US 3880096 A
An autopsy table comprising an upstanding base, a cylindrical skirt telescopically mounted on the base for vertical and rotational movement relative thereto, and a table affixed to the upper end of the skirt for movement therewith to orient the table in variously selective adjustable positions, both vertically and rotatively. A mechanically driven actuating rod is connected, through a structural supporting structure, to the skirt for vertically adjusting the latter. A spring is provided for counterbalancing the weight of the table superstructure imposed on the actuating rod. The skirt is attached to a ring supported for free rotatable movement on circumferentially spaced antifriction thrust bearings forming a part of the skirt supporting structure.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kaplan 1 Apr. 29, 1975 AUTOPSY TABLE  Inventor: Robert P. Kaplan, Tonawanda, NY. f Schultz Assistant E.\-ammerDarrell Marquette  Assigneei The Jewel! Ref igerat Comp ny. Attorney, Agent, or FirmChristel & Bean lnc.. Buffalo, N.Y.
22 Filed: July 9, 1973 ABSTRACT [2 1 Appl No: 377,800 An autopsy table comprising an upstanding base, 3 cylindrical skirt telescopically mounted on the base for vertical and rotational movement relative thereto, and [LS- Cl. [OS/142; a table affixed to the upper end of the kin for move- 248M882; 248/405; 243/4[5 ment therewith to orient the table in variously selec- "3 A47) 9/02; A47b 1 1/00 tive adjustable positions, both vertically and rotatively.  F'eld Search log/13L A mechanically driven actuating rod is connected, log/m5; 248/405 through a structural supporting structure, to the skirt for vertically adjusting the latter. A spring is provided Referellces cued for counterbalancing the weight of the table super- UNITED STATES PATENTS structure imposed on the actuating rod. The skirt is l.783.66l 12/1930 Makosi et al. 103/147 attached to a ring Supported for free rotatable move- 2.ss7.22s l0/l958 Schenk lU8/l47 t n circumferentially spaced antifrimion thrust 2,893,470 7/1959 Peller 248/405 bearings forming a part of the skirt supporting struc- 3.230.908 l/l966 Grant 1 1. l08/l42 ture. 3.353.777 ll/l967 Knoedier 248/1882 3.593.954 7/1971 Ritchie ct ul. 248/4l5 4 Claims. 8 Drawing F igures 77? 72a 790g 72? Is 706' E 1':- 4 I Y i AUTOPSY TABLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to an autopsy table and. more particularly. to an autopsy table rotatably and vertically adjustable to assume a variety of positions convenient for the pathologist or other persons performing an autopsy.
Various table constructions especially adapted for supporting bodies during an autopsy are known and generally are equipped with various accessories for facilitating the autopsy procedure. Conventionally. these known autopsy tables are supported on a stationary frame having a fixed height. Often. the fixed height of the table and thereby the cadaver supported thereon is not at an otpimum level for the pathologist or other persons performing the autopsy. requiring such persons to assume various bent attitudes in the performance of the autopsy. This adds materially to their discomfort and unduly increases fatigue. The person conducting the autopsy often performs various procedures during the course of the autopsy which requires contact of various parts or members of his body with the table to obtain leverage in manipulating the cadaver or extracting parts therefrom. Such leverage is not always effectively achieved with a fixed height table. Moreover, the person conducting the autopsy must move about the table to gain access to the various parts of the cadaver's anat omy. further increasing fatigue.
Attempts have been made to solve this problem by employing an hydraulic actuator for vertically moving the work table relative to its base. However. such known hydraulic arrangements are provided with cylinder-piston arrangements actuated by fluid pressure generated by a foot operated pump. In raising or lowering the table during an autopsy procedure the pathologist generally has to balance himself on one foot while actuating the pump pedal with the other foot and often cannot use his hand for balancing support on the table since they are covered with waste fluids and the like and are held in an elevated position above the table. Such an awkward stance on the part of the pathologist in manipulating the table not only creates a hazardous condition. but also contributes to fatigue. Also. the operating fluid for these hydraulic arrangements poses problems of leakage and downward drift or settling of the table. Moreover. the requirements of a bulky reservoir and the attendant equipment associated with a hydraulic system complicate the structural design of such autopsy tables.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The autopsy table of the present invention. as hereinafter described. obviates the above disadvantages by supporting the table on a vertically movable support for selectively adjusting the height of the table. as desired. by a mechanical actuator and mounting the table for free rotational movement in a horizontal plane to a selective adjusted angular position.
