving and storing an encoded identification plate and a lower pocket for receiving a visually readable identification card, the band being eccentrically connected at one end to a tether across a fold line. The tether is looped through a slot in the identification plate and a single male-female fastener mechanism unites the tether to itself and the identification band to itself in overlapping relation with the tether folded out of the eccentric position upon the identification band when in use.
8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 18 m2 INVENTORS. DWIGHT J. BUSHNELL BILLY M. JENSEN ATTORNEY IDENTIFICATION ASSEMBLY METHOD BACKGROUND 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates generally to identifying persons, such ashospital patients, and more particularly to a novel identification assembly and method, making identification infonnation conveniently available.
2. The Prior Art The use of wristbands for identifying persons, such as hospital patients, is well known in the art. Conventionally, a plastic band having a hollow interior is provided with a paper identification insert or card which is placed in the band prior tofastening the band around the wrist or other body member of the patient. An example of a conventional identification band is the one manufactured by TOMAC, model number 10114401.
It has recently been proposed in patient identification to provide an identification plate which accommodates mechanical or other transfer of patient information to another information-bearing media. Problems have been encountered in satisfactorily providing for permanent attachment of the identification plate to an identification band and for convenient and accessible storage of the identification plate at the band when the plate is not in use.
BRIEF, SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a novel identification band assembly and related method for identifying a person wherein an identification plate is permanently attached to a tether which is in turn unitary with a band of the assembly. Opposed male and female fasteners secure the tether, with the attached identification plate, to itself and the band to itself about a limb of the person to be identified. When not in use, the plate is stored in a pocket of the band.
It is a primary object of the present invention to provide novel identification band structure.
It is another significant object of the present invention to provide novel methods related to identification of persons.
These and other objects and features of the invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one identification bandtether according to this invention;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are fragmentary sectional views respectively taken along line 2-2 and line 3--3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the identification band-tether of FIG. 1 with an identification plate attached to the tether;
FIG. 5 illustrates in perspective the identification assembly of FIG. 4 disposed as it would be carried upon the wrist or other body member of a person to be identified, the identification plate being attached to the tether and stored in a pocket of the band; and
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT The Identification Assembly .With reference particularly to FIGS. I-3, the identification assembly, generally designated 14, is fundamentally fabricated from upper and lower layers of stock plastic material. The flexible upper layer 16 may comprise a transparent, mattefinish vinyl plastic material and the flexible lower layer 18 comprise, for example white or otherwise pigmented textured vinyl plastic material. The layers 16 and 18, in superposition, are die cut and heat sealed together around the cut peripheral edges, to provide the configuration illustrated in FIG. 1. Thus, a peripheral seam 20 and seams 28 at each aperture are created. Heat sealing and die cutting may be accomplished simultaneously and on a mass production basis, if desired.
The identification assembly 14 comprises a band 15 and a tether 82, the tether 82 being unitary with the band at fold line 58. The band 15 has an elongated connecting strap 22 having a contoured leading end 24 and a plurality of heat-sealed spaced apertures 26. The connecting strap 22 merges with a laterally enlarged pocket portion 30.
The pocket portion 30 is divided into compartments or pockets 32 and 34 (see FIG. 2) by a heat seam 36. An elongated opening 38 provides access to the interior of the pocket 32, the opening 38 being defined by overlapping ends 40 and 42. The opening 38 is exposed at the outside peripheral surface of the band 14 when the band is looped into the asused" position of FIG. 5. Thus, the pocket 32 may receive the identification plate 44, as will be hereinafter more fully described.
Pocket 34 is similarly provided with an opening 46, which is defined by overlapping ends 48 and 50. It should be observed that the opening 46 is at the underside of the band 15 next to the person receiving the identification assembly when the band is positioned as shown in FIG. 5. The pocket 34 may recieve an identification card, such as is conventionally prepared by typing or otherwise inscribing patient identification information on a paper strip. When the insert or card is placed in the pocket 34, the identification inscription is oriented outward as viewed in the figures so as to be readily observable through the transparent upper layer 16 without removal of the identification assembly from the wrist.
A coupling tab 52 merges with the band 15 and is separated from the pocket 34 by a heat seam 54 (FIG. 2). The coupling tab 52 also merges with the offset distal end 56 of the tether 82 at fold line 58, which fold line may be created by heat sealing techniques which are well known. I
The appendage 52 is provided with a female coupling 62 which is permanently mounted within an aperture 64 of the band. See FIG. 2. The female coupling is held by engagement of flanges 65 and 69 thereof with the layers 16 and 18 adjacent the aperture 64. The flange 65 may be formed in place by conventional heat-softening techniques. The female coupling member 62 has a flared bore 66 which is stepped at 68 to form an annular shoulder 70 as best shown in FIG. 2.
The offset distal end 56 carries a male coupling 72, shown projecting upwardly in FIG. 1 and having a disc-shaped base 74, best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. With reference to FIG. 6, the tether 82 is secured to the male coupling 72 at aperture 73 between the face 75 of the base 74 and the shoulder 77 created by the reduced portion 79 of the shank. The male coupling 72 is formed of resilient material with memory and has a forwardly tapered bifurcated shank 76 which terminates in an enlarged tip 78. The tip 78 is sized to radially deflect and pass snugly through the opening 66.of the female coupling 62. The axial slot 80 to the shank accommodates the mentioned radial deflection of the tip 78 as the head is forced through the female coupling 62. When the head reaches the stepped portion 68 of the bore 66, the memory of the shank causes the bifurcation of the shank to return to the at rest condition thereby bringing the shoulder 81 of the tip into abutting relation with the annular shoulder 70 of the female coupling member 62, as illustrated in FIG. 6.
