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Publication numberUS3876018 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1975
Filing dateNov 29, 1973
Priority dateJan 3, 1972
Publication numberUS 3876018 A, US 3876018A, US-A-3876018, US3876018 A, US3876018A
InventorsBauer Ronald J, Mracek Milo F
Original AssigneeSaid Mracek By Said Bauer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable support for a bed patient
US 3876018 A
Images(10)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Mracek et al.

1 1 PORTABLE SUPPORT FOR A BED PATIENT [75] Inventors: Milo F. Mracek, 22 Morwood Ln..

Creve Coeur, Mo. 63141; Ronald J. Bauer. Florissant. both of Mo.

[73] Assignee: said Mracek by said Bauer, St.

Louis. Mo.

[22] Filed: Nov. 29, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 420,083

Related U.S. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 214,806, Jan. 3. 1972. Pat. No.

[52] U.S. Cl. 177/132; 177/136; 177/144; 177/210; 177/245 [51] Int. Cl. Gfllg 19/08; GOlg 19/52 [58] Field of Search... 177/132. 136, 144, 210-212, 177/245 [561 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 441,827 12/1890 Cowan 177/245 2.210.246 8/1940 Kirkman et a1. 177/144 2.263.383 11/1941 Griffith 177/245 2.499.033 2/1950 Oberholtzer... 177/211 X 2.802.660 8/1957 Williams. Jr.... 177/211 X 3.239.018 3/1966 Mazursky........ 177/144 3.338.323 8/1967 Swersey 177/144 3.367.431 2/1968 Baker 177/144 X Apr. 8, 1975 3.673.620 7/1972 Saunders 177/136 X FQRElGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 793.246 4/1958 United Kingdom 177/211 Primary ExaminerRichard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-Stanley J. Witkowski Attorney. Agent, or FirmRogers. Ezell 8r. Eilers [57] ABSTRACT A normally-deflated. readily-flexible, inflatable pad which underlies a bed patient can be inflated to raise that bed patient and to gently but firmly hold that bed patient in raised position. When that inflatable pad is inflated, it defines a recess at the lower surface of the center thereof into which the supporting surface of a portable support can be moved; and that inflatable pad and that portable support can thereafter hold the bed patient at a desired level relative to the bed on which that inflatable pad normally rests. When the supporting surface of the portable support subsequently is removed from the recess at the lower surface of the center of the inflatable pad. that inflatable pad can be deflated to lower the bed patient A pressure transducer, between the supporting surface and the carrier therefor, develops a signal while that supporting surface underlies and holds the inflatable pad and the bed patient; and a readout responds to that signal to indicate the weight of that bed patient.

6 Claims. 30 Drawing Figures FIL rllL F 2 HF SHEET TEHTEB X IEBAFP. 81975 1876.018

SHEET cum 10 i 2 SHEU S 1O PAYEHTEDAPR 8 ms Maw SHEET PATENTEDAPR 81975 %\N %%N NS PORTABLE SUPPORT FOR A BED PATIENT This is a division of application Ser. No. 2l4,806, filed Jan. 3, I972, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,795,284.

This invention relates to improvements in portable supports for bed patients. More particularly. this invention relates to improvements in portable supports for bed patients who must be handled with care.

it is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portable support for use with bed patients who must be handled with care.

The present invention provides a normally deflated. readily-flexible, inflatable pad which can overlie a mattress on a bed and underlie a bed patient. The material of which that inflatable pad is made is so thin and flexible that the bed patient can rest on that inflatable pad without discomfort, even when that inflatable pad is deflated. As that inflatable pad is inflated, it will gently but firmly elevate the bed patient until the bed patient is several inches above the mattress. The portions of the inflatable pad which are not overlain by the bed patient will tend to inflate before the remaining portions of that inflatable pad can become inflated. This means that the perimetral portions of the inflatable pad will tend to inflate before the central portion of that inflatable pad can become inflated; and the prompt inflation of those perimetral portions will enable the inflatable pad to cradle the bed patient, and thereby avoid any tendency of the bed patient to roll, as that inflatable pad is being inflated. Once the inflatable pad has been inflated. it will constitute a flrm supporting surface for r the bed patient, When that inflatable pad is to be deflated, the weight of the bed patient will deflate the central portion of that inflatable pad before the perimetral portions of that inflatable pad become deflated. This means that the perimetral portions of the inflatable pad will tend to cradle the bed patient, and therby avoid any tendency of the bed patient to roll, as that inflatable pad is being deflated. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an inflatable pad which is made from a thin and flexible material, which can be inflated to constitute a firm supporting surface for a bed patient, and which permits the perimetral portions thereof to tend to cradle the bed patient during the inflation and deflation of that inflatable pad.

One preferred embodiment of portable support provided by the present invention can be used as a lifting device for a bed patient, as a weighing device for a bed patient, and as a transporting device for a bed patient. That portable support has a carrier and a supporting surface which can be moved into position beneath an inflatable pad on which a bed patient is resting, and that carrier and supporting surface can be raised upwardly to lift the bed patient. As the bed patient is lifted, a weighing mechanism intermediate the supporting surface and carrier will develop a signal which will indicate the total weight of the inflatable pad, of the bed patient. and of his attire. Because the weight of the inflatable pad and attire will be essentially constant, any changes in the indicated weight will reflect changes in the weight of the bed patient. Also, if desired, while the bed patient is in lifted position, the bed mattress can be turned over, or reversed end for end, to make it more comfortable for the bed patient. Further, while the bed patient is in lifted position, he or she can be moved around within a given area by moving the portable support around within that given area. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portable support which can be used as a lifting device for a bed patient, as a weighing device for a bed patient, and as a transporting device for a bed patient.

The said one preferred embodiment of portable sup port has a wheel-equipped chassis and has a carrier and a supporting surface that can be moved laterally away from that wheel-equipped chassis and into position beneath the inflatable pad on which a bed patient is resting, that can be raised upwardly to lift the bed patient, and that can then be moved back into position adjacent that wheel-equipped chassis to move the bed patient into position adjacent that wheel-equipped chassis. The width of that wheel-equipped chassis is narrower than the width of an average door in a hospital or nursing home; and hence that preferred embodiment of portable support can be used to transport a bed patient between various rooms or areas in a hospital or nursing home. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portable support with a relatively narrow, wheel-equipped chassis which has a carrier and a supporting surface that can be moved laterally away from that wheel-equipped chassis and into position beneath an inflatable pad on which a bed patient is resting, that can be raised upwardly to lift the bed patient, and that can be moved back into position adjacent that wheel-equipped chassis to move the bed patient into position adjacent that wheel-equipped chassis.

