US 3776217 A
A dust-free box for babies or similar purposes comprising a blower assembly and air filters for producing a substantially horizontal, non-turbulent and dust-free air flow in the interior space of the box proper, which flow is directed through a front opening. When the front wall is in a closed position, a relatively small slot remains open to provide this opening. When the front wall is in an open position, the inner surfaces thereof are kept out of contact with the outside air. Auxiliary means inside the box do not disturb the dust-free condition therein and/or are maintained dust-free during use and when not in use.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 van Galen et al. Dec. 4, 1973  NURSING BOX FOR BABIES OR SIMILAR 3,301,167 l/l967 Howard et al. 98/36 X PURPOSES 3,380,369 4/1968 Allander 98/36  Inventors: Piet van Galen; Johannes G. Th. van FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Nes, Jr., bo h of HeerhugOwaard. 1,152,604 5/1969 Great Britain 128 1 R Netherlands  Assignee: Pielkenrood-Uinitex N.V., Primary w. PP
Assendelft, Netherlands AlwmeyBayard Michael 22 F] d: Dec. 4 1970 1 57 ABSTRACT  Appl A dust-free box for babies or similar purposes comprising a blower assembly and air filters for producing  Foreign Application Priority Data a substantially horizontal, non-turbulent and dust-free Dec. 18, 1969 Netherlands 6918989 air flow in the interior Space of the box P p which flow is directed through a front opening. When the 52 US. Cl. 128/1 B from Wall is in a closed position, a relatively small slot 51 1111. C1 A61b 19/00 remains p to provide this p When Khe'front 58 Field of Search 128/1, 1 B, 191 A; wall is in an p Position, the inner surfaces thereof 9 3 are kept out of contact with the outside air. Auxiliary means inside the box do not disturb the dust-free con- 56 References Cited dition therein and/or are maintained dust-free during UNITED STATES PATENTS use and when m 2,417,962 3/1947 Armstrong 128/1 B 12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures NURSINGJBOX IFOR BABIES OR SIMILAR PURPOSES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION lntcopending.application Ser. No. 70,454, filed on Sept. 8, 1970,-an assembly for separating a substanrtiallyrdust-free part from a space is described. This assembly is intended for nursing patients which have had a ve ryspecial or radical surgical treatment, or suffer *from heavy burns or other skin affections, when it is necessary to keeptheambient air as dust-free aspossi- .bleJSincedust is acarrier of microorganisms, its absence is a condition for the absence of germs, which is required. in the cases mentioned above.
Theassemblydescribed in the above-identified .co-
pending application comprises a tent made of plastic sheets supported on a framework, and surrounding the ,patients bed at least at four sidestogether with the floorspace,if necessary. One end surface of this tent is formed by the output side of dust filters and theop- .positeend surface is formed by a door hinged at its .upper edge. A horizontal and uniform non-turbulent air flow, produced by blowers and purified by thefilters,
.theblowers willbe reduced, sothat the air flow near the bed and the noise level caused thereby will be reduced while the flow rateat the lower side of the door remains substantially unchanged and will be always sufficient'to safeguard the dust-free condition.
Prematurely born children or diseased babies are generally nursed in isolation boxes (incubators), in
which'the temperature is kept at a constantvalue and theisolation with respect to:the surroundings is maintained asmuch as possible. One or more of thewalls is generally provided with gloves or self-closing transfer openings, sothatthe baby may be nursed without openingthe boxuln some cases, especially when nursing seriously ill babies, such'boxes are insufficiently free of germs. On the other hand, dust-free tents according to the aboye copending patent application are too bulky and expensive for thispurpose.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a nursing box forbabies or very small-children, which hasthe advantages of the known isolation boxes, and'may, moreover, be kept dust-free.
Thenursing box according to the invention is provided with a bottom plate at working height, partially transparent upright walls joining the bottom plate, and
at least partially transparent upper plate, and a back wallwith air supply openings and dust filtersbehind it.
The airsupply openingslare connected to an air supply assembly having one or more blowers. The front wall ishinged and, when in the closed position, leaves an open air slot. This box is thus arranged so that a substantially horizontal and non-turbulent air flow, extendiingoverthefull height and width, may be maintained,
which flow emerges from the box through the air slot.
ln'order to avoidturbulences occurring in this slot as muchas possible, .theuedge of the'front wall delimiting this slot is preferably gradually rounded towards the outside.
The blowers may be controlled by means of limit switches operatedby the hinged front wall in such a manner that the flow rate of the air flowing through the slot, when thefront wall is in the closed position, is substantially equal to the flow rate of air flowing through the opening provided when the front wall is in the open position.
