US 3778848 A
A mobile hospital bath unit having a shallow bathing assembly consisting of a perforated stainless steel bed for the patient which is surrounded by an inflatable member to contain the bathing water. The bathing assembly is mounted for both vertical and lateral movement with respect to a wheeled housing for easy accessibility to the patient. The housing includes lifting apparatus, supply and drainage water tanks, and means for pumping water to the bathing assembly.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Lyytinen Dec. 18, 1973 MOBILE HOSPITAL BATI-IING UNIT  Inventor: Timothy J. W. Lyytinen, PO. Box
23, Marcell, Minn. 56657  Filed: Aug. 17, 1971  Appl. No.: 172,525
 U.S. Cl. 4/173, 4/175  Int. Cl A47k 3/00  Field of Search 4/185 L, 159, 166, 4/177, 158,173
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,603,796 7/1952 Danielsen et a1 4/185 L 2,798,229 7/1957 565,408 8/1896 2,432,147 12/1947 2,026,981 1/1936 2,112,409 3/1938 2,565,761 3/1951 2,682,058 6/1954 3,026,541 3/1962 Murat 4/185 L 3,346,885 10/1967 Merriman 4/185 L FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,460,559 10/1966 France 4/185 L Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Homsby Assistant Examiner-Donald B. Massenberg Attorney-Merchant & Gould 5 7] ABSTRACT A mobile hospital bath unit having a shallow bathing assembly consisting of a perforated stainless steel bed for the patient which is surrounded by an inflatable member to contain the bathing water. The bathing as sembly is mounted for both vertical and lateral movement with respect to a wheeled housing for easy accessibility to the patient. The housing includes lifting apparatus, supply and drainage water tanks, and means for pumping water to the bathing assembly.
15 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures MOBILE HOSPITAL BATHING UNIT The invention is directed to mobile hospital bathing units for bedridden patients.
The bathing of bedridden patients is ordinarily a very difficult undertaking, depending on the patients condition and his degree of mobility. The less the patient is capable of moving by himself, the more difficult is the bathing procedure.
Existing assemblies of which I am aware, and which are designed to assist in the bathing of bedridden patients, fall into two broad categories: 1) assemblies which are adapted for use in combination with a hospital bed and receive support therefrom; and 2) units which are mobile and used independent of the hospital bed structure.
If the patient is capable of supporting and moving himself to some degree, little difficulty is encountered in movement either to an independent bathing unit, or in making a temporary change of position to prepare the bed for bathing. However, if the patient is severely restricted in his ability to move, it is obvious that the task of moving and situating him in the bathing assembly is a burdensome task notwithstanding the type of apparatus used.
My invention falls generally in the second category listed above (i.e., it is fully mobile and operates independently of the hospital bed), but it includes structure which greatly simplifies the patient moving procedure. Specifically, I provide, in combination with a wheeled housing, a shallow bathing assembly which is carried by the housing, and is both vertically and laterally movable with respect thereto for proper position with respect to the hospital bed. The bathing unit is encircled by an inflatable member which provides greater comfort to the patient during the bath, and also deflates to simplify his movement to and from the bathing unit.
Water is supplied to the bathing assembly through a flexible tube terminating in a scrub brush, and the necessary mechanical equipment, including the elevating apparatus, pumps, and water supply and drainage tanks are disposed within the wheeled housing.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the invention simplifies the bathing procedure of bedridded persons through provision of structure which is easily wheeled to the patients bedside and is vertically and laterally adjusted for the least cumbersome movement on the part of the patient and hospital attendant.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a mobile hospital bathing unit embodying the inventive principles;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the mobile bathing unit taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a view in section taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to all of the figures, the preferred embodiment of the inventive mobile hospital bathing unit is represented generally by the numeral 11. Unit 11 comprises a housing 12, rollably mounted on a plurality of casters l3, and a shallow bathing assembly 14.
As shown in FIG. 2, housing 12 is a rectangular cabinet which houses the mechanical equipment necessary for the desired operation. Accessibility to the mechanical equipment is provided through a plurality of doors 15 disposed on both sides of the cabinet.
Disposed at each end of housing 12 are four pivotally mounted handle members 16, each of which is held in an upright position by a clamping member 17. Each of the handle members 16 is movable to a horizontal position (represented in FIG. 1 by the numeral where it is held in place by a clamping member 18.
