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Publication numberUS3678926 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 25, 1972
Filing dateSep 16, 1970
Priority dateSep 16, 1970
Publication numberUS 3678926 A, US 3678926A, US-A-3678926, US3678926 A, US3678926A
InventorsStrittmatter Martha L
Original AssigneeStrittmatter Martha L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Support pillow
US 3678926 A
Abstract
A pillow to support a limb of a patient comprising first and second pillow sections joined in end-to-end relationship by a flexible web. The first pillow section has a pair of elongated, flexible, rail-like members affixed to its upper surface and defining a longitudinally extending, limb-receiving channel thereon. The first pillow section is provided with means to retain the patient's limb within the channel. The second pillow section at is free end, is provided with means for attaching it to a portion of the patient's body adjacent the limb to be supported.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [151 3,678,926

Strittmatter 1 July 25, 1972 [54] SUPPORT PILLOW 3,232,289 2/1966 Zimmerman ..l28/DlG. 15 m1 Inventor: Martha Summer, 1532 Glenbeck "333 133 Z135? 35521111111111: 1128/93 Ave., Apt. #3, Dayton, Ohio 45409 [22] Filed: Sept. 16, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 72,704

[52] U.S.Cl. ..128/94, 128/89 R, 5/337 [51] Int. Cl. ..A61f 5/40 [58] Field of Search 128/94, 93, 87, 86, 85, 83, 128/82; 5/337. 338

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,753,864 7/1956 Weidemann, .lr. ..128/87 R 2,237,252 4/1941 Longfellow 128/87 R 2,187,323 l/1940 Kelton et al... ...l28/87 R 2,301,534 11/1942 Goodwin ..128/87 R Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko AnorneyMelville, Strasser, Foster & Hoffman [5 7] ABSTRACT A pillow to support a limb of a patient comprising first and second pillow sections joined in end-to-end relationship by a flexible web. The first pillow section has a pair of elongated, flexible, rail-like members afiixed to its upper surface and defining a longitudinally extending, limb-receiving channel thereon. The first pillow section is provided with means to retain the patients limb within the channel. The second pillow section at is free end, is provided with means for attaching it to a portion of the patient's body adjacent the limb to be supported.

9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Patented July 25, 1912 3,678,926

I NV E N TO R/S Mmrm L. STE/7 TMA 7 me,

SUPPORT PILLOW BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I. Field of the Invention The invention relates to a support, and more particularly to a pillow for supporting the limb of a hospital patient or the like.

ll. Description of the Prior Art While the support of the present invention may be used in many ways, it will, for purposes of an exemplary illustration, be described in its use in association with a patients arm. There are a number of instances wherein it is important to provide support for a patients arm. For example, in the case of cerebral vascular accident patients, it is not unusual that the use of the hand, the arm or both will be lost temporarily at least. Under these circumstances, it is important that the hand and arm be supported and protected from contact by the patients body. In this way, edema and contractions of the arm and hand can be avoided or alleviated. In addition, pressure against the afflicted part can be prevented. As another example, it is frequently desirable to provide support for the arm of a patient receiving fluids intravenously.

Heretofore, when support has been provided, it is generally accomplished through the use of makeshift expedients such as through the use of ordinary pillows or the like. Under these circumstances, through the voluntary or involuntary movement of the patients body the patient's arm and hand may readily slip away form its supporting means and come to rest in an undesirable position, as for example under the patients body. A

The present invention is directed to a support pillow which is easy and inexpensive to manufacture and may be readily laundered, sterilized or the like. The support pillow is configured to captively retain the patient's limb in contact therewith and away from the patient's body. In this way swelling, discoloration and discomfort of the afflicted limb can be avoided or alleviated as can pressure against the limb by the patient's body.

The support pillow of the present invention may also be used (by a patient suffering from a fracture or the like) as a substitute for a sling while the patient rests in a seated or reclining position. It will be understood by one skilled in the art the support pillow may also be used in association with a patient's leg in instances ofankle fracture, or the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The support pillow of the present invention is adapted to be used in association with the limbs of a patient. The'pillow comprises two pillow sections joined in end-to-end relationship by a flexible web. One of the pillow sections has a pair of elongated, flexible rails affixed to its upper surface in parallel spaced relationship. The rails extend longitudinally of the pillow and define a channel adapted to receive a portion of the patients limb. Means are provided to maintain that portion of the patients limb within the channel.

The other pillow section has at its free end, means by which it may be affixed to the patients body adjacent the limb.