As is typical in conventional isolation boxes, gloves may be provided, preferably in the front wall, which, when not in use, are either blown outwards by the air, or hangdown in the air flow in such a manner that contact of the outer surface with dust originating from the outside is always avoided. Thus, it will not be necessary to clean these gloves repeatedly.
The front wall is preferably mounted on hinges at its upper side so that dust from the surroundings is prevented from falling onto the inner surfaces thereof when it is opened. More specifically, the front wall comprises two halves interconnected by a hinge. The
hinge between bothhalves is oppositely directed to the upper hinge and the lower edge of the lower half is guided substantially vertically in the side walls of the box, so that, when opening the front wall, the connecting hinge will be pushed either inwards or outwards de pending on its direction. ln the former casethe inner surface of the upper half is moved into the interior of the box and the inner surface of the lower half always remains in contactwith the outward air flow, so that it will remain dust-free. lntheother casethe inner surface of the uppervhalf moves outwards, but is covered thenby the lower half, and, at the lateral sides, the side-,
walls extend outwardly so that the space between these halves remains laterally closed and the dust-free condition is guaranteed.
ln order to avoid turbulencesnear the folded front wall, it is advisable to connect a guiding plate by hinge means to one frontwall half and to connect it slidably to the upper wall or the other front wall half so that, when these halves are folded either inwards or outwards, as the case may be, the space between the upper wall or between both wall halves respectively is smoothly closed.
It maybe advisableto provide, atleast near the lateral edges of the front wall halves, air exit openings through which air flows to prevent the deposition of dust on the adjacent parts of the side walls.
The hinges mentioned above are preferably closed plastic hinges providing adust-tight closure. The blowers for bringing about the air flow in the box are preferably mounted below the working surface. The air intake opening for the blowers is preferably located below'this working surface. An oblique guiding plate is provided, which is arranged so that the air flowing into the airintake enters at thegreatest possible distance from the floor and as close as possible to theair outflow opening. In this manner, entry of dust whirling up from the floor issubstantially avoided and a part of the dust-free air leaving the box is recirculated through the blowers.
The nursing box according to the invention is prefer- .ably provided with a loose auxiliary bottom for supporting the baby to be nursed. This auxiliary bottom is carried by telescopically extensible supports which are led through the bottom wall in a dust-free manner and are connected with a weighing apparatus positioned below the box, so that the weight of the baby may be continuously determined without the need of opening the box or moving the baby.
Upright walls forming a bed may be provided around this auxiliary bottom. At least the front one of these walls, which is directed towards the front of the box, consists of two halves which are interconnected by hinges. The lower half is also hinged to the bottom of the box or a lower edge of the wall assembly so that these halves may be folded together with their inner edges contacting each other and the outer surface of the lower half lying against the bottom wall. Thus, when this wall is folded down for nursing the baby, dust contact with the inner surfaces is avoided, especially when the front wall of the box is open.
The upper wall, front wall and the side walls are preferably made from a transparent rigid plastic, so that a light source for illuminating the interior of the box may be mounted outside this box and the lamps thereof may be changed without opening the box. Particularly the upper wall of the box is also transparent to X-rays and the distance between this wall and babys lying place is not larger than the focal distance of a usual X-ray tube.
The side wall of the box openings may be provided with closing means for introducing ducts for air, blood or food supply and for connecting measuring instruments. These openings may be provided in one or more rotatable or reversible plates, so that the point of introduction may be varied.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 a simplified isometric view of a nursing box according to the invention with the front wall in the closed position;
FIG. 2 a side cross-sectional view of the box of FIG. 1 shown with the front wall in opened position; and
FIG. 3 a fragmentary isometric view of a plate for introducing ducts into the box.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The box shown in the drawing comprises a bottom wall 1 which is supported on the floor by means of two or more legs 2 having adjustable feet 3. A housing 4 for blowers 5, provided below bottom wall 1, is situated sufficiently behind the frontside of the box to provide space for the legs of a person sitting in the front of the box. The bottom wall 1 is situated at a convenient working height for sitting as well as standing persons. An air supply space 6 is provided on top of the blower housing 4 into which air is blown by the blowers. The front side of housing 4 is bordered by a plurality of dust filters 7, which are supported at the front side by an air grid 8. A unifonn horizontal flow of purified air passes through this grid.