The weight of a bed patient will apply a downwardly acting force to the carrier and supporting surface of the said one preferred embodiment of portable support as that carrier and supporting surface lift that bed patient; and that downward force will develop a rotative moment which will tend to cause that portable support to tilt. Any such tilting will be prevented by stabilizing legs which are carried by that portable support and which move laterally of that portable support to engage the floor at points below the bed patient. Those stabilizing legs will automatically move into stabilizing position before the carrier and supporting surface can start to lift the bed patient, and those stabilizing legs will automatically move into retracted position when that carrier and supporting surface are lowered to their normal positions. When the stabilizing legs are in stabilizing position, the total width of the portable support is greater than the width of an average door in a hospital or nursing home; but, when those stabilizing legs are in retracted position, the total width of the portable support is less than the width of such a door. As a result, the present invention provides a portable support which is narrow enough to pass through the averagewidth doors of a hospital or nursing home, and yet is sufficiently stable to enable the carrier and supporting surface thereof to be moved laterally away from it and into position beneath an inflatable pad to lift that inflatable pad and a bed patient thereon. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portalbe support which is narrow enough to pass through the average-width doors of a hospital or nursing home, and yet is sufficiently stable to enable the carrier and supporting surface thereof to be moved laterally away from it and into position beneath an inflatable pad to lift that inflatable pad and a bed patient resting thereon.

A less expensive portable support, which can lift an inflated pad and a bed patient resting thereon, can be provided by making that portable support with a base that always underlies the carrier and supporting surface of that portable support. The base of that portable support will fully prevent any tilting of that portable support when that carrier and supporting surface lift an inflatable pad and a bed patient resting thereon. The opposite ends of that inflatable pad will extend outwardly beyond the sides of that portable support, and will thereby keep that portable support from being moved endways through an averagewidth door ofa hospital or nursing home; and the length of that portable support is greater than the width of such a door. As a result. that portable support is unable to pass through an average-width door of a hospital or nursing home while it is supporting an inflated pad and a bed patient thereon. However. that portable support can be freely moved around within any given space or room while it is supporting an inflated bed and a bed patient thereon, and it can be moved through an average-width door of a hospital or nursing home whenever it is not supporting an inflated pad. That embodiment of portable support can lift and lower an inflated pad and a bed patient thereon. can weight that bed patient. and can move that bed patient around within a given space or room. It is. therefore. an object of the present invention to provide a portable support with a base that always underlies the carrier and supporting surface of that portable support and which can raise and lower that carrier and supporting surface to lift and lower an inflated pad and a bed patient thereon.

An even less expensive portable support. which can hold an inflated pad and a bed patient resting thereon. can be provided by making that portable support with a base that always underlies the carrier and supporting surface of that portable support and by making that carrier and supporting surface stationary relative to that base. The carrier and supporting surface of that portable support can be moved into position beneath an inflated pad and a bed patient thereon; and then the bed can be lowered to enable the weight of the inflated pad and of the bed patient to be transferred to that carrier and supporting surface. At such time. the weight of the inflated pad and of the bed patient can be noted; and the portable support can be moved around within a given space or room to move the bed patient around within that space or room. Subsequently. when it is desired to have the bed again support the inflated pad and the bed patient, the carrier and the supporting surface of the portable support will be moved into position above the bed. and then that bed will be raised upwardly until it engages and supports the inflated pad and the bed patient thereon. It is, therefore. an object of the present invention to provide a portable support with a base that always underlies the carrier and supporting surface of that portable support and that holds that carrier and supporting surface stationary relative to that base.

The supporting surfaces of the various portable supports provided by the present invention are equipped with fittings that enable them to support bottles of blood. plasma. glucose. saline solution. or the like. or to hold receptacles which are attached to catheters or tubes within the bed patient. As a result. the various portable supports provided by the present invention can be used to weigh bed patients and to move those bed patients around within a given space or room with out any need of interrupting the flow of blood. plasma. glucose, saline solution, or the like into the bed patient, and without any need of interrupting the flow of fluids from the bed patient. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portable support with a supporting surface which has fittings that enable it to support bottles of blood, plasma, glucose. saline solution, or the like. or to hold receptacles which are attached to catheters or tubes within'the bed patient.

The weighing mechanism, in each of the portable supports provided by the present invention, need only weigh the inflatable pad, the bed patient, and the bed patients attire. Because the inflatable pad is light in weight and because the patient's attire is light in weight, the bed patients weight constitutes the greatest proportion of the total weight sensed by the weighing mechanism. Such an arrangement is far more desirable than is an arrangement wherein the bed. as well as the bed patient, must be weighed; because in the former arrangement the weight of the bed patient is a very high percentage of the total weight, whereas in the latter arrangement the weight of the bed patient is a much smaller percentage of the total weight. It is, therefore. an object of the present invention to provide a portable support which only weighs an inflatable pad, a bed patient on that inflatable pad, and the attire of that patient.

The weighing mechanism in each of the portable supports of the present invention does not require much vertical movement of the supporting surface of that portable support, and thus does not require much vertical movement of the inflatable pad or of the bed patient. This is desirable, because it permits a bed patient to be weighed even though some of his or her limbs are held by traction frames. and even though the upper portion of the bed patient is encased within an oxygen tent. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portable support which utilizes a weighing mechanism that does not require much vertical movement of the supporting surface of that portable support.

The various portable supports provided by the present invention make it possible for one person to lift a bed patient and to move that bed patient around within a given space or room. Also, those portable supports make it possible for that one person to accurately weigh that bed patient. Further, those portable supports make it possible for that one person to do any or all of those things without causing any discomfort to that bed patient. It is. therefore. an object of the present invention to provide a portable support which makes it possible for one person to lift a bed patient, to move that bed patient around within a given space or room. and to accurately weigh that bed patient withouteausing any discomfort to that bed patient.

The various portable supports provided by the present invention can be used to monitor the weight of a bad patient on a periodic or continuous basis. Where any of those portable supports is used to monitor the weight of a bed patient on a periodic basis, that portable support will be caused to recurrently hold that bed patient above the bed long enough to enable a reading of his or her weight to be taken. Where any of those portable supports is used to monitor a bed patients weight on a continuous basis, that portable support will be caused to continuously hold the bed patient. In all events, the bed patient is held in a comfortable position while being weighed. It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a portable support which can monitor the weight of a bed patient on a periodic or continuous basis.