In the embodiment described, the means for retaining the portion of the patients limb within the channel formed between the rails and the means for affixing the other pillow section to the patient's body comprise strap-like members. The manner in which the pillows are constructed and the material from which they are constructed does not constitute a limitation on the invention. However, the support pillow should be constructed of materials capable of being washed and/or sterilized.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of the support pillow of the present.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the support pillow.

FIG. 3 is an end elevational view as seen from the right in FIG. 2.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 illustrate the support pillow affixed to a patients' arm and in the various positions it may assume when the patient is prone.

FIG. 7 illustrates the support pillow in use by a patient in a seated position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. I through 3 illustrate the support pillow of the present invention. Basically, the support pillow comprises a first pillow section generally indicated at I, a second pillow section generally indicated at 2 and a flexible web portion generally indicated at 3,

The materials used and the precise manner in which the pillow sections I and 2 and the flexible web portion 3 are made do not constitute a limitation on the present invention. For purposes of an exemplarY showing, pillow section I is illustrated as made of fabric and comprising a substantially rectangular top portion 4 and a substantially rectangular bottom section 5 joined together on the sides and one end by a boxing strip 6. The parts thus far described form a bag-like structure which may be stufied with any suitable, soft material. Thereafter, the ends 6a and 6b of the boxing strip 6 are pleated or folded inwardly so that the adjacent ends of the top and bottom portions 4 and 5 are brought together (as is generally show at 7), thus closing the bag-like structure.

The second pillow section may be constructed in an identical manner. This section may comprise a substantially rectangular top portion 8 and a substantially rectangular bottom portion 9, joined together by a boxing strip 10 this again forms a bag-like structure which may be stufled with appropriate material. As in the case of pillow section I, the ends and 10b of the boxing strip I0 may be pleated or folded inwardly, causing the adjacent ends of the top section 8 and bottom section 9 to come together. This is generally shown at I l.

The flexible web may comprise an elongated fabric strip with its raw edges turned inwardly and its ends joined so as to form a continuous band. The folded ends of the pillow sections I and 2, generally indicated at 7 and I1, may be inserted into the continuous band and affixed thereto by stitching. In this manner the two pillow sections 1 and 2 are joined together by the flexible web or band 3.

The pillow section I has on its top portion 4 a pair of parallel, spaced rails 12 and I3. Again, the rails may be made in any suitable manner and of any appropiate material. In the embodiment described, they are shown as comprising elongated fabric elements stuffed with an appropriate material.

The rails 12 and I3 may be made individually and thereafter afiixed to the top portion 4 of the pillow section I by stitching or other means. On the other hand, they may be made during the assembly of pillow section I. In the latter instance, each rail is formed by sewing the longitudinal edge of an elongated fabric strip to the top portion 4, spaced from the longitudinal edge thereof. Thereafter, the elongated fabric strip is folded overto form a tube and its other longitudinal edge is sewn into and simultaneously with the seam between the top portion 4 and the adjacent portion of the boxing strip 6. At this juncture, the tube thus formed may be provided with its stuffing and closed at its ends. As is indicated in FIG. 3, the ends may be sewn shut with mitered corners and the raw edges turned inwardly.

The rails 12 and 13, in parallel spaced relationship, coact with the top portion 4 to form a longitudinally extending channel (generally indicated at 14) on the pillow section I. This channel is intended to receive and retain a portion of a patients limb.

As indicated above, means are provided in association with pillow section 1 to retain the patients limb in the channel 14. While any suitable means may be used, for purposes of an exemplary showing, pillow section I is illustrated as provided Velcro, by the Velcro Corporation is a typical example. This last mentioned example comprises a pair of cooperating, flexible, tape-like elements. One of the tape elements has a surface provided with a plurality of monofilament fibers formed into permanent hook-like members. The other tape element is provided on one of its surfaces with a matting comprising a plurality of loop-like elements. When the hook-bearing surface of the first tape element is pressed into contact with the loopbearing surface of the second tape element they will adhere together strongly,.although they may be separated at will by simply pulling one of the tape elements away from the other.

In FIGS. 1 through 3, it will be noted that the rail 12 has, near its end adjacent the web 3, a short tape section 'sewn or otherwise affixed thereto on its outside longitudinal surface. In an opposed position, the rail 13 has an elongated tape 16 aflixed thereto. In an exemplary form, the tape 16 may be sewn into that seam between the top portion 4, the boxing strip 6 and the elongated tubular member forming the rail 13. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that one of the tapes, for example tape 15 will have the hook-bearing surface, while the other tape 16 will have the loop-bearing surface. Thus, the tape 16 may be brought across the top portion 4 of pillow section I and the top surfaces of the rails of 12 and 13 and have its free end affixed to the tape 15.

