US20030234194A1 - Protective shield for a patient control unit - Google Patents

Protective shield for a patient control unit Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030234194A1
US20030234194A1 US10/214,518 US21451802A US2003234194A1 US 20030234194 A1 US20030234194 A1 US 20030234194A1 US 21451802 A US21451802 A US 21451802A US 2003234194 A1 US2003234194 A1 US 2003234194A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
shield
control unit
material
patient control
patient
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/214,518
Inventor
Dan Clark
Russell Parker
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Biotronics Corp
Original Assignee
Biotronics Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US39061902P priority Critical
Application filed by Biotronics Corp filed Critical Biotronics Corp
Priority to US10/214,518 priority patent/US20030234194A1/en
Assigned to BIOTRONICS reassignment BIOTRONICS ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CLARK, DAN WARREN, PARKER, RUSSELL DEAN
Publication of US20030234194A1 publication Critical patent/US20030234194A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B46/00Surgical drapes
    • A61B46/10Surgical drapes specially adapted for instruments, e.g. microscopes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G12/00Accommodation for nursing, e.g. in hospitals, not covered by groups A61G1/00 - A61G11/00, e.g. trolleys for transport of medicaments or food; Prescription lists
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G2203/00General characteristics of devices
    • A61G2203/10General characteristics of devices characterised by specific control means, e.g. for adjustment or steering
    • A61G2203/12Remote controls
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T428/00Stock material or miscellaneous articles
    • Y10T428/13Hollow or container type article [e.g., tube, vase, etc.]

Abstract

A disposable shield designed to sheath a patient control unit prevents contaminants from contacting or entering the patient control unit. Bubbles or soft elevations may be formed in the shield over buttons and/or dials on the control unit so that they can be operated through the shield. The shield can therefore be changed each time the control unit is handled by a different person, minimizing the chances of cross-contamination. The shield also extends the life of the control unit by preventing contaminants from entering the control unit and damaging the control unit circuitry.

Description

    REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/390,619 filed on Jun. 21, 2002.[0001]
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to patient control units, such as nursecalls, light controls, and television controls, used in medical facilities, and more particularly to a cover for protecting a patient control unit. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Medical facilities, such as hospitals, use patient control units to allow patients to alert nurses and control environmental settings such as light levels and television channels. The control unit normally includes control circuitry inside a case and is placed in a patient's bed for easy access. Because the control unit can be located anywhere in the bed with the patient, the unit can easily become contaminated with various contaminants (e.g., debris, bodily excretions, bathwater, drugs, infectious bacteria and viruses, etc.). The case is cleaned and sterilized between patients, but this does not prevent contaminants from entering the control unit during use. These contaminants can damage the control circuitry, requiring the unit to be serviced. The control unit often also has buttons, switches, dials, and/or seams that may trap contaminants, making them difficult to remove. Further, contaminants can potentially leak back out of the unit, increasing the possibility of cross-contamination and/or cross-infections. In many cases, these contaminants are not detected until the control unit is taken apart for servicing. [0003]
  • Also, the case is often made of a porous material, making it susceptible to premature damage as it absorbs cleaning solvents and other liquids. The case should be cleaned frequently for proper hygiene, but the harsh solvents may discolor or even damage the case, especially over time. [0004]
  • There is a desire for a structure that prevents contaminants from entering the control unit or being trapped in crevices on the case while still allowing the control unit to be easily operable by a patient. [0005]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to a shield that covers a patient control unit. In one embodiment, the shield is designed to form-fit the case of the control unit. Bubbles or soft elevations may be formed in the shield over buttons and/or dials on the control unit so they can be operated through the shield. The shield may be formed of a flexible, resilient light-passing material so that it fits snugly around the case to prevent contaminants from contacting or entering the control unit itself. By preventing contaminants from entering the control unit and damaging the control unit circuitry, the shield extends the life of the control unit and reduces the need for frequent servicing. [0006]
  • In one embodiment, the shield is a single-use, disposable shield having a configuration that allows easy insertion and removal of the control unit. The shield can therefore be changed frequently and disposed, minimizing the chances of cross-contamination.[0007]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shield according to one embodiment of the invention; [0008]
  • FIG. 2 is a plan view of one embodiment of the shield; and [0009]
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of the shield shown in FIG. 2.[0010]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • FIGS. 1 through 3 illustrate a shield [0011] 100 designed to cover a patient control unit (e.g., a nursecall, television control, light control, all-in-one unit, etc) 102. In one embodiment, the shield 100 has a sheath portion 101 with a shape that generally matches the shape of the control unit 102 so that the shield 100 will conform to the control unit's 102 shape without leaving any undesired gaps between the shield 100 and the unit 102. In one embodiment, the sheath portion 101 has one or more elevations 104 that ultimately are aligned above one or more controls 106 on the control unit, such as a lever or a dial.
  • The material used to form the shield [0012] 100 may be any material that allows the sheath portion 101 to fit snugly around the control unit 102 while still being flexible enough to allow controls 106 to be operated through the elevations 104 and through the shield 100 itself. Because the controls 106 are touched frequently and often have crevices, they are normally prone to trapping contaminants. The elevations 104 guard the controls 106 by preventing direct contact between the controls 106 and any potential contaminants. Further, the elevations 104 allow tactile detection of the controls 106, while the flexibility of the shield material allows the user to push down on the elevation 104 to reach the controls 106. Note that elevations 104 do not need to be provided for every control 106 on the unit 102. As shown in FIG. 1, for example, the controls 106 also include buttons that can be operated directly through the sheath portion 101 of the shield 100. Generally, an elevation 104 may be included for any control 104, such as a dial or a lever, whose operation may involve more freedom of movement than an unelevated sheath 101 area would allow.
  • In one embodiment, the shield [0013] 100 material is also resilient so that it can be stretched around the control unit 102 as the control unit 102 is inserted into the sheath portion 101 while still being able to conform itself around the control unit 102. Possible shield materials include, but are not limited to, polyurethane, vinyl, latex, nitrile, or any other materials having similar resilient properties. In one embodiment, the shield 100 is made of a synthetic material.
  • The shield [0014] 100 may be formed via any known manufacturing process that is appropriate for the material being used, including but not limited to casting, blow molding, and dip casting. The material itself may be woven or a film, depending on the desired characteristics of the shield 100. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that other materials and other manufacturing processes can be used to form the shield 100 without departing from the scope of the invention. In one embodiment, the shield 100 material is between 1 and 5 mm thick and passes light so that the controls 106 and/or labels on the control unit 102 can be seen through the sheath portion 101. Further, the shield 100 is preferably seamless, with no cracks or crevices that could trap contaminants. The shield 100 may be formed with rounded edges 110 to simplify manufacturing and to improve the appearance of the shield 100 when it is on the control unit 102. The shield 100 may also be designed to allow a slight clearance between the shield 100 and the control unit 102 to make the shield 100 easier to install and remove.
  • The shield [0015] 100 may also have a roll 112 formed on its top, open edge 114. The roll 112 reinforces the open edge 114 of the shield 100 and makes installation and removal of the shield 100 easier. Although the illustrated embodiment shows an open edge 114 having the same width as the widest portion of the control unit 102, the material used for the shield 100 may be resilient enough to allow the open edge 114 to be narrower than the control unit 102. This would allow at least a portion of the top of the control unit 102 to be covered by the shield 100.
  • As a result, the inventive shield structure blocks contaminants from being trapped on or inside a patient control unit, reducing the risks of cross-contamination when the units are handled by multiple people. The shield also protects the control unit itself by blocking contaminants from entering the control unit and damaging the circuitry and preventing harsh fluids, such as cleaning solvents, from damaging the exterior case of the control unit. Because the shield is disposable, it can be frequently changed as needed to keep the control unit clean. Also, the dimensions of the shield can be customized so that it can precisely fit any particular control unit; different shields can be used for different control units. [0016]
  • Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention. [0017]

