US 3866251 A
Footboard apparatus attachable to a bed to provide a foot support for a person lying in the bed. The footboard apparatus is intended for use in conjunction with hospital beds, and is removably attached to such beds by way of a pair of support posts which are received within openings commonly found in the foot of such beds. The footboard is adjustable to accomodate various foot supporting locations and mattress thicknesses. The design construction of the footboard facilitates repair by replacement of a relatively inexpensive component.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Pounds 51 Feb. 18,1975
1 1 FOOTBOARD FOR HOSPITAL BED  Inventor: R; Harold Pounds, 490 Manford Rd.
S.W., Atlanta, Ga. 30310  Filed: Nov. 24, 1973  Appl. No; 419,934
 US. Cl. 5/327 R, 5/319  Int. Cl. A47c 21/00  Field of Search 5/319, 327, 327 B, 317 R,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,067,733 7/1913 Hae1 5/327 R 3,066,322 12/1962 Derby 5/327 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 23,941 12/1910 Great Britain 5/327 A Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant ExaminerAndrew M. Calvert Attorney, Agent, or Firmlones, Thomas & Askew  ABSTRACT Footboard apparatus attachable to a bed to provide a foot support for a person lying in the bed. The footboard apparatus is intended for use in conjunction with hospital beds, and is removably attached to such beds by way of a pair of support posts which are received within openings commonly found in the foot of such beds. The footboard is adjustable to accomodate various foot supporting locations and mattress thicknesses, The design construction of the footboard facilitates repair by replacement of a relatively inexpensive component.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTED FEB] 81975 FIG 1 FIG 3 FIG 2 FOOTBOARD FOR HOSPITAL BED This invention relates in general to bed attachments and in particular to a footboard particularly designed for use with beds as commonly used in hospital, for convalescence, and the like.
Beds favored for use by persons who are sick or who are convalescing, whether in a hospital or at home, typically have at least one portion which can be elevated to place the patient, or at least the upper part of his body, in a semi-upright position. Beds of this type are well-known in the art, and are provided either with a mechanical crank arrangement or with an electricallypowered mechanism for selective elevation of the bed. When the back of the bed is elevated to enable a patient to lie in a reclining position on the bed, the patient has a natural tendency to slide downwardly along the inclined raised portion of the bed, in a direction toward the foot of the bed. Although a particularly tall patient may be able to prevent this unwanted sliding by contacting his feet with the foot of the bed, it will be apparent that this expedient is at best uncomfortable and is totally unavailable for children and, indeed, for pa.- tients of normal stature whose feet will not comfortably contact the foot of the bed while the upper part of their body is comfortably and properly positioned on the elevated portion of the bed.
This problem of unwanted sliding along an elevated Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following disclosure of an illustrative embodiment, including the drawing in which:
FIG. 1 shows an isometric view of a hospital bed equipped with a footboard according to a disclosed illustrative embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 shows a rear elevation view of the footboard shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a vertical section view of the footboard taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.'
Stated in general terms, the present invention comprises a foot engagement member which extends across at least a portion of the width of a bed and which has one or more supporting members extending from the footboard rearwardly toward the foot end of the bed. The support members-each have an end portion which is aligned and positioned for insertion in corresponding vertical openings which are found in the footboard of most contemporary hospital beds.
Turning to the disclosed illustrative embodiment of the present invention, as shown in the Figures, there is seen generally at 10 a footboard apparatus according to the present invention mounted on a hospital bed 11 of conventional construction. The hospital bed 11 has a head end 12 and a foot 13, and at least a head portion bed has been recognized, and attempts have been made to overcome the problem. The most obvious such attempts comprise merely occupying the space between the foot of the bed and the feet of the patient with a bolster, a pillow, or some other object which should prevent the patient from sliding toward the foot of the bed. Such makeshift expedients are far from desirable, however, since the sizes of such objects are fixed by manufacture and cannot be adjusted to accommodate differences in the heights of individual patients. Articles such as pillows or bolsters, moreover, can be displaced from a desired position by the movements of a child or of a restless patient.