The rails 12 and 13 may be provided with additional tape elements 17 and 18, respectively. The tape element 17 is located near the opposite end of rail 12 and at the insidesurface of the rail. For example, the tape element 17 may be sewn into the seam between the inside surface of the rail 12 and the top portion 4 of pillowsection 1. Tape section 18 will be similarly oriented with respect to rail 13 and will lie opposite tape section 17. Again, one of the tapes (such as tape section 17 will have the hook-bearing surface, while tape section 18 will have the loop-bearing surface. The tape elements 17 and 18 may be joined together across a portion of the patients limb, as will be described hereinafter.

As indicated above, pillow section 2 will have means thereon whereby it may be affixed to a portion of the patients body adjacent the limb to be supported. These means may comprise self-adhering tape elements 19 and 20 sewn or otherwise affixed to the boxing strip 10. The tapes 19 and 20 are afiixed to the boxing strip on opposite sides of pillow section 2 adjacent its free end. Again, for purposes of an exemplary showing, tape 19 may be considered as that tape having the loop-bearing surface, while tape 20 may be considered that tape having the hook-bearing surface. Tapes 19 and 20 should be of sufiicient length to pass about a portion of the patients body, as will be described hereinafter.

FIG. 4 illustrates the support pillow of FIGS. 1 through 3 in use. Like parts have been given like index numerals. In FIG. 4, a patient (generally indicated at 21 )is shown in a prone position with his arm 22 supported by the pillow of the present invention. It will be noted that the patients forearm is located in the channel 14 formed by rails 12 and 13. Strap element 16 passes across the upper part of the forearm, while strap elements 17 and 18 pass over the back of the patients hand. For better control of the pillow, particularly for a patient who can move his arm and hand the strap elements 17 and 18 may pass beneath the patients thumb, as shown.

Pillow section 2 is affixed to the patients shoulder by tape elements 19 and 20. It will be noted that the flexible web 3 lies at the position of the elbow and pillow section 2 is fitted into the axilla. Thus, the patients arm is firmly supported and is maintain away from his body.

With the pillow affixed to the patients body and arm, in the manner described with respect to FIG. 4, it will be apparent that the position of the patients arm can be changed to provide more comfort and to prevent poor circulation. Thus, despite the position of the patients arm, the arm is firmly supported and maintained away from the patients body.

FIGS. 5 and 6 again illustrate a patient in a prone position. These Figures illustrate exemplary additional positions of the patients arm. The support pillow is affixed to the patients arm and body in the same manner described with respect to FIG. 4, and againlike parts have been given like index numerals. FIG. 5 illustrates the patients forearm positioned across his body. FIG. 6 illustrates the patients forearm oriented upwardly. In both instances, it will be noted that the arm is fully supported and maintained away from the patients body. The flexible web 3, at the position of the patients elbow, permits the-elbow to be bent with pillow section 1 supporting the forearm and pillow section 2 fitted into the axilla.

FIG. 7 illustrates the use of the support pillow of the present invention with a patient in a seated position. Again, like parts have been given like index numerals. In FIG. 7, the patients forearm has been placed across his lap. The flexible web 3 curves about the patients elbow and pillow section 2 is fitted into the axilla. In this instance, when desired, tapes 19 and 20 may be caused to pass over thepatients opposite shoulder and about .his neck, as shown. This affords firmer support for pillow section 2.

Modifications may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit of it. For example, the various tape elements may simply comprise elongated flexible ties. Similarly, the tape elements may be replaced with elongated straps pro vided with buckles or other fastening means. The self-adhering tapes described above, have proven to be simple fastening means easy to manipulate and well suited to laundering and sterilization.

As indicated above, the manner in which the various pillow elements are made, as well as the material from which they are made do not constitute a limitation on the present invention. The support pillow described has been made of unbleached muslin stuffed with shredded foam rubber. The support rails have been stuffed with elongated foam rubber blocks. Such a construction has proven to be light in weight and sufficiently durable to withstand laundering and sterilization.

While it has not been found necessary to do so, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that it would be within the scope of the present invention to provide pillow section 2 with a pair of spaced rails similar to the rails 12 and 13 on pillow section 1. It will further be understood that the support pillow of the present invention can be produced in various sizesso that it may be better fitted to the particular patient. In general, it is preferable to make pillow section I of greater length than pillow section 2 so that pillow section I can adequately support the forearm, while pillow section 2 may be readily fitted into the axilla.

