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Publication numberUS3692028 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 19, 1972
Filing dateDec 31, 1970
Priority dateDec 31, 1970
Publication numberUS 3692028 A, US 3692028A, US-A-3692028, US3692028 A, US3692028A
InventorsLewis C Duncan, Ronald F Etten
Original AssigneeLewis C Duncan, Ronald F Etten
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Emergency treatment tank
US 3692028 A
A treatment tank for emergency burn victims. The tank is in an elongated rectangular form of minimum volume so as to permit maximum responsiveness in controlling temperature changes of a patient immersed therein. The tank is designed to complement an articulated patient-supporting platform supported at its ends by elevating cable and winch assemblies. By manipulating the respective winches, the platform can be adjusted to raise or lower either end of the reclining patient, or to elevate the head or lower the feet as desired. Liquid circulating apparatus is provided for control of the liquid bath.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Etten et al.

[54] EMERGENCY TREATMENT TANK 22 Filed: Dec.3l, 1970 211 Appl.No.: 103,066

[52] US. Cl ..128/369, 128/66 [51] Int. Cl. ..A6lh 33/00 [58] Field of Search ..128/66, 365, 369', 4/185 L [451 Sept. 19, 1972 Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney-Wells, St. John & Roberts [5 7] ABSTRACT A treatment tank for emergency burn victims. The tank is in an elongated rectangular form of minimum volume so as to permit maximum responsiveness in' controlling temperature changes of a patient immersed therein. The tank is designed to complement an articulated patient-supporting platform supported at its ends by elevating cable and winch assemblies. By manipulating the respective winches, the platform can [56] References Cited be adjusted to raise or lower either end of the reclin- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing patient, or to elevate the head or lower the feet as desired. Liquid circulating apparatus is provided for 1,263,611 4/1918 Scroggin ..4/ 185 L control of the liquid bath 3,455,299 7/1969 Gerow ..128/66 2,850,743 9/1958 White ..4/185 L 8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 1 L5 ,8 at: 0 :37 I .38

PATENTEDSEP 19 I972 SHEET 1 BF 3 INVENTOR-S Effen LewisCDuncan BY m Ronald E PATENTEDSEP 19 I972 SHEET 3 OF 3 40 a 3 FIG. 4 4 2 L WM 35 INVENTORS Rona/cl F: EH-en Lewis C.Dunc an BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present apparatus has been developed with respect to the treatment of burns on human bodies. It is particularly adapted to the treatment of acute burn cases wherein burns are suffered over large or substantial portions of the persons body.Such patients are severely endangered both by the physical damage due to the burn and by the usual side effects, such as shock and loss of blood plasma around the burned area. Immediate cooling of the skin under controlled conditions in a liquid bath can often lessen the degree of burn damage to the skin.

Where burns occur over a substantial part of the body area, substantial emergency cooling of the patients skin requires almost complete immersion of the body. During such immersion, the liquid bath must be constantly recirculated andfiltered, and its temperature must be closely monitored so as to compensate for rising and falling body temperatures of the patient. Furthermore, because such treatment must be carried out over a substantial period of time, it is necessary to provide as much comfort as possible for the individual patient. This requires latitude in adjustment of the patients support and the ability toraise or lower the patient with respect to the bath without touching him.

An example of an apparatus for carrying out a different treatment of bodies by fluid immersion is shown in U. S. Pat. No. 3,455,299. The treatment tank is es sentially V-shaped and the persons bodyis supported by a cradle with the legs apparently extended straight and upwardly inclined. According to the present apparatus, attention is paid to the comfort of the patient and to his normal desires to adjust his position, within limits, in order to provide acceptable support of the body while in the bath. Adjustment is permitted within the bath, while all moving mechanical controls are safely located outside the liquid. Great latitude is permitted so as to accommodate the wide variety of requirements for supporting persons burned on differing parts of their bodies. I

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention comprises a treatment tank for burn victims or similar applications comprising an upwardly open rectangular enclosure filled with liquid and an articulated patient-supporting platform movably supported within the enclosure, together with means for selectively arresting movement of one portion of the platform and permitting articulation of the remainder of the platform. Articulation of the platform is thereby provided within the liquid so as to enable the users of the device to adjust the patients position while immersed.

It is a first object of this invention to provide a highly adjustable patient support apparatus for a liquid immersion tank capable of adapting to a wide variety of patient sizes and conditions. Theapparatus can be used to support a patient in a horizontal, inclined, or articulated position by use of the several combinations of adjustment features cited below.

Another object of this invention is to provide a safety adjustable apparatus with all control devices located outside the liquid bath.

