US 3810263 A
A medical examining table apparatus having a plurality of rollers connected to a framework with an endless belt riding on the rollers. The framework may be incorporated into a table or placed on top of an existing table with the endless belt being motor driven by the operator. Paper or other sheet material is fed over a portion of the belt between a feed roller and a takeup roller actuated by the movement of the belt through two pulleys and a belt drive and provides a protective sanitary cover for the belt.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llaited States Patent 1 Taylor et a1.
[451 May 14,1974
[ 1 MEDICAL EXAMlNING TABLE  Inventors: Clifton 1. Taylor, Drawer M;
Charles w. Hardwiclr, 600 w; 2721? St., both of Sanford. Fla. 32771 Filed: Oct. 26, 1972 Appl. No.: 300,911
U.S. C1 5/81 R. 5/60. 5/317, 269/323, 297/283 Int. Cl A61g 7/10, A6lg 1/02 Field of Search 5/60, 61,81, 86, 317; 269/323; 297/92, 221, 222, 283
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1968 Scrivener 5/317 R 5/1971 K011 et a1. 5/81 R 9/1959 .1 5/81 B Kenney Hess 5/317 R Proctor 297/283 Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or FirmDuckworth, Hobby & Allen  ABSTRACT A medical examining table apparatus having a plurality of rollers connected to a framework with an endless belt riding on the rollers. The framework may be incorporated into a table or placed on top of an existing table with the endless belt being motor driven by the operator. Paper or other sheet material is fed over a portion of the belt between a feed roller and a takeup roller actuated by the movement of the belt through two pulleys and a belt drive and provides a protective sanitary cover for the belt.
14 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures iATENTED MAY 14 I974 saw 2 or 4 PATENTEUIAY 141914,
(saw a IJF 4 l MEDICAL EXAMINING TABLE 9 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a medical examining table for use in doctors offices, medical clinics and in hospitals for examining a patient in which the examining physician can shift the position of the patient by the operation of a switch. More particularly, such an examining table is provided with means for maintaining a protective cover of material such as paper and for removing the soiled paper following the examination of a patient and at the end of the day.
In the past it has been common practice to provide numerous types of examining tables for doctors offices and for hospitals in which the examining table has movable or bending sections and also has various attachments to allow different types of examinations to take place with a minimum of inconvenience to both the physician and the patient. Many of these tables are provided with paper which is rolled across the examining table so that blood, chemicals or disease germs are protected from the surface of the table and from which the paper cover can be removed or shifted for the next patient. Examining tables are also provided with means for elevating and lowering a patient and for shifting patients for an examining table to a bed, or the like.
Lateral shifting tables may be seen in US. Pat. No. 3,493,979 for a Method and Apparatus for Moving Objects; US. Pat. No. 2,984,842 for a Lateral Shift Litter; U.S. Pat. No. 3,593,351 for a Patient Transfer Device. A patient handling table which provides an elevator for invalids and utilizes rollers is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,541,617 for Elevator for lnvalids, and a roller stretcher is illustrated in US. Pat. No. 3,418,670.
The present invention provides for shifting a patient to and fro or during the examination and helps the patient get off of the examining table following the examination. A protective cover for-the movable portion of the examining table presents special problems inasmuch as the examining table cover must be fed at the same speeds the moving belt. In addition to the difficulty in maintaining the same speed of the belt and the covers, the examining table provides for the easy removal of a portion of a toll when it is soiled for destruction following several examinations or at the end of the day.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a medical examining table which has a frame allowing it to be set directly on top of an existing table or, alternatively, can be an integral unit with the table. The frame has two elongated side members having a plurality of spaced rollers connected therebetween and an endless belt riding on the rollers so that the endless belt is supported by the rollers and will support a patient. The endless belt is driven by an electric motor which is actuated by a switch by the physician to shift the patient in a forward or backward direction on the endless belt. A roll of paper or other protective material is spread across the top portion of the endless belt and moves at the same speed as the endless belt from one roll to a second roll, with the takeup roll having a quickly removable roller for removing soiled paper, as desired. A special drive means allows the paper to feed at the same speed as the endless belt and a special timing circuit allows actuation for a predetermined period of time so that the roll of paper will feed a predetermined amount of soiled paper onto the takeup roller to prepare the table for the next patient. A bending joint may be provided in the table to allow lifting of one end of the examining table without shifting the other.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. 4(a) and 4(b) are perspective views of the takeup rollers for the protective cover paper;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the examining table showing the takeup roller thereon; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the driven mechanism for the paper covering for the examining table.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now toFIG. l, a medical examining table .10 is illustrated having a base portion 11, with cabinets l2 and drawers 13 therein and having the patient shifting portion 14 attached to the top of the base 11. The operating portion 14 has a pair of elongated frame members 15 and 16 having a movable connection 17 and lower portions 18 and 19. The connection 17 has a pair of hinges 20 which connect the frame members 15 and 18 at 16 and 19, respectively, together so that they form a movable joint. Frame members 15 and 16 have a plurality of rollers 21 connected therebetween for an endless belt 22 to ride while supporting a patient. The endless belt 22 rides between a pair of end rollers 23 and 24 with a head pillow 24 not being covered by the endless belt. Roll 23 is driven by motor 26 which drives a gear box 27 connected to the shaft 28 of the roller 23. The roller 23 engages the endless belt 22 to move the endless belt 22 over its path over the rollers 21. The rollers 21 have a shaft portion 30 and a rotating cylindrical portion 31 to slide over the shafte 30. The main upper roller 24 is driven by the endless belt 22 being driven by the rotation of the roller 23 and has a pulley 32 connected to one end thereof which drives a flexible drive belt 33. A second pulley 34 is driven by belt 33 and is connected to the paper takeup roll 35 for taking up the paper 36 which rides over the headrest 25 and over the endless belt 22 from a roll of paper, cloth, or other flat sheet material 37 on a supply roller 38. The belt 33 may be connected to provide a slippage to allow for a slight variation of speed as the roll of soiled paper on the roller 35 increases in size by each revolution of the roll.
