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Publication numberUS3667075 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1972
Filing dateFeb 24, 1970
Priority dateFeb 24, 1970
Publication numberUS 3667075 A, US 3667075A, US-A-3667075, US3667075 A, US3667075A
InventorsWesley D Ballard
Original AssigneeWesley D Ballard, Staley John H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mattress spring bellows assembly as for hospitals, and the like
US 3667075 A
Abstract
The invention discloses a mattress, as for a hospital bed, an assembly of inflatable bellows spring segments being interposed between the under side of the mattress and a support box therefor which may be said to correspond to the conventional bed spring supporting slats under the springs of conventional mattresses. All of the adjustments offered by conventional hospital bed frames, and more, may be made for the mattress of this invention by virtue of the shapes into which the combinations of spring bellows segments may be inflated. The invention, in effect, employs a careful selection of bellows spring segment shapes, not only to provide a wide range of positional adjustments of the mattress, but these segments may serve, cooperatively, to provide the springs of the mattress, also with the degree of spring or cushioning effect being infinitely adjustable by virtue of the selective inflation of bellows segments, and the selectivity provided as to degree of inflation of the respective bellows.
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United States Patent Ballard et al.

[4 1 June 6,1972

Timbercrest Lane, both of Waco, Tex. 76705 [22] Filed: Feb. 24, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 13,601

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,422,606 1 1/1965 France ..5/68

Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Darrell Marquette Attorney-William E. Ford ABSTRACT The invention discloses a mattress, as for a hospital bed, an assembly of inflatable bellows spring segments being interposed between the under side of the mattress and a support box,

therefor which may be said to correspond to the conventional bed spring supporting slats under the springs of conventional mattresses. All of the adjustments ofiered by conventional hospital bed frames, and more, may be made for the mattress of this invention by virtue of the shapes into which the combinations of spring bellows segments may be inflated. The invention, in effect, employs a careful selection of bellows spring segment shapes, not only to provide a wide range of positional adjustments of the mattress, but these segments may serve, cooperatively, to provide the springs of the mattress, also with the degree of spring or cushioning effect being infinitely adjustable by virtue of the selective inflation of bellows segments, and the selectivity provided as to degree of inflation of the respective bellows.

7 Claina 12 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH s 1972 SHEET 2 BF 2 WESLEY D. BALLAED BY JOHN H. STALEY, J2.

24mm v ATTOENEY MATTRESS SPRING BELLOWS ASSEMBLY AS FOR HOSPITALS, AND THE LIKE The invention relates to a mattressspring bellows assembly, as for hospitals, taking the place of conventional springs, and including a support box to take the place of the conventional bed slats; control of selective inflation and deflation of respectivebellows springsegments determining mattress positions of adjustment, and also its degree of cushioning or spring effect.

As a primary object the invention sets out to provide a mattress spring bellows assembly eniployable both as the means to selectively control mattress positions of adjustment, also degree of cushioning and spring effect.

It is also an important object of this invention to provide a mattress spring bellows assembly of this class including an assembly of spring bellows segments replacing conventional bed spring units, and a bellows segment support box replacing conventional bed slats.

It is yet another important object of this invention to provide a mattress spring bellows assembly of this class in which adjustments obtained by selective inflation. and deflation of spring bellows segments may range through a widest selection of mattress positions.

It is anotherprimary object of the invention to provide a method of selectively adjusting mattress position, as for hospital beds, by using selectively resilient cushion means to effect selective positions of the mattress, while at the same time using the adjustment means to'provide cushion or spring effect.

It is also anotherimportant object of the invention to provide mattress bellows spring segment assembly and method of use, whereby to selectively control degree of mattress spring support or cushioning, over a wide range of degree of cushioning effect, and over a wide range in patient elevations.

