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Publication numberUS3855654 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1974
Filing dateAug 2, 1973
Priority dateAug 2, 1973
Also published asCA1011056A1
Publication numberUS 3855654 A, US 3855654A, US-A-3855654, US3855654 A, US3855654A
InventorsW Pivacek
Original AssigneeInvacare Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Storable bed rail
US 3855654 A
Abstract
A safety bed rail assembly for beds including a bed rail movable from an upright guarding position along one side of a bed to a stored position beneath the bed. The bed rail assembly includes at least one collapsible bed rail and a pair of support members for the bed rail adapted to be mounted beneath the bed to extend transversely thereof. Pivotal connecting means extends between the bed rail and the support means and is pivotally connected to each for pivotal movement in a horizontal plane parallel to the bed. The bed rail is thereby swingable in a collapsed or lowered condition from a first position alongside the bed to a second or stored position beneath the bed.
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O United States Patent 1191 1111 3,855,654

Pivacek Dec. 24, 1974 STORABLE BED RAIL Primary ExaminerCasmir A. Nunberg [75] Inventor: William J. Pivacek, Elyria, Ohio $3585 Agent or Flrm' B0Swrth Sesslons & [73] Assignee: Invacare Corporation, Elyria, Ohio 22 Filed: Aug. 2, 1973 [571 ABSTRACT A safety bed rail assembly for beds including a bed rail 21 A lN-385172 1 PP 2 movable from an upright guardmg pos1tion along one side of a bed to a stored position beneath the bed. The [52 US. Cl. 5/331, 5/100 bed rail assembly includes at least one collapsible bed [51] 1m. (:1. 1. A47c 21/00 rail and a P of pp members for the bed rail [58] Field of Search 5/100, 331; 256/22; adapted to be mounted beneath the bed to eXtend 297/417 transversely thereof. Pivotal connecting means extends between the bed rail and the support means and [5 References Ci is pivotally connected to each for pivotal movement in UNITED STATES PATENTS a horizontal plane parallel to the bed. The bed rail is thereby swingable in a collapsed or lowered condition grail 5/33] from a first position alongside the bed to a Second or 3 248 744 5/1966 nfinjlllijj .11. 5 331 Stored Position beneath the 11 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures STORABLE BED RAIL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to bed rail assemblies for beds and more particularly to such an assembly in which each bed rail can be collapsed and stored beneath the bed without removing it therefrom.

A wide variety of bed rail assemblies have heretofore been devised and marketed which are primarily intended for use with hospital beds to prevent patients from falling out of bed. Such assemblies may be incorporated integrally with the basic bed structure but more often and more or less readily attachable to and detachable from the basic bed frame. Whether integral or detachable the bed rail must be movable to a position enabling the patient to move from the bed and providing access to the patient without significant obstruction.

A problem with essentially all bed rails, however, is the obstruction they provide when not in the guarding position. Even when moved to a position where the patient is not restrained from falling out of bed, a typical bed rail is perfectly positioned alongside the bed to bump shins and generally interfere with hospital personnel attending to the needs of the patient. The bed rail can, of course, be detached from the bed structure to prevent such interference but this is highly impractical when the patient occupying the bed requires the protection provided by the bed rail. 'Even when the bed is occupied by a patient not requiring the protection provided by the bed rail, detachment and particularly storage of the bed rail are a problem. Not only must time and effort be expended to remove and reinstall the bed rail, but also a storage area mustbe provided if the rail cannot be immediately installed on another bed. Also, hospital beds are sized to permit them to be moved through doors from one location to another. The additional width of a bed rail assembly can prevent the beds from being moved from a room without detachment of the bed rail.

Bed rails used on adjustable height beds must be folded compactly from the upward use position due to very limited space allowed in the lowered position of the bed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A general object of this invention is to provide a bed rail assembly that overcomes the problems noted above encountered with prior bed rail assemblies. A more particular object is to provide such an assembly in which each bed rail can be stored beneath the bed to which it is attached.

Another object is to provide such an assembly in which each bed rail can be easily and conveniently collapsed compactly for access to the bed and can be readily restored to its upright guarding position.

Still another object is to provide such a bed rail assembly that is reliable in operation and simple and convenient to use.