These and further objects will :be evident from the following disclosure, taken also with the accompanying drawings, which disclose a preferred form of the invention. Itis tobe understood that the details of the apparatusare not to limit the scope of the invention, which is set out in theappended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing the platform and tank;

FIG.2 is a top view of the treatment tank;

FIG- 3 isan elevational sectional view taken along line 3--3 in FIG. 2 showing the platformin a horizontal condition;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to F IG. 3,zillustrating articulation of the platform components;

FIG. :5 is across-sectional view taken substantially alongline 5- 5 in FIG. 2; t j

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing the articulated joint for the leg supporting portion of the platform; and t FIG.7 isan enlarged fragmentary view showing the guide roller arrangement at the foot of the platform.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The apparatus disclosed in the drawings is designed to provide maximum comfort for a burn victim during immersion of his body in a controlled recirculating bath of fluidQThe nature of the fluid varies with the type of treatment being carried out, and does not constitute part of the present disclosure. It is to be understood, however, that the apparatus can be completely selfcontained to recirculate, heat, cool and filter the fluid, and that hoses or pipe connections can be made to a source of fluid for regenerating the fluid content as desired.

Thetank itself comprises an upwardly open enclosure 10 of substantially rectangular cross-section. It is bounded by two parallel side walls 11 transversely spaced fromone another and by opposite end walls 12,

13 respectively adjacent to the head and footof a patient. The upper edges of walls 11, 12 and 13 lie in a common horizontal plane in a top rail which lends rigidity to the structure and permitsauxiliary devices, suchas sprays, to be mounted to the tank as desired.

The enclosure l0 is completed by a bottom wall 14, includinga downwardly sloping area 15 at the foot of the enclosure, designed toaccommodate the movable leg support of the patient platform.

The platform 16 is articulated to permit adjustment of the patientas desired. It includes a main frame portion 17 generally spanning the length of the patient from his head to his knees. Pivotally. connected to the main frameportion 17 is a leg support portion 18. The transverse axis connecting portions 17 and 18 are denoted in the drawings at .20 (FIG. 6). The platform 16 is formed from open rigid frames across which body engaging webs can be stretched. In the drawings, the webs are illustrated as being canvas or other fabric squares laced along the sides to the frame sections. They mightalternately be made of any suitable open mesh webbing,.and can be either permanent ordisposable. For clarity, the webs are not illustrated in the drawings, other than in FIG. 1. In addition to leg support section 18, there is a central seat section 22, a back rest 23 and two arm rests 25.

The frame for the back rest 23 is pivotally connected to the main frame portion 17 intermediate the ends thereof at 24 (FIG. 4). The back rest 23 is selectively locked in position about axis 24 by adjustable braces 27 at each side of platform 16. It can be located in a variety of angular positions as required for the comfort of a particular patient. The arm rests 25 are pivotally connected at one end to the back rest 23 and are pivotally supported at the lower ends by arms 26, which remain parallel to the back rest 23. Thus, angular adjustment of back rest 23 automatically locates the arm rests 25 by virtue of their parallelogram-type support on the back rest 23 and arms 26.

To facilitate elevational adjustment of platform 16 within enclosure 10, guiding rollers are provided at the respective ends thereof. At the head of platform 16 are two guide rollers 28, located respectively at opposite sides of platform 16. Two similar rollers 30 are provided at the foot of platform 16. A vertical track 31, in the shape of an inwardly open channel, is fastened or formed at the interior of the side walls 1 1 at the head of enclosure 10. An inclined track 32 is provided at the foot of enclosure along the respective side walls 11, and receives the respective rollers 30. The inclined track 32 accommodates pivotal movement of the leg support portion 18 about axis 20. The axle extending across the foot of platform 16 and carrying rollers 30 is guided along elongated slots 34 formed through brackets at the sides of the leg support portion 18 and biased by springs 19, permitting longitudinal movement of rollers 30 during pivotal movement while engaged within the straight inclined tracks 32. The combination of rollers 28 and 30 provides rolling guides for both ends of platform 16, with the vertical track 31 insuring proper longitudinal positioning of platform 16 relative to enclosure 10.

Elevational adjustment of platform 16 is accomplished by a pair of winches 35, 36 at the head and foot of the assembly. The winches are powered by motors 37, 38 respectively. Pulleys 40, 41 at the head and foot of the enclosure are rotatably mounted about transverse axes. They are engaged by cables 42, 43 respectively, which are anchored to winches 35, 36 and operatively connected to the respective ends of platform 16.

As seen in FIG. 6, rigid stops 21 project longitudinally beyond the main frame portion 17, overlapping the upper surfaces of leg support portion 18 at each side of platform 16. The stops 21 normally maintain the leg support portion 18 in a longitudinally aligned condition with respect to the main frameportion 17. However, when the main frame portion 17 is elevationally supported, independent of cables 43, the leg support portion 18 is free to pivot about axis 20 to positions angularly located beneath the plane of the main frame portion 17. This is accomplished by resting all or a part of platform 16 on the bottom wall 14 of the tank and continuing to lower the foot of platform 16 by operation of winch 36 until the desired angular position between the portions 17 and 18 is attained. This can be accomplished while the main frame 17 is horizontal and in contact with the bottom wall 14, or while the main frame portion 17 is inclined so as to contact the bottom wall 14 at only the lower end of portion 17 adjacent to the recessed area 15.