Other and further objects will be apparent when the specification herein is considered in connection with the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the head, top, and right side of an embodiment of mattress comprised by the invention; the view also showing diagrammatically the control system for spring bellows operations;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partially diagrammatic, showing the mattress with a first bellows selectively inflated to raise the head of the mattress to support a patient in head partially elevated position; I

FIG. 3 is a sideelevational view, partially diagrammatic, showing the mattress with a first and second bellows selectively inflated to raise the head of themattress to support a patient in head substantially raised position;- 7

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view, partially diagrammatic,

showing the mattress disposed to support the head of a patient, as set forth in description of FIG. 2, and with a third bellows selectively inflated to raise the mattress to dispose an apex under the knees of the patient, as lower body is thus lifted;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view, with a fourth bellows selectively inflated partially diagrammatic, showing the mattress whereby to support the patient in a straight tilt position, head upwardly, feet downwardly;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view, partially diagrammatic, showing the mattress with a fifth bellows selectively inflated, whereby to support the patient in a straight tilt position, head downwardly, feet upwardly;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view, partially diagrammatic, showing the mattress with the aforesaid five bellows each slightly inflated, whereby to support a patient on the flatly disposed mattress, as upon spring cushions;

FIG. 8A is a sectional view, partially diagrammatic, typical of the operation of the solenoid actuated valves SOL 1-5, FIG. 1, showing supply and vent conduits blocked, whereby the respective spring bellows controlled thereby retains degree of inflation or deflation at which blockage has occurred;

FIG. 8B is a sectional view, partially diagrammatic, typical of the operation of the solenoid actuated valves SOL 1-5, FIG. 1, showing compressed air supply open to one of the mattress spring bellows;

FIG. 8C is a sectional view, partially diagrammatic, typical of the operation of the solenoid actuated 'valves SOL l-5, FIG. 1 showing air vented from a deflating spring bellows;

FIG. 9 in an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional elevational view of bellows construction in which respective bellows are separated by common sheet therebetween; and

FIG. 10 is an'enlarged, fragmentary, sectional elevational view of bellows construction in which each bellows is a separate member, the bellows being disposed one upon the other.

Referring now in detail to the drawingsin which like elements are assigned like reference numerals in the various views, a mattress 10 is shown in FIG. 1 with a support box 11 thereunder, of wood, metal or plastic, as desired. In this view the head portion 10a of the mattress 10 is shown as having been partially raised, the mattress beingtransversely bent at 10b, while the lower portion of the mattress 10 extends in flat position. In this view no conventional bed springs are indicated under the support box 1 l, but rather this support box may be comparable with the conventional frame of a hospital bed, usually mechanically adjustable. As is well known, such conventional frame is supported by, or comprises part of the bedstead. A conventional bedstead 13 is shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1 supporting the aforesaid mattress support box 1 1.

In FIG. 1 an upper head bellows segment or first portion 12a of a bellows spring assembly or unit 12, is indicated as having been inflated, compressed air having been admitted therein into through a flexible conduit 14a. Also, in this view flexible conduits 14b, 14c, 14d, and 14 are indicated as extending through a central head slot 11a in the support box 1 l, the flexible conduits extending from second, third, fourth and fifth bellows spring segments to be hereinbelow described.

FIG. 2 shows the mattress 10 in substantially the same position inside elevation as the mattress is shown disposed in the isometric view of FIG. 1. That is, the upper portion 10a of the mattress 10 has been elevated by admitting compressed air into the first or upper head bellows segment 12a through the flexible conduit 14a.

In this position the 'mattress 10 isv indicated as having bended transversely along bend line 10b substantially where a conventional mattress would bend-as manipulated by the adjustment mechanism of a conventional hospital bed frame. As aforesaid, the lower portion 100 of the mattress extends flatly or prone. In this view a second bellows spring or lower head bellows segment 12b is indicated in deflated position under the upper head bellows segment 12a, athird bellows spring or uppennost foot bellows segmentlZc is indicated in deflated position under the lower mattress portion l0c, a fourth bellows spring or upper full mattress length segment 12d and a fifth bellows spring or lower full mattress length segment 12c, are both indicated in deflated position. The lower edges (away from head) of the bellows segments 12a and 12b, and the upper edge (away from foot) of the bellows segment may be considered adjoined together along a transverse junction line 15 on the under side of the mattress 10 opposite the aforesaid bend line 10b. in this view the flexible conduit 14a is alone indicated for purposes of clarity, as extending through the slot 1 1a, centrally through the head of the support box 11. In the successive views, FIGS. 3-7, inclusive, these aforesaid bellows segments (five) will be designated by the same reference numerals.

