US 3782265 A
An assembly of tent-like units for isolating patients, each unit comprising four columns supporting an air supply chamber and pliable side walls, the air supply chamber being designed for producing a uniform downward air flow in the unit in question for keeping out dust at the lower side of the pliable side walls. Such units may be coupled with one another at corresponding side walls or with auxiliary devices for transferring objects to and from such units. The inner space of such an assembly may be disinfected unit by unit by closing the connection between the unit to be disinfected and an adjacent unit so that a patient should not be removed from the assembly during disinfection.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
time States Patent 1191 Pielkenrood et a1. Jan. 1, 11974 ASSEMBLY FOR SEPARATING A 3,294,480 12/1966 Potapenko 98/33 R DUST-FREE PART FROM A SPACE, AND i g f 5 3 e METHOD FOR DISINFECTING THE SAME 3,602,212 8/1971 Howorth 98/33 R [:75] Inventors: Jacob Pielkenrood; Piet Van Galen, 3,657,991 4/1972 Oberg 98/33 22222:? SH of FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Ne'theflands 763,156 12/1956 Great Britain 62/261  Assignee: g g af g i l Primary ExaminerWilliam J. Wye
Ssen e et er an S Att0rneyBayard H. Michael  Filed: May 5, 1971  Appl. No.: 140,549  ABSTRACT An assembly of tent-like units for isolating patients, 30 Foreign Application priority Data each unit comprising four columns supporting an air Ma 6 1970 Netherlands 7006660 supply chamber and pliable side walls, the air supply y chamber being designed for producing a uniform downward air flow in the unit in question for keeping  US. Cl 98/33, 98/32,:28/23691, out dust at the lower side of the pliable side walls- [5 11 um Cl F2 13/00 Such units may be coupled with one another at corre- Mei! 62/261 sponding side walls or with auxiliary devices for transferring objects to and from such units. The inner space  References Cited of such an assembly may be disinfected unit by unit by closing the connection between the unit to be disin- UNITED STATES PATENTS fected and an adjacent unit so that a patient should 2,502,263 Lewis not be removed from the assembly during disinfectio m 2,677,253 5/1954 Lee 2,912,918 11/1959 Snead 98/33 R 'ZClai rngQQrawingFjguges 2! o 0 n i i 1 i i 1 fivs 5 16 p 19 PAIENIEQJAN HEM SNEEI 1 BF 3 s a Y W E 5 in? Q 6 sv a 5 Z z v ASSEMBLY FOR SEPARATING A DUST-FREE PART FROM A SPACE, AND METHOD FOR DISINFECTING THE SAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In US. Pat. Application Ser. No. 70,454 an assembly for separating a substantially dust-free part from a space is described, which assembly comprises a frame delimiting, together with a floor, the part to be separated, which part is, furthermore, delimited by walls supported by this frame, at least a part of which consists of transparent plastic sheet or plate material, the rear wall being formed by the exit surface of the air filters, through which, air may be blown into the separated part of the space, and the front wall is open or may for the greater part be closed by a lid. Preferably a pliable plastic hose is suspended in the frame and is connected to the filters, which hose forms the lateral and upper walls, and is partly lying on the floor.
Such an assembly is, in the first place, intended for nursing patients in a dust-free space. The substantially horizontal air flow directed towards the partly open front wall keeps dust out of the separated part, and it is possible that nursing personnel enter this part against the air flow. The patient remains visible through the transparent walls. Moreover it is possible to speak with the patient through these walls, and the persons outside the separated part do not need to be dust-free at all. Finally various instruments such as X-ray apparatus may be brought into the immediate vicinity of the patient without being freed of dust, and the walls may be provided with transfer locks, transfer openings, openings closed by gloves and the like.
Such an assembly is extremely favorable for nursing and treating bedridden patients without requiring a complete isolation, and the greater part of the nursing personnel and of the apparatus for examination and treatment is not to be submitted to dust removing treatments. Finally a substantially normal contact with visitors is possible.
In some cases, e.g., patients with specific allergic skin affections or skin injuries, very contagious diseases and the like, no direct contact at all with the patient is allowed, even not with personnel which has been submitted to a rigorous dust removing treatment. Such patients are not always being confined to bed, and their treatment may, on the other hand, last very long.
In the dust-free part for nursing such a patient all sanitary provisions should, therefore, be present. Furthermore it should be possible to approach treatment or examination instruments as closely as possible from all sides towards the patient without entering the separated space. It should also be possible to move the patient in a dust-free manner into and from this space if this is required for special treatments. It is also desirable to be able to extend the separated space, especially to provide more moving space for patients not confined to bed, or for accommodating permanently required instruments or auxiliary devices. Finally it should be possible to disinfect such a space during the presence of the patient without inconvenience for him.