It will be appreciated that the members 16 serve as handles in their upright position to facilitate movement of the bathing unit 11; and, in their horizontal position, offer lateral support to the unit 11 as described in detail below.
As indicated in the sectional view of FIG. 2, mechanical equipment for the bathing unit inlcudes a water supply tank 21, a drainage tank 22, a pumping unit represented generally by the numeral 23, and four pneumatically operated piston-cylinders 24 (only two of which are shown which are operatively connected to bathing assembly 14.)
Supply tank 21 has an inlet at its top to receive a fresh supply of water at a desired temperature, a threaded cap 25 being used to seal the inlet. A water gauge 26 indicates the existing level of water in supply tank 21.
Water is supplied to the patient through an outlet 27 and a flexible tube or hose 28 which terminates in a scrub brush 29. Preferably, scrub brush 29 has a valve (not shown) integrally formed therewith which enables the user to control the flow of water.
An essentially constant pressure head is maintained on the body of water in supply tank 21 through an air inlet 31 which is connected to pumping unit 23 by means not shown.
Drainage tank 22 has an inlet 32 which communicates with bathing assembly 14 through a flexible hose 33 as shown. Tank 22 also includes a gauge 34 for indicating the level of water in tank 22, and a valve 35 for draining when it is full. An air vent 36 permits the necessary pressure differential for drainage to occur.
Pumping unit 23 consists of an air pump or compressor 41 driven by an electric motor 42, which receives air at atmoshperic pressure through an inlet 43 and provides air under pressure through an outlet 44 to an air ballast tank 45. Tank 45 has a first air outlet 46 adapted for connection to supply tank 21 and the pneumatic actuators 24 (through conduits and controls not shown), and a second outlet 47 adapted for connection to a portion of the bathing assembly 14, as described in further detail below.
Pumping unit 23 also includes control apparatus not shown for controlling the on-off cycle of motor 42 in accordance with predetermined high and low limit pressures.
Bathing assembly 14 comprises a base or base member 51 which supports a perforated stainless steel plate 61 and inflatable peripheral wall member 71. Base member 51 conforms in shape to the rectangular housing cabinet 12 and is operatively mounted on the four pneumatic actuators 24 through lateral sliding assemblies 52 (FIGS. 2 and 3). Each of the sliding assemblies 52 consist of a pair of angular slide rails 53 connected through a plurality of roller members 54. Operation of actuators serves to elevate or lower bathing assembly 14, and the assembly is slidable in either lateral direction to best accommodate the patient. Bathing assembly 14 is held in a normal central position by a plurality of latches 55.
Base member 51 has an inperforate concave bottom the lowest point of which terminates in a drain assembly 56 adapted for connection to flexible hose 33 (FIG. A
2). As best shown in FIG. 2, base member 51 is formed from thin plate, preferably stainless steel, the under side of which defined space suitable for the sliding assembly 52 as well as for the storage of scrub brush 29. Accessibility to scrub brush 29 and to the outlet 47 of ballast tank 45 are provided through hinged closures 57. The sides of base member 51 are also notched, as indicated at 58, to permit free lateral movement of the base with respect to sliding assemblies 52.
Plate 61 is contoured, conforming generally to the size and shape of the concavity of base 51, to be re ceived therein. In its proper position, plate 61 is spaced from the bottom surface of the base concavity by a plurality of peripherally disposed braces 62, thereby permitting the free flow of water to drain assembly 56.
Inflatable member 71 is rectangular in shape and is sized to surround perforated plate 61. Member 71 is made from a suitable resilient material, preferable rubber; and, as shown in th cross-section of FIG. 2, comprises upper and lower portions 72 and 73, respectively. Upper portion 72 takes the form of an inverted U the inner leg of which projects downwardly and inwardly to define a flange 74 adapted to fit between plate 61 and base 51. Lower portion 73 is flat to conform to the flat upper surface of base 51, and is bonded to the U-shaped portion 72 to define a pressure chamber 75 therewith. Air is introduced to chamber 75 through an inlet 76, which is connected to the outlet 47 of ballast tank 45 by a flexible conduit 77. Inflatable member 71 also includes a receptacle 78 for soap or the like.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the perforated plate 61 and inflatable member 61 are readily removable from base 51 to simplify cleaning of the bathing assembly.