These and other objects of the present invention are obtained in a bed rail assembly for beds including a bed rail movable from an upright position to a lowered position, support means for the bed rail adapted to be mounted on a bed frame and means extending between the bed rail and the support means and pivotally connected to each for permitting swinging movement of the bed rail toward the support means. The bed rail is thus movable from an upright position alongside the bed to a lowered position permitting access to the bed and is swingable from a position alongside the bed to a stored position spaced from the position alongside the bed in the direction of the support means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bed equipped with a bed rail assembly according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective of the bed rail assembly with the connecting parts thereof exploded for clarity.

FIG. 3 is a foot end view of a bed equipped with a bed rail assembly, one bed rail being in the guarding position and the second in the collapsed but not stored position.

FIG. 4 is an end view similar to FIG. 3 with the second bed rail in the collapsed and stored position.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the bed of FIG. 3 with the second bed rail shown in dashed lines in the stored position.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the bed of FIG. 5 along the line 66 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side view partly in section of the mechanism for releasing the bed rail to permit it to collapse in a vertical plane and of the mechanism for permitting the bed rail to be swung in a horizontal plane to a stored position beneath the bed.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view along line 99 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 is a view partly in section along line l010 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view in one plane of a typical pivotal connection of adjacent members of the bed rail permitting it to fold in a vertical plane.

FIG. 12 is a sectional view along the line l2-l2 of FIG. 11.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 a bed B is equipped with a bed rail assembly including bed rails l0, l0 and cross bars 12 and 13 shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5. The cross bars are connected to the frame of the bed by means of brackets 15 and support the bed rails l0, 10 on opposite sides of the bed. Each bed rail l0, 10' is constructed so that it can be collapsed or folded in a substantially vertical plane from its upright or guarding position alongside the bed to a condition in which it is of lesser height but greater length and positioned below the level of the bed frame. Each bed rail is also connected to cross bars 12 and 13 so as to be swingable in a substantially horizontal plane to a stored position beneath the bed. FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5 illustrate a bed rail in its guarding position and FIGS. 3, 5 and 6 illustrate a rail in collapsed but not storedposition. A bed rail in collapsed and stored position is shown in FIG. 4 and in dashed lines in FIGS. 5 and 6.

The two bed rails 10, 10' of the bed rail assembly are identical and the description below is applicable to either. It will also be apparent that the bed rail assembly in some cases need only comprise a single bed rail and in that case the cross bars 12, 13 need be only of sufficient length to support the single rail. The cross bars 12, 13 may vary in length, shape, configuration and means of attachment 15, to provide for the assembly to be mounted on beds of any style or make.

As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, each bed rail includes a top support rail 20, an intermediate extension rail 22, a bottom support rail 23, and end posts 25 and 26. Pivot connections generally indicated as 27 and 28 are provided between top support rail and end posts and 26, respectively. Substantially identical pivot connections 30 and 31 are provided to connect extension rail 22 to end posts 25 and 26, respectively. Extension rail 22 includes an outer tube 33 which telescopes with an inner tube 34. Outer tube 33 joins pivot connections 31 at the head (right, as viewed) end of the bed rail and telescopes with inner tube 34 at the foot end. Inner tube 34 connects with pivot connection 30 at the foot end of the bed rail. The bottom support rail 23 is provided with bushings 37, 38 at opposite ends thereof which mate with pivot bolts 40, 41, respectively, to pivotally connect end posts 25 and 26 to opposite ends of the bottom support rail. End post 25 is provided with a locking mechanism generally designated 42 which permits the bed rail to be folded to its collapsed position or locked in its guarding position as described more fully below. A stop bracket 43 is provided to permit folding of the bed rail only toward the foot end of the bed.

Extending upwardly from the foot end of the bottom support rail 23 is a support tube 45 which supports a pivot assembly generally designated 46. The pivot assembly pivotally connects the foot end of the bed rail to the foot end cross bar 12 as described more fully below. Another support tube 52 extends upwardly from bottom support rail 23 adjacent the head end of the bed rail and supports a similar pivot assembly 53 which pivotally connects the head end of the bed rail to the head end cross bar 13. A locking mechanism 55 on the foot end pivot assembly 46 locks the bed rail in the outer position or permits it to be swung to stored position beneath the bed.