Each roller 21 is bolted at 40 to the frame members l5, l6, l8 and 19 and a toggle switch 41 is provided to actuate the motor 25 and a timer 42 may be included in the circuit for operation by' a separate switch 43. Thus, actuation of the switch 43 only operates the motor 26 fof a predetermined time in accordance with the timer 42 and is for the purpose of allowing the soiled paper 36 covering the examining table to be wrapped onto the roller 35 to prepare the table for the next patient. Electric timers for switching electric sources on and off are of course commercially available. Actuation of the button 43 allows the endless belt, along with the roller 35 to operate for a predetermined time period to allow sufficient new paper from the roll 37 to cover the endless belt 22 and head portion 25. In operation, a patient is placed on the paper 36 which is supported by the endless belt 22 which in turn is supported by the rollers 21 and the physician can operate the switch 41 to move the patient backwards or forwards in accordance with the direction switch 41 is switched. This of course requires a reversible motor 25 to drive the endless belt 22 in either direction desired. After the examination is completed, the physician can actuate the switch 41 to help place the patient in a better position to get off the table if desired, and then actuate the switch 43 to remove the soiled paper 36 from the top of the table while replacing it with clean paper for the next patient. The roll of paper 37 on the roller 38 rides in a tray 44 which isolates it from the roller 35 having the soiled paper and inasmuch as the soiled paper may contain blood or other materials that might product obnoxious odors or be infectious, it is desirable to have a roller 35 which allows the rapid removal of soiled paper thereon, and this feature will be described in connection with FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.
FIG. 2 shows the operation of the examining table top sitting on a base table 11, and the elongated frame members and 16 connected to their bottom portions 18 and 19 and bending on the jointed portion 17 with the frame members 15 and 16 being lifted to bend on the joint 17 by hydraulically actuated cylinder 45 located in the table 11. The unit can be seen having the head portion with the endless belt 22 and the paper 36 riding thereon. The exact tilt of the frame members 15 and 16 and head rest 25 on the joint 17 can be adjusted, as desired. by operation ofa hydraulic cylinder 45 and the movement of the belt can be controlled by a switch 41.
It should be pointed out at this point that the examining portion of the table 14 could be a separate unit for placing on an independent examining table 11, if deaired, but in which event the examining table would not normally have the hydraulic cylinder 45 for lifting a portion of the examining table top 14, and the frame members 18 and 19 would be strapped or bolted to the table 11, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Referring now to FIG. 3, a better understanding of.
the operation of the rollers 22 is illustrated being connected to the frame members 15 and 16 by bolts 40, and having a shaft with a special roller spacer 31 which may be a piece of vinyl or other polymer pipe which rotates on a fixed smooth steel shaft 30 for support of the endless belt 22. However, it should also be pointed out that in some cases it is desirable to have a conventional roller 50 riding on a shaft 51 and riding on ball bearings, or the like, in place of the roller 22, and in this case alternating the rollers 22 with rollers 50 provides a preferred operation of the rollers. The framework 15 and 16 can be seen as being made of relatively thick material and may be a molded plastic, or could be steel or aluminum or any material of sufficient strength to support the patients weight on the rollers. An overhanging lip 49 keeps the edges of the belt 36 out of the way of patients fingers, or the like, and allows the belt to bend at the joint 17 (FIG. 2).