In operation of the bathing unit 11, it is first necessary to determine whether drainage tank 22 has been emptied and whether supply tank 21 has a sufficient amount of fresh water available. With plate 61 and inflatable member 71 in place on base 51, unit 11 is ready to be moved to the patient's bedside. With unit 11 in proper position, clamping members 18 are released and handles 16 are dropped to the position at 16a to give the unit lateral support. At this point, bathing assembly 14 is elevated to a height such that its bottom clears the patients bed, thus enabling it to slide laterally to a position most convenient for the patient.
After the patient has moved or been moved onto the bathing assembly 14, the assembly is moved back to its position directly over housing 12. At this point, bathing assembly 14 is lowered by operation of the actuator 24, and the latches 55 are then set to maintain the centered lateral position.
The bathing procedure may then begin by drawing water through brush 29, the used water passing through the perforations in plate 61 and into drain assembly 56 for storage and drainage tank 22. It will be appreciated that the inflatable member 71 offers resilient support to the patient and also serves to contain bath water as it is used.
1. Hospital bathing apparatus comprising:
a. a longitudinal wheeled supporting unit;
b. a bathing assembly comprising i. a longitudinal base defining a receptacle the receptacle having an imperforate bottom sloping toward a drain;
ii. a perforate plate member conforming in size and shape to the receptacle and removably disposed therein;
iii. means for spacing the perforate plate member above the receptacle bottom to permit water to flow to and into said drain;
iv. and an inflatable peripheral wall member having an open bottom constructed and arranged to encircle only the outer edge of said plate member in containing relation therewith, the inflatable member being removably disposed on said longitudinal base;
c. the bathing assembly being mounted on the supporting unit by means comprising i. first means for raising and lowering the bathing assembly with respect to the supporting unit;
ii. and second means for permitting lateral sliding movement of the bathing assembly with respect to the supporting unit.
2. The apparatus as defined by claim 1, wherein the perforate plate member is concave in shape.
3. The apparatus defined by claim 1, wherein the spacing means comprises a plurality of bracing members affixed to the bottom of the perforate plate member.
4. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein the inflatable member further comprises a flange portion projecting downwardly and inwardly thereof, the flange portion constructed and arranged to be received between the base and the perforate plate member.
5. The apparatus as defined by claim 1, and further comprising latching means for releasably holding the bathing assembly in a centered position overlying the supporting unit.
6. The apparatus as defined by claim 1, wherein the first means comprises piston-cylinder actuators affixed to the supporting unit and operatively connected to the bathing assembly.
7. The apparatus as defined by claim 1, wherein the second means comprises at least one sliding assembly carried by the first means and operatively connected to the bathing assembly, the sliding assembly comprising first and second slide rails relatively movable on roller members.
8. The apparatus as defined by claim 1, and further comprising means carried by the supporting unit for collecting and storing used bath water.
9. The apparatus as defined by claim 1, and further comprising means carried by the supporting unit for supplying water to the bathing assembly.
10. The apparatus as defined by claim 8, wherein the collecting and storing means comprises a storage tank and drain means operatively connecting the bathing assembly and said tank.
1 1. The apparatus as defined by claim 9, wherein the water supplying means comprises:
a. a fresh water storage tank;
b. conduit means for carrying water from said storage tank to the bathing assembly;
c. and pumping means operatively connected to said storage tank.
12. The apparatus as defined by claim 11, wherein the conduit means comprises a flexible hose terminating in a scrub brush.
13. A hospital bathing assembly comprising:
a. a longitudinal base defining a receptacle, the receptacle having an imperforate bottom sloping toward a drain;
b. a perforate plate member conforming generally in size and shape to the receptacle and removably disposed therein;
c. means for spacing the perforate plate member above the receptacle bottom to permit water to flow to and into said drain;
d. and an inflatable peripheral wall member having an open bottom and constructed and arranged to encircle only the outer edge of said plate member in containing relation therewith, the inflatable member being removably supported on said longitudinal base.
14. The assembly as defined by claim 13, wherein the spacing means comprises a plurality of bracing members affixed to the bottom of the perforate plate member.
15. The assembly as defined by claim 13, wherein the inflatable member further comprises a flange portion projecting downwardly and inwardly thereof, the flange portion constructed and arranged to be received between the base and the perforate plate member