US 3786523 A
A stretcher including means which facilitates the transfer of a patient between a bed and the stretcher is disclosed. The stretcher includes actuators for controlling the vertical position of the appliance and also for imparting angular movement to transfer means which can be extended from the appliance. Additionally, the device may be provided with further actuators which are employed to convert the stretcher into a wheel chair by rotating back and foot support platforms relative to a central support member.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Sele [ Jan. 22, 1974 1 MEDICAL APPLIANCE  Inventor: Georges J. F. Sele, rue Cdt.
Marchand 23, Liege, Belgium  Filed: Nov. 17, 1971  Appl. No.: 199,664
 Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 18, 1971 Belgium 759,132
 US. Cl 5/81 B, 5/86, 180/924  Int. Cl A61g 1/02, A6lg 7/02  Field of Search 5/181 B, 86, 81 R, 61; 269/325; 180/924  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,452,371 7/1969 Hirsch 5/81 B 3,562,824 2/1971 White 5/61 2,733,452 2/1956 Tanney... 5/81 B 1,829,274 2/1929 Gilroy 5/81 B 3,493,979 2/1970 K011 et a1. 5/86 X 3,593,986 7/1971 Lee i 269/325 3,406,772 10/1968 Ahrent et a1........ 5/86 X 3,562,824 2/1971 White 5/61 3,452,371 7/1969 Hirsch 5/81 E Primary ExaminerCasmir A. Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-David S. Fishman et a1.
 ABSTRACT A stretcher including means which facilitates the transfer of a patient between a bed and the stretcher is disclosed. The stretcher includes actuators for controlling the vertical position of the appliance and also for imparting angular movement to transfer means which can be extended from the appliance. Additionally, the device may be provided with further actuators which are employed to convert the stretcher into a wheel chair by rotating back and foot support platforms relative to a central support member.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIENIE JWP um SHEET 1 BF 3 PATENTEU JAN 2 2 I974 saw 2 or 3 MEDICAL APPLIANCE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to facilitating the movement of invalids. More specifically, this invention is directed to a medical appliance in the form of a stretcher which is vertically adjustable, has a horizontally movable patient transfer mechanism and which, in a preferred embodiment, may be converted into a wheel chair. Accordingly, the general objects of the present invention are to provide novel and improved methods and apparatus of such character.
2. Description of the Prior Art In hospitals, clinics and similar establishments it is frequently necessary to transfer disabled patients from their beds. Thus, during recuperation for example, it is considered desirable to jet the patient out of bed and into a chair. These transfer operations presently involve the physical handling and manipulation of the patient by hospital personnel and are frequently painful to the invalid and extremely strenuous for hospital personnel who may have to repeat the transfer operation frequently during the day.
As noted in the preceding paragraph, at the present time manipulations of a patient between a hospital bed and a stretcher or chair is accomplished by the actual manual manipulation of the patient. There are no appliances presently available which assist the hospital personnel in the movement of the patient between a bed and stretcher. Similarly, stretcher-type devices which may be converted, either by hospital personnel or the patient, into an easy chair are not now available.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the above-briefly discussed and other disadvantages and deficiencies of the prior art by providing a medical appliance which may be used either as achair or stretcher as required. In accordance with the invention the convertable stretcher/chair apparatus comprises a central frame and a pair of end frames angularly movable with respect to opposite ends of the central frame between a first position, in which the end frames lie in a substantially common plane with the central frame to define a stretcher, and a second position, in which the end frames extend away from the plane of the central frame in opposite directions to define back and foot-leg supports with the central frame defining a chair seat. The central frame is mounted on a telescopic pedestal which extends vertically upward from a mobile base.
When the appliance is to be used as a stretcher, the central and end frames are aligned in the same plane, typically horizontal, and the pedestal is adjusted to bring the frame assembly to the height of a patient lying in bed so that the patient can be readily transferred to the stretcher. Thereafter the pedestal can be lowered and the end frames rotated with respect to the central frame to convert the appliance into a chair while simultaneously moving the patient into a sitting position. Vertical and rotational movements are accomplished mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically.