Referring now to FIG. 3, additional compressed air has been admitted through the flexible conduit 14b into the bellows spring or under head segment 12b, the bellows spring or upper head segment 12a remaining inflated as aforesaid. Thus the head portion 10a of-the mattress 10 has been brought into substantially uppermost raised position corresponding with the uppermost head raised position of a conventionalhospital bed mattress as adjusted by a conventional mechanical adjustment for a conventional hospital bed frame.

As shown in FIG. 4, the second bellows or lower head bellows segment 12!; is shown deflated, the upper head bellows segment 12a being shown deflated. In this view the uppermost foot bellows segment or third bellows spring segment 12c is shown as having been inflated to provide an apex 16 as shown, so that the lower portion of the mattress c is raised to dispose a transverse bend line 10d uppermost under the knees of the patient so that the knees are raised to an upwardly raised position. In this view the flexible conduit 14c is shown as passing rearwardly under the support box 11 and then upwardly into the support box, and outwardly through the central head slot 11a. The flexible conduit 140 from the inflated upper head bellows segment 12a is shown as in FIG. 2, the flexible conduits from the remaining or deflated bellows segments being omitted for purposes of clarity.

Now considering FIG. 5, the hereinabove described bellows segments 12a, 12b and 120 are shown deflated, with the upper full mattress length or fourth bellows segment 12d inflated, the lower full mattress length segment 12c being deflated. Noticeably, the bellows segment 12d is of live sided cross-section when inflated; with a short upstanding side at foot, and a substantially larger opposite dimension at head, thus to raise the mattress, (all other bellows segments deflated), so that it is disposed in straight position, tilted from head to foot, with head uppermost, foot lowermost. In this view the flexible conduit 14d is shown extending from the inflated fourth bellows segment 12d, other conduits being omitted for purposes of clarity. r

. -As shown in FIG. 6, bellows segments 12a, 12b, 12c and 12d are shown .deflated, with the lower full mattress length or fifth bellows segment 12e inflated. The bellows segment 12e is shown of five sided cross-section in elevation, correspondingly as in the case of the upper full mattress length or fourth bellows segment 12d, hereinabove described. A short side upstands at the head, and a substantially larger opposite dimension at foot, thus results in raising the mattress so that it is disposed in straight position, tilted from foot to head, with foot uppermost, head lowermost. In this view the flexible conduit 14c is shown extending from the inflated fifth bellows segment l2e through the aforesaid central support box head slot 11a, other conduits being omitted for purposes of clarity.

Referring now to FIG. 7, the mattress 10 is shown in a lowered, prone position, with each of the bellows segments 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d and 12e being shown substantially deflated, with only enough compressed air in each bellows segment for them collectively or cumulatively to support the mattress 10 thereabove with a spring cushion action or effect. The respective flexible conduits 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d and Me for the respective bellows segments 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d and 12e, are shown, as extending from the slot 11a through the head of the support box 1 1, such conduits being shown broken ofi and not joined to their respective bellows segments, this for purposes of clarity.

Referring back to FIG. 1, the respective conduits 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d and 14e are shown extending to a control box 17, there to be connected onto respective projecting compressed air delivery nipples 18a, 18b, 18c, 18d, 18c. These nipples receive supply compressed air to be selectively passed outwardly therethrough, by selective operation of solenoid valves SOL 1-5, inclusive,to pass through the respective conduits 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d, 14e, into the respective bellows segments 12a, 12b, 12c, 12d, 12e, as hereinabove described.

Respective three position switches 19a, 19b, 19c, 19d, 198 are provided to be selectively manually turned upwardly, as indicated in FIG. 1, to close circuit, selectively, via respective contact points 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, and 20a, to operate the respective solenoid valves SOL l, SOL 2, SOL 3, SOL 4, SOL 5, in direction to actuate respective spool valves, as the spool valve 21, FIG. 8A, to be hereinbelow described.

