US 3911499 A
A low cost, disposable medical gown fashioned from a single piece of fabric with an unbroken front panel and seams extending from the armpit underneath the sleeves to the cuffs and across the back, having back panels that may overlap to fully close the back of the gown, and with no seams in the front panel of the gown providing a bacteria barrier free of seams or sewing needle sewn seams holes.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Benevento et al.
[4 1 Oct. 14, 1975 DISPOSABLE MEDICAL GOWN  Inventors: Joseph Benevento; Kurt W. Hinsch,
both of Tucson, Ariz.
 Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Corporation,
 Filed: June 6, 1974 ] Appl. No.: 477,150
 US. Cl 2/114; 2/DIG. 7  Int. Cl. A41B 9/00  Field of Search 2/1 14, 74, 69, 69.5, 111
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1924 Moses 2/114 8/1949 Lupo 2/l 14 Auer 2/69.5 Patience 2/ 1 14 Primary ExaminerAlfred R. Guest Attorney, Agent, or FirmWolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.
[ ABSTRACT A low cost, disposable medical gown fashioned from a single piece of fabric with an unbroken front panel and seams extending from the armpit underneath the sleeves to the cuffs and across the back, having back panels that may overlap to fully close the back of the gown, and with no seams in the front panel of the gown providing a bacteria barrier free of seams or sewing needle sewn seams holes.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet10f2 3,911,499
US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,911,499
DISPOSABLE MEDICAL GOWN This invention relates to disposable medical gowns, and more particularly gowns of the type worn by a medical staff in operating rooms, hospitals, sick rooms or diagnostic facilities.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a disposable medical gown which presents a front panel free of seams and sewing needle sew seam holes and thus provides a bacteria barrier in the critical area facing the patient.
An additional object is to provide a method for making such a disposable gown, which method features relatively few fashioning steps for making such a garment from a single piece of nonwoven' material.
Other and more particular objects will become apparent as the description of this invention proceeds.
FIG. 1 is a frontal perspective view of a gown of the invention as worn by a staff member;
FIG. 2 is a rear semi-perspective view of a gown of the invention;
FIG. 3 illustrates a piece of material cut into the pattern for the gownlying flat;
FIG. 4-FIG. 6 illustrate, in general sequence, the operations in folding and sewing the piece of material shown in FIG. 3 to fashion the gown of this invention.
While the invention will be described in conjunction with illustrative embodiments as depicted in the drawings, it is apparent that these are for illustrative purposes only. Accordingly, various alternatives, modifications and variations will be evident to those skilled in the art in the light of the illustrations and accordingly it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.
Medical gowns worn by staff members typically are fashioned either from textile material and laundered after each wearing, or are made from textile substitutes and discarded after each use. Conventional gowns of either type are made with various seams in the front of the gown, for example, at the shoulder where the sleeves are fastened to the body portion of the gown. Where such seams are sewn as is conventional, the sewing needle holes provide openings through which bacteria may pass from the staff member wearing the gown to the patient, which may be harmful to the patient. Where the seams are not sewn but fused or formed by the use of cohesives or adhesives, there may be gaps in the length of a seam breaching the bacteria barrier on the front of the gown.
In keeping with the invention, and inviting attention to FIGS. 1 and 2, the garment of this invention is fashioned with a front panel 10 extending continuously and without seams from the neck portion 12 downward to about the knees of the wearer and across the front of the body and outwardly along both arms. This front panel 10 has sections 14, 16 at both sides below the armpit areas 18, 20 which after folding extend around the sides and across the back of the wearer to the middle of the back, and sleeve sections 22, 24 which extend outwardly and after folding meet underneath the arms. These sleeve sections 22, 24 further have panels 26, 28 which extend across the top of the back of the wearer to about the middle of the back. The sleeve sections 22, 24, which extend from the front panel 10 and meet underneath the arms are connected by seams 30, 32 extending from each cuff or wrist 34, 36 underneath each arm to the armpit areas 18, 20. The sections 14, 16 extending from the front panel 10 around both sides and across the back are joined to the panels 26, 28 extending across the top and the back of the wearer from the sleeve sections by seams 38, 40 extending from the armpit areas across the back to terminal points 42, 44. A substantially rectangular insert 45 cut from the scrap adjacent the side section 16 and secured to the top back panel by the seam 46 and the lower section 14 by the seam 38' extends the top back panel 26 so that it forms an overlap of the same width as the lower back panel section 14 in the overlap style of gown shown.
When completely finished as shown in FIG. 2, the complete front panel of the gown has no exposed seams, and the seams 30, 32, 38, 38, 46 that are required to provide a form fitting garment are entirely on the back of the garment and underneath the arms. Thus the front panel of the gown provides a bacteria barrier to the passage of bacteria from the staff member wearing the gown to the patient.
