US 3863343 A
A lightweight inflatable patient drape including a pair of opposed impermeable sheets secured together to form an interior cavity which is divided into longitudinal chambers. The body of the drape also has a pair of opposed projecting yoke or neck members adapted to fit around the neck of the wearer and is provided with a valve for inflation purposes. Due to the existence of the longitudinal compartments, upon inflation the device will automatically adopt a curved configuration in cross section compatible with the curvature of the patient's body thereby minimizing contact with the body of the patient and permitting better air circulation and comfort. Due to the cushioning effect of the air pockets or compartments, greater patient protection is also provided against sharp or heavy dental instruments that are commonly exchanged or carried over the body of the patient during dental operations. In addition, an adhesive layer may be coated to the outside surfaces of the drape to attach neck bands or towels of a disposable nature. A modified form is also disclosed wherein the drape is either filled with lightweight foam material, such as styrofoam, or entirely molded of such material thereby avoiding the need for inflation.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Malmin 1 DENTAL PATIENT DRAPE  Inventor: Oscar Malmin, 127 East Wayne Ave., Akron, Ohio 44301 22 Filed: Feb. 9, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 224,865
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 183,519, Sept. 24,
 US. Cl. 32/1, 2/2
 Int. Cl. A22c 19/00,
 Field of Search 128/292, 82, 132 D, 2/66, 2/67, 68, 2,50, 51,48, 46
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS.
745,007 11/1903 Gamble 2/2 2,421,195 5/1947 Goldsmith 2,990,549 7/1961 Doughty 3,500,472 3/1970 Castellani 2/2' Primary Examiner-Robert Peshock Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Freeman & Taylor 1 1 Feb. 4, 1975  1 ABSTRACT A lightweight inflatable patient drape including a pair of opposed impermeable sheets secured together to form an interior cavity which is divided into longitudinal chambers. The body of the drape also has a pair of opposed projecting yoke or neck members adapted to fit around the neck of the wearer and is provided with a valve for inflation purposes. Due to the existence of the longitudinal compartments, upon inflation the device will automatically adopt a curved configuration in cross section compatible with the curvature of the patients body thereby minimizing contact with the body of the patient and permitting better air circulation and comfort. Due to the cushioning effect of the air pockets or compartments, greater patient protection is also provided against sharp or heavy dental instruments that are commonly exchanged or carried over the body of the patient during dental operations. In addition, an adhesive layer may be coated to the outside surfaces of the drape to attach neck bands or towels of a disposable nature. A modified form is also disclosed wherein the drape is either filled with lightweight foam -material, such as styrofoam, or entirely molded of such material thereby avoiding the need for inflation.
10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 41975 3863,3423 SHEEI 10F 2 INVENTOR.
' OSCAR MALMIN FIG. 5 gm J74 A TTORNE YS PATENTED 3,863 .343
- sum 2 or 2 1 DENTAL PATIENT DRAPE RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of Applicants earlier filed co-pending application Serial No. 183,519, filed September 24, 1971 and now abandoned, as Dental Patient Drape.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention, in general, relates to drapes or other protective devices utilized to protect the clothes and body of dental patients. The invention specifically relates to either an inflatable drape or one filled with foam material which gives improved protection while also improving the comfort factor.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Due to the nature of dental treatment, the body of the patient must be protected against contact from caustic liquids, splashing water, flying debris, projectiles from drills, etc., and also the body must be protected from sharp hand instruments or heavy drills or handpieces which can easily be dropped onto the patient.
The known forms of drapes for these purposes usually consist of a thin layer of plastic material cut into the form of an apron. Some of these may have straps for securing the drape to the neck, or some of them are secured by clips of various types. These devices, while protecting the patients body from liquids and water spray, offer very little protection against penetration or trauma by dropped instruments, for example.
Furthermore, due to the material of which these are made, they tendto cling closely to the body, thereby producing a great deal ofdiscomfort to the patient, particularly in hot weather since they, in effect, trap the natural body heat thereby increasing the possibility of syncope (fainting).
