US20110245743A1 - Compression device and control system for applying pressure to a limb of a living being - Google Patents

Compression device and control system for applying pressure to a limb of a living being Download PDF

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US20110245743A1
US20110245743A1 US13132417 US200913132417A US2011245743A1 US 20110245743 A1 US20110245743 A1 US 20110245743A1 US 13132417 US13132417 US 13132417 US 200913132417 A US200913132417 A US 200913132417A US 2011245743 A1 US2011245743 A1 US 2011245743A1
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canceled
pressure
source
controller
compression device
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US13132417
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Patrick E Eddy
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Medical Minds LLC
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Medical Minds LLC
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H1/00Apparatus for passive exercising; Vibrating apparatus ; Chiropractic devices, e.g. body impacting devices, external devices for briefly extending or aligning unbroken bones
    • A61H1/008Apparatus for applying pressure or blows almost perpendicular to the body or limb axis, e.g. chiropractic devices for repositioning vertebrae, correcting deformation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H9/00Pneumatic or hydraulic massage, e.g. sprays
    • A61H9/005Pneumatic massage
    • A61H9/0078With intermittent or alternately inflated bladders or cuffs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/12Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for ligaturing or otherwise compressing tubular parts of the body, e.g. blood vessels, umbilical cord
    • A61B17/132Tourniquets
    • A61B17/135Tourniquets inflatable
    • A61B17/1355Automated control means therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/16Physical interface with patient
    • A61H2201/1602Physical interface with patient kind of interface, e.g. head rest, knee support or lumbar support
    • A61H2201/165Wearable interfaces
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/50Control means thereof
    • A61H2201/5023Interfaces to the user
    • A61H2201/5043Displays
    • A61H2201/5046Touch screens
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2205/00Devices for specific parts of the body
    • A61H2205/10Leg
    • A61H2205/106Leg for the lower legs

Abstract

A compression device (10) comprising an inflatable bladder (12), an optional controller (14), a source of fluidic pressure (16), and a cuff (18) at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a body part (20) of a living being. The controller is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure and the inflatable bladder. The controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure, even if the body part to which the device is attached decreases in volume. The source of fluidic pressure can be container of compressed fluid, like carbon dioxide. The source of fluidic pressure and the controller can be removably attachable to the cuff. A method of using the device to maintain constant pressure to decrease the volume of a limb or to lessen lymphedema.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/221,650, filed Jun. 30, 2009, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/119,235, filed Dec. 2, 2008. Both said provisional applications are incorporated herein in their entireties.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The present invention generally relates to a device for treating swelling of a body part. More specifically the present invention relates to a compression device with either (i) a mechanical wrap tightener or (ii) inflatable bladders and a control system, for applying constant compressive pressure to a body part, such as a limb, of a living being.
  • The present invention additionally relates to the methods of using the compression device, including to lessen lymphedema and the swelling arising from surgery. The inventive compression device may be used to treat the swelling associated with any or all of the following circulatory disorders: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), lymphedema, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), varicose veins, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot that can form in a person's legs and sometimes move to his or her lungs, where it could potentially be fatal. DVT is usually caused by immobility. DVT is commonly treated with compression devices.
  • DVT kills 200,000 Americans each year, more than AIDS and breast cancer combined. 74% of Americans do not know of the condition or symptoms. This little known condition hospitalizes 600,000 people each year. About 2 million people in the United States have a pulmonary embolism each year and more than 10% die from it. Nine out of ten cases of pulmonary embolism are caused by blood clots that form in the legs and then travel to the lungs. Most who die from DVT do so within 30-60 minutes after symptoms start. Pulmonary embolisms occur equally in men and women. The risk of having a pulmonary embolism doubles for every 10 years after the age of 60.
  • Lymphedema is an abnormal build up of lymph fluid which occurs when a lymph system becomes blocked or impaired. Usually, the affected area involves an extremity. Lymphedema causes the extremity to swell and become heavy and limited in mobility and function. Lymphedema is commonly treated with compression devices. Primary lymphedema is present at birth and effects 2,000,000 people worldwide, effects 10 women to every 1 man, and effects 10 legs to every 1 arm.
  • Secondary lymphedema is caused by scarring, injury to, or removal of lymph nodes. Secondary lymphedema effects 25,000,000 people worldwide and 2.5 million in the United States.