Oppositely, if the three position switches 19a, 19b, 19c, 19d and 19e, are turned downwardly, as indicated in FIG. 1, to close circuit via respective contact points a, 25b, 25c, 25d and 25:, to operate the respective solenoid valves SOL 1, SOL 2, SOL 3, SOL 4 and SOLS, in direction to oppositely actuate respective spool valves, as the aforesaid spool valve 21, FIG. 8A, to be hereinbelow described, as aforesaid.

Normally the switches 19a-e are spring biased, as by opposed springs 22a, 22b on opposite sides of switch buttons or levers 23a-e to place the respective spool valve 21 for each bellows segment control in a neutral or blocking position. For each spool valve, as the spool 21, FIG. 8A, its plungers 24a, 24b are thus disposed to block respective SUPPLY and VENT, FIG. 8A. For illustrative purposes in this view, the switch button or lever 23a, connected to positive side of an electrical power line, is shown spring biased by springs 22a, 22b to neutral position. 7

Also in FIG. 8A, the stem of the valve 21 is cluding the wiring of the solenoid SOL 1.

As shown in FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C,'the respective plungers 24a, 24b on the stem of the valve 21 are biased respectively downwardly by respective compression spring 260, and upwardly by respective compression spring 26b, as such, disposed about the valve stem 27, are based respectively upwardly and downwardly within the housing 28 of the respective solenoid involved. It thus follows that the lower portion 29 of the valve stem 27 comprises the armature of the solenoid indicated as in- SOL l, as aforesaid. The double action of the solenoid then results from circuit closure via armature winding 30a, common ground 31, switch lever or button 230 upwardly against contact 20a, or oppositely, circuit closure via armature winding 30b, common ground 31, switch lever or button 230 downwardly against contact 25a.

Thus, in FIG. 83, with the contact closure 23a, 200, (FIG. 1 and FIG. 8A) effective, the upper spring 26a is shown substantially compressed by the upper plunger 24a, the lower spring 26b extended behind the lower plunger 24b. This hasplaced the SUPPLY passage open for compressed air passage therethrough into center bore 32, then to pass via BELLOWS passage to a respective BELLOWS to be inflated. In the case submitted as example, the compressed air would pass from the BELLOWS passage, FIG. 8B, via the nipple 18a and conduit 14a, FIG. 1, to inflate the upper head bellows or first bellows spring segment 12a.

Then, in FIG. BC, with the contactclosure 23a, 25a, (FIG. 1 and FIG. 8A) effective, the lower spring 26b is shown compressed by the lower plunger 24b, the upper spring 26a having expanded behind the upper plunger 24a. This has placed the VENT passage open to vent the air from the aforesaid, now deflating first bellows spring segment 12a, by way of the BEL- LOWS passage and plunger bore 32. The vent from the respective solenoids may be directly from each solenoid housing 28 to a vent manifold 33, indicated at the bottom of the control box or panel 17 in FIG. 1. Note also that from the AIR SUPPLY, a supply header 37 is indicated in FIG. 1 for carrying the compressed air to the respective solenoid SUPPLY passages, as though shown in FIGS; 8A, 8B and 8C.

The invention has great adaptability in usage in that the respective five bellows or bellows spring segments may be inflated altogether or selectively in parts or degrees of inflation. In cases, conventional mattress springs may be provided under the support box 1 l, but as a matter of fact the invention can be said to eliminate conventional bed springs under mattresses as one of its objects. Description of this feature has been set forth in description of FIG. 7. Also wide variances of positioning of mattress 10 can be obviated. For instance a condition may be considered where it may be desirable to raise a mattress with patient level thereon, to a substantial elevation above support box 11 and the bedstead on which it is installed. This can be done by inflating both bellows spring segments 12d and 12c in some considerable part, whereby they cumulatively provide the upper surface of the upper full bed length bellows segment 12d to extend flatly, with mattress l0 thereon, patient on mattress.

