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Publication numberUS3757366 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1973
Filing dateAug 18, 1971
Priority dateAug 18, 1971
Publication numberUS 3757366 A, US 3757366A, US-A-3757366, US3757366 A, US3757366A
InventorsW Sacher
Original AssigneeW Sacher
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cushion for preventing and alleviating bedsores
US 3757366 A
Abstract
Cushions and cushion arrangements for preventing and alleviating bedsores comprising a cushion structure including a casing having a porous upper portion of artificial sheepskin or similar material, a resilient cushion within the casing, means for supplying temperature-controlled air to the casing, and means within the casing for directing the air so as to cause it to pass through the porous upper portion of the casing, over substantially the entire area thereof, into contact with the body of the user.
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United States Patent 1 Sacher 1 1 Sept. 11, 1973 1 CUSHION FOR PREVENTING AND ALLEVIATING BEDSORES [76] inventor: William S. Sacher, 1022 Rambler Ave., Pottstown, Pa. 19464 [22] Filed: Aug. 18, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 172,819

' A 297/453 [51'] Int. Cl .l A47c 27/08, A47c 7/14 [58] Field of Search 5/347, 362, 91, 60, 5/337, 345; 297/180, 453, 284

[56] References Cited UN1TED STATES PATENTS 3,486,177; 12/1969 Marshack 297/453 3,012,256 12/1961 Zerbee 5/347 2,550,293 4/1951 Platis 5/91 2,649,595 8/1953 Lewin 5/91 2,788,419 3/1957 Walker 5/91 Glintz 5/347 3,353,382 12/1967 2,931,286 4/1960 Fry Sr., et a1 297/180 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 339,347 8/1959 France 5/347 Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunbcrg Attorney-Thomas M. Ferrill Jr. and Allen V. Hazel- 57 ABSTRACT Cushions and cushion arrangements for preventing and alleviating bedsores comprising a cushion structure including a casing having a porous upper portion of artificial sheepskin or similar material, a resilient cushion within the casing, means for supplying temperaturecontrolled air to the casing, and means within the casing for directing the air so as to cause it to pass through the porous upper portion of the casing, over substantially the entire area thereof, into contact with the body of the user.

12 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PAIENTED 1 I973 SHEET 1 BF 2 WI lLI AM 8 SACHEIZ INVENTOR ATTORNEY PATENTED I 3.757. 366

SHEET 2 BF 2 CUSHION FOR PREVENTING AND ALLEVIATING BEDSORES This invention relates to improved means for preventing and/or alleviating bedsores (decubitus ulcers) experienced by persons confined to beds for extended periods of time. In the past it has been found necessary, in order to prevent the development of bedsores by bedridden persons, to change their positions at frequent intervals, sometimes as often as'every two hours around the clock. Where a patient is confined to bed in a busy hospital or at home, and is unable himself to change his position, this places a great burden on hospital nursing personnel or others attending the bedridden person.

Accordingly it is an object of the invention to provide an improved form of cushion and cushion arrangements which tend to minimize the likelihood of occurrence of bedsores, and which tend to facilitate their healing if they do occur, without the need for continually changing the position of the person who is bedridden.

More particularly it is an object of the invention to provide improved cushions or cushion arrangements for supporting the body of a bedridden person in the vicinity of a region of the body at which bedsores are most likely to fonn or have formed, while not directly contacting'the' region itself.

Another object of the invention is to provide such cushions or cushion arrangements in which a continuous flow of air of controlled temperature is caused to pass through substantially the entire upper portion of the cushions into contact with the body in a manner to inhibit perspiration which tends to encourage the'formation and prevent the healing of bedsores.

A further object of the invention is to provide various forms of cushions which can be adjustably positioned in a manner to support any desired portion of the body in a manner to inhibit the formation of or alleviate bedsores.

In accordance with the invention there is provided a novel form ofcushion structure for resiliently supporting a region ofthe body and having an upper portion made, for example, of artificial sheepskin or other similar porous material through which air is caused to flow into direct contact with the portion of the body sup ported. I

The invention will be more fully understood from a consideration of the following description with reference to the drawings in which: FIG. 1 is a perspective drawing showing the general arrangement of a pair of cushions in accordance with the invention and adapted to support the body at either side thereof from the buttocks to the shoulders while leaving the central spinal portion, and particularly the portion of the lower spine in the region of the buttocks, unsupported;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, taken along the line 2 2 in FIG. 1 illustrating the structure ofv the cushions.