Platform 16 is completed by an adjustable head rest shown at 29. The head rest is adjustable in height and position along the back rest 23.

The enclosure 10 is designed to be relatively shallow, permitting complete immersion of a patient and angular adjustment of his body position, while minimizing the volume of liquid within the tank. As shown, varying levels of liquid can be utilized. The level is maintained by opening horizontal slots 47 at each end wall 12, 13. Slots 47 lead to overflow outlets 48 connected to liquid return hoses. Two slots 47 are shown in the drawings, one above the other. The upper slot is used when the tank is to be full. The lower slot is used when only the recessed tank portion above sloping area 15 is to be used, as for treatment of lower'leg or ankle burns. Liquid is supplied at the bottom of the tank, through an inlet 46. A removable plug 50 is also provided at the bottom of the tank for selectively emptying its con tents.

Room is provided beneath the enclosure 10 for mounting a recirculating pump and reservoir unit on the frame of the tank. Suitable liquid cooling and heating units can be provided. The liquid handling equipment can also be in a separate cabinet (not shown). A central panel 44 is illustrated with control switches 45 for operating the liquid bath controls as well as independent control switches for raising and lowering the respective ends of the platform 16 by operation of winches 35, 36.

The present apparatus eliminates the necessity of rigidly adjusting the leg rest in platform 16, permitting the leg rest to be inclined downwardly for patient comfort during immersion, while automatically returning the patient and platform to an extended condition when the platform 16 is raised from the liquid bath. This provides considerable flexibility in positioning the patient and maintaining his comfort during immersion. The recessed foot area of the enclosure 10 minimizes the volume of liquid necessary to accommodate such adjustment of the leg support, thereby permitting the use of more responsive temperature controls capable of maintaining desired temperature in the smaller liquid volume to compensate for changing patient body temperature conditions.

The above tank hasbeen specifically designed for emergency treatment of acute burn victims. It is suitable for use in hospital emergency rooms, industrial first-aid stations or similar locations where burn victims can be treated as quickly as possible after injury.

The usual liquid used will be water, with or without additional aereation or oxygenation. The normal liquid temperature will be maintained at about F. and might be somewhat lower. The purpose of immediate or prompt immersion of the burned area is to treat the burn directly by absorbing the excess calories of heat stored in the skin and adjacent tissue. By lowering the skin temperature, skin hypothermia is minimized. At water temperatures around 70 F. sufficient cooling is achieved within about 5 minutes, evidenced normally by shivering of the patient. The patient may be maintained in the liquid up to about two hours. His systemic temperature must be monitored during this time, and not allowed to drop below 88 F.

The above treatment has been found to prevent edema effects and to greatly minimize burn damage. The degree of a burn is often held below that which would otherwise prevail without treatment.

One particular advantage of the above structure is the simplicity of the operating mechanism and elimination of jamming of the moving parts. The length of cables 42, 43 should be such as to just permit full lowering of the respective platform ends. Therefore, excess operation of winches 35, 36 will merely wrap the cables 42, 43 and raise the platform. The platform cannot be immobilized so as to prevent subsequent raising of the patient. Should the winches fail or power be lost, the platform can be manually lifted at its ends to remove the patient.

Patient comfort is achieved by making full use of the buoyancy of the body in water. Hold-down ties or straps on the platform are necessary with certain patients. For lower leg or foot burns, the patient can be seated upright, with only his legs immersed. Patients suffering other physical injuries can be treated (about the head, for instance) during immersion of a burned area. Fog or spray mists can be used to wet and cool body areas above the bath by mounting suitable adjustable nozzles about the top rail of the enclosure 10.

The apparatus illustrated can be fully enclosed when desired. Plane walls can be mounted to the top rail and corner posts, all elements of the apparatus being within these boundaries.

Various changes might be made in the precise structure illustrated without deviating from the basic concepts of the adjustable patient-support and efficient fluid bath enclosure. Therefore, only the following claims are set out as definitions of the invention disclosed in the above example.

Having thus described our invention, we claim:

1. A treatment tank for burn victims and similar applications, comprising:

an enclosure of substantially rectangular configuration at the top edges thereof; said enclosure presenting an upwardly open recess filled with liquid;

a transversely articulated patient-supporting platform comprising a plurality of longitudinal portions transversely hinged to one another and supported by the enclosure for movement in a vertical direction within and above the enclosure recess, said platform being movable between a raised position adjacent to the top edges of the enclosure and lowered positions beneath the level of fluid within the enclosure;

and means within the enclosure in the path of movement of the platform for arresting movement of a first portion of said platform while permitting continued motion and articulation of the remainder of the platform relative to said first portion.