The normally deflated. readily flexible. inflatable pad provided by the present invention has a passage therethrough in register with the rectal area of a bed patient. That passage permits a bedpan to be placed beneath the rectal area of the bed patient whenever the inflatable pad is inflated to lift the bed patient above the level of the bed. Such an inflatable pad makes it possible for the waste products of the bed patient to be collected with an absolute minimum of discomfort for that bed patient. It is. therefore. an object of the present invention to provide a normally deflated. readily flexible. inflatable pad that has a passage therethrough in register with the rectal area of a bed patient.

Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention should become apparent from an examination of the drawing and accompanying description.

In the drawing and accompanying description several preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown and described but it is to be understood that the drawing and accompanying description are for the purpose of illustration only and do not limit the invention and that the invention will be defined by the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing. FIG. I is a partially broken. plan view of one preferred embodiment of portable support that is madein accordance with the principles and teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the right-hand end of the portable support shown in FIG. I, as it appears when the right-hand wing thereof is in its lowered positron.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the portable support shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an inflated pad which can be used with the portable support shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an elevational view. on a larger scale. of part of the supporting surface and inflated pad of the portable support shown in FIG. I, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 5-5 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view. on a scale intermediate those of FIGS. I and 5. ofa portion of the portable support of FIG. I. and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 6-6 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view. on a scale intermediate those of FIGS. 5 and 6, of a further portion of the portable support of FIG. I. and it is taken along the plan indicated by the line 7-7 in FIG. 1,

FIG. 8 is a sectional view. on a scale intermediate those of FIGS. 1 and 7, through another portion of the portable support of FIG. 1, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 8-8 in FIG. 3,

FIG. 9 is a sectional view. on a scale intermediate those of FIGS. 1 and 8, through the portable support of FIG. 1, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 9-9 of FIG. 3,

FIG. 10 is a sectional view, on the scale of FIG. 9, through a portion of the portable support of FIG. 1., and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 10-10 in FIG. 9,

FIG. I] is a partially broken away. partically sectioned view. on the scale of FIG. 9, through the portable support of FIG. 1, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 11-11 in FIG. 1,

FIG. 12 is a further sectional view. on the scale of FIG. 9, through the portable support of FIG. I, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 12-12 in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is another sectional view. on the scale of FIG. 9. through the portable support of FIG. 1. and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line l3-l3 in FIG. 11,

FIG. 14 is yet another sectional view. on the scale of FIG. 9, through a portion of the portable support of FIG. 1, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 14-14 in FIG. 9,

FIG. 15 is a sectional view. on a scale larger than the scale of FIG. 5, through another portion of the portable support of FIG. 1, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 15-15 in FIG. 9,

FIG. 16 is a sectional view, on a scale close to that of FIG. 5, through a further portion of the portable support of FIG. 1. and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 16-16 of FIG. 9,

FIG. 17 is a sectional view. on the scale of FIG. 16, through the structure shown in FIG. 16, and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 17-17 in FIG. 16,

FIG. 18 is a sectional view. on the scale of FIG. 16, of the structure shown in FIG. 17. and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 18-18 in FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 is another sectional view. on the scale of FIG. 16, through the structure shown in FIG. 17. and it is taken along the plane indicated by the line 19-19 in FIG. 17,

FIG. 20 is a force diagram which shows forces adjacent one of the levers in the structure of FIG. 17.

FIG. 21 shows the electrical circuit of the portable support of FIGS. 1-20,

FIG. 22 is an elevational view of a portion of a second preferred embodiment of portable support which differs from the portable support of FIGS. 1-20 by having a crank. rather than a motor. to raise and lower the carrier and supporting surface thereof.

FIG. 23 is a plan view of a third preferred embodiment of portable support.

FIG. 24 is an elevational view of the rear of the portable support shown in FIG. 23,

FIG. 25 is a partially broken-away. partially sectioned. elevational view of the left-hand end of the portable support of FIG. 23.

FIG. 26 is a partially broken-away. partially sectioned elevational view of a fourth preferred embodiment of portable support.

FIG. 27 is a plan view of a portion of the portable support shown in FIG. 26,

FIG. 28 is a schematic showing of the pneumatic system used in the various portable supports of FIGS. 1-27,

FIG. 29 is a side elevational view ofa disposable bedpan which is usable with the inflatable pad of FIG. 4. and

FIG. 30 is an end elevational view of the bedpan of FIG. 29 in use with that inflatable pad.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1-20. the numeral 40 generally denotes a chassis for one preferred embodiment of portable support that is made in accordance with the principles and teachings of the present invention. As indicated particularly by FIGS. 1-3 and 9, that chassis is prismatic in form. is defined by horizontally extending and vertically extending structural members, and is enclosed by exterior walls which are secured to those structural members. Casters 42, of standard and usual design, are secured to the bottom of the chassis 40 adjacent the four corners thereof; and those casters are equipped with latches. When those latches are released, the chassis 40 can be wheeled in any direction to any desired position within a hospital or nursing home; but, when those latches are set. the chassis 40 will remain stationary.

The numeral 44 denotes two channels which have slots 46 in the upper surfaces thereof; and those channels are located adjacent the bottom of the chassis 40. As indicated particularly by FIGS. 2 and 9, the channels 44 incline downwardly at a shallow angle from the left-hand or rear face of the chassis toward the righthand or front face of that chassis. Elongated stabilizing legs 48, which are shown in FIG. H) as hollow beams of rectangular cross section, are slidably mounted within the channels 44. Rollers 50 are rotatably mounted at the front ends of the stabilizing legs 48; and elongated racks 52 are provided on the upper surfaces of those stabilizing legs. Those racks extend upwardly through, and above the levels of. the slots 46 in the channels 44, as indicated particularly by FIGS. 9 and 10.

The numeral 53 denotes a supporting sub-frame which is mounted at the inner face of the front end of the chassis 40, as indicated particularly by FIGS. 9 and 15. An elongated shaft 54 is mounted in bearing blocks 55 which are part of the supporting sub-frame 53, and which are shown particularly by FIG. 15. That shaft is close to, and extends parallel to, the lower part of the front of the chassis 40, as indicated particularly by FIG. 9. Pinions 56 are fixedly secured to the outer ends of the shaft 54; and those pinions mesh with. and drive, the racks 52 on the upper surfaces of the stabilizing legs 48, as indicated by FIGS. 1-3 and 9.

The numeral 58 denotes a pivot which is mounted in the supporting sub-frame 53; and that pivot is shown particularly by FIGS. 9 and IS. A gear segment 60, with slotted arms 62, is rotatably mounted on the pivot 58; and that gear segment is shown particularly by FIGS. 9, l4 and I5. Pins 64 are carried by the lower ends of the slotted arms 62 of gear segment 60; and those pins project both outwardly and inwardly of those arms. as shown particularly by FIG. 15. Pins 66 are secured to the sub-frame 53, and they project outwardly beyond both sides of that sub-frame at a point below the level of the pivot 58, as shown particularly by FIGS. 9 and I; and the opposite ends of those pins receive the lower ends of helical extension springs 68. The upper ends of those helical extension springs are held by the pins 64 in the slotted arms 62 of gear segment 60, as shown particularly by FIGS. 9, l4 and IS.