Prior art devices have been proposed which attempt to provide a foot support for bed-ridden persons. While some of these prior devices represented an improvement over the use of a pillow or like article, these devices have also been generally unsatisfactory and, consequently, have not enjoyed any substantial success. Generally speaking, prior-art foot support apparatus has been either of the type providing some bracing structure which is merely placed between the foot of the bed and the feet of a patient, or else has been of the type which is bolted, clamped, or otherwise secured to the bed. Footboards or foot supports of the latter type, requiring tools and some mechanical expertise for assembly, attachment, and removal from a bed, are particularly inappropriate for use in environments such as hospitals or nursing homes.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved footboard for a hospital bed.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a footboard which is capable of attachment to or removal from a hospital bed without requiring tools or mechanical expertise.
it is another object of the present invention to provide a footboard which utilizes as attachment locations certain structural features which are present on conventional hospital beds.
14 of the bed can be selectively elevated in the conventional manner, as shown in FIG. 1. It should be understood that the term hospital bed is used herein to mean an adjustable bed of the type depicted and described; such beds are generally used in hospitals and other facilities caring for the sick or infirmed, although it will be understood that hospital beds of this type can also be purchased or rented for use in a private home. The foot 13 of contemporary hospital beds contains a pair of vertical apertures 15 and 16 which are spaced apart along the width of the foot 13 and which extend downwardly a predetermined depth into the foot.
The footboard 10 includes an elongate foot abutment structure 20 including a support board 21 surrounded on at least the foot-contacting side, and preferably on the rear side as well, with a suitable covering 22 of protective and decorative material. A resilient pad 23 is sandwiched between the covering 22 and the front or foot-contacting side of the support board 21, to provide a resilient and confortable surface for abutment by the feet of a-patient. The covering 22 should preferably be of a relative tough and easily cleanable material such as vinyl plastic or the like. The resilient pad 23 can be of any appropriate material such as foam rubber. The support board 21 can advantageously be made of wood, a material which is relatively light and inexpensive, so that a worn or damaged foot abutment structure 20 can be removed from the attachment structure and discarded in favor of a new structure 20. Alternatively, of course, it will be understood that the support board 21 could be fabricated from another material, and it will also be understood that the covering 22 could be provided with snap attachments or some other kind of detachable connection to be of renewable construction.
The foot abutment structure 20, in the disclosed embodiment, is provided with a pair of support and attachment brackets 26 and 27. Each of the attachment brackets 26 and 27 includes an L-shaped bed attachment member 28 having a leg 29 which is of appropriate configuration and length to be received in a corresponding one of the apertures 15, 16 provided in the foot 13 of the bed. Each leg portion 29 terminates in right-angle connection with a forward-facing tubular member 30. The tubular member 30 of each attachment bracket 26 comprises a socket within which an elongate member 31 telescopically extends. A clamping screw 32 extends through the tubular member 30 for selective engagement with the elongate member 31.
Each elongate member 31 is connected to the rear side of the support board 21, with this connection preferably providing for a degree of vertical adjustment of the foot abutment structure 20 with respect to the attachment brackets 26 and 27. This vertical adjustment is provided in the disclosed-embodiment with a pair of vertically slotted attachment plates 36 and 37 connected to respective elongate members 31, and with a corresponding pair of bolts 39a and 39b or otherconnection members extending through the slots to be received in suitable threaded fittings on the rear side of the support board 21. Each of the bolts 39a and 39b extending through the slotted attachment plates 36 and 37 is preferably-provided with an enlarged knob which is readily turned by hand, to facilitate loosening and tightening of the bolts. Each of the attachment brackets 26 and 27 may, if desired, be provided with a lockably rotatable connection 33a and 33b, respectively, permitting the foot abutment structure 20 to be tilted forwardly or backwardly relative to the top surface 40 of the bed. This tilting feature enables the foot abutment structure to be adjusted to an angle which is comfortable for the individual patient.
