US 3761968 A
An oxygen bottle carrier, particularly for ambulance stretchers, is adapted to be mounted on the framework of the stretcher beneath the head by adjustable brackets, the adjustability of the brackets facilitating use of the bottle carrier with different sized stretchers. The bottle is inserted and replaced through an open end of the cradle structure of the carrier, and a trigger controlled latch normally prevents removal of the bottle, while permitting protrusion of the bottle neck and associated gauges and regulators. The carrier, including a bottle carried therein, lies substantially within the boundaries of the stretcher in unused space beneath the head, thus being out of the way while still readily accessible.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
(Pct. 2, 1973 United States Patent n91 Besler l l OXYGEN BOTTLE CARRIER Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg Att0meyGene D. Watson PARTICULARLY FOR STRETCHERS  Inventor: Herbert C. Besler, R.F.D. Rt 1,
Cambridge, Nebr. 69022 July 17, 1972  Filed: An oxygen bottle carrier, particularly for ambulance [21 stretchers, is adapted to be mounted on the framework Appl. No.: 272,638
of the stretcher beneath the head by adjustable brackets, the adjustability of the brackets facilitating use of the bottle carrier with different sized stretchers. The bottle is inserted and replaced through an open end of the cradle structure of the carrier, and a trigger controlled latch normally prevents removal of the bottle,
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11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED OCT .2873
SHEET 10F PATENTED BET 21975 SHEET 2 [IF 2 OXYGEN BOTTLE CARRIER PARTICULARLY FOR STRETCIIERS FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a bottle carrier attachment for a conveyance, and particularly to an oxygen bottle carrier attachment for an ambulance stretcher.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is quite often necessary for oxygen to be administered to a patient while he is being conveyed in an ambulance stretcher, during the time that he is being carried on the stretcher to the ambulance, while the ambulance is travelling to the hospital or other emergency facility, and while the patient is being removed from the ambulance on the stretcher at the hospital or other emergency facility. To my knowledge, both in the past and at present, it generally is the practice to either place the oxygen bottle on the stretcher with the patient, or to have it carried by an extra attendant accompanying the stretcher bearers. Particularly during the time that the stretcher is being removed from a building to the ambulance, neither method is satisfactory. For instance, an extra attendant may not always be available. Even when available, an extra attendant makes for an unwieldy procedure, since residential doorways, hallways, stairways, etc., were not designed for the simultaneous passage ofa stretcher and a bottle-carrying attendant. It also is not very satisfactory to place the bottle on the stretcher with the patient. Despite all its advantages, an oxygen bottle with associated regulators, gauges, valves, etc., is not a desirable bedfellow for an emergency patient. Also, when the bottle is placed on the stretcher with the patient, the stretcher bearers are often required to do a juggling act to keep one or the other from falling off the stretcher. Even if the bottle remains on the stretcher, it may protrude therefrom such that it may be caught on doorjambs, passageway corners, etc. It has been previously proposed to provide special bottle carriers for such stretchers, one such example being disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,427,668, which discloses a bottle carrier mounted above the stretcher over the feet of the patient. However, to my knowledge such previously proposed arrangements have not been adopted to any substantial extent, if at all. For instance, a bottle carrier at the patients feet is rather removed from the scene of the action, and one which is mounted above the stretcher presents some hindrance to moving the patient on and off the stretcher, may obstruct the view of the stretcher bearers, and in general would seem to make the procedure and the apparatus somewhat unwieldy.