Stops 69 are formed on the sub-frame 53 at the approximate level of the axis of the shaft 58, as shown particularly by FIGS. 9 and 15. Those stops are in the paths of the confronting ends of the pins 64 on the gear segment 60; and those stops limit rotation of that gear segment in the counter clockwise direction in FIG. 9. The helical extension springs 68 bias the pins 64 on the gear segment 60 away from the stops 69 whenever that gear segment is in the solid-line position shown in FIG. 9, but those helical extension spring bias those pins toward those stops whenever that gear element is in the dotted-line position shown in FIG. 9.

The numeral 70 denotes a shaft which is rotatably supported within bearings that are located in the supporting sub-frame 53 above the level of the bearing blocks 55, as shown particularly by FIGS. 9 and 15. A pinion 72 is fixedly mounted on, and thus will rotate with, the shaft 70; and a pinion 74 is fixedly mounted on. and thus will rotate with, the shaft 54. The teeth on the pinions 72 and 74 mesh with each other; and the teeth on the pinion 72 mesh with the teeth on the gear segment 60. As a result, rotation of that gear segment in the counter clockwise direction in FIG. 9 will effect counter clockwise rotation of the shaft 54. Conversely, clockwise rotation of that gear segment will effect clockwise rotation of that shaft.

The numeral 76 denotes a bushing which is mounted in the supporting sub-frame 53, as shown particularly by FIG. 9; and that bushing rotatably supports one end of an elongated lead screw 78. That lead screw is horizontally disposed, and it extends from the front of the chassis 40 toward the rear of that chassis, as shown by FIG. 9. A bearing housing 80, which is supported by the chassis 40, has a bearing therein that rotatably supports the rear end of the lead screw 78. A flexible coupling 82 connects the rear end of that lead screw to the output shaft of a reversible gear motor 84. That gear motor is mounted on a suitable supporting element within the chassis 40, as indicated particularly by FIGS. 9 and 11.

The numeral 86 generally denotes a slide which has a straight rear edge, but which has a front edge that is defined by rearwardly-inclined converging surfaces, as indicated by FIGS. l, 12 and 14. The central portion of the slide 86 has a cylindrical passage 87 through it that has an inner diameter which is larger than the diameter of the lead screw 78, as shown particularly by FIG. 14. The slide 86 has horizontally-directed arms 88, as shown particularly by FIGS. 1 and I4; and these arms have slots therein, as shown by FIG. 15. Projections 90, which are shown particularly by FIGS. 11-13, extend outwardly from the opposite sides of the slide 86. Slotted bosses 92 are formed on the upper surface of the guide 86 adjacent the front edge of that upper surface, as shown particularly by FIGS. 1l-l3.

Guide channels 94 are fixedly mounted within the chassis 40; and those guide channels extend from the front to the rear of that chassis adjacent the inner surfaces of the sides of that chassis, as shown particularly by FIGS. "-13. Those guide channels receive and guide the projections on the slide 86, and thus help guide movement of that slide. A double pole, single throw limit switch 95 is mounted on the chassis 40 in position to be actuated by the slide 86 as that slide moves into the position of FIGS. 11 and 12. A double pole, single throw limit switch 97 is mounted on that chassis in position to be actuated by that slide as that slide moves into the solid-line position of FIG. 9. A follower block 96, that is shown particularly by FIGS. 9, l4 and I5, has an internal thread which mates with the thread of the lead screw 78. Pins 98 are fixedly secured to. and extend outwardly from, both sides of the follower block 96, as shown particularly by FIGS. I4 and 15. Those pins are disposed within, and are confined and guided by, the slots in the slotted arms 88 of the slide 86.

Slotted bosses 100 are formed on a portion of the chassis 40 adjacent the rear of that chassis, as shown particularly by F I05. 9, I1 and 12. Those slotted bosses are located at the same approximate level as the slotted bosses 92 on the slide 86; and those slotted bosses are in general alignment with the slotted bosses 92.

The numeral I02 generally denotes a platform which is rectangular in plan and in elevation, and which can be moved from the lowered position of FIG. 9 to the raised position of FIG. I]. Slotted bosses I04 are provided at the underside of the platform I02. adjacent the front of that platform. as indicated by FIGS. 9 and II. Slotted bosses I05 are provided at the underside of the platform 102, adjacent the rear of that platform. as indicated by FIGS. 9 and 11.

The numeral I06 denotes channels which are carried by the platform I02 at the top thereof; and those channels extend from the front to the rear of that platform, and they are located adjacent the opposite sides of that platform. As shown particularly by FIG. I6, the channels 106 have flanges which extend short distances downwardly at the opposite sides of the platform 102. Screws I07 extend through flanges and seat in threaded openings within the opposite sides of the platform 102, as shown by FIG. 16, to fixedly secure the channels I06 to that platform. Elongated slides I08 are dimensioned to fit within the channels 106, as indicated particularly by FIGS. II and l6-I9; and those elongated slides are generally C-shaped in cross section but have thick webs. Recesses are formed in the upper and lowr surfaces of the thick webs of the elongaged slides 108 to accommodate rollers IIO. Those rollers engage the confronting faces ofthc upper and lower flanges of the channels 106. and thereby facilitate ready telescoping movement of those slides relative to those channels. The numeral II2 denotes a generally-rectangular carrier which has a length just shorter than the length of the platform I02. and which has a width that is slightly greater than the width of the platform I02, as shown particularly by FIGS. 16 and 17. The sides of the platform II2 are offset slightly upwardly and are disposed within the slides 108. as indicated particularly by FIGS. I6 and I7. Rollers 114 are disposed within recesses in the upper and lower surfaces of the sides of the carrier H2; and those rollers engage the confronting surfaces of the upper and lower flanges of the elongated slides I08. As a result, the carrier II2 can freely telescope relative to the slides I08, while the slides I08 telescope freely relative to the channels 106. All of this means that the carrier I12 can be shifted forwardly from the position of FIG. 9. wherein it is in register with the platform I02, to the position of FIGS. I, 2 and 11, wherein it is disposed wholly forwardly of that platform.