The nursing box proper is delimited by the bottom wall 1, the air grid 8, and side walls 9, which are preferably transparent, a transparent upper wall 10, and a front wall 11, which is partially foldable. A lamp housing 12, provided on top of the rear part of the upper wall 10, is separated from the interior of the nursing box and the lamps are accessible from the outside. The foldable part of the front wall consists of an upper half 14 and a lower half 15. The upper half 14 is connected to the fixed part of the front wall by means of a hinge 16 and the lower half 15 is connected to the upper half by means of a hinge 17. The lower half 15 is provided with a gradually rounded lower edge 18. Furthermore, the lower half is laterally guided near its edge 18, in guides 19 of the side walls. As clearly appears from FIG. 2, the lower half 15 will be moved substantially parallel to itself, when opening the front wall, with the hinge 17 being pushed upwards. The inner surfaces of both halves l4 and 15 will then be turned towards one another and will not contact the ambient air, especially since the side walls 9 laterally close the space between these halves. In order to avoid turbulences in this space, a guiding plate 20 is provided, which is connected at 21 to the fixed wall part 11 with its other end being slidable in a guide 22 located on the lower half 15. When this wall is in the closed position, the guide plate 20 lies smoothly against the upper half 14.
It is also possible to use oppositely directed hinges 16 and 17, so that, when opening the front wall, the hinge 17 is pushed inwards. In that case the inner surface of the upper half 14 remains inside the box and the inner surface of the lower half 15 is situated in the emerging air flow end is, therefore, protected against dust. In this case a guide plate 20 may be used closing the space between the upper half 14 and the upper wall 10 in order to prevent turbulences in the air flow.
When the front wall is in the closed position, an air slot 23 remains free at the lower side, through which the air supplied by the blowers 5 and emerging from the grid 8 may flow. As a consequence of the gradual contour of the upper and front walls, a substantially nonturbulent flow is maintained inside the box. The flow of air supplied by the blowers is at a level where no objectionable noise is generated inside the box, rapid soiling of the filters is avoided, and the air flow rate through the slot 23, which is considerably higher than in the box, is sufficient for preventing dust from entering. As soon as the front wall is opened, however, the blowers will be switched by the contacts of switching means 39 in such a manner, that the air supply is increased so that the flow rate through the larger opening remains substantially unchanged, and dust is efiiciently prevented from entering the box, even though the front wall is in an opened position.
Preferably, apertures 24 are provided in the fixed and/or movable parts of the front wall at least near the side walls 9. These apertures deflect a part of the air flow from the box along the side walls 9, in order to keep those parts, along which the movable front wall parts are moving, sufficiently dust-free. Such apertures may also be provided along the whole width near the upper hinge 16, and continuous slots may also be used. In order to restrict the opening of the box as much as possible when nursing a baby, apertures 25 are provided in at least the front wall and gloves or self-closing means are fixed therein as in conventional isolation boxes. When not in use, such gloves will either be blown outwards by the internal pressure, or hang down in the air flow along the front wall, so that their surfaces which may contact the baby will be efficiently kept dust-free.
In FIG. 2 an auxiliary bottom 26 is shown in the box, on which a mattress or the like may be laid. This bottom rests on supports 27, which are movable longitudinally with respect to the bottom wall 1 and are provided with dust-proof seals 28. A weighing apparatus 40 is positioned below the bottom wall 1 and is connected to the support, thus enabling a regular and even continuous determination or registration of the babys weight without the need of opening the box or moving the baby.
Interrupted lines in FIG. 2 show an upstanding wall assembly 29 forming a-bed frame for the auxiliary bottom 26. The front wall 30 of this assembly consists of two parts interconnected by hinges, the lower half being connected at its lower side by hinges to the rest ofthe frame. This front wall may be folded down flatly varied at will.
FIG. 3 shows a plate 35 covering a large opening 36 in a side wall 9 for that purpose. This plate may be fixed by means of screws inserted through holes 37 in the plate and holes 38 in the wall 9. Apertures 31 are provided in this plate, which are situated at the upper or lower side, depending on the position of the plate.
The upper wall 10 of the box is preferably transparent to X-rays, and its distance from the babys lying place is not larger than the focal distance of a current X-ray tube, so that this tube need not be placed inside the box when an X-ray photo is to be made. The film holder may be placed below the auxiliary bottom 26 without opening the front wall, since the air slot 23 provides sufficient space for that purpose.