Claims (12)

What is claimed is:
1. A shield for a patient control unit, comprising:
a sheath portion having a shape that substantially conforms to a shape of the patient control unit; and
an open edge that accommodates insertion of the patient control unit into the sheath portion,
wherein the shield is made of a flexible material.
2. The shield of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is a resilient material.
3. The shield of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is a synthetic material.
4. The shield of claim 3, wherein the synthetic material is one selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, vinyl, latex, and nitrile.
5. The shield of claim 1, wherein the flexible material is one selected from a woven material and a film material.
6. The shield of claim 1, wherein the flexible material of a light-passing material.
7. The shield of claim 1, further comprising an elevation, wherein the elevation is disposed over a control on the patient control unit when the patient control unit is inserted into the shield.
8. The shield of claim 1, further comprising a roll disposed on the open edge.
9. A shield for a patient control unit having at least one control, comprising:
a sheath portion having a shape that substantially conforms to a shape of the patient control unit;
an elevation formed in the sheath portion, wherein said at least one elevation is disposed over a control when the patient control unit is inserted into the shield;
an open edge that accommodates insertion of the patient control unit into the sheath portion; and
a roll disposed on the open edge,
wherein the shield is made of a flexible, resilient, light-passing material.
10. The shield of claim 9, wherein the flexible, resilient, light-passing material is one selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, vinyl, latex, and nitrile.
11. A method of forming a shield for a patient control unit, comprising:
evaluating a shape of the patient control unit; and
forming a flexible, light-passing material that substantially conforms to the shape of the patient control unit to form the shield.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the forming act is one selected from the group consisting of casting, blow molding, and dip casting.
US10/214,518 2002-06-21 2002-08-08 Protective shield for a patient control unit Abandoned US20030234194A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US39061902P true 2002-06-21 2002-06-21
US10/214,518 US20030234194A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2002-08-08 Protective shield for a patient control unit

Applications Claiming Priority (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/214,518 US20030234194A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2002-08-08 Protective shield for a patient control unit
CA002412806A CA2412806A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2002-11-26 Protective shield for a patient control unit
US10/752,600 US7011213B2 (en) 2002-06-21 2004-01-07 Protective shield for a patient control device
US11/330,988 US20060113208A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2006-01-12 Protective shield for a patient control device

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/752,600 Continuation-In-Part US7011213B2 (en) 2002-06-21 2004-01-07 Protective shield for a patient control device

Publications (1)

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US20030234194A1 true US20030234194A1 (en) 2003-12-25

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US10/214,518 Abandoned US20030234194A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2002-08-08 Protective shield for a patient control unit
US10/752,600 Expired - Fee Related US7011213B2 (en) 2002-06-21 2004-01-07 Protective shield for a patient control device
US11/330,988 Abandoned US20060113208A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2006-01-12 Protective shield for a patient control device

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US10/752,600 Expired - Fee Related US7011213B2 (en) 2002-06-21 2004-01-07 Protective shield for a patient control device
US11/330,988 Abandoned US20060113208A1 (en) 2002-06-21 2006-01-12 Protective shield for a patient control device

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US7011213B2 (en) 2006-03-14
CA2412806A1 (en) 2003-12-21
US20040140028A1 (en) 2004-07-22
US20060113208A1 (en) 2006-06-01

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