Generally speaking. the autopsy table of this invention comprises an upstanding cylindrical base member. a cylindrical skirt telescopically mounted on the base member for vertical and rotational movement relative thereto, and a table fixed to the upper end of the cylindrical skirt for movement therewith. An electrically operated screw drive arrangement. mounted centrally of the base member, is operative to reciprocate an actuating rod. connected through a structural supporting arrangement. to a fixed ring. in turn supporting a rotatable ring to which the skirt is affixed. A heavy compression spring is disposed about the actuating rod to counterbalance the weight of the table superstructure and the load carried thereon. Circumferentially spaced thrust bearings are mounted on the fixed ring for supporting the skirt ring for free and easy rotational movement relative thereto.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of one form of an autopsy table constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view. on an enlarged scale. taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view. taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2'.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view. taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3'.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a retaining plate used in conjunction with the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a thrust bearing used in conjunction with the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view. taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 2'. and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view. taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawings. there is shown in FIG. 1 an autopsy table. generally designated 10. constructed in accordance with this invention and comprising a base member 12. a cylindrical skirt [4 rotatably and vertically adjustable relative to base member l2. and a table 16 rigidly secured to the cylinder 14 for movement therewith.
Base I2 comprises an annular shell 18 reinforced adjacent the upper and lower ends thereof by relatively thick. annular reinforcing members 20 and 22 welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the inner wall surface of shell 18. A cross channel member 24 extends across the shell 18 adjacent the lower end thereof and is rigidly secured at the opposite ends thereof to the inner surface of reinforcing member 22. The cross member 24 serves as a compression member bracing the wall defined by shell I8. Also. a pair of diametrically opposed. vertically extending structural channel members 26 and 27 and a pair of diametrically opposed. vertically extending structural angle members 28 and 29 are suitably affixed adjacent their respective ends. as by means of weldments 30 and 32 for example. to the inner surfaces of reinforcing members 20 and 22. Channel members 26. 27 and angle members 28. 29 also reinforce and rigidify the annular shell 18 of base member 12. As shown in FIG. 2. channel member 26 is tied to angle member 29 by a horizontally extending. connecting member 33, thus completing the structural framework for the base I2.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 7. an actuator 36 is mounted within the annular shell 18 along the axis thereof and is provided with a reduced diameter end portion 38 supported on an embossment 40 rigidly secured to the base of cross channel member 24. The ac tuator 36 is releasably mounted in place on the channel member 24 by a suitable fastener. such as screw 42.
Telescopically mounted within the actuator 36 is an actuating rod 44 for raising and lowering the skirt l4 and other superstructure, hereinafter described.
The means for reciprocating rod 44 includes an electric drive motor 46, connected to a suitable source of electrical power (not shown) and mounted on the cross channel member 24. The motor 46 is operatively connected through a suitable gear reduction mechanism 48, including a worm drive arrangement. to a rotatable screw mounted in the cylinder 36 and threaded in a nut affixed to the actuating rod 44. The screw is fixed against axial movement and. upon rotation. causes the nut and the attached rod 44 to move vertically in a manner well known in the art. Since such drives and screw arrangements are well known. per se. it is be lieved that no further amplification or illustration is necessary. Suffice it to say that any suitable electromechanical arrangement can be employed to reciprocate actuating rod 44 within the purview of this invention. Such a mechanical arrangement can be compactly designed to conserve space and provide ample passage area within the base 12 for the circulation of air when a down draft ventilation system is incorporated to direct the foul and contaminated atmosphere away from the pathologists face during an autopsy. Also. a mechanical drive eliminates fluid leakage and other problems associated with hydraulic drive systems. Moreover. the skirt 14 remains fixed in its adjusted elevated position and does not tend to drift downwardly as otherwise often occurs in hydraulic arrangements.