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition where blood pools in the veins of the lower legs. The veins return blood to the heart from all the body's organs. To do this the calf muscles and the muscles in the feet need to contract with each step to squeeze the veins and push the blood upward. To keep the blood flowing up, and not back down, the veins contain one-way valves. Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when these valves become damaged, allowing the blood to leak backward and pool. Massage techniques are currently used for treatment, along with pressure stockings and compression. Sometimes bypass surgery or valve repair is required.
  • CVI is a significant public health problem in the United States. About 2-5% of all Americans have change associated with CVI. Approximately 24 million Americans have varicose veins and approximately 6 million Americans have skin changes associated with CVI. Venous stasis ulcers affect approximately 500,000 people. The mean incidence for hospital admission for CVI is 92 per 100,000 admissions. CVI can lead to leg ulcers which can be severe and are responsible for 100,000 cases of disability in the United States alone. Incidences of CVI typically occur in women aged 40-49 and men aged 70-79.
  • Varicose veins are swollen veins that you can see through the skin. They often look blue, bulging, and twisted. Left untreated, varicose veins may worsen over time. Large varicose veins can cause aching and feelings of fatigue as well as skin changes like rashes, redness, and sores. There are three kinds of veins in a person's legs: the superficial veins, which lie closest to the skin, the deep veins, which lie in groups of muscles, and perforating veins, which connect the superficial veins to the deep veins. The deep veins lead to the vena cava, the body's largest vein, which runs directly to the heart. Varicose veins occur in the superficial veins in your legs.
  • When a person is in the upright position, the blood in his or her leg veins must work against gravity to return to the heart. To accomplish this, the leg muscles squeeze the deep veins of the legs and feet. One-way flaps, called valves, in the veins keep blood flowing in the right direction. When the leg muscles contract, the valves inside the veins open. When the legs relax, the valves close. This prevents blood from flowing in reverse, back down the legs. The entire process of sending blood back to the heart is called the venous pump. Varicose veins are commonly treated with compression devices, sclerotherapy, ablation, laser treatment, or vein stripping.
  • As many as 40 million Americans, most of them women, have varicose veins. Fifty percent of all women will suffer from varicose veins by their mid-50's.
  • When the arteries in the legs become blocked, the legs do not receive enough blood or oxygen. This may be due to a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes called leg artery disease. PAD is commonly treated by lifestyle changes, compression devices, medication, exercise, angioplasty/stenting, bypass surgery, endarterectomy, or amputation. One in three people age 70 or older has PAD. PAD affects about 8 million Americans. Persons with PAD also have four to five times higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • The above conditions affect tens of millions of people. One common treatment opportunity is using compression devices. Currently there are several antiquated and differing compression devices for each condition.
  • In addition, surgical procedures on a body part often cause the body part to swell. For example, a surgeon may remove a vein from a leg to use the vein in a heart bypass surgery. The removal of the vein can be achieved by making small incisions in the thigh to access and remove the vein. The surgery would cause swelling in the thigh.
  • The inventor has recognized that the embodiments of the compression devices disclosed herein can treat all of these conditions. In addition, the compression devices disclosed herein can be used for preventative purposes, such as when the user has to sit for a long period of time, like on an airplane. In addition, the compression device disclosed herein can be used in sports medicine, as a circulatory assistant (a) to improve removal of lactic acid after a workout by improving circulation; (b) to promote healing and recovery time after workouts by minimizing muscle micro-hemorrhaging; (c) to increase circulation to reduce blood pooling and provide nourishment and oxygen to stressed muscles; and (d) to reduce the chance for cramping.
  • One prior art compression device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,879. This device includes a control unit that includes an air compressor and a valve manifold that is controlled by a microprocessor. The microprocessor may control the valves in several different operating modes. The operating mode is selected depending upon the different compression sleeves to which the control unit is connected. Up to two compression sleeves may be simultaneously connected to the control unit where each compression sleeve may have four chambers. Eight valves in the control unit are coupled to the four chambers of each of the two compression sleeves using eight tubes. With four tubes running to each compression sleeve, there is an increased likelihood of getting the tubes tangled or pinched. Each of the valves is discreetly electrically coupled to the microprocessor. Different compression sleeves are used for each form of treatment.