Hinge plates 116 are pivotally secured to the carrier 112 by hinge pins I18, as shown particularly by FIGS. 16 and 17. One set of hinge plates 116 is disposed adjacent the rear edge of the carrier 112 and extend lengthwise of that carrier, while a second set of those hinge plates is disposed adjacent the front of that carrier and also extends lengthwise of that carrier all as indicated by FIGS. 9 and 17. A generally rectangular supporting surface I20 is secured to the upper ends of the hinge plates [I6 by hinge pins II9, as shown by FIGS. 9 and I7. That supporting surface overlies the carrier I12; and the edges thereof extend short distances outwardly beyond the edges of that carrier.

The carrier II2 has spaced, upstanding ribs 113, and also has a perimetral upstanding flange. Those ribs and that flange stiffen and reinforce that carrier. and thereby enable that carrier to be sturdy and strong although light in weight. The supporting surface 120 has spaced, downwardly-extending ribs I2I plus a down wardly extending perimetral flange. Those ribs and that flange stiffen and reinforce that supporting surface, and thereby enable that supporting surface to be sturdy and strong although light in weight.

The numeral 122 denotes a pressure transducer of standard design and construction. and that pressure transducer is supported by the carrier II2 adjacent the geometric center of that carrier. The numeral I23 denotes an insert of hard material in the underface of the supporting surface I20; and that insert is in register with the movable element of the pressure transducer 122. The upper surface of that movable element is spherical in configuration to enable it to have point contact with the hard insert 123; and such contact is desirable because it will make certain that the pressure transducer is centrally loaded by a single concentrated load.

The hinge plates I16, the carrier I12 and the supporting surface I20 essentially act as a four-bar. linkage mechanism which is arranged as a quadrilateral. which has the opposite sides thereof parallel. and which defines equal oblique angles and equals acute angles: and this is desirable. because such a linkage mechanism enables all of the weight of the supporting surface 120 and of anything and anyone resting thereon to be concentrated at the hard insert I23 as a vertically directed load. In this way. the portable support of the present invention obviates the cost and the potential errors inherent in the use of a plurality of pressure transducers or load-sensing cells which have the outputs thereof suitably totaled. Any internal loads which develop in the fourbar, linkage mechanism will be in static equilibrium. and thus will produce no significant rotation in the load which is concentrated at the hard insert I23.

Further. because any displacement of the center of gravity of the supporting surface 120 and of anything and anyone resting thereon relative to the hard insert 123 will merely produce a variation in the internal loads in the hinge plates I16 of the four-bar. linkage mechanism, it is not necessary that the said hard insert be at the precise geometric center of the supporting surface I20, and it is not necessary that the pressure transducer 122 be at that precise geometric center of the carrier I12;

The only disturbance forces which could tend to decrease the accuracy of the weight-indicating signals developed by the pressure transducer I22 would be those caused by friction. The numeral in FIG. 20 denotes an arrow which represents a horizontally directed frictional force that is the product of a downwardly acting force represented by the arrow I27 and its associated coefficient of friction; and that horizontally directed frictional force acts at a small radial distance indicated by the numeral 129 below the center line ofa hinge pin II9. That horizontally directed frictional force will develop a resistive moment of force that will have to be overcome by the load applied to the supporting surface I20; but that resistive moment of force will be essentially insignificant because the diameter of the hinge pin 119 is very small. and because the surface of that hinge pin and of the complementary opening in the hinge plate 116 will be smooth, hard and lubricated. The overall result is that the four-bar. linkage mechanism enables the pressure transducer 122 to indicate the total weight of the supporting surface 120 and of anything and anyone resting thereon with a high degree of repeatable accuracy. The pressure transducer 122 has a movable element which moves only a very small fraction of an inch as a bed patient is being weighed. If desired, that pressure transducer could be a resistance-type load-sensing cell or could be a piston of a hydraulic weight-sensing system.

A flexible insulated conductor 124 extends from the pressure transducer 122 to and through a grommet 126 in the carrier I22, and then extends to and through a grommet 128 in the upper surface of the platform 102. as shown by FIG. 9. That conductor extends to a digital readout and transducer supply 236 which is shown in FIG. 21. The portion of the flexible conductor 124 which is intermediate the grommets 126 and 128 preferably is made so it tends to assume a generally helical configuration. as shown by FIG. 9; because such a configuration enables that conductor to accommodate movement ofthe carrier I12 and of the supporting sur face I20 from the position shown in FIG. 9 to the position shown in FIGS. I, 2 and II. In FIG. 1, the conductor 124 is shown as being absolutely straight. but even when the supporting surface 120 is in the position shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 11, the conductor 124 will have some slack in it.

The numeral 130 denotes a handle that is fixedly secured to the rear edge of the supporting surface 120; and that handle resembles an inverted U in elevation. as shown particularly by FIG. 3. That handle can be used to apply forces to the supporting surface 120 which will cause that supporting surface and the carrier 112 to move from the retracted position of FIG. 9 to the moved position of FIGS. 1. 2 and 11. Conversely. the handle 130 can be used to apply forces to the supporting surface 120 which will cause that supporting surface and the carrier 112 to move from the moved position of FIGS. 1, 2 and I] to the retracted position of FIG. 9.

The supporting surface 120 has sockets 131 secured thereto adjacent one edge thereof; and those sockets can releasably receive hangers 132. Those hangers can be used to support containers. such as the container 256 in FIG. 2. for blood, plasma. glucose. saline solution. or the like. The supporting surface 120 also is provided with several headed pins 134, as indicated by FIGS. I-3 and 17. In addition. the supporting surface 120 has sockets 12S therein which can releasably receive the hangers I32.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and II, the numeral 136 denotes a lever which has two end plates that are held in fixedly-spaced relation by two connecting plates 137. The end plates of the lever 136 are disposed a short distance inwardly of the inner faces of the sides of the platform I02; and the connecting plates 137 of that lever extend lengthwise of that platform.

Pins 138 rotatably secure the upper ends of the end plates of the lever 136 to the slotted bosses I05, and thus to the platform 102, as shown by FIGS. 9 and 11. Pins I40 rotatably secure the lower ends of the end plates of the lever 136 to the slotted bosses 92 of the slide 86, as shown by FIGS. 9 and 11.

The numeral 142 denotes a lever which is essentially identical with the lever 136 having two end plates and two connecting plates 143. The end plates of the lever 142 are disposed outwardly of the end plates of the lever 136 but inwardly of the inner surfaces of the sides of the platform I02, and the connecting plates 143 of the former lever extend longitudinally of that platform. As shown particularly by FIG. 9, portions of the end plates of the levers 136 and 142 are cut away to reduce the weights of those levers. Pins I44 rotatably sccure the lower ends of the end plates of the lever 142 to the slotted bosses of the chassis 40. Pins 146 slidably and rotatably secure the upper ends of the end plates of the lever 142 to the slotted bosses 104 of the platform 102.