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in the embodiment of FIG. 4; I

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing another alternative form of the invention for supporting the body in the region of the buttocks or shoulders;

FIG. 6A is a further illustration of the arrangement of the cushions in the embodiment of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 7 is a diagram showing a further alternative arrangement in accordance with the invention,

Referring to FIG. I, there is shown a perspective view of a pair of elongated cushions l and] of a special construction which will be explained hereinafter. These cushions are spaced from each other and may be restrained from spreading further apart, for example by a pair of thin metal or plastic straps provided with adjusting devices 3 and 4. Each cushion is supplied through tubes 5, 6 and 7 with air from a blower 8, the temperature of the air supplied to the cushion being suitably controlled if desired by a heater in the blower. The blower, for example, may be a conventional commercially available hair dryer of the sort adapted for home use, which customarily includes a controllable heater.

As shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 2, each of the cushions l and 2 in FIG. 1 comprises a casing consisting of an upper portion 10, which preferably is made of artificial sheepskin which is porous in structure such as to permit the passage of air through it. The lower portion 11 may be formed of sheet plastic material, such as oilcloth, and preferably is non-porous. The edges of the upper and lower portions of the casing may be fastened together in any suitable manner, as by cementing, sewing or taping with pressure-sensitive tape. However, I prefer to use a separable fastener of the type sold commercially under the tradename Velcro which permits the upper and lower portions of thc casing to be removed for cleaning. The casing encloses a foam rubber pad 14 which may be tapered longitudinally so as to provide a relatively thick portion at the lower extremity of the user's body, and a relatively thinner portion at the upper extremity in the vicinity of the upper back and shoulders. Between the upper surface of the pad 14 and the artificial sheepskin portion 10 of the casing is inserted a sheet 15 of corrugated plastic material, such as the plastic runner material used as a non-slip floor covering. The grooves in the corrugated sheet provide air passages whose function will now be explained. As explained above with reference to FIG. 1, the blower 8 supplies air through tubes 5, 6 and 7 to the ends of each of the cushion casings, and the air thus supplied is channeled through the grooves in the corrugated material 15 from which it escapes through the porous artificial sheepskin portion 10 of the casing over substantially the entire area thereof. Because of the flocked surface of the artificial sheepskin, the air thus escaping from the casing maintains a continuous supply of air to the body of the bedridden person, thereby tending to reduce the tendency to perspire, which is a considerable factor in the formation of bedsores.

FIG. 3 shows the manner of utilizing the cushion arrangement of FIG. 1 to support a patient 16 to alleviate or prevent the formation of bedsores in the vicinity of the lower spine. The cushions l and 2 are placed beneath either side of the patient and spaced apart from each other so as to support the patient but to leave the region of the spinal column unsupported. As illustrated, the individual cushions 1 and 2 may be tapered gradually from the region of the buttocks to the region of the shoulders so as to support the patient in comfort without directly contacting the lower spinal region at which bedsores are most likely to occur.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, there is shown the general arrangement and detailed structure of an alternate embodiment of the invention in which there are provided, internally of the casing, adjustable foam rubber pads which may be moved as desired to provide selective support for particular portions of the body. The casing, shown generally at 20 in FIG. 4, may be of sufficient width and length to underlie the entire body of the patient or a substantial portion thereof. The structure of the cushion, as shown in FIG. 5, may be similar to that shown in FIG. 2 comprising an upper portion of artificial sheepskin and a lower portion 11 of nonporous plastic material fastened together at their edges 12 and 13 by suitable fasteners, preferably separable, to permit the casing to be opened for adjustment of movable foam rubber pads which will be referred to presently. Within the casing is an over-all pad of foam rubber l4 and a sheet of corrugated plastic material 15 as in the arrangement of FIG. 2. Between the grooved surface of the plastic sheet 15 and the upper casing portion 10 are positioned a plurality of smaller foam rubber pads 21, 22 and 23 which may be moved within the casing to any desired location. This may be done by unfastening the separable fasteners at the edges 12 and 13 of the upper and lower casing portions 10 and 11. In this arrangement air is supplied to the inside of the casing through suitable connections 24 and 25 which may extend into the casing and be provided with holes at intervals along their length to distribute the air throughout the entire interior of the cushion. As will be apparent any desired number of movable pads such as 21, 22 and 23 may be provided within the cushion and may be positioned adjacent selected portions of the body such as the lower spine, the shoulder blades, or any other region at which bedsores may be expected to occur.