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

1. An elongated pillow to support the limb of a patient, said pillow comprising first and second flexible pillow sections joined in end-to-end relationship by a flexible web, each of said first and second pillow sections having substantially rectangular top and bottom surfaces joined so as to form a bag-like structure being filled with stuffing means, a pairjof elongated flexible rail-like members affixed to the top surface of said first pillow section, said rail-like members defining a limb-receiving channel on the top surface of said first pillow section, means for retaining a patients limb within said'channel and means for affixing said second pillow section to a portion of the patients body adjacent the limb to be supported.

2. The structure claimed in claim I wherein said rail-like members are afiixed to said top surface of said first pillow section in spaced relationship, said rail-like members being parallel to the long axis of said first pillow section, and rail-like members extending substantially the length of said first pillow section. 1

3. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein said means to affix said second pillow section to said portion of the patients body comprises a pair of elongated, flexible strap-like elements, one end of each of said strap-like elements being affixed to opposite sides of said second pillow section near that end thereof opposite said flexible web, said strap-like elements being of sufficient length to pass about said portion of the patients body and have their free ends joined together.

4. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein said means to retain the patients limb within said channel comprises two pairs of opposed, flexible strap-like elements, a first of said pairs of strap-like elements having one end affixed to either side of said first pillow section outside said channel and near said end of said first pillow section joined to said flexible web, at least one of said strap-like elements of said first pair being of sufficient length to pass across said channel and to be joined to the other strap-like element of said first pair, said second pair of strap-like elements having one end afiixed to either side of said channel within said rail-like members and near that end of said first pillow section opposite said flexible web, said strap-like elements of said second pair being of sufficient length to pass over the patients limb within said channel and to have their free ends joined together.

5. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said first and second pillow sections comprises a top portion and a bottom portion joined on two sides and an end by an elongated boxing strip so as to form a bag-like structure open at one end, each of said bag-like structures being filled with stuffing means, said flexible web comprising an elongated strip with its ends joined to form a continuous band, the open ends of said bag-like structures being closed and inserted into opposite ends of said band and afiixed thereto.

6. The structure claimed in claim 3 wherein said strapJike elements comprise self-adhering tapes.

7. The structure claimed in claim 4 wherein said strap-like elements comprise self-adhering tapes.

8. The structure claimed in claim 5 wherein said rail-like members comprise elongated tube-like structures affixed to the top surface of said first pillow section, said tube-like structures being filled with stuffing means and closed at their ends.

9. The structure claimed in claim 8 wherein said bag-like structures, said continuous band and said tube-like structures are made of unbleached muslin, said stutfing means for said bag-like structures being shredded foam rubber and said stuffing means for said tube-like structures being elongated foam rubber blocks.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US792407 *Dec 6, 1904Jun 13, 1905Wendel EmgeSupport for the treatment of injured legs.
US1304153 *Sep 11, 1918May 20, 1919 Arm-sling
US2187323 *Mar 9, 1936Jan 16, 1940KeltonCrutch splint
US2237252 *Sep 27, 1939Apr 1, 1941Harry Herschel LeiterSurgical arm rest and support therefor
US2301534 *Aug 1, 1941Nov 10, 1942Goodwin Leon ETraction splint
US2753864 *Nov 2, 1954Jul 10, 1956Weidemann Jr Walter HImmobilizing splint
US3232289 *Mar 22, 1963Feb 1, 1966Charles E ZimmermanTemporary splint
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3818905 *May 11, 1973Jun 25, 1974S LeboldOrthopedic device
US4270235 *Nov 8, 1978Jun 2, 1981Gutmann Gordon LArm support pillow
US5329941 *Oct 18, 1991Jul 19, 1994Bodine Jr Robert COrthotic hand and forearm support device
US5618263 *Aug 18, 1992Apr 8, 1997Maurice AdamSoft splint
US5647850 *Mar 15, 1995Jul 15, 1997Allen; William RayMethod and apparatus for vein location
US5864902 *Feb 26, 1996Feb 2, 1999Rogers; Walter L.Foldable stretcher arm support
US5890246 *Mar 19, 1998Apr 6, 1999Davis; Richard P.Inflatable pre-natal support mattress
US6065166 *Oct 17, 1996May 23, 2000O.R. Comfort, LlcSurgical support cushion apparatus and method
US6327724Feb 1, 2000Dec 11, 2001O.R. Comfort, LlcInflatable positioning aids for operating room
US6510574Dec 7, 2001Jan 28, 2003O. R. Comfort, LlcInflatable positioning aids for operating room
US7634828 *Jun 7, 2007Dec 22, 2009Basim ElhabashySurgical lateral positioning pillow
Classifications
U.S. Classification602/21, 5/647
International ClassificationA61F5/058, A61F5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/05858
European ClassificationA61F5/058H4