An elongated pivot 148 extends through the end plates of the lever I36 and are secured to the end plates of the lever 142. That pivot holds the levers 136 and 142 in assembled relation with each other, while permitting those levers to rotate relative to each other about the geometric centers thereof. The slide 86, the levers 136 and 142, and the platform 102 essentially act as a scissorstype jack.

The numeral 150 denotes a wing which is shown in plan view in FIG. 1 and in side view in FIG. 3. A similar wing 164 is shown in plan view in FIG. 1, in end view in FIG. 2, in side view in FIG. 3, and in section in FIG. 6. A hinge 151 has one plate thereof secured to the chassis 40, and has the other plate thereof secured to the under surface of the wing 150; and that hinge permits that wing to be rotated into and out of the dottedline and solid-line positions in FIG. 3. Similarly, a hinge 161 has one plate thereof secured to the chassis 40, and has the other plate thereof secured to the under surface of the wing 164; and that hinge permits that wing to be rotated into and out of the dotted-line and solid line positions in FIG. 3.

The wing 150 has slots 152 in the sides thereof. and the wing 164 has slots 162 in the sides thereof. As shown particularly by FIG. 6, the wing 164 has a barlike latch I74 therein, and that latch has a recess therein. A pin 165 has the inner end thereof disposed within the recess in the latch I74, and it has the outer end thereof extending outwardly of the slot 162. A helical compression spring 176 urges the pin 165 outwardly into locking position within the slot 162. The head of the pin 165 is undercut to provide a smalldiameter portion which can slide freely through the slot 162; but a shoulder 167 on that pin is too large to fit into the normal-width portion of that slot, and can only fit into larger-diameter openings at the ends of that slot.

When the wing 164 is in the dotted-line position in FIG. 3, the bar-like latch 174 will be located wholly out of the chassis 40 and will be wholly within the wing I64; and the shoulder 167 of the pin 165 will be in the large-diameter opening at that end of the slot 162 which is most remote from the hinge 161. At such time,-

the wing 164 can be rotated freely into and out of the dotted-line position in FIG. 3. When the wing 164 is to be set in the solidlinc position in FIG. 3, that wing will be raised to that position; and then the pin 165 will be pushed inwardly. against the pressure of the spring 176, and that pin will be moved to the solid-line position in FIG. 6. As the pin 165 is moved from the dotted-line position to the solid-line position in FIG. 6, the bar-like latch 174 will move into position within the chassis 40, and will thereby hold the wing I64 in horizontal position thereby enabling that wing to constitute an extension of the upper surface of the chassis 40. As the bar-like latch I74 reaches the limit of its inner movement. the shoulder 167 of the pin 165 will respond to the spring 176 to move into the large-diameter opening at that end of the slot 162 which is closest to the pivot 16]. The wing 164 will have two bar-type latches I74,

two pins 165, two springs 176, and two slots 162; and those latches. pins. springs and slots will be in register with each other. The wing 150 will have two slots 152 which will perform the functions performed by the slots 162. will have two pins 154 which will perform the functions of the pins 165, will have two springs. not shown. which will perform the functions of the springs 176, and will have two bar-type latches. not shown. which will perform the functions of the bar-type latches 174. As a result. the wind 150 can be latched in the solid-line position in FIG. 3, or can be unlatchcd and moved into the dotted-line position in FIG. 3.

The numeral 156 denotes an arm which is rotatably secured to the wing 150 by a pivot 158; and the numeral 160 denotes a second arm which is rotatably secured to that wing by a pivot 159. The numeral 166 denotes an arm which is rotatably secured to the wing 164 by a pivot 168; and the numeral 170 denotes a second arm which is rotatably secured to that wing by a pivot 172. The outer edge of the wing 164 is open in nature so the arms 166 and 170 can be rotated into the positions indicated by FIGS. 1 and 2. Similarly. the outer edge of the wing 150 is open in nature so the arms 156 and 160 can be rotated into positions comparable to the positions occupied by the arms 166 and 170 in FIG. 1. Conversely, the arm 166 and 170 can be rotated outwardly to positions comparable to the positions occupied by the arms 156 and 160 in FIG. 1.

As shown particularly by FIG. 7. the arm 166 has a button 178 with a reduced diameter upper end; and a helical compression spring urges that reduced diameter upper end upwardly into the opening 179 or into the opening 181 in the wing 164. Whenever the arm 166 is in the retracted position shown by FIG. 1, the reduced diameter upper end of the button 178 will extend into and be held by the opening 181. However. whenever the arm 166 is in its extended position. the reduced diameter upper end of the button 178 will extend into and be held by the opening 179. The arm 170 carries a button 180 with a reduced diameter upper end; and that reduced diameter upper end will be in the forwardmost opening 182 whenever that arm is in the retracted position shown in FIG. 1. but will be in the other opening 182 whenever that arm is in its extended position.

The arm 156 has a button 155 which is comparable to the button 178 in FIG. 7, and that button will be disposed in the forwardmost opening 149 of the wing 150 whenever that arm is in its retracted position. However. the reduced diameter upper end of the button 155 will be in the other of the openings 149 in the wing 150 whenever the arm 156 is in its extended position. Similarly. the arm 160 is provided with a button 153 that can be identical to the button 178 of FIG. 7. That button will have the reduced diameter upper end thereof disposed within the rearmost of two openings 157 in the wing 150 whenever the arm 160 is in its retracted position. but will have that reduced diameter upper end in the other of the openings 157 whenever that arm is in the extended position shown by FIG. 1.

Whenever the wing 150 is moved into and latched in the solid-line position of FIG. 3 and the arms 156 and 160 are in the retracted positions wherein they extend part-way into that wing. and whenever the wing 164 is moved into and latched in the solid-line position of H0. 3 and the arms 166 and 170 are in the retracted positions wherein they extend part-way into that wing,

those wings will moderately increase the effective length of the portable support of FIGS. 1-20. 1f the effective length of that portable support needs to be increased even further. the arms 156 and 166 can be moved into, and locked in. the positions shown by FIG. 1; and the arms 166 and 170 also can be moved into. and locked in, their extended positions. On the other hand. if the effective length of the portable support support should be decreased to a minimum. the wings 150 and 164 can be rotated into the dotted-line positions shown by FIG. 3.

Bumpers 184 of the resilient material are provided at the outer corners of each of the wings 150 and 164. Those bumpers will keep those corners from directly engaging the edges of any doorways through which the portable support of FIGS. 1-20 is moved. Because the chassis 40 is narrower than the width of an averagewidth door in a hospital or nursing home. the portable support of FIGS. 1-20 can easily be moved into and out of most spaces and rooms in a hospital or nursing home.