The elongated tether 82 is a continuation of the offset portion 56 and extends parallel to the band 15. As shown in FIG. 3, for purposes of mass production, the superimposed layers 16 and 18 of the tether 82 are heat melted together at 84 and an overlapping seam 86exists adjacent the pocket portion 30. The tether 82 terminates in an enlarged end 88 having an aperture 90 with a heat-sealed edge.
The tether 82 is severed from the adjacent band 15 along the entire co-extensive lengths thereof, except for the attachment between the band 15 and the tether 82 at the fold line 58. The purpose of the tether will be hereinafter more fully described.
Operation Reference is now made to FIGS. 4-6 which illustrate the use of the abovedescribed identification assembly.
In FIG. 4, an identification plate 44 of any suitable design and preferably containing coded information about the person to be identified, is illustrated as having a transverse slot 94 near one end thereof. The tether 82 is displaced through the slot 94, the enlarged end 82 being turned upon itself longitudinally to accommodate insertion through the slot. When the tether 82 has been so positioned through the slot, it is looped upon itself so that the enlarged portion 88 is superimposed over the end 56 and the aperture 90 is situated over the male coupling 72 in loose-fitting relation.
If desired, an information card (not shown) may be prepared by typing or otherwise inscribing indicia thereon. The card may be threaded through the opening 46 into the pocket 34 so that the indicia can be observed through the transparent layer 16. The seam 36 which divides the pockets 32 and 34 will prevent the card from moving into the other pocket 32. Thereafter, the connecting strap 22 is looped around the wrist or other body member (not shown) of the person to be identified until one of the apertures 26 is aligned with the bore 66 in the female coupling 62. The particular one of the apertures 26 selected should be the aperture which allows the band to encircle the wrist to prevent removal from the wrist but not so tightly as to make the band uncomfortable.
When the proper aperture 26 has been aligned with the bore 66 in the female couplings 62, the tether 82 is folded at the fold line 58 into superposition with the band 15. Thereafter, the male coupling 72 is forced through the selected aperture 26 and the bore 66 of the female coupling. The head 78 will be constricted by the tapered bore 66 until the head emerges at the stepped enlargement 68 whereupon the head 78 will expand to lock the male and female couplings together by engagement between the shoulders 70 and 81. The identification band 14 is then in the general configuration illustrated in FIG. with the fastener comprising the male and female couplings 62 and 72 with the associated aperture in the tether and band being disposed as illustrated in FIG. 6. It is presently preferred that the identification plate 44 be inserted through the opening 38 into the pocket 32, as shown in FIG. 5. The opening 38 accommodates ease of insertion of the plate into the pocket for storage purposes and ease of removal of the plate from the pocket 32 for use concerning identification of the person to whom the identification assembly is attached.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative, and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
l. Identification structure comprising:
a flexibleflat band of synthetic resinous material, said band having spaced lateral side edges;
first fastener means carried by the band for aiding in fastening the band to itself in a looped condition in any one of several possible positions;
a tether of synthetic resinous material initially disposed in side edge-to-side edge relation with the band such that the length of the tether lies generally parallel but laterally offset to the length of the band, the tether being permanently joined to the band at a fold line of comparatively short length, the fold line being interposed between a lateral side edge of the tether and one side edge of the band, the tether being otherwise separate from the band initially;
a flat identification device having an aperture through which the tether is looped;
second fastener means carried by the tether and adapted to interlock with the first fastener means when the tether is folded upon and supenmposed across the band ad acent the fold line to thereby secure both the tether and the band in their respective looped condition.
2. Identification structure as defined in claim 1 further comprising means defining at least one pocket in the band, the pocket having an exposed access opening when the band is in the mentioned looped condition and wherein the flat identification device may be inserted into the pocket for storage.
3. Identification structure as defined in claim 2 wherein the pocket comprises at least one upper and at least one lower layer of flexible material one superimposed upon the other, the layers being adhered together along less than all of the peripheral edges so that an access way exists between the layers into the pocket.
4. Identification structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said pocket-defining means comprises at least one upper and at least one lower layer of flexible material the layers being superimposed one over the other and being divided into juxtaposed compartments by a seam between the layers, one compartment having an access opening through the upper layer and the other compartment having an access opening through the lower level.
5. The structure of claim 4 further comprising:
second identification means disposed in one of said compartments.
6. The structure of claim 5 wherein:
said second identification means is disposed in said compartment having an access opening through the lower level; and a said first identification means is removably receivable within said compartment having an access opening through the upper level.
7. Identification structure as defined in claim 1 wherein the band comprises superimposed layers of flexible plastic material heat sealed at peripheral edges to make a unitary strip.
8. Identification structure comprising:
an elongated strip of flexible material;
a pocket having an access opening formed in the strip;
a tether laterally offset from but joined with the strip along one side edge near one end of the tether;
a male fastener and a mating female fastener, one fastener being carried near an end of the tether adjacent the juncture between the tether and the strip with at least one aperture at the other end of the tether, and the other fastener being carried near the end of the strip adjacent the juncture with at least one aperture disposed toward the other end of the strip, whereby the tether end strip may be (a) looped upon themselves, (b) folded upon each other and (c) fastened in the looped and folded configuration by closing the male and female fasteners through the apertures; and
an identification device secured by said tether.