A spring guide block 50 having a threaded bore therein is attached to a threaded stud 52 projecting axi ally outwardly from the top of the actuating rod 44. A transversely extending cross channel member 54 is sup ported on the block 50 and releasably secured thereto by a suitable fastener 56. The actuating rod 44 supports the cross channel member 54, skirt l4. and the entire table superstructure. as will presently appear. In order to relieve the actuating rod 44 of some of the compressive forces acting thereagainst as a result of the weight of the structure supported thereby. a helical compression spring 58 is disposed about actuator 36 and interposed between a retainer 60 mounted on the lower end of cylinder 36 and cross channel member 54 for counterbalancing the weight of the table superstructure. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 8, the central portion of the cross channel member 54 is widened by removing portions of the side legs thereof and securing a pair of retaining plates 62 and 64 to the channel member 54, which plates depend downwardly therefrom in overlying relation to the upper end of spring 58 for captively retaining the same about guide block 50. Of course. the cross channel member 54 can be widened throughout its length. if desired. to accommodate the upper end of spring 58 while providing a structural member of uniform width.
A pair of vertically extending plates 66 and 68 are connected to the opposite ends of cross channel member 54 by means of yoke arrangements comprised of upper and lower gusset plates 70 and 72. Secured to the plates 66 and 68 by suitable fasteners 74 are vertical support members 76 and 78, each provided with an upper and lower rod supporting block 80 and 82 adjacent the respective ends thereof. Aligned bores 84 and 86 are formed in the blocks 80 and 82 for receiving guide rods 88 fixed to blocks 80 and 82 by set screws 90. Guide rods 88 are slidably mounted in vertically spaced guide bearing blocks 92 and 94 provided with suitable sleeve bearings therein and secured to each of the opposed angle members 28 and 29 by means of screw fasteners 96. Thus. the cross channel member 54. and the table superstructure carried thereby. are vertically guided by means of a pair of guide rods 88 slidably mounted in vertically spaced guide bearing blocks 92 and 94, respectively.
A pair of diametrically opposed. horizontally extending segments and 102, affixed along their respective outer arcuately curved edges to an annular support ring 104, are mounted on the guide rod upper blocks 80 by suitable fasteners 81. A plurality of upstanding lugs 106 are fixedly secured, as by welding for example, to the inner peripheral surface of support ring 104 at circumferentially spaced intervals of 90. A flat. generally U-shaped thrust bearing [08 (FIG. 6) is supported on ring [04 adjacent each lug I06 and is provided with a central recessed portion 110 fitted about the associ ated lug 106 by suitable fasteners ll4 extending through suitable openings 6 provided in the retainer plate 112. The plate 112 projects radially outwardly past lug 106 in vertically spaced relation to thrust bearing 108 to define a groove 118.
A rotatable ring 120, fixed along its outer peripheral edge to the skirt l4 by screw fasteners 122, is supported on the thrust bearings 108 for rotatable move' ment relative thereto and guided during its rotational movement within the grooves 118. The thrust bearings 108 preferably are formed ofa wear-resistant, antifriction material. such as Nylon impregnated with molybdenum disulfide for example. to reduce friction to a minimum and provide free and easy rotational movement of ring and the skirt 14 carried thereby rela tive to the base 12.
A brake. generally designated 124, is provided for locking the rotatable ring 120 and thereby the table 16 in a selective angular position. The brake 124 com prises a stem 126 threadably mounted in a nut [27 fixedly secured to the outer surface of skirt l4 and is provided with an inner end portion 128 engagable with the outer peripheral surface of fixed ring 104 to lock the skirt 14 in a selective rotatably adjusted position relative to the base member 12. A manually operable knob 130 is provided on the outer end of the threaded stem 126 to rotate the same in either direction for engaging and disengaging the brake 124.
The table 16 is rigidly secured to the upper end of the skirt 14 by any suitable means for vertical and rotatable movement therewith. The table 16 is in the form of an elongated drainboard having a peripheral upright flange 132 and inclined bottom wall portions 134 converging toward the center of the table to a central sink portion 136 having a suitable outlet drain for collecting and discharging the water and other fluids resulting from an autopsy procedure. A suitable strainer. as well as a waste disposable unit. may be incorporated in the sink 136 and operatively connected to the drain. as desired. A head rest 138 and body supports 140 are adjustably supported on the table 16 to accommodate the cadaver on which the autopsy is being performed. Also. a water faucet 142, an aspirator 144 and a control panel 146 having appropriate controls and located inwardly of the table edge to avoid interference with the persons attending the autopsy. are arranged on the table 16 for facilitating the autopsy procedure. However. since such components are known and do not form a part of this invention. no further description thereof is believed necessary, suffice it to say that the necessary accessories for performing an efficient autopsy are located on or about the table 16.