Theprior assembly is less suitable for these purposes since the filter box makes the space inaccessible at one side, and the separated space may not arbitrarily be extended. Moreover such an assembly is designed for being accessible, which is, however, in the cases mentioned above not allowed at all, so that the provisions made to that end are useless then. Moreover such an assembly cannot be made suitable for being moved to other rooms and, when coupled with other dust-free spaces or transport means, disturbances in the flow distribution will occur which might endanger the dust-free condition. Finally the disinfection of such a space during the presence of the patient is rather difficult.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides an assembly which is adapted to the special requirements mentioned above. To that end the assembly according to the invention is characterized in that the upper wall of the separated part is formed by the perforated exit wall of dust filters or an air supply box, and in that the side walls supported by the frame which join the dust filters or this box and the upright columns of the frame in a substantially dustproof manner terminate over the full circumference at a small distance from the floor, this in such a manner that the substantially vertical air flow in the separated part may escape along the bottom and form there a flow; keeping out dust.
In this manner a separated space is obtained in which the patient is visible from all sides and may be approached from all sides by examination instruments when the side walls are pliable or are provided with suitable transfer means, which is especially important in the case of bedridden patients. Moreover the patient may freely move in the substantially vertical air flow without causing turbulences in this flow which might cause dust entering the separated space.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will be elucidated below by reference to the drawings, shown in:
FIG. 1 is a cross-section of two assemblies according to the invention and a transfer box interconnecting these assemblies along the line II of FIG. 3;
FIG. 2 is a cross-section along the line II-II of FIG.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section along the line III-III of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic cross-section on a larger scale of the upper end of a pliable side wall of such an assembly;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are diagrammatic cross-section and top views, respectively of a special embodiment of a raised floor of such an assembly;
FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic cross-section of a special transportable disinfection unit; and
FIGS. 8A and B are simplified cross-sections of a transportable filter and disinfection unit in two different conditions.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The double'assembly shown in FIGS. 1-3 comprises four units 1 which are mutually equal. Each unit comprises a frame with four columns 2 carrying at the top of a filter box 3 to which a blower chamber 4 is connected. This filter box contains a number of dust filters, by means of which the air which is passed through can be efficiently freed from harmful dust. The blower chamber preferably comprises two or more electric blowers adapted to suck in air from the ambient atmosphere and to blow it through the filters, this air being blown vertically downwards into the unit in question.
The various blowers are preferably connected to different network groups and, if necessary, to an emergency power supply in order to ensure the supply of air in the event of a breakdown. Moreover these blowers are equipped with such control means, that in spite of 5 an increasing contamination of the filters, a constant flow rate may be maintained, and on attainment of a critical contamination an alarm will be given.
Between the columns 2 there are provided side walls which, for a considerable part, consist of a pliable transparent plastic material, although, in certain cases, some walls will be formed from a rigid plastic material. These walls do not extend down to the floor so that an air gap 6 remains between the lower edge of such a wall 5 and the floor, through which the air blown by the blowers into the space between the walls 5 can flow outwards. The air flow in these gaps has such a velocity as to efficiently prevent dust from entering.
The side walls 5 are provided at suitable points with openings 7 closed with gloves so that a patient may be assisted from the outside or other manipulations may be carried out from the outside. Since the persons who stick their hands into such openings are close to the side wall in question, it cannot be prevented that the front portion of their shoes are stuck under the side wall, which may lead to the introduction of dust. Therefore, it is preferred to provide a raised floor 8 in each unit 1 which comprises vertical side walls so that a small passage is formed where the air flowing outwards attains a higher velocity, so that any possibly introduced dust is blown away in a downward direction. It may, furthermore, be of advantage to provide this raised floor at the lower side round about with a recess 10 in which the front portions of the shoes fit, so that nursing personnel may come closer to the wall. As far as the side walls consist of pliable material, it is preferred to construct these walls as pleated sliding curtains adapted to be fastened to the adjacent columns 2 in a substantially dust-free manner, for example with push buttons, a clamping edge or the like. The advantage thereof is that the openings 7 with gloves are still laterally slidable when the wall is in the closed condition, so that the accessible area is increased and manipulations are rendered easier. In order to prevent these side walls from bulging as a result of the air flow, in particular close to the gaps 6, at the outer sides rods limiting the outward movement may be arranged.