FIGS. 4(a) and 4(b) illustrate the operation of the takeup roller 35 which has a shaft 52 and an end disc 53 having an annular portion 54 from which a cylindrical member 55 rides on which cylindrical member 55 has a slot 56 for inserting the end of the paper 36 therein. A drive pin 59 is attached to the annular portion 54 and fits in slot 56 of cylindrical member 55 to prevent slippage of the member 55. As may be more clearly seen in FIG. 4(b), the disc member 53 with its portion 54 may be slipped off the one end of the cylinder 55 for removing the cylindrical portion 55 with the roll of soiled paper or other material 36 while the slot 56 provides not only a quick connection for the paper but allows enough leeway in the cylinder 55 to remove it from the roll of paper thereon and allows the cylindrical roller 55 to be taken off and replaced quickly onto the end disc 53 riding on the shaft 52. This may be seen more clearly in FIG. 3 in which the roll of new paper 37 is held in the tray 44 with the paper 36 passing over the headrest 25 and which is held by the elongated frame members 15 and 16 riding on the table 11. The endless belt 22 continues to move over its path while the soiled paper 36 rides onto the soiled paper roll 35 having the visible end disc 53 riding on a shaft 52. The shaft 52 hooks into a bracket 57 connected to the frame members 15 and 16 and may be quickly unhooked as illustrated in FIG. 5 to slide the roll 35 over the shaft 52 where the paper may be torn, as illustrated, for removing the soiled portion, and the roller quickly replaced on the shaft 52.
Turning now to FIG. 6, a better understanding of the operation of the paper drive is illustrated having the endless belt 22 riding on the drive roller 24 having a shaft 60 connected to the pulley 32 and driving a belt 33 which in turn drives the pulley 34 connected to the shaft 61 which is connected to the soiled paper rolls 35 having the disc 53 with the cylindrical paper holder 55 holding the paper 36. The shaft 52 of course has a squared off portion as illustrated in FIGS. 4(a) and 4(b) for preventing the disc members 53 from turning on the shaft while the shaft is being driven by the belt 52. The belt 33 connects the shaft 24 driven by the belt 22 to the shaft 52 driven by the pulley 34 to operate at the same speed so that the belt 22 and the paper 36 will ride together and the belt 33 can slip on the pulleys 32 and 34 to allow for a slight variation as the takeup roll 35 increases in size.
It should be clear at this point to those skilled in the art that a medical examining table has been provided which is adapted to shift patients on the table and which provides several unique roller systems and means for feeding a protective covering for the table. It should be pointed out that most of the components can be made of any materials desired, and most are available commercially. For instance, the endless belt 22 can use a conventional conveyor belt material covered with comfortable sponge and vinyl or plastic finished to be cleaned and the motor 26 can be a conventional electric motor operating on 1 l0 volt alternating current supply.
Accordingly, this invention it is not to be constructed as limited to the particular forms disclosed herein, since these are to be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive.
l. A medical examining table comprising in combination:
a. a frame having a pair of frame members;
b. a plurality of spaced rollers connected between said frame members;
0. an endless belt riding on said rollers;
d. actuation means for driving said endless belt over said rollers and being connected to said frame;
e. means for covering a portion of said endless belt with a thin flat covering material, and for moving said thin flat material with the movement of said endless belt;
f. each of said pair of frame members having a protective lip to cover the edge of a portion of said endless belt, and said pair of frame members being hinged along their longitudinal axes to allow said frame to be bent, said protection lip being adapted to hold said endless belt along said bend in said frame; and
g. means for lifting one end of said hinged frame whereby a patient maybe shifted on an examining table by the movement of an endless belt.
2. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said means for covering a portion of said endless belt includes a pair of material support rollers for rolling said thin flat material between and over a portion of said endless belt.
3. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2 in which one said roller is located in a container to separate the material on said roller from the material on the second roller.
4. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2 in which one said roller has means for quickly disconnecting it from said frame for removing soiled covering material therefrom.
5. The apparatus in accordance with claim 4 in which said roller with rapid disconnect includes a hollow elongated cylinder being slotted along its longitudinal axis for removing covering material wrapped thereon by reducing the circumference of the cylinder by compressing the cylinder to close said slot.
6. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5 in which said roller has an end member held on cylindrical portion to receive each end of said hollow elongated cylinder thereon to support said cylinder during operation.
7. The apparatus in accordance with claim 6 in which said end member cylindrical portion has a protrusion for fitting said slotted portion of said elongated cylinder to prevent said elongated cylinder from rotating on said end members.
8. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which a timer means is connected to said actuation means for actuation thereof for a predetermined time period for removing covering materials covering a portion of said endless belt onto a roller for soiled materials.
9. The apparatus in accordance with claim I in which each ofa plurality of said rollers can have a shaft with a hollow cylinder member located thereon for'supporting said endless belt.
10. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2 in which said actuation means includes a switch for actuation of said endless belt for movement in a forward and reverse direction over said rollers upon actuation of said switch by an operator, said switch actuating an electric motor drive.
11. The apparatus in accordance with claim 10 in which said electric motor drives an endless belt roller to drive said endless belt, and said endless belt being operatively connected to a second endless belt roller having a pulley connected thereto and a drive belt operatively connecting said pulley to at least one of said pair of material support rollers for moving said thin flat material therebetween over said endless belt.
12. The apparatus in accordance with claim 11 in which said belt driving said material support rollers is connected thereto in a manner to slip to adjust for variations in the size of the rolls of material on said rollers.
over said head support.