Applicant is also aware of the following patent prior art: Gamble US. Pat. No. 745,007; Ridlon US. Pat. No. 876,237; Mooney US. Pat. No. 1,657,866; Sullivan U.S. Pat. No. 3,447,175;Alarco U.S. Pat. No. 3,550,159;
Most of these patents disclose various types of inflatable devices, such as athletic chest protectors or life preservers. None of them, however, disclose the unique construction by which Applicant obtains substantially complete protection of the body of the patient while,
at the same time, improving the comfort factor.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It has been found that an improved patient drape can be provided which will overcome the above-noted defects in the prior art by providing a pair ofimpermeable sheets secured together about their edges-so as to form.
It-has also been discovered that equally satisfactory results can be obtained by providing a filling of lightweight plastic foam within the drape. In this way the protective and comfort features above-described are retained, but the potential problem of punctures or ruptures in the sheets is obviated. It is also, of course, possible to mold the entire drape of such foam.
Accordingly, production of an improved patient drape of the character describedbecomes the principal object of this invention, with other objects thereof becoming more apparent upon a reading of the following brief specification, considered and interpreted in view of the accompanying drawings.
OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of the improved drape.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. I showing the curvature adopted by the drape upon inflation.
FIG. 3v is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1 showing the contact of the neck or yoke portion of the drape with the neck of the wearer.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 ofFIG. 1 showing the mating between the opposed yoke portions.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2 showing the foam-filled modification.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Considering FIGS. 1 and 2, the improved drape, generally indicated by the numeral 10, includes opposed impermeable sheets 12,12 which are secured to each otherabout their periphery as at 1221,12a. This has the effect of forming an air-tight interior compartment.
Again referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be noted that the overall drape is then divided into a plurality of Iongitudinal chambers 14,14 which are formed by sealing the sheets 12,12 as at 13,13. i
It will be noted that at the top of the drape a pair of opposed yoke members 15,15 are provided and that these are curved so as to conform substantially to the configuration of the neck of a patient.
Referring to FIG. 4, it will be seen that'these yoke portions 15,15 meet at their rounded ends, l5a,l5a following inflation without the need for any connecting means although snaps or ties could obviously be added if desired.
The drape also is indented somewhat as at 16,160 at the point where the yoke portions join the body. This facilitates bending around the neck upon inflation; if the indentation is greater as in 16a, then the bending effect is more propounded.
tional configuration, as indicated at 17. In this fashion no sharp or rough edges are in contact with the neck N of the wearer, thus providing improved comfort.
In use or operation of the improved drape, it is under stood that it would be placed about the patient with the yoke members 15,15 being brought together atthe rear or back of the neck.
Inflation is accomplished by valve 20 which is shown schematically only because any number of conventional valves could be used with equal success.
Once inflation has taken place, the longitudinal compartments 14,14 will cause the drape 10 to bow, as
clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. In this fashion, only a small portion of the drape itself will contact the body' of the user, and in this fashion also air circulation is permitted between the drape and the body.
Furthermore, the yoke portions 15,15 upon inflation will provide support and cushioning for the head and neck of the patient thereby increasing his comfort.
Neck bands or towels may also be attached to the drape by pressing them on the adhesive layer coated on the outside surfaces of the drape. It is also anticipated that clips or other means of attaching neck bands or towels could be used with this drape. These means are shown, for example, in FIG. 1 and are generally indicated by the numeral 50. They could include straps sewn or otherwise secured to the drape and have clamps or clips of conventional constructions to hold the towels or neck bands.
A device of this nature will protect the patient not only from liquids which might be spilled on him or sprayed on him during the operation, but will also serve to protect him from instruments which may be dropped.
Furthermore, this improved protection is achieved with an attendant improvement in the comfort of the patient. I
Finally, body straps 40,40 can also be employed, if desired, to secure the drape to the body of the wearer.
Turning next then to FIG. 5, a modified form of the invention is disclosed. Thus, in the form of the invention described inFIGS. 1 through 4, an inflatable drape is provided which achieves two goals. First, it protects the body of the wearer and his clothes from damage through spilling, dropping, etc. Second, due to the arcuate configuration of the drape, an air passage is permitted between the under surface of the drape and the body of the-wearer for comfort. While this form of the invention is perfectly acceptable and functional, due to the fact that it does require an air-tight internal chamber, it is susceptible to mal-function due to damage such as, for example, dropping a sharp instrument on it which might cause a puncture.