FIG. 4 shows the manner in which such a wall may be suspended. In a channel 11 secured at the bottom side of a filter box 3 there is provided a hollow guide 12 of the usual shape in which running wheels 13 are movable, from which the pliable wall 5 with pleats 5' may be suspended. In order to avoid a too high leakage of the air at the top at least at the inner side a resilient flap 14 is fastened to the channel 11 and/or the guide 13, this flap smoothing itself against the wall in consequence of the interior pressure, thus increasing the leakage path and leakage resistance so that air leakage is considerably reduced. A certain amount of leakage is not harmful since the interior pressure prevents the air from flowing from the outside inwards.
If, as shown, two units 1 are combined to a unitary space, it is advisable to provide between both units a foldable wall 5 adapted to be closed from the outside in order, as will be described below, to be able to separate both units for disinfection purposes. It will be obvious that, if desired, also walls adapted to the rolled up may be used.
For the introduction of food, nursing requisites and the like, air locks may be provided in the walls. However it is preferred to use a dust-free working bench with a horizontal air flow, the main features of which have been described in U.S. Pat. Application Ser. No. 95,035 and Dutch Pat. Application /03 208. Such a working bench is designated by reference numeral 15. This bench comprises a separated working space 16 which is accessible from the front side, and, at the rear side, a blower-filter unit 17 is mounted which, as shown, is adapted to maintain a substantially horizontal dust-free air flow in this working space directed towards the front opening. Everything which is introduced in the closed space of this working bench must be moved against this air flow. In the side walls of this working space openings 18 are provided which, by means of a tube 19, are passed through the adjacent side wall of a unit 1. If this wall is pliable, an opening may be provided therein which may be clamped around the tube 19. The opening 18 is preferably provided with self-closing closure means, for example a closure flap or the like disposed at the inside of the unit 1. If the pressure in the unit it higher than the pressure in the working bench, this flap is kept sufficiently closed. In the working space of this bench an object or the like to be transferred to the assembly will be stripped of its anti-dust cover, and is subsequently passed on. It is also possible to arrange in such a working bench dust-free working cupboards for certain nursing requisites. As shown it is possible to serve two identical separation units with one working bench 15.
Such a separated space can be composed of any number of units 1, and the columns 2 may be provided with rapidly fixable and detachable connecting means 'with which also a working bench 15 may be fastened to a column, as for example threaded pins to be inserted into holes of another column. One of the units may, for example, be provided with a bed 20, whereas the other one may serve as a day room and may be provided with sanitary requisites. The latter ones may thereby be equipped with bays for receiving the waste these bays being adapted to be removed from the outside in a sterile way. Since one starts from detached units, the size of the separated space can be adapted to the prevailing conditions. For a bedridden patient two units will suffice. For ambulant patients and in particular for children a larger or playing space may be provided if necessary.
It is, furthermore, possible to make such a unit suitable to be wheeled about in order to be able to place it at any desired point, or to use it for dust-free transport of patients. Such a unit on wheels may then be connected to a stationary unit, whereupon the adjoining walls will be opened to transfer the patient to the stationary unit. Since in all the units the air flow moves in the same way and with the same intensity vertically downwards, this coupling of an additional unit does not disturb the air flows.
It may, sometimes, be necessary to disinfect such a separated space while a patient is still inside. In that case the patient is transferred to one of the units, and the intermediate wall to the adjoining unit to be disinfected is closed. A gaseous or vapor-like disinfectant (for example perchloro-acetic acid) is then introduced in the blower chamber 4 so that it is blown into the unit in question. The disinfectant is then blown again into the ambient atmosphere and might then be sucked into the blowers 4 of the adjoining unit. In order to prevent this, carbon filters are disposed in front of the blowers. After completion of the disinfection the patient can be transferred to the disinfected unit, and the other unit may be disinfected in a similar way.
With such a disinfecting method the disinfectant enters the adjoining room which may be inconvenient to the personnel present in this room. It is, therefore, preferred to carry out the disinfection in another way. For that purpose sprinkler lines 21 are arranged near the filter boxes 3 (FIG. 1), and the raised floor 8 is made hollow as is shown in FIG. 5. The cavity 22 of the floor is then put into communication with a suction blower (not shown) which communicates in some suitable manner with the atmosphere. When disinfection is carried out this blower is started and the disinfectant is sprayed through the lines 21 into the respective unit, so that it may be sucked away at the bottom. In order to prevent that, on account of the suction force of this blower, the pliable wall 5 is sealingly sucked against the raised floor 8, the latter is provided at the edges with straps 23 adapted to the pleated shape of the wall 5, as shown in FIG. 6. Thus there remains a sufficient passage 24 free for the suction of air. If the suction blower cannot be put into communication with the atmosphere, additional filters 25 (FIG. 5) may be provided.