In general, it is the object of this invention to provide a bottle carrier attachment for a conveyance, particularly an oxygen bottle carrier attachment for an ambulance stretcher, which carrier attachment is characterized by its advantageous location, its ease of mounting, its adaptability for stretchers of different sizes as well as bottles of different sizes, and the ease with which a bottle may be removed or inserted. Thus, my carrier attachment is mounted on the stretcher in an out-ofthe-way location, but is still readily accessible, and the gauges are readily visible. It locates the oxygen bottle where it is needed, that is, close to the patient's head. It utilizes unused space substantially within the lateral bounds of the stretcher, which space would otherwise be wasted. It does not contribute to top-heaviness of the stretcher. It is easily mounted on the stretcher, and is adjustable for stretchers of differnet sizes. It is usable with most standard sizes for oxygen bottles, and facilitates quick removal and replacement of an exhausted oxygen bottle. Toward achieving such advantageous characteristics, I have provided a carrier attachment which mounts to the U-shaped framework of the stretcher beneath the head of the stretcher, in the unused space forward of the stretcher-wheels or casters, and beneath the area encompassed by the forward portion of the stretcher framework. The carrier is oriented transversely of the stretcher in this space such that the oxygen gauges of the bottle are located so as to be easily visible to the attendant at the forward end of the stretcher. My carrier attachment incorporates adjustable mounting brackets which, when mounted, preferably lie in the plane of the tubular framework of the stretcher, closely adjacent to but below the plane of the patient supporting surface. The carrier attachment includes a cradle-like structure for supporting bottles of current standard sizes, and the bottle is retained in the cradle by a bottle latch which permits only the neck portion of the bottle, with its associated gauges, etc., to protrude. The latch is readily released by a trigger-like mechanism located beneath the stretcher, but in the area of a side edge so as to be readily actuatable when replacing the bottle. In addition to its functional advantages, my carrier attachment also lends itself to economical manufacture, and is of simple but sturdy and reliable construction.
Other and further advantages and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the ensuing description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates what may be considered as a conventional and known ambulance stretcher construction with my improved bottle carrier mounted thereon.
FIG. 2 illustrates part of the forward tubular framework of a conventional stretcher with the improved carrier attachment mounted thereon.
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the carrier attachment shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the carrier attachment of FIG. 3, as it would be viewed longitudinally of the stretcher.
FIG. 5 is a side elevation view, taken from the right side of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 1, a conventional ambulance stretcher 1 comprises a basic tubular framework 3 which normally extends in a closed rectangular configuration. Mounted on the framework 3 is a patient supporting surface 5 which conventionally comprises a mattress or the like supported on a planar framework, which in turn is supported on the tubular framework 3. Side rails 2 and 4 are conventional. The planar surface on which the mattress 5 or the like is supported may comprise tubular lattice work supporting a table-like surface, and usually there is a space between this surface and the end members of the tubular framework 3,
as illustrated generally in FIG. 1. Also, this conventional construction normally incorporates an extensible and retractable wheel or caster structure supported by the tubular framework 3 beneath the stretcher, the wheels or casters being located normally somewhat inwardly from the ends of the stretcher, in both the extended or retracted positions, corresponding, respectively, to the raised or lowered positions of the stretcher. Illustrated generally at 6 is my oxygen bottle carrier attachment, with a standard oxygen bottle 7 mounted therein, and with conventional gauges, regulators, valving, connected to the neck of the bottle, as shown generally at 8. It will be noted from FIG. 1 that the carrier attachment is located beneath the head of the stretcher in a position forward of the front wheels or casters (not shown) of the stretcher. The attachment lies substantially within the lateral boundaries of the stretcher, and is so located that the gauges 8 also will lie substantially within these lateral boundaries, preferably closely adjacent the forward left hand corner so as to be easily visible by the forward stretcher bearer.
Referring now to FIG. 2, only the forward U-shaped tubular framework 3 of the stretcher is illustrated for purposes of clarity. The carrier attachment 6 comprises basically a cradle-like structure for holding the bottle 7, and a plurality of brackets for mounting this cradlelike structure to the tubular framework 3. As illustrated also in FIG. 3, the cradle structure is formed by spaced U-shaped metal members 9 and 10 which are connected by metal rods 12 to form a bottle holder. One of the rods 12 includes a section 12c which closes one end of the cradle, the other end being open. U-shaped members 9 and 10 are connected at their upper ends by metal members 11 and 17 welded to the legs of members 9 and 10 adjacent their upper ends. As illustrated best in FIGS. 3 and 1, two of the metal rods 12 are extended to form a support portion 12b for the gauges and valving 8 of the oxygen bottle. The gauge and valve assembly of the bottle will rest on this support portion 1212, so as to maintain the gauges in a readable orientation as shown in FIG. 1.