To faciliate the transfer of a patient from bed to the stretcher the appliance is provided with a pair of slides at opposite ends of the three unit frame assembly. The slides are movable transversely of the frame assembly and are provided with coupling connectors. The coupling connectors engage a cloth which is first slipped under the patient. Thus, by imparting movement to the slides, the cloth and the patient can be easily transferred from bed to stretcher without manual manipulation of any kind and without excessive physical effort on the part of the hospital personnel.
Preferably the slides are operable to opposite sides of the stretcher so that cooperation with the connectors can be effected when the bed is on either the left or the right side of the stretcher.
Control means for operating the pedestal, end frames and the slides are so constructed and arranged as to be operable by the patient himself.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The present invention may be better understood and its numerous objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying drawing wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements in the several figures and in which:
FIG. I is a side elevation view of a first embodiment of the present invention converted into a chair;
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the embodiment of FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 converted into a stretcher; and
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are respectively perspective views showing the present invention in the chair mode, the stretcher mode and the stretcher-bed transfer mode.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference now simultaneously to the several figures of the drawing, the disclosed embodiment comprises a base 1 provided with a pair of forwardly positioned wheels 2 and a pivotable rear wheel 3. The base 1 includes an upwardly extending pedestal and a vertically oriented hydraulic lifting jack 4 is mounted within the pedestal. Jack 4 includes a movable ram 4a which is employed for adjusting the vertical height of the patient weight supporting central frame portion 5 of the appliance. In the disclosed embodiment, which is characterized by the ability to be converted into a stretcher or chair, the central frame 5 is of square or rectangular shape and is provided with seat 5a having a seat cushion 5b. If the device is to be employed solely as a stretcher the cushion 5b will be enlarged to cover the entire top of the seat portion 5a. The seat-cushion assembly is attached to the top of the ram 4a of hydraulic lifting jack 4 A pair of end frames 6 and 7 are each pivotally connected to one end of the frame 5 for angular movement about respective transverse pivotal axes 4b and 4c. The three frames are equal in width with the frame 7 being of shorter length than the frame 5, and the frame 6 being of greater length than the frame 5.
Each of frames 6 and 7 is provided, adjacent its pivotal axis, with a respective downwardly projecting lugs 6b and 7b. The lugs 6b and 7b are coupled, at 6a and 7a, to opposite ends of a pair of piston rods of a double acting hydraulic jack 8 housed below the central frame 5. Operation of the jack 8 causes the frames 6 and 7 to move angularly in synchronism about their pivotal connections 4b and 40 between a first position as shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, in which they lie in a substantially common plane with the frame 5, and a second position,
as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, in which the frame 6 extends upwardly with respect to the frame to define a back support and the frame 7 extends downwardly to define a leg support.
A transverse slide 9 of open box section is provided on the free end of frame 6, and a similar transverse slide it) is provided on the free end of the frame 7. The slide 9 slides transversely of the frame 6 in opposite directions on a pair of rollers 12 positioned between the inner faces of the slide 9 and the complementary outer end and one side face of the end of the frame 6. Similarly the slide W is movable transversely of the frame 7 on a pair of rollers l2 positioned between the slide it) and the end of the frame 7.
A pair of transversely spaced double acting hydraulic jacks M are accommodated in side-by-side relationship within the frame 6 in positions spaced from and parallel with the sides thereof The ram R6 of each of jacks M carries a pair of rotatable pulleys l8, and a pulley is rotatably mounted on the opposite end of each of jacks M.
A pair of pulleys 22 are mounted at opposite ends of the slide 9, and a similar pair of pulleys (not shown) are mounted at opposite ends of the slide Ml. Flexible cables 23 each anchored at opposite ends between the slides 9 and it), pass around the pulleys 118, 2'1) and 22 and further pulleys 24 in the frame 6. Operation of the ram of one jack in the outward or extension direction and simultaneous contraction of the ram of the other jack causes slides 9 and it) to move simultaneously outwardly to the same side of the frame assembly. Contraction of the same ram and extension of the other causes both sides to move outwardly simultaneously to the other side of the frame assembly. Movement of both jacks to a center position restores the slides 9 and it) to the position shown in full lines in FIG. 3. it is to be noted that frame 5 is rotatable with respect to ram 4a and FlG. 3 depicts the frame rotated 90 with respect to the FIG. 1 and 2 position.