Noticeably, the segments may be adjoined, with common sheet of material, as of plastic, separating adjacent bellows.

Note the exemplary common sheet 34 between bellows seg- I ments 12a and 12b, FIG. 9. In this form of bellows construction the upper hem 34a of the lower bellows segment 12b may be connected to an under, forward strip of the common bellows sheet 34, separating segments 12a and 1212, as by applying flowable epoxly resin thereto to harden. On the other hand note the construction shown in FIG. 10, where examples of bellows segments 12d, 12e are shown, one disposed upon the other, the lower sheet 34a of the upper full extent bellows segment 12d resting upon the upper sheet 34b on the lower full extent bellows segment 12e.

The invention need not necessarily rely upon such a plurality of bellows spring segments, but a practical and operable combination may be provided simply by bellows spring segment combinations 12a and 12c, the bellows spring segments 12b, 12d and IZe-being omitted. Or obviously combinations 12a, 12c, 12b may serve, or combinations of 121, 12c, 12d or 120, 12c, 12d can also fit various exactments. Such combinations of lesser segments obviously eliminate respective conduits and solenoid actuated valves therefor with a less expensive control system being necessitated. Obviously, the invention is not limited to specific shapes and number of bellows spring segments, nor to specific control systems therefor. Thus the drawings, and their description in the specification are by way of example, and not a limitation on the broad spirit of the invention. The appended claims complete the disclosure.

We claim:

1. In combination with a transversely bondable mattress having longitudinally spaced apart first and second transversely extending bend lines thereacross, adjacent the head and foot ends of the mattress, respectively, the combination of a spring bellows assembly comprising separate bellows, a support box comprised of substantially rigid bottom, ends and sides, andof rectangular cross-section in plan and of height to receive said separate bellows assembly therein when deflated, and also the lower part of said mattress upon said deflated separate bellows assembly with mattress to extend with upper surface at a level above the upper level of said box, said separate bellows comprising a head bellows spring segment extending from said first bend line toward said head end and selectively inflatable to subtend a head end lift degree in side elevation, a knee lift bellows spring segment having base dimension from substantially mattress first bend line to said foot end, and being selectively inflatable to dispose an apex at mattress second bend line beneath the knees of a patient, said assembly also including selectively operable means to inflate, deflate and lock in selective degrees of inflation, each of said segments, said box providing outlet opening means from which compressed air conduits from said selective spring bellows segments may extend, said conduits being included by said selectively operable means.

2. The combination as claimed in claim 1, in which said selectively operable means includes a bank of solenoid operated valves, selectively switch actuated to-control compressed air delivery to selective bellows segment, compressed air venting from selective bellows segment, and blockage of compressed air passage into or from said selective bellows segment.

3. The combination as claimed in claim 1, in which said selectively operable means for each bellows segment includes a spool valve, selectively movable between position of compressed air supply open to selective bellows segment in a spool valve upper position, blockage of compressed air communication in a spool valve central position, and compressed air passage open from selective bellows segment to vent in a spool valve lower position.

4. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which said separate bellows additionally include a lower head end bellows spring segment extending from below mattress first bend line toward said head end and selectively inflatable to subtend an under head lift degree in side elevation.

5. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which said separate bellows additionally includes, under the bellows aforesaid, a segment of full mattress length in extent, and with other segments deflated, being adapted to raise the mattress to a strai ht tilt position.

e combination as claimed in claim 1 in which said separate bellows additionally includes, under the bellows aforesaid, a segment of full mattress length in extent, and with other segments deflated, being adapted to raise the mattress to a head end upwardly, foot end downwardly, full tilt position.

7. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which said separate bellows additionally includes, under the bellows aforesaid, a segment of full mattress length in extent, and with other segments deflated, being adapted to raise the mattress to a foot end upwardly, head end downwardly, full tilt position.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/722, 5/615, 5/610, 137/625.65, 5/660
International ClassificationA47C27/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47C20/048
European ClassificationA47C20/04G