FIG. 7 illustrates in detail the connection of the foot end pivot assembly 46 between the foot end cross bar 12 and end post 25 and the locking mechanisms which permit folding and storing of the bed rail. Pivot assembly 46 includes a pivot sleeve which fits over support tube 45, a pivot arm 62 and a bushing 63 which mates with a pivot bolt 65 on the end of cross bar 12. A pair of teflon belts 67 and 68 are provided between support tube 45 and sleeve 60 to provide a tight but relatively friction-free pivotal connection therebetween. Sleeve 60 is normally prevented from rotating with respect to support tube 45 by the locking mechanism 55 shown in FIG. 8 which includes a bushing 70 extending outwardly from sleeve 60 and a locking pin 72 slidable therein. Locking pin 72 is biased by a spring 74 to extend through holes 75 and 76 in sleeve 60 and tube 45, respectively, to prevent rotation of the sleeve with respect to the tube. Such rotation is permitted when the locking pin is withdrawn from hole 76. Support tube 45 is provided with a transverse pin 78 and the top of pivot sleeve 60 is grooved as shown at 79 so that pivoting of sleeve 60 about tube 45 is permitted only in a direction such that pivot arm 60 swings toward the foot end of the bed rail. r

The locking mechanism 42 is provided for normally preventing folding of the bed rail in a vertical plane. Locking mechanism 42 includes a locking pin 80 which is pivotally connected at one end to a release handle 81 and is biased by a spring 82so that its other end extends through holes 84 and 85 in pivot sleeve 60 and support tube 45, respectively. In this position locking pin 80 prevents movement of end post 25 about its pivotal connection with bottom support rail 23 at bushing 37 and thereby prevents folding of the bed rail. Locking pin 80 also prevents rotation of sleeve 60 about tube 45.

The stop bracket 43 connected to end post 25 extends as shown in FIG. 9 about one side of sleeve 60 to prevent pivoting of end post 25 toward the head end of the bed rail when locking pin 80 is withdrawn from holes 84 and 85.

The pivot assembly 53 for the head end of the bed rail is substantially identical to pivot assembly 46 with the exception that assembly 46 is provided with the locking mechanism 55 and with the holes 84 and 85 in sleeve 60 for receipt of the locking pin 80 which prevents folding of the bed rail. In other respects the pivot assemblies 46 and 53 are substantially identical and assembly 53 will accordingly not be described in detail.

FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate the structure of the pivot connections 27, 28, 30 and 31. Each pivot connection includes a slotted bracket having flanges 91 and 92 which are fitted into the end of a tubular member, such as end post 25, and held therein by means of a rivet 94. A link'96 is welded or otherwise suitably connected to the opposite tubular member, such as top support rail 20, and tits within the slot of the slotted bracket 90. A pivot bolt 98 passes through aligned holes in the slotted bracket and the link 96 to pivotally connect the two.

In operation, with a bed rail in the guarding position shown in FIG. 1 it may be collapsed by pushing its release handle 81 and folding it in the direction permitted by stop bracket 43. The bed rail is then in the position of rail 10 in FIG. 3 and in full lines in FIGS. 5 and 6 in which end posts 25 and 26 have been rotated to be substantially coplanar with bottom support rail 23. The length of intermediate support rail 22 is increased by the partial withdrawal of inner tube 34 from outer tube 33 as rail 22 assumes the somewhat diagonal position illustrated in FIG. 6. In this position the rail is still positioned outwardly of the edge of the bed as seen in FIGS. 3 and 5. The bed rail can then be swung beneath the bed to the position of bed rail 10 in FIG. 4 which is shown in dashed lines in FIGS. 5 and 6. To accomplish this, the release pin 72 on pivot sleeve 60 is pulled to permit the pivot sleeve to rotate with respect to support tube 45. The bed rail can then be swung beneath the bed with the foot end and head end pivot sleeves rotating about their respective support tubes and the foot end and head end bushings rotating about their respective pivot bolts until the respective head end and foot end pivot arms are rotated through 90 from their original position toward the foot end of the bed as shown in dashed lines in FIGS. 5 and 6. In this position the rail is out of the way and may be stored indefinitely but is available immediately when needed.

To return the rail to its guarding position it need only be swung outwardly until release pin 72 is aligned with and engages hole 76 in support tube 45 and locks the rail in its outer position. The rail can then be raised to its upright guarding position by raising the rail until end posts 25 and 26 are again in their vertical positions, and stop bracket 43 on end post 25 engages pivot sleeve 60. Release handle 81 can then be operated to permit locking pin 80 to engage holes 84 and 85 in pivot sleeve 60 and support tube 45, respectively, to lock the bed rail in its upright guarding position.