The numeral 188 in FIG. 3 denotes a door of a com partment. within the chassis 40, which accommodates a storage battery 192. A pull or other handle 190 is provided to enable the door 188 to be opened to check. or to service. that battery. The numeral 194 in FIG. 3 denotes a door to a further compartment within the chassis 40; and a pull or knob 196 is provided on that door to facilitate the opening of that door.

The numeral 198 denotes an electric motor which is mounted within the chassis 40; and the numeral 200 denotes an air compressor which also is mounted within that chassis. A belt 202 connects a pulley on the shaft of the motor 198 to a pulley on the shaft of the air compressor 200. The numeral 201 in FIGS. 3 and 28 denotes a manually-operated valve; and that valve is mounted on a control panel 252 on the chassis 40. One port of that valve is connected to the outlet of the compressor 200 by a pressure regulator 203, a second port of that valve is connected to flexible hoses 222 and 226, a third port of that valve is connected to the inlet of the compressor 200 by an adjustable valve 205, and the fourth port of that valve is connected to an air filter 199. Whenever the movable element of the valve 201 is in the position shown by FIG. 28 and the motor 198 is operated, the compressor 200 will draw air inwardly through the air filter 199 and the valve 201 and the adjustable valve 205, will compress that air. and will then cause that air to flow through the pressure regulator 203 and the valve 201 to the hoses 222 and 226. However. when the movable element of the valve 201 is rotated 90in the clockwise direction. the outlet of the compressor 200 will be connected to the air filter 199 by the pressure regulator 203 and that valve, and the hoses 222 and 226 will be connected to the inlet of that compressor by that valve and by the adjustable valve 205. Consequently. at such time, operation of the motor 198 will cause the compressor 200 to withdraw air from the hoses 222 and 226 and to discharge that air through the air cleaner I99; and that air cleaner will tend to act as a silencer.

Referring particularly to FIG. 4, the numeral 204 denotes an inflatable pad which is made from a readily flexible material that is essentially air-impervious and that is essentially insensitive to sterilization media and body fluids. That inflatable pad includes an upper surface. a lower surface and a multidue of drop threads which extend between and interconnect those upper and lower surfaces; and some of those drop threads are shown by FIG. 3. The inflatable pad 204 also includes sides and ends which make that inflatable pad air-tight. Handles 206 are provided on the sides and ends of the inflatable pad 204 to facilitate the lifting and handling of that inflatable pad. In fact. those handles make it possible to use that inflatable pad as a stretcher on which persons can be transported by hand. A passage 208 is provided through the inflatable pad 204'. and that passage will be located in register with the rectal area of a bed patient resting on that inflatable pad. The passage 208 will be large enough to permit body wastes to pass freely through it into a bedpan or other receptacle located below it. but will be small enough to enable the adjacent portions of the inflatable pad to provide support for the bed patient.

The numeral 210 denotes a commercially-available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting at one end of the inflatable pad 204; and that fitting is hermetically sealed whenever it does not have a complementary commercially available, low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting connected to it. Such a complementary commercially-available. low pressure, quickdisconnect fitting is provided at the free end of each of the flexible hoses 222 and 226. The connecting of the complementary eomercially available. low pressure. quiek-disconnect fitting. at the free end of either of those flexible hoses. to the commercially available, low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting 210 will permit air to be introduced into or withdrawn from the inflatable pad 204.

Flexible straps 212 are secured to the inflatable pad 204. adjacent the sides of that inflatable pad; and the free ends of those straps have openings 213 therein which can telescope over the heads of the headed pins 134 on the supporting surface 120. Whenever the straps 212 have the openings 213 in the lower ends thereof telescoped over the heads of the headed pins 134, the inflatable pad 204 will be held against shifting relative to the supporting surface 120.

The numeral 214 denotes an inflatable spacer which underlies one end of the inflatable pad 204. That inflatable spacer has an upper surface. a bottom surface. a multitude of drop threads which extend between and interconnect those surfaces. sides and ends. Some of the drop threads of that inflatable spacer are shown in FIG. 3. The inflatable spacer 214 is provided with a commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting 218; and that fitting is hermetically sealed whenever it does not have a complementary commerciallyavailable. low pressure, quick-disconnect fitting connected to it. Such a complementary commercially available. low pressure quick-disconnect fitting is provided at the free end of each of the flexible hoses 222 and 226. The connecting of the complementary commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting. at the free end of either of those flexible hoses. to the commercially available. low pressure, quickdisconnect fitting 218 will permit air to be introduced into or withdrawn from the inflatable spacer 214. The numeral 216 denotes an inflatable spacer which underlies the other end of the inflatable pad 204. The inflatable spacer 216 has an upper surface, a lower surface. a multitude of drop threads which extend between and interconnect those surfaces. sides and ends. In addition. the inflatable spacer 216 has a commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting 220; and that fitting is hermetically sealed whenever it does not have a complementary commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting connected to it. Such a complementary commercially available, low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting is provided at the free end of each of the flexible hoses 222 and 226. The connecting of the complementary commercially available. low pressure, quick-disconnect fitting. at the free end of either of those flexible hoses. to the commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting 220 will permit air to be introduced into or withdrawn from the inflatable spacer 216.

The inflatable pad 204 and the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 could be made of different materials. and they could be made in different ways. For example, that inflatable pad and those inflatable spacers could be made of dacron. nylon, fiber glass and many other filaments, single or stranded; and that inflatable pad and those inflatable spacers could be made in the same way in which the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation makes the three-dimensional structural fabrics which it sells under the mark AlRMAT.

Whenever the inflatable pad 204 and the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 are deflated, they are very flexible and pliable. and they will occupy very little space. As a result. they can underlie a bed patient without causing that bed patient any discomfort. Whenever that inflatable pad and those inflatable spacers are fully inflated. they are quite firm. and they can provide full support for a bed patient. Whenever the inflatable pad 204 is just partially inflated. it will provide a gentle. cradle'like cushioning action for the bed patient.

The inflatable pad 204 can be dimensioned to have an inflated thickness within a range of two to six inches. Similarly. each of the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 can be dimensioned to have an inflated thickness within a range of 2 to 6 inches. As a result, inflating of the inflatable pad 204 and of the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 can gently but firmly raise a bed patient a distance of form 4 to 12 inches above the level of the mattress on a bed. As the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 are inflated. they will raise the inflated pad 204 upwardly relative to that mattress; and. depending upon the inflated thicknesses of those inflatable spacers. the central portion of that inflatable pad can be raised from 2 to 6 inches from that mattress.