  • The compression devices described herein, when attached to a body part (such as a limb) of a living being and inflated to apply pressure to the body part, will cause the body part to decrease in volume (that is, to shrink). However, unlike prior art devices, the compression device described herein allows automatic or manual readjustment of the level of inflation to maintain the pressure applied to the body part at a constant pressure (to allow continued application of pressure, to cause additional shrinkage of the body part).
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Described herein are several embodiments of an apparatus that can compress a body part of a living being (such as a limb), for example, to decrease the volume of the body part. A method of using the apparatus to compress a body part of a living being, for the same reason, is additionally described herein. A method of using the apparatus to contain and lessen lymphedema is described herein. A method of using the apparatus to contain and lessen swelling arising from surgery is described herein.
  • More specifically, described herein is a compression device comprising an inflatable bladder, a controller, a source of fluidic pressure, and a cuff at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a body part of a living being. The inflatable bladder is in fluid communication with the controller. The controller is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure. The controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure, even while the body part is decreasing in volume, so that a constant pressure is applied to the body part. The controller can be electronic, with sensors and a programmable logic controller, or a manually adjustable valve (including a relief valve) on the source of fluidic pressure.
  • The source of fluidic pressure can be a container of compressed fluid. The compressed fluid can be, among others, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and the noble gases such as helium, argon, neon, xenon, and krypton. In such a case, the container of compressed fluid can be removably attachable to the cuff. Alternatively, the source of fluidic pressure can be a connection in a health care facility. Alternatively, the source of fluidic pressure can be a pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure.
  • The cuff can further include fasteners that are capable of assisting the attachment of the cuff to the body part of a living being. The cuff can be made from a non-rigid base material or a rigid base material. The controller can be removably attachable to the cuff, as well.
  • The compression device can further include a pressure gauge that measures the fluid pressure within the inflatable bladder and provides a display of the measured fluid pressure. The display of the measured fluid pressure can be a digital display. Alternatively or additionally, the display of the measured fluid pressure can be a dial pressure gauge. The pressure gauge can be housed together with the controller.
  • The inflatable bladder can optionally have chambers, such as a first chamber and a second chamber, although the inflatable bladder could have any number of chambers. The chambers are in separate fluidic communication with the controller, a separate valve separating each chamber from the controller. For example, the compression device could comprise a first valve and a second valve, wherein the first valve is in fluidic communication with the first chamber and the controller and the second valve is in fluidic communication with the second chamber and the controller. The controller is capable of separately controlling the valves (such as, the first valve and the second valve) in order to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the first chamber at a first constant fluid pressure and to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the second chamber at a second constant fluid pressure. Alternatively, the valves can be manually adjusted to reach the same objective. The first constant fluid pressure can be different than the second constant fluid pressure.
  • The cuff and controller can each further include an antimicrobial substance. The antimicrobial substance can be capable of emitting ions that aid in the destruction of a microbe.
  • The compression device can further include a relief valve in fluidic communication with the inflatable bladder.
  • As an alternative to a cuff, the compression device can comprise an inflatable bladder, a controller, a source of fluidic pressure, and a shoe at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a foot of a living being. The inflatable bladder is in fluid communication with the controller. The controller is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure. The controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure while the foot is decreasing in volume. The shoe can at least partially house the inflatable bladder at the ankle and midfoot region, where swelling is most likely to occur. The source of fluidic pressure can be a container of compressed fluid or a pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure. The shoe can be worn with the cuff and the inflatable bladder in the shoe can be in fluidic communication with the same source of fluidic pressure as the inflatable bladder in the cuff, and controlled as if it were a separate chamber as described above.
  • Additionally described herein is a method of using a compression device including using the compression device (i) to decrease lymphedema or (ii) to decrease the swelling caused by a surgical procedure comprising (a) presenting a compression device including an inflatable bladder, a controller, a source of fluidic pressure, a cuff at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a body part of a living being, wherein the inflatable bladder is in fluid communication with the controller, the controller is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure, and the controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure; (b) at least partially surrounding a body part of a living being (including a body part suffering from lymphedema, whether self-diagnosed or professionally-diagnosed, and a body part suffering from swelling caused by a surgical procedure) with the compression device, the body part having an initial volume, (c) using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the inflatable bladder to a first fluid pressure, (d) allowing the volume of the body part to decrease from the initial volume to a second volume, and (e) using the controller to further inflate the inflatable bladder to maintain the first fluid pressure.