While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described in detail herein it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications and improvements may be made to the embodiment specifically disclosed without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, this invention is not to be limited to the embodiment specifically described herein nor in any other way inconsistent with the progress in the art promoted by the invention.

'What is claimed is:

l. A bed rail assembly for beds comprising a bed rail movable from an upright position to a lowered position, support means for said bed rail adapted to be mounted on a bed frame, said support means being spaced from said bed rail in a direction transverse to the plane of the bed rail, and means extending between said bed rail and said support means and pivotally connected to each for permitting swinging movement of said bed rail toward said support means, whereby said bed rail is swingable in a plane generally perpendicular to the plane of the bed rail from a first position to a second position spaced from said first position in the direction of said support means.

2. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said bed rail is collapsible from said upright position to said lowered position.

3. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 1 including means for locking said bed rail in said first position.

4. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 1 including a second bed rail spaced from said first bed rail and substantially parallel thereto, and means extending between said second bed rail and said support means and pivotally connected to each for permitting swinging movement of said second bed rail toward said support means.

5. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein said bed rail includes a pair of upright end posts, a lower support rail extending between said upright end posts and pivotally connected to each at the lower ends thereof, a variable length support rail extending between said upright end posts and pivotally connected to each above said lower support rail, whereby said bed rail is collapsible to a storing condition, and means for locking said bed rail in said upright position.

6. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said support means are provided at spaced locations and said means for permitting swinging movement of said bed rail toward said support means includes a pair of pivot assemblies, each assembly including a pivot arm, means pivotally connecting one end of said arm to said bed rail and means pivotally connecting the other end of said arm to one of said support means.

7. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 6 wherein said means pivotally connecting one end of said arm to said bed rail includes a support tube mounted on said bed rail and a pivot sleeve connected to said pivot arm, said sleeve fitting over said support tube and being rotatable with respect thereto.

8. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 6 wherein said bed rail includes a pair of upright end posts and is collapsible from said upright to said lowered position and including locking means for locking said rail in said upright position, said locking means including a locking pin carried by one of said end posts, a hole in one of said support tubes adjacent said one of said end posts, means biasing said pin into said hole to prevent collapsing of said bed rail and means for withdrawing said pin to permit collapsing of said bed rail.

9. A bed rail as claimed in claim 6 including locking means for preventing pivoting of one of said pivot arms with respect to said bed rail whereby said rail is locked in said first position.

10. In combination, a bed and a bed rail assembly therefor, said assembly comprising a bed rail movable from an upright position alongside the bed to a lowered position permitting access to the bed, support means for said bed rail mounted beneath said bed at spaced locations thereon, said support means being spaced from said bed rail in a direction transverse to the plane of the bed rail, and means extending between each of said support means and said bed rail at spaced locations thereon and pivotally connected to each of said support means and said bed rail for pivotal movement in a plane substantially normal to the plane of said bed rail, whereby said bed rail is swingable from a first position alongside the bed to a second position beneath the bed.

11. A bed rail assembly as claimed in claim 10 wherein said support means includes a pair of cross bars extending across the bed and including a second bed rail on the side of said bed opposite the first bed rail and second means extending between each of said cross bars and said second bed rail at spaced locations thereon and pivotally connected to each of said cross bars and said second bed rail for pivotal movement in a plane substantially normal to the plane of said second bed rail.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2817855 *Apr 8, 1955Dec 31, 1957Edmond O PrattAdjustable fence attachment for beds
US3234570 *Jun 1, 1964Feb 15, 1966Clyde B HuttDemountable and adjustable side guard assembly for hospital bed
US3248744 *Dec 14, 1964May 3, 1966Clyde B HuttFolding side guard attachment for hospital bed
Referenced by
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US4017918 *Jan 8, 1976Apr 19, 1977Harris-Hub Co., Inc.Metal crib structure
US4672699 *Nov 12, 1985Jun 16, 1987Support Systems International, Inc.Fluidized patient support system with side rail assembly
US4747171 *Aug 12, 1986May 31, 1988Simmons Healthcare, Inc.Hospital bed rail assembly
US4858260 *Mar 11, 1988Aug 22, 1989Hausted, Inc.Patient transport apparatus including Trendelenburg mechanism and guard rail
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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/429, 5/100
International ClassificationA47C21/08, A47C21/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61G7/0507, A61G2007/0509
European ClassificationA61G7/05S