The entire footboard assembly is preferably constructed of materials, which are easily cleaned and which can withstand the relatively rugged use of hospital environments. The brackets 26 and 27, including the attachment plates 36 and 37 and associated hardware components, may be made of a material such as stainless steel to provide the necessary strength and durability while providing an attractive construction which can be easily and repetitively cleaned. The attachment plates 36 and 37 may be completely disconnected from the foot abutment structure 20 by removal of the bolts 39a and 39b,.so that a damaged or worn foot abutment structure can be replaced merely by disconnecting the brackets from the old structure and connecting the same brackets and associated hardware components to a new foot abutment structure. In this manner, the most expensive components of the present footboard apparatus, namely, the brackets and other hardware components, can enjoy an indefinite useful lifetime in connection with any number of renewable foot abutment structures.
Considering the use of the invention as shown in the illustrative embodiment, the footboard apparatus can be readily installed by any person, without benefit or technical or mechanical expertise, merely by lowering each of the bracket legs 29 into the corresponding apertures l5 and 16 in the foot of the bed. If it is necessary or desirable to adjust the vertical elevation of the foot abutment structure 20, with respect to the top surface 40 of the bed, such adjustment is promptly provided by loosening the bolts 39a and 39b, making an appropriate vertical adjustment of the foot abutment structure, and then retightening the bolts. The horizontal spacing between the foot 13 of the bed and the foot abutment structure 20 is provided in a similar manner,
namely, by making an appropriate telescopic adjust ment of the tubular members 31 while each clamping screw 32 is temporarily loosened. When a particular patient no longer needs the footboard assembly, the en- 5 tire assembly is quickly and easily removed from the bed simply by lifting the legs 29 out of the apertures and 16 in the foot of the bed.
Although the horizontal or foot-engaging adjustment of the illustrative embodiment of the footboard is manually adjustable, it will be understood that a powered drive apparatus could be incorporated to provide selective horizontal positioning of the footboard. This powered drive mechanism could include a reversible elec-' tric motor in combination with a screw jack mechanism, for example, and would be complementary to electrically-operated hospital beds which permit a bed ridden patient to make his own bed position adjustments by remote control.
It will be understood that-the foregoing relates only to a preferred embodiment of the presentinvention, and that numerous alterations and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.
What isclaimed is:
1. Adjustable footboard for use with a hospital bed having an existing pair of vertical receptacle apertures in laterally spaced apart relation with each other at the foot end of the bed, comprising:
an elongate foot engagement member of length sufficient to extend laterally substantially across the width of the bed;
support means attached to said foot engagement member and extending rearwardly therefrom;
bed attachment means attached to said support means and extending downwardly at substantially a right angle to said support means, said bed attachment means including a pair of elongate members each of which is dimensioned to be slidingly received within said receptacle apertures provided in the foot of the bed; and
the lateral spacing between said elongate members being identical to said lateral spacing between said apertures.
2. Footboard for attachment to a bed having an existing pair of vertical receptacle apertures in laterally spaced apart relation with each other at the foot end of the bed, comprising:
a pair of support brackets each of which has a first portion dimensioned to be received in vertical downwardly extending relation within a vertical receptacle located adjacent the foot of the bed;
each of said support brackets having a second por- 55 tion connected to said first portion and extending in substantially horizontal relation to said first-portion to terminate at a location spaced a selectively adjustable distance from said first portions;
a foot abutment member connected to said second portions and extending across the width of the bed to provide a footrest for a person reclining on the bed; and
said second portions being connected to said foot abutment member in' predetermined fixed position which places said first portions in lateral spaced alignment with the existing vertical receptacle apertures on thebed.
3. Apparatus as in claim 2, wherein said foot abutment member includes a substantially vertical foot abutment surface which is in substantially parallel relation with said first portions of said support brackets.
4. Apparatus as in claim 3, wherein said first portions are securely received within the vertical receptacles to immobilize said foot abutment member.
5. Apparatus as in claim 4, further comprising adjustable means including a vertically elongate slot attached to said foot abutment member and interconnecting said foot abutment member with said second portions to permit selective vertical movement of said abutment member relative to said second portions.
6. Apparatus as in claim 5, wherein said second por-