An important advantage of the assembly according to the invention is that all walls are equivalent, which con- ,siderably simplifies its erection in a space, and also the treatment and the nursing of the patient which should. be done from the outside. Such units may, furthermore, be constructed in 'such dimensions that in cases of emergency they can be erected at once in any space, for instance around a bed of the like. In addition these units may be combined in any manner. It is for example also possible to couple two units containing a bed by means of an intermediate unit serving as an interchange unit for both'patients.
It is, furthermore, advisable to provide the rods arranged at the outside of the pliable walls for limiting the outward deflection of said walls at such a height that persons having stuck their arms into the gloves may lean against said rods. Moreover, these rods prevent falling objects or the like from pushing the walls considerably inwards from the outside.
For facilitating the disinfection of an assembly according to the previous figures the auxiliary unit of FIG. 7 may be used, which comprises a frame 26 on castor wheels 27, supporting a blower 28, the inlet 29 of which is to be connected to the cavity 22 of the raised floor 25. The outlet 30 of this blower opens into a space 30, the side wall of which is provided with an opening which is normally closed by a lid 31. The upper side of this space 30 communicates with an absorbent box 32. In this box two perforated metal plates 33 are supported horizontally. Between these plates a bed of a suitable absorbent for the disinfectant, e.g. soda lime if the disinfectant is an acid, is arranged between two layers 35 of glass fibers. The air sucked in through the inlet 29 is blown through the bed 34, and the disinfectant is absorbed in this bed.
As soon as the absorbing capacity is reduced to a critical level, the lid 31 is opened and a tray 36 is slid into the space 30, which tray is connected to a bag 37 of plastic foil. After removing the upper plate 33 and layer 35, the lower layer 35 is pulled away, so that the absorbent may fall down through the perforations of the lower plate 33 in the tray 36 and the bag 37. The latter may then be closed and destroyed.
FIG. 8 shows a filter unit designed for a simplified assembly, which unit comprises a box 38 on castor wheels 39 and containing a blower 40, the outlet 41 of which is to be connected to one or more air supply boxes 3 of an assembly according to the preceding FIGS. The inlet 42 communicates with a space 43 which, in the case of FIG. 8A, contains a filter 44, which space is provided with a suction duct 45 then communicating with the ambient air. In the case of FIG. 8B the space 44 of the same or a similar unit is provided with an absorbent bed 35 of the same kind as in FIG. 7, and then the duct 45 is connected to the cavity 22 of the isolation unit then being disinfected.
The assembly described in the preceding description may be varied in many ways. For instance the blowers 4 may be arranged in another room for reducing the noise level. In some cases it may be favorable to connect the cavity 22 with the inlet side of the blowers 4. Furthermore the beds 20 may be mounted on the columns 2 so that the floor may be more easily cleaned. Lamps may be arranged outside the units. Instead of gloves,bags may be fixed in one or more openings 7 for introducing X-ray apparatus or the like.
1. An assembly for making a dust-free space and isolating it from its surroundings for nursing a bed patient, comprising a frame set upon the floor and including corner posts interconnected at their upper ends by a top closure including an air supply chamber having a perforated bottom wall,
imperforate side walls suspended from the frame so the bottoms of the walls are spaced from the floor to provide a peripheral gap for the escape of air, means minimizing air flow between the walls and the frame and between the walls and the top closure, blower means drawing air from outside the enclosed space and delivering the air to said air supply chamber, air filter means operative to filter the air before it leaves said air supply chamber through the perforated bottom wall,
said space having a positive air pressure with a downward air flow leaving the enclosed space through the gap between the walls and the floor,
at least one of the side walls being flexible and slidably suspended from the frame,
at least one of the side walls being provided with air lock means permitting objects to be moved into and removed from the space without introducing dust bearing outside air into the space.
2. An assembly according to claim ll including a raised platform inside the dust-free space and sized slightly smaller than the enclosed floor area to define a peripheral space between the platform and the side I walls and leading to the gap between the side walls and flexible side wall is suspended for sliding movement along the side of the bed and is provided with glove means permitting a worker on the exterior of the enclosed space to manipulate objects within the space along the length of the bed.
7. An assembly according to claim 4 including spaced suction inlets to the raised platform and stop means preventing the side walls from being drawn against the inlets.