2. A tank as set out in claim 1 wherein said platform comprises first and second portions pivotally joined about a first transverse axis:

and cooperative stop means on said first and second portions normally maintaining said first and second portions in coplanar alignment, but permitting the second portion to swing about said axis to an angular position extending from said axis ownwardl and outw rdl fro the lane of said first portiori when the iirst pon't izm is elevationally supported independently of said second portion.

3. A tank as set out in claim 2 further comprising:

first and second independently operable elevating means operatively connected between the enclosure and the respective ends of the platform for elevationally locating the ends of the platform with respect to the enclosure.

4. .A tank as set out in claim 2 wherein the bottom wall of the tank located beneath said second portion of the platform is recessed to an elevation below that of the bottom wall beneath said first portion of the platform, whereby the second portion is permitted continued movement after contact of the bottom wall by said first portion.

5. A tank as set out in claim 2 wherein said first portion of the platform is articulated intermediate its ends about a second axis parallel to said first transverse axis;

and adjustable latching means on said first portion for rigidly fixing the first portion about said second axis.

6. A tank as set out in claim 2 comprising:

first and second winches located outside said enclosure and operatively connected] through cables and pulleys on the enclosure to the respective ends of the platform;

and cooperative guide means mounted to the interior of the enclosure and the ends of the platform for maintaining lateral spacing of the platform within the enclosure.

7. A tank as set out in claim 1 wherein the platform is articulated about a first transverse axis intermediate its longitudinal ends;

independently-operable elevating means operatively connected between the enclosure and the respective longitudinal ends of said platform for elevationally positioning the platform relative to the enclosure; and stop means on said platform. for limiting movement about said axis so as to maintain the platform in an aligned configuration across said axis when supported only by said elevating means.

8. A tank as set out in claim 7 wherein the bottom wall of the enclosure slopes downwardly immediately beneath said axis to permit articulation of the platform while a portion thereof rests on the bottom wall.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1263611 *Nov 4, 1916Apr 23, 1918Jethro W ScrogginSurgical and bathing apparatus.
US2850743 *Mar 7, 1957Sep 9, 1958White Carroll CSitz bath
US3455299 *Nov 17, 1967Jul 15, 1969Dow CorningApparatus for treatment of living bodies by fluid immersion
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4375812 *Feb 26, 1981Mar 8, 1983Vaseen Vesper ABurn treatment by patient immersion in an inert, isotonic liquid, which has had ozone absorbed therein
US5152757 *May 22, 1991Oct 6, 1992Brigham And Women's HospitalSystem for diagnosis and treatment of wounds
US5441529 *Sep 6, 1994Aug 15, 1995Dorsch; ErwinTherapeutic bathing apparatus
US20070157376 *Mar 8, 2007Jul 12, 2007Ohad PazBathing system and corresponding method
US20140259392 *Mar 17, 2014Sep 18, 2014Chih-Cheng ChenPersonal assistance system
US20140310875 *Dec 22, 2012Oct 23, 2014Kazuyoshi IidaCaregiving bed
EP0363541A1 *Dec 29, 1988Apr 18, 1990Tuneo YamamotoAn automatic caring system for bed-ridden patients
EP0402387A1 *Feb 22, 1989Dec 19, 1990PATERSON, RichardConvertable bed and bathroom combination
EP0402387A4 *Feb 22, 1989Apr 17, 1991Kenneth PaunaConvertable bed and bathroom combination
EP0491679A2 *Dec 29, 1988Jun 24, 1992Tuneo YamamotoAn automatic care-taking system in use for bed-ridden patients
EP0491679A3 *Dec 29, 1988Feb 3, 1993Tuneo YamamotoAn automatic care-taking system in use for bed-ridden patients
EP0730854A2 *Mar 7, 1996Sep 11, 1996Sung Kee JoSystem for treating burn sufferers
EP0730854A3 *Mar 7, 1996Jan 8, 1997Sung Kee JoSystem for treating burn sufferers
WO2006123332A3 *May 16, 2006Nov 8, 2007Ohad PazBathing system and corresponding method
WO2007021171A1 *Jul 20, 2006Feb 22, 2007Sinmed B.V.Adjusting member for adjusting the angle of inclination of a supporting part
U.S. Classification607/85, 607/87, 601/158, 601/157, 4/573.1
International ClassificationA61H33/00, A61G7/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61G2200/34, A61G7/1015, A61G7/1003, A61G7/1057, A61H33/00, A61G2200/32, A61H2033/0004
European ClassificationA61H33/00, A61G7/10N2, A61G7/10A2, A61G7/10T8