In keeping with the invention, and referring to the sequence of FIGS. 4-6, the gown of this invention is made by taking a single piece of fabric cut to the pattern illustrated in FIG. 3, and folding and securing the various sections and panels to each other as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 to fashion the completed garment as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 6.
The fabric used for the garment is preferably nonwoven material such as creped wadding reinforced by a web or textile fibers and made in the form of a laminate of such materials as described for example in US. Pat. No. 3,484,330 or such fabric may be crepted wadding reinforced by scrim, a central layer of polyethylene film, or other materials. While such fabrics are porous, the cellulosic wadding webs embodied in such materials are made of closely formed wood pulp fibers with microscopic pores that provide a bacteria barrier if unbreached, and the materials may be further treated to enhance the bacteria barrier properties. Other fabrics such as webs of synthetic fibers of continuous filaments having textile-like properties may also be used.
Referring to FIG. 3, the single piece of fabric from which the gown is fashioned is cut from a web with essentially triangular shaped pieces removed from opposite lateral sides of the web leaving wedge shaped cutouts, 48, 50 and with a circular neck opening along basically the longitudinal axis of the web. A narrow piece is cut from the neck opening to the leading edge of the piece leaving an open slot 52. Both sleeve sections 22, 24 are tapered to give shape to the sleeves in the finished garment.
As shown in FIG. 4, the sleeve sections 22, 24 are folded on themselves along a common line extending transversely to the longitudinal axis of the web. To finish the sleeves the edges of the sleeve sections 22, 24 extending from the cuffs 34, 36 to the armpit areas 18, 2O underneath the sleeves are seamed 30, 32, either by sewing, glueing with adhesive, heat sealing or the like, depending on the particular fabric employed. After folding and finishing of the sleeves as shown in FIG. 4, the side sections 14, 16 of the front panel 10 are then folded behind the front panel along longitudinal fold lines extending downward from the armpit areas 18, 20. The right side section 14 is shown folded in FIG. 5 and where it abuts in the back of the gown the right panel 26 extending from the right sleeve section 22, a horizontal seam 38 is formed as by sewing, glueing, or
heat sealing. The insert 45 is also secured to fill out the right back panel by the seams 38 and 46.
The left side section 16 extending from the front panel is similarly folded inwardly behind the front panel as shown in FIG. 6 and where it abuts the back panel 28 extending inwardly from the left sleeve section 24a seam 40 is formed which is sewn, glued or fused or heat sealed.
In the described embodiment an overlap is provided in the finished gown as shown in FIG. 6, the right back sleeve panel 26 and insert 45 together, and right side section 14 being made wider than one half the gown width so as to overlap the vertical edge of the left back panel l6, 18. In the overlapped position the back panels may be secured together as by means of self attaching strips 54-57 two on each back panel and facing each other as illustrated in FIG. 6. The self attaching strips maybe cohesive, adhesive, or other devices such Velcro strips. Alternatively, both back panels may extend half the width of the gown leaving an opening between the vertical edges of the panels, and the panels may be secured together in the back of the gown by ties or slightly overlapped and secured by fasteners of the mechanical type or of the self attachment type.
Thus it is apparent that there has been provided, according to the invention, a gown fashioned from a single piece of fabric and having an unbroken front panel providing a bacteria barrier free of seams in the front of the gown. The gown is capable of being manufactured at low cost of low cost materials yet it solves a problem and overcomes an objection to conventional gownsheretofore made in preventing harmful bacteria from being passed from the staff member wearing the gown to a patient being treated or diagnosed.
We claim as our invention:
1. A medical gown comprising:
a single unitary front panel extending continuously and without seams from the neck portion downward to about the knees of the wearer across the front of the body and outwardly along both arms,
the front panel extending continuously and without seams to provide sections at both sides, below the armpit areas extending around the sides and across the back of the wearer to the middle of the back and sections along both arms extending around the arms and meeting underneath the arms, said sections along both arms further having top panels extending across the top of the back of the wearer to about the middle of the back,
said sections meeting underneath both arms being connected by seams extending from each wrist underneath each arm to the armpit areas, and said sections at both sides extending across the back being joined to said panels by horizontal seams extending from the armpit area across the back of the gown,
such that the complete front of the gown when worn has no exposed seams, and the seams required for a form fitting garment are entirely on the back of the wearer and underneath the arms.
2. A medical gown according to claim 1 wherein one of said sections at the sides of said first panel extends across the back and overlaps the other of said sections, and one of said two panels has an extension to overlap the other top back panel, so as to provide an overlap in the back closing the back of the gown.