It is advisable to keep the air entering blowers 5 as dust-free as possible in order to prevent the filters 7 from being soiled too quickly. In the embodiment shown, an upwardly directed guiding wall 33 is positioned in front of the intake opening 32 of the blower space and is laterally closed by side walls 34. The air is sucked in along the lower side of the bottom wall 1, thus avoiding, on the one hand, dust whirling up from the floor from being sucked inwards in a substantial degree and, on the other hand, a part of the air sucked in is the air blown out from the box as indicated by arrows. Furthermore, a rapid soiling of the filters is prevented by adapting the pumping power to the degree of opening of the front wall, so that the air flow supplied is no more than is necessary for maintaining the correct flow rate in the opening.
In this manner a nursing box is provided which is constructed so that a dust-free surrounding may be maintained in all nursing and examination circumstances. It will be clear that within the scope of the invention the embodiment described may be varied in many ways.
1. A dust-free baby nursing boxcomprising in combination:
a nursing chamber defined by a bottom wall, a pair of opposed upstanding walls adjoining said bottom wall, a top wall extending between said side walls, a front wall adjoining said top wall and an upstanding back wall adjoining said bottom, side and top walls and having air flow passages which substantially extend across the height and width of said chamber with at least a portion of said top and bottom walls being transparent, the upper edge of said front wall being hinged to said top wall and the lower edge of said front wall being vertically spaced above said bottom wall to define an access opening therebetween when said front wall is in a closed position;
an air supply chamber positioned adjacent said back wall communicating with substantially the entire surface of said back wall;
dust filtering means interposed said back wall and said air supply chamber; and
blower means connected to said air supply chamber providing pressurized air thereto so that filtered air flows in a substantially non-turbulent manner, substantially throughout the height and width of said nursing chamber, from said back wall towards said access opening, the flow rate of said filtered air being sufficient to prevent outside air from entering said nursing chamber through said access opening.
2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said front wall comprises an upper section connected at its upper edge to said top wall by a first hinge means, and
a lower section connected at its upper edge to the lower edge of said upper section by a second hinge means; and further comprises vertical guide means located on the inside of said side walls, the, opposite edges of said lower section being slidably mounted in respective of said guide means and said first and second hinge means being oppositely directed so that, vertical movement of said lower section with respect to said side walls, causes the upper and lower sections to fold towards each other.
3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said first and second hinge means are arranged so that said vertical movement of the lower section causes the inner surfaces of said upper and lower sections to fold towards each other.
4. The combination according to claim 3 including an air flow guiding plate which is hinged at its upper edge to said upper section near said first hinge means and is slidably mounted at its lower edge to said lower section.
5. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said first and second hinge means are arranged so that said vertical movement of the lower section causes the outer surfaces of said upper and lower sections to fold towards each other.
6. The combination according to claim 5 including an air flow guiding plate which is hinged at its lower edge to said upper section near said second hinge means and is slidably mounted to said top wall.
7. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said front wall includes at least one aperture, located at the opposite outer edges thereof near respective of said side walls, through which a portion of said filtered air flowing along the inside surface of said side walls is discharged from said nursing chamber.
8. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said first and second hinge means are substantially air tight.
9. The combination according to claim 2 including a support structure resting on a floor on which said nursing chamber is mounted, said bottom wall being vertically spaced from said floor; and
- an air intake means having an intake opening which is positioned below said bottom wall, said intake opening being directed upwardly from said floor and arranged so that a portion of said filtered air exiting through said access opening is recirculated to said blower means.
10. The combination according to claim 2 including an auxiliary wall assembly positioned inside said nursing chamber and defining a smaller chamber inside of which a baby can be placed; and
said auxiliary wall assembly having a front wall comprised of upper and lower sections which are interconnected by a hinge, the lower section being further hinged at its lower edge to the bottom wall of said nursing chamber so that the inner surfaces of said auxiliary front wall sections can be folded towards each other and the outer surface of the lower section can be moved against the bottom wall of said nursing chamber.
11. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said front wall can be raised vertically to an open position to increase the size of said access opening;
said blower means is capable of providing pressurized air flow at two operating levels, the air flow provided by said blower means at the first operating level being sufficient to prevent outside air from entering said nursing chamber through said access opening, when said front wall is in the closed position, and the air provided by said blower means at the second operating level being sufficient to prevent outside air from entering said nursing chamber when said wall is in the open position; and
said combination further including a switching means cooperating with said front wall and said blower means for switching said blower means to and from the first and second operating levels depending upon the position of said front wall.
12. The combination according to claim 1 including an auxiliary bottom positioned inside said nursing chamber above said bottom wall for supporting a baby to be nursed, said auxiliary bottom being supported on vertical legs extending through said bottom wall; and
weighing means, positioned outside of said nursing chamber below said bottom wall and operatively connected to said support legs of said auxiliary bottom, for determining the weight of the baby.