Each of slides 9 and it) is provided with hooks or couplings for detachable engagement with complementary connector rings at outer opposite ends of a cloth sling 28. Sling 28 extends between opposite ends of the frame assembly and covers the upper surface thereof.
The hydraulic fluid for operating the jacks 8, 4 and M is provided by a pump 30 driven by an electric motor 32. The pump 30 delivers pressurized hydraulic fluid from a reservoir 34 to the jacks through suitable conduits, not shown.
The supply of fluid to the jacks is controlled by a set of interconnected solenoid operated valves constructed and arranged to supply fluid to and bleed fluid from the opposite sides of a jack simultaneously. The solenoidoperated valves are controlled by an electrical control unit which can either be held in the hand and connected to the appliance by a cable or the control may be mounted on the appliance in any convenient position.
To transfer a prone patient, the patient is first placed on the sling 28. The frames 6 and 7 are moved into their stretcher defining position by operation of the jack 8 and the frame assembly is raised, by operation of the jack 4, to bring the upper surface of the frame assembly into horizontal alignment with the bed. Thereafter the slides 9 and R0 are actuated by operation of the jacks Ml to move the slides into positions in which they overliethe bed so thatthe hooks or connectors can be attached to the connector rings on the sling as shown in FIG. 6. The slides 9 and 10 are then returned to their initial position to transfer the sling and the patient onto the frame assembly as shown in H6. 5. The frames 6 and 7 can thereafter be rotated into their second position to define a chair as shown in FIG. 4;
In order to return a patient sitting in the apparatus to bed, the sequence of operation described above is reversed.
By arranging for the frame assembly to be rotatable on the jack 4 with respectto the base at least the forward end of the base 11 can be accommodated beneath a bed to provide additional stability for the apparatus during the transfer of the patient between the bed and the stretcher.
While a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, for example, in the embodiment described above the hydraulic jacks may be replaced by pneumatically operable rams or by mechanical assemblies of which the effective lengths are adjustable. Accordingly, it will be understood that the invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.
What is claimed is:
l. A medical appliance comprising:
central frame means;
means supporting said central frame means from said base, said central frame means being supported so as to define a substantially horizontal plane; first end frame means pivotally mounted at its first end from a first end of said central frame means, said first end frame means defining an angularly movable extension of said central frame means;
second end frame means pivotally mounted at its first end from a second end of said central frame means, said second end frame means defining an angularly movable extension of said central frame means, said second end of said central frame means being disposed oppositely to said first end of said central frame means;
means for simultaneously imparting motion in the same rotational direction to said end frame means whereby the angular relationship between said first and second end frame means and said central frame means may be adjusted;
first transversely movable slide means mounted on the second end of said first end frame means, said second end of said first end frame means being disposed oppositely to the first end of said first end frame means;
second transversely movable slide means mounted on the second end of said second end frame means, said second end of said second end frame means being disposed opposite to the first end of said sec ond end frame means;
means for imparting movement to said slide means to cause said slide means to extend and retract with respect to sides of said end frame means included between said end frame means first and second ends; and
coupling means affixed to said slide means for attaching opposite ends of a sling to respective of said slide means.
6 2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means for a pair of lever extensions mounted respectively from imparting movement to each of said slide means com the first ends of each of said end frame means; and prises: means for mechanically coupling said third hydraulic a double acting hydraulic jack mounted within said jack to said lever extensions whereby the angular first end frame means; and 5 relationship between said end frame means and flexible means for transmitting the movements of the said central frame means may be varied simultaram of said jack to said slide means. neously in opposite directions. 3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said means sup- 5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means supporting said central frame means comprises: porting said central frame means comprises:
means for vertically adjusting the position of said 10 means for vertically adjusting the position of said central frame means with respect to said base. central frame means with respect to said base. 4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said means for 6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said means supimparting simultaneous motion to said end frame porting said central frame means comprises: means comprises: means for vertically adjusting the position of said A third double acting hydraulic jack mounted in said central frame means with respect to said base.