  • The source of fluidic pressure can be a container of compressed fluid. The compressed fluid can be, among others, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, and the noble gases such as helium, argon, neon, xenon, and krypton. In such a case, the container of compressed fluid can be removably attachable to the cuff. Alternatively, the source of fluidic pressure can be a connection in a health care facility. Alternatively, the source of fluidic pressure can be a pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure.
  • The cuff can further include fasteners that are capable of assisting the attachment of the cuff to the body part of a living being. The cuff can be made from a non-rigid base material or a rigid base material. The controller can be removably attachable to the cuff, as well.
  • The compression device can further include a pressure gauge that measures the fluid pressure within the inflatable bladder and provides a display of the measured fluid pressure. The display of the measured fluid pressure can be a digital display. Alternatively or additionally, the display of the measured fluid pressure can be a dial pressure gauge. The pressure gauge can be housed together with the controller.
  • The inflatable bladder can optionally have chambers, such as a first chamber and a second chamber, although the inflatable bladder could have any number of chambers. The chambers are in separate fluidic communication with the controller, a separate valve separating each chamber from the controller. For example, the compression device could comprise a first valve and a second valve, wherein the first valve is in fluidic communication with the first chamber and the controller and the second valve is in fluidic communication with the second chamber and the controller. The controller can be capable of separately controlling the valves (such as, the first valve and the second valve) in order to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the first chamber at a first constant fluid pressure and to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the second chamber at a second constant fluid pressure. Alternatively, the valves can be manually adjusted to reach the same objective. The first constant fluid pressure can be different than the second constant fluid pressure.
  • When the compression device includes inflatable bladder with separate chambers, the step of using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the inflatable bladder to a first fluid pressure can comprise the steps of (i) using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the first chamber to a first fluid pressure, and (ii) using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the second chamber to a second fluid pressure. The method can include the additional steps of (iii) allowing the volume of the body part to decrease from the initial volume to a second volume, and (iv) using the controller (or manually adjusting the first valve and second valve) to further inflate the first chamber to maintain the first fluid pressure and the second chamber to maintain the second fluid pressure. The first fluid pressure can be different than the second fluid pressure.
  • The cuff and controller can further include an antimicrobial substance. The antimicrobial substance can be capable of emitting ions that aid in the destruction of a microbe.
  • The compression device can further include a relief valve in fluidic communication with the inflatable bladder.
  • Additionally described herein is a compression device comprising a wrap comprising a first end and a second end and a winding reel capable of receiving the first end and the second end of the wrap. The winding reel is attached to a ratchet gear. A base supports the winding reel. A ratchet lever is attached to the base in ratchet communication with the ratchet gear. The ratchet gear including a female slot to receive a male lever.
  • As a method of using this compression device, the user wraps the wrap around a body part of a living being, places the first end of the wrap and the second end of the wrap in the winding reel, and uses the male lever to rotate the ratchet gear and cause the tightening of the wrap around the body part of the living being. As the body part decreases in size, the user can tighten the wrap further, in order to keep the application of pressure on the body part constant. The ratchet gear/ratchet lever combination allows the gear to move in only one direction, that is, the direction that tightens the wrap around the body part.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a first embodiment of compression device 10;
  • FIG. 2 depicts the compression device 10 attached to the body part 20 of a living being 22 and alternative sources of fluidic pressure 16; and
  • FIG. 3 depicts a second embodiment of compression device 10, where the inflatable bladder 12 has multiple chambers 34 and 36;
  • FIG. 4 depicts a top view of a third embodiment of compression device 10, where a shoe 60 at least partially houses the inflatable bladder 12;
  • FIG. 5A depicts a compression device 80, including the manually tightenable wrap 82; and
  • FIG. 5B is a cross-sectional view of a winding reel 88 that may be used with the compression device 80 in FIG. 5A.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper,” “lower,” “right,” “left,” “rear,” “front,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as oriented in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations and step sequences, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.
  • In one embodiment, the compression device 10 (FIG. 1) includes an inflatable bladder 12, a controller 14, and a source of fluidic pressure 16. The inflatable bladder 12 is in fluid communication with the controller 14, such as via a tube 50. Similarly, the controller 14 is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure 16, such as via a tube. The controller 14 can be electronic based, with a programmable logic controller, or manually operable, such as a manual valve.