The inflated thickness of each of the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 is greater than the height of the bedpan 258 shown in FIG. 3. As a result. that bedpan can befreely moved into position below the passage 208 in the inflatable pad 204, and can subsequently be freely removed from position below that passage. Also. the inflated thickness of each of the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 is greater than the combined heights of the supporting surface and of the carrier 112, as shown by FIG. 2. Consequently, that carrier and that supporting surface can readily be telescoped into the space between the upper surface of the mattress and the lower surface of the inflatable pad 204.

if desired. one or the other of the inflatable spacers 214 and 216 could be left in deflated condition. Where that was done. the inflatable pad 204 would incline at a gentle angle relative to the mattress of the bed; and hence, a gentle inclination of the bed patients body. either with the head down or with the head up. could easily be attained. That inclination could be maintained as long as desired. and it could be attained and maintained without any discomfort to the bed patient. All that need be done is to inflate the inflatable pad 204. and thereafter to inflate the desired inflatable spacer 214 or 216. As that inflatable spacer was inflated. the adjacent end of the inflatable pad 204 would raise upwardly; and that inflatable pad would be so stiff that it would gently but firmly raise all portions of the bed patient's body to the desired inclination.

The flexible hose 222 has one end thereof connected to the valve 201 by piping and a T-junction 223, as shown by FIG. 1. Normally that flexible hose is held within a hose compartment 224 within the chassis 40; and normally the door of that hose compartment is closed. However. that door is readily openable to compartment. and the flexible hose 222 to be withdrawn from that compartment.and to have the commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting at the free end thereof connected to the commerciallyavailable. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting 210 on the inflatable pad 204 or to either of the commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fittings 218 and 220 on the inflatable spacers 214 and 216. Similarly. the flexible hose 226 has one end thereof connected to the valve 201 by piping and the T-junction 223. as shown by FIG. 1. Normally that flexible hose is held within a hose compartment 228 within the chassis 40; and normally the door of that hose compartment is closed. However. that door is readily openable to permit the flexible hose 226 to be withdrawn from that compartment. and to have the commercially available, low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting at the free end thereof connected to the commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fitting 210 on the inflatable pad 204 or to either of the commercially available. low pressure. quick-disconnect fittings 218 and 220 on the inflatable spacers 214 and 216.

Referring particularly to FIG. 21. the numeral 230 denotes an electric plug which can be plugged into the standard and usual electric outlet in the wall of a room in a hospital or nursing home. An overload device 232 is connected between one prong of the plug 230 and a connector strip 233: and the other prong of that plug is directly connected to a connector strip 235. A lamp 234 has the terminals thereofconnected to the connector strips 233 and 235, and thus will be illuminated whenever the plug 230 is plugged into the appropriate electric outlet. One terminal of the digital readout and transducer supply 236 is directly connected to the connector strip 235. while the other terminal of that digital readout and transducer supply is connected to the connector strip 233 by one pole of a double pole. double throw switch 238. A DC power distribution and charger 240 has the input terminals thereof directly connected to the connector strips 233 and 235; and hence that DC power distribution and charger will develop a DC voltage at the output thereof whenever the plug 230 is plugged into an appropriate electric outlet.

The storage battery 192 has the positive terminal thereof directly connected to the positive output terminal of the DC. Power Distribution And Charger 240; and it has the negative terminal thereof connected to the negative terminal of that DC. Power Distribution And Charger by an overload device 242. A voltmeter 244 is connectable across the terminals of the storage battery 192 by a single pole. single throw switch 245. The positive output terminal of the DC. Power Distribution And Charger 240 is connected to the two sta tionary contacts adjacent the other pole of the doublpole double-throw switch 238. That other pole is connected to one pole of a double-pole double-throw reversing switch 246. and also is connected to one terminal of the motor 198 by a single-pole single-throw switch 250. The other pole of the double-pole doublethrow reversing switch 246 and the other terminal of the motor 198 are connected to the negative output terminal of the D.Cv Power Distribution And Charger 240 by the overload device 242. The limit switch selectively connects the right hand contacts of the double-pole double-throw reversing switch 246 to the terminals of the gear motor 84; and the limit switch 97 selectively connects the left-hand contacts of that double-pole double-throw reversing switch to these terminals.

The control panel 252 has a knob which can be used to set the movable contacts of the double-pole doublethrow switch 238 in their upper position. in their lower position. or in an open position. That control panel also has a knob which can be used to set the movable contacts of the doublepole double-throw reversing switch 246 in their left-hand positions. in their righthand positions. or in an off" position. In addition. that control panel has an actuator to selectively close the switch 250 and an actuator to selectively close the switch 245. Furthermore. that control panel has actuators that can be used to reset the overload devices 232 and 242. Moreover. the control panel 252 has a knob which can be used to set the valve 201 in its inflate" or "deflate" position. Also, that control panel has the lamp 234 and the voltmeter 244 incorporated therein.

The numeral 254 denotes a display panel which is located on the chassis 40 in the position shown by FIG. 1. That display panel includes the digital readout ofthe digital readout and transducer supply 236. That readout will display in digital form the value of any weight which rests upon the supporting surface 120. and thereby acts upon the pressure transducer 122.

To use the portable support of FIGS. l20. the operator will release the latches on the casters 42 of that portable support. and will then move that portable support into position where it is alongside of. and parallel with. a bed on which an inflatable pad 204, with its inflatable spacers 214 and 216, underlies a bed patient. At such time. that inflatable pad and those inflatable spacers will be in their deflated conditions. Also. at such time. the slides 108 will be fully retracted within the channels 106 on the platform 102. and the sides of the carrier 112 will be fully retracted within the slides 108; and latches. not shown. will hold that carrier in that position. Consequently. the supporting surface 102 and the carrier 112 will be directly above. and in register with. the platform 102 and the chassis 40, as shown particularly by FIG. 9.

After the chassis 40 has been moved into position wherein it is alongside of. and parallel with. the bed. the operator will set the latches on the casters 42. Also. the operator will open the hose compartment 224 and will connect the commercially available. low pressure. quick disconnect fitting at the free end of the flexible hose 226 to the commercially available. low pressure. quick disconnect fitting 210 of the inflatable pad 204. In addition. the operator will set the valve 201 in its inflate position. and will set the switches 238 and 250 to energize the motor 198. As air from the compressor

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Classifications
U.S. Classification177/132, 177/136, 177/210.00R, 177/245, 177/144
International ClassificationG01G19/44, G01G19/00, A61G7/05
Cooperative ClassificationG01G19/445, A61G2007/0527
European ClassificationG01G19/44A