FIGS. 6 and 6A illustrate yet another alternative embodiment in accordance with the invention comprising a pair of relatively small tapered cushions constructed in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 2 and adapted to be placed transversely under the body of the patient 16 so as to support a selected region of the body. As shown in FIG. 6 the cushions 30 and 31 are positioned under the region of the buttocks and spaced apart longitudinally of the patients body. They also could be positioned under the shoulders if desired and may be made of any desired thickness to comfortably support the patients body in the selected region.

FIG. 7 shows yet another alternative embodiment of the invention in the form of an annular cushion whose structure, as shown by the cut away sectioned showing, may be similar to that previously discussed with reference to FIG. 2, corresponding portions being designated by the same reference numbers. As shown at 32, a gap may be left in the grooved plastic sheet 15 to provide access to the grooves of air from tube 5.

While the invention has been described with reference to certain specific embodiments, it will be apparent that other configurations may be provided such as will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Also it will be apparent that numerous modifications may be made in the structure of the cushions in accordance with the invention without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, while the upper portion of the casings of the cushions have been described as porous and the lower portions as non-porous, this is not an essential requirement. It is of course desirable that the upper portion be porous so as to permit air to flow into contact with the body of the bedridden patient, and it is desirable that the lower portion of the casing be non-porous since otherwise it would permit the escape of air at the lower part of the cushion where it would not contribute particularly to alleviating perspiration by the patient. If desired, however, the lower portion also could be made porous.

Having described my invention, I claim:

1. A body cushion for use in the prevention and alleviation of bedsores, comprising:

a. a casing comprising upper and lower portions forming an enclosure, at least said upper portion being formed of a porous material,

b. a resilient pad substantially filling said casing,

c. a relatively thin sheet non-porous of material having at least one surface with substantially parallel spaced grooves formed therein, said sheet overlying said pad with said grooved surface facing said porous portion of said casing and being substantially coextensive therewith, and

d. means for supplying air to said casing under pressure to cause said air to pass through the grooves in said sheet and emerge from said casing over substantially the entire area of the porous portion of said casing.

2. A body cushion according to claim 1 in which said upper casing portion is made of artificial sheepskin.

3. A body cushion according to claim 1 of a size and form to be placed under the body of the user extending from the region of the buttocks to the region of the shoulders, in which said resilient pad is tapered in thickness longitudinally to provide a relatively thick portion in the region of the buttocks and a relatively thin portion in the region of the shoulders of the user.

4. An arrangement of body cushions comprising a pair of elongated cushions according to claim 1 adapted to be placed under either side of the body of a user extending from the region of the buttocks to the region of the shoulders and leaving the central spinal portion of the body of the user unsupported.

5. An arrangement according to claim 4 including spacing means interconnecting the pair of cushions to maintain a desired separation between them.

6. A body cushion according to claim 1 including means for controlling the temperature of air supplied to said casing.

7. An arrangement of body cushions comprising a plurality of cushions according to claim 1 adapted to be placed in spaced adjacency to a region of the body of the user susceptible to formation of bedsores so as to support the body in that region without directly contacting the susceptible region.

8. An arrangement according to claim 7 in which said cushions are tapered to provide maximum thickness in the portions thereof adapted to engage the body in the immediate vicinity of the body region susceptible to formation of bedsores.

9. A body cushion for use in the prevention and alle viation of bedsores, comprising:

a. a casing comprising upper and lower portions forming an enclosure, at least said upper portion being formed of a porous material, the edges of said portions being provided with relatively airtight but readily separable seals to permit convenient access to the interior of said casing,

b. a resilient pad within said casing and substantially coextensive with the lower portion thereof,

c. a relatively thin sheet of material overlying said resilient pad, substantially coextensive therewith and having substantially parallel spaced grooves formed in its upper surface,

d. a plurality of smaller movable resilient pads interposed between said grooved surface of said sheet and the upper portion of said casing so as to be adjustable in position to provide additional support for particular body regions, and

e. means for supplying air to said casing under pressure to cause said air to pass through the grooves in said sheet and emerge from said casing over substantially the entire area of the porous portion of said casing.

10. A body cushion according to claim 9 in which the edges of the upper and lower portions of said casing are provided with separable fasteners permitting access to the inside of said casing for adjustment of said movable resilient pads.

11. A body cushion according to claim 8 in which said air supplying means comprises means for supplying air to said cushion at opposite ends thereof.

12. A body cushion according to claim 1 having the form of an annulus.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/423, 5/922, 5/923, 5/652.2, 5/949, 297/180.13, 607/107, 5/630, 601/16, 601/158
International ClassificationA61G7/057, A47C21/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S5/949, A61G2007/05784, A61G7/057, A47C21/044, Y10S5/923, Y10S5/922
European ClassificationA61G7/057, A47C21/04B2