The cradle structure is fixed to the side legs of the U- shaped framework 3 by brackets 13 and 18, of which bracket 18 is welded to U-shaped member 10, and bracket 13 is adjustably coupled to U-shaped member 9 through a slot 14 and bolt and wing nut assembly 16. Bracket 13 includes a deformed end portion 15 having a slot 15a formed therein to mate with and slide along guide rod 12a. Brackets 13 and 18 are formed at their outer ends 13a and 801 With concavities corresponding to the curvature of tubular framework 3. By loosening wing nut 16, bracket 13 can be adjusted inwardly, concavity 18a of bracket 18 then placed against tubular framework 3 as shown in FIG. 2, and bracket 13 then moved outwardly until its concavity 13a bears against tubular framework 3, and wing nut 16 then tightened, such that the assembly in essence is wedged between the two legs of the tubular framework 3 to provide a measure of support. The assembly is further supported within the framework by adjustable brackets 19 and 22, which are formed with U-shaped portions 21 and 24 at their outer ends. Brackets l9 and 22 extend through slots 90 and 10a, respectively, of members 9 and 10, and are adjustably coupled to the assembly by bolt and wing nut assemblies and 23 which pass through adjustment slots 11a and 17a in cross members 11 and 17, respectively. Thus, bracket members 19 and 22 are adjustable transversely relative to the longitudinal axis of the assembly, and encompass the bottom leg of the U- shaped framework 3 by their end portions 21 and 24. Although not necessary, bolt holes 40 can be formed in the upper and lower legs of the U-shaped outer portions 21 and 24 of brackets 19 and 22 so that bolts can be passed therethrough to positively lock brackets 19 and 22 to the tubular framework.
A bottle latch member 25 is pivotally coupled to U- shaped member 10 by bolts 28 and 29, and includes a concave formation 26 for bearing against the reduced end portion adjacent the neck of an oxygen bottle so as to releasably lock the bottle in the cradle structure. A tension spring 27 extends between cross member 17 and an extended leg of latch member 25 so as to pivotally bias the latch member into its locking or latching position. A latch trigger 30 is pivotally coupled to bracket 18 by bolts 31, and is coupled at its inner end to the extended leg of latch member 25, such that when trigger 30 is pulled upwardly by its protruding handle portion, the inner portion will move the extended leg of latch member 25 downwardly, thus moving latch member 25 and its concave portion 26 upwardly to unlatch the bottle, and permit removal thereof. Since latch member 25 and trigger 30 pivot about different centers, the opening in trigger 30 through which bolt 32 passes is made oblong so as to permit the necessary movement of bolt 32 within the oblong opening of trigger 30 during pivotal movement thereof. If desired, suitable abutments or stops can be provided on member 10 to define the limits of pivotal movement of latch member 25, and spacers or the like can be placed on bolt 32 between trigger 30 and latch member 25.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that the carrier attachment can be mounted to the framework of a stretcher merely by adjusting three brackets, and tightening three bolts, or five bolts if bolts are provided through bolt holes 40 of brackets 19 and 22. These brackets mount the attachment very rigidly on the tubular framework, and since none of the assembly extends substantially above the plane of the tubular framework, the assembly may extend for a substantial distance under the patient supporting surface if desired. Normally the attachment will be positioned closely adjacent the head end of the stretcher so as to facilitate ready visibility of the gauges of the oxygen bottle.
It will be understood that the preferred embodiment which has been illustrated and described herein is susceptible of various modifications without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, the preferred embodiment is to be considered as exemplary of the invention, and not limiting.