In use. a cadaver is placed on the top of the table and the actuating rod 44 is raised or lowered. as desired. to position the cadaver at a convenient level to the pathologist or other persons performing the autopsy. A suitable foot actuated pedal or button incorporated in the electrical system and operatively connected to the drive motor 46 is activated to control the operation of rod 44 and thereby the height of table 16. With the brake stem 126 disengaged from fixed support ring 104. the skirt l4 and table l6 may be rotated relative to the base 12 and locked in the selective angular position by threading the stem 126 radially inwardly into engagement with the ring 104. During the autopsy. the table 16 may be raised. lowered. or rotated. as desired. to provide convenient access to the particular parts of the cadaver being removed. or from which specimens are taken.
The present invention thus provides an improved autopsy table offering versatility in vertically and rotatably adjusting the table relative to its associated base. The electromechanical drive for effecting vertical movement of the table provides an accurate and sensitive adjustment control avoiding the problems often encountered with hydraulic drive and control arrangements. A heavy duty spring is provided for counterbalancing the weight of the table superstructure and the load carried thereon to relieve a portion of the forces imposed on the actuating rod. The table is freely rotatable relative to its base and lockable in the selective adjusted position.
A preferred embodiment of this invention having been herein described and illustrated in the drawings. it is to be understood that modifications thereof can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.
I. An autopsy table comprising: an upstanding base; a cylindrical skirt telescopically mounted on said base; a table rigidly secured to the upper end of said skirt for movement therewith; means mounting said skirt for free rotatable movement relative to said base; means releasably locking said skirt in a selective rotatably adjusted position relative to said base; means supporting said skirt for vertical movement relative to said base; means for guiding said skirt during said vertical movement thereof relative to said base; said supporting means including a mechanical drive means having a vertically axially movable actuating rod mounted centrally of said base; means connecting said skirt to said actuating rod. said mounting means including a fixed support ring; a plurality of circumferentially spaced thrust bearings mounted on said support ring; and a rotatable ring connected to said skirt and supported on said thrust bearings for free rotational movement relative thereto. said fixed support ring being provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced. upstanding lugs secured to the inner peripheral edge thereof; each of said thrust bearings having a recessed portion for receiving one of said lugs; a retainer plate mounted on each of said lugs in spaced relation to said thrust bearing for defining a groove receiving a portion of said rotatable ring.
2. An autopsy table comprising; an upstanding base; a cylindrical skirt telescopically mounted on said base; a table rigidly secured to the upper end of said skirt for movement therewith; means mounting said skirt for free rotatable movement relative to said base; means releasably locking said skirt in a selective rotatably adjusted position relative to said base; means supporting said skirt for vertical movement relative to said base; means for guiding said skirt during said vertical movement thereof relative to said base; said supporting means including a mechanical drive means having a vertically axially movable actuating rod mounted centrally of said base; means connecting said skirt to said actuating rod, said connecting means comprising a cross member connected to the upper end of said actuating rod and extending in a direction normal thereto; a pair of upright plates connected to the opposite ends of said cross member and having support blocks at the upper ends thereof. respectively; a support ring having diametrically opposed segments secured to said blocks. bearing means mounted on said support ring; and a rotatable ring affixed to said skirt and supported on said bearing means for rotational movement relative thereto.
3. An autopsy table according to claim 2 wherein'said guiding means comprises a pair of guide rods mounted adjacent the opposite ends of said cross member for sliding movement in vertically spaced bearing blocks. respectively. mounted on said base.
4. An autopsy table comprising: an upstanding base; a cylindrical skirt telescopically mounted on said base; a table rigidly secured to the upper end of said skirt for movement therewith; means mounting said skirt for free rotatable movement relative to said base; means releasably locking said skirt in a selective rotatably adjusted position relative to said base; means supporting said skirt for vertical movement relative to said base; means for guiding said skirt during said vertical movement thereof relative to said base; said supporting means including a mechanical drive means having a vertically axially movable actuating rod mounted centrally of said base; means connecting said skirt to said actuating rod. said connecting means including a cross member connected to the upper end of said actuating rod and extending normal thereto; and said guiding means comprising a pair of guide rods mounted adjacent the opposite ends of said cross member for sliding movement in vertically spaced bearing blocks. respectively. mounted on said base.