Accordingly then, the form of the invention shown in FIG. 5 is intended to achieve the two objects set forth above in connection with the form shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, while eliminating any possibility of malfunction due to puncturing or rupturing of the membranes 12,12. Thus the form of the invention shown in FIG. 5 includes opposed sheets 112,112 which are stitched together or heat-sealed together as clearly shown in the drawings. Once more the longitudinal compartments are formed by means of the seams 113,113 but in this form of the invention rather than filling the drape with air and inflating it, the drape is manufactured with a quantity of lightweight foam, such as styrofoam for example, generally indicated by the numeral 120, within the longitudinal compartments;
Due to the consistency of the foam material, the lightweight feature of the drape is retained. Furthermore the arcuate contour which permits the air pocket be-, tween the body and most of the under surface of the drape is also maintained, thus providing comfort to the wearer. The protective and cushioning effect is, of course, also still obtained in this form of the invention, but any damage to the skin or sheet material 112 will not render the drape inoperative as might be the case in connection with the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 4.
It is also possible to mold the entire drape of this foam material with a smooth outer surface caused by contact with the mold during the molding operation. This, of course, would be a less expensive version ofthe 5 drape. This form would be molded having the arcuate cross-sectional configuration which the compartments impart to the drape in the inflatable version.
It should be also noted here that only a sectional view has been shown of this modified form of the invention, with it being understood that all of the other features illustrated and described in connection with the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 would be incorporated into the modified drape with the only basic difference being that the drape is no longer an inflatable drape but rather is a foam-filled one.
While a full and complete description of the invention has been set forth in accordance with the dictates of the Patent Statutes, it is understood that modifications may be resorted to without departing from-the spirit hereof or the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An inflatable protective patient drape,-comprising;
A. a pair of impermeable membranes secured together at their peripheries to form an air-tight chamber;
B. means for introducing air into said chamber;
C. said membranes being secured to each other at transversely spaced intervals to divide said chamber into a plurality of longitudinally extending compartments 1. whereby said drape assumes a curved cross sectional configuration upon inflation and;
D. said membranes each having a pair of opposed,
integral inflatable neck-engaging members at one end, with said neck-engaging members being arcuate .in planar and cross-sectional configuration-and substantially encircling the patients neck l.whereby said members will support the head and neck of said patient.
2. The drape of claim 1 further characterized by the presence of adhesive means on the outer surface of one of said membranes adjacent one end of said drape.
3. The drape of claim 1 further characterized by the presence of a plurality of body straps secured to the outer surface of at least one of said membranes.
4. The drape of claim 1 further characterized by the presence of attachment means secured to the outer surface of at least one said membrane.
5. A protective patient drape, comprising;
A. a pair of sheets secured togetherat their peripher ies to form a substantially closed chamber; B. said sheets being secured to each other at trans= versely spaced intervals to divide said chamber into a plurality of longitudinally extending compart ments; and
C. a quantity of lightweight foam material being received in and substantially filling said compartments; D. said sheets each having a pair of opposed foamfilled neck-engaging rnembers having an arcuate planar and cross-sectional configuration and substantially encircling the neck of the patient and projecting from one end of said drape 1. whereby said members will support the head and neck of said patient.
6 6. The drape of claim 5 further characterized by the C. a pair of opposed neck-engaging members having presence of means for Securing Said rape o the body an arcuate planar and cross-sectional configuration of the patientand substantially encircling the neck of the patient 7. The drape of claim 5 further characterized by the and projecting f one end f Said drape presence of attachment means carried on the outer sur- 5 face of at least one of said sheets.
8. A protective patient drape comprising; A. an elongate body of light-weight foam material adapted to cover at least the upper portion of the 1. whereby said members will support the head and neck of said patient. 9. The drape of claim 8 further characterized by the body of said patient; 10 of the patient I B id b d b i arcuate i cross section 10. The drape of claim 8 further characterized by the 1. whereby only th o b d edges there f presence of attachment means carried on the outer surcontact the body of said patient with the remainface of at least one of said sheets. ing surfaces being spaced therefrom; and i5 presence of means for securing said drape to the body.