Having thus described and illustrated a preferred embodiment of my invention in the manner required by the statutes,
1. A bottle carrier attachment for a conveyance having a generally U-shaped structural portion, said attachment comprising a cradle structure having a closed end and an open end such that a bottle can be inserted and removed through said open end, bracket means coupled to said cradle structure for connecting said cradle structure to said U-shaped structural portion such that the cradle structure spans said U-shaped portion but lies outside and closely adjacent the plane thereof, bottle latch means adjacent said open end of the cradle for normally preventing withdrawal of a bottle therein, and selectively actuatable means for mov ing said latch to a bottle releasing position to permit complete removal of a bottle from the cradle through said open end, wherein said bracket means includes two first bracket members aligned with each other at opposite ends of said cradle and two second bracket members extending traversely from said cradle and transversely relative to said first bracket members, said second bracket members including outer end portions adapted to substantially encompass and couple with the bottom leg of said U-shaped portion, and said first bracket members having their outer ends notched inwardly to partially receive the side legs of said U- shaped portion such that the two first bracket members can be wedged between said side legs to provide support for said cradle while support is also provided by said two second brackets coupled with said bottom leg.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said bracket means are adapted to span said U-shaped portion and lie substantially in the plane thereof.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said bracket means are adjustable relative to said cradle so as to span areas of different dimensions.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one of said first bracket members is adjustably coupled to said cradle structure for longitudinal adjustment relative thereto and relative to the other first bracket member.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said two second bracket members are adjustably coupled to said cradle structure for adjustment transversely relative thereto.
6. A bottle carrier attachment for a conveyance having a generally U-shaped structural portion, said attachment comprising a cradle structure having a closed end and an open end such that a bottle can be inserted and removed through said open end, bracket means coupled to said cradle structure for connecting said cradle structure to said U-shaped structural portion such that the cradle structure spans said U-shaped portion but lies outside and closely adjacent the plane thereof, bottle latch means adjacent said open end of the cradle for normally preventing withdrawal of a bottle therein, and selectively actuatable means for moving said latch to a bottle releasing position to permit complete removal of a bottle from the cradle through said open end, said bottle latch means comprising a movable latch member coupled to said cradle structure adjacent said open end and movable between a first position in which it restricts the open end to prevent removal of a bottle and a second position in which it clears said open end to permit ready removal or insertion of a bottle therethrough.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein said latch member is pivotally coupled to said cradle structure and includes spring means biasing the latch member to said first position.
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein said selectively actuatable means comprises a trigger member pivotally coupled to said cradle structure and coupled also to said latch member such that actuation of the trigger member moves said latch member to said second position.
9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein said trigger member is located adjacent said open end of the cradle structure and includes a graspable trigger por tion protruding longitudinally therefrom for ready accessibility.
10. In combination, an ambulance stretcher for use in conveying injured patients, and an oxygen bottle carrier coupled thereto; said stretcher comprising a tubular frame of generally U-shaped configuration at one end for carrying a patient supporting surface, the plane of the U-shaped configuration being substantially horizontal; said bottle carrier comprising a cradle structure having an open end and a closed end, bracket means coupled to said cradle structure and to said U-shaped framework and spanning the area defined by said U- shaped framework at said one end for supporting said cradle structure below but closely adjacent the plane of said U-shaped framework, said bracket means lying substantially in the plane of said U-shaped framework but below the plane of said patient supporting surface, and selectively actuatable bottle latch means adjacent said open end for normally preventing withdrawal of a bottle therefrom and movable to a bottle releasing position to permit complete removal of a bottle from the cradle through said open end, said bottle latch means comprising a movable latch member coupled to said cradle structure adjacent said open end and movable between a first position in which it restricts the open end to prevent removal of a bottle and a second position in which it clears said open end to permit ready removal or insertion of a bottle therethrough.
11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein said movable latch member of said bottle latch means permits the bottle neck to protrude from said open end.