  • A cuff 18 at least partially houses the inflatable bladder 12 and is capable of being attached to a body part 20 of a living being 22 (FIG. 2). The body part 20 may have lymphedema or swelling resulting from surgery. To assist the attachment of the cuff 18 (FIG. 1) to the body part 20 (FIG. 2) of a living being 22 the cuff 18 further includes fasteners 30. The fasteners 30 can be hook and loop fabric strips, such as Velcro® brand strips, which can removably attach to Velcro-receiving fabric on another area of the cuff 18. The fasteners 30 can be a belt that wrap around the cuff 18 when the cuff 18 is wrapped around the body part 20 (FIG. 2) of a living being 22.
  • The cuff 18 (FIG. 1) can have a non-rigid base material. Examples include nylon, polyester, and cotton. Alternatively, the cuff 18 can have a rigid base material. Examples include plastic and metal. When a rigid base material is used, it may be helpful to separate the cuff 18 into individual components, to help the user attach the cuff 18 around the limb 20 (FIG. 2) of a living being 22.
  • The cuff 18 and controller 14 can include an antimicrobial substance 42. The antimicrobial substance 42 can be a substance that emits silver-ions, such as a plastic co-molded or co-extruded with a silver-ion emitter (like MCX 122656, manufactured by RTP Co., Winona, Minn.), or a material coated or plated with a silver-ion emitter. As other examples, the antimicrobial substance can be one or more of 3 trimethoxysilylpropyloctadecyldimethyl ammonium chloride, hyaluronan and its derivatives, and triclosan. The emission of ions from substances such as the aforementioned aid in the destruction of microbes on a cellular level.
  • The source of fluidic pressure 16 can be a container of compressed fluid 24 (FIG. 2). For example, the compressed fluid 24 can be a canister of compressed carbon dioxide. Other useful compressed fluids include compressed nitrogen, oxygen, or most of the noble gases including helium, argon, neon, xenon, and krypton. Alternatively or additionally, the source of fluidic pressure 16 can be a connection in a health care facility 26. For example, a typical hospital room includes several outlets in the wall of the room that provide access to a source of fluidic pressure, typically air, oxygen, or carbon dioxide. As still another alternative, the source of fluidic pressure 16 can be pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure 28. Specific examples of such a human manipulated pump include a piston style hand pump and a squeezable ball style hand pump. When the source of fluidic pressure 16 is a pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure 28, the cuff 18 may include a relief valve 52 (FIG. 1) that vents excess fluid pressure to the atmosphere, or the pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure 28 may incorporate a relief valve 52 that vents excess fluid pressure within the inflatable bladder 12 to the atmosphere. Yet another alternative for the source of pressure 16 is a battery operated pump that may be housed within the controller 14.
  • The source of fluidic pressure 16 can be removably attachable to the cuff 18 (FIG. 2). For example, the cuff 18 can have a pocket 120 or releaseable strap to hold a container of compressed fluid 24 or pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure 28. Removably attaching the source of fluidic pressure 16 to the cuff 18 helps make the compression device 10 more user friendly and allows the living being 22 to remain mobile while using the compression device 10. Likewise, the controller 14 can be removably attachable to the cuff 18 in the same manner and for the same reasons. The living being 22 could then control the controller 14 more easily.
  • The compression device 10 can further include a pressure gauge 32 (FIG. 1) that measures the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure 16 supplies to the inflatable bladder 12 and provides a display of the measured fluid pressure. The display of the measured fluid pressure is a digital display or a non-digital display, such as a dial pressure gauge. The pressure gauge 32 and controller 18 can be housed under the same housing, if desired. The pressure gauge 32 and controller 14 can be in electronic communication, so that the pressure gauge 32 (a pressure transducer, in this instance) provides pressure measurement feedback to the controller 14, and the controller 14 adjusts the fluidic pressure from source of fluidic pressure 16 accordingly. The pressure gauge 32 allows the user to assess how much pressure is being applied to the limb 20 of the living being 22, around which the cuff 18 is attached. The user can then make a decision to provide more or less pressure, if the controller 14 does not automatically do so. The compression device can include a relief valve 52 in fluidic communication with the inflatable bladder 12. Alternatively, controller 14 may include an internal pressure relief valve that may be a separate valve or part of a three-way valve that selectively couples the source of fluidic pressure 16 with bladder 12.
  • The controller 14 (FIG. 1) is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure 16 supplies to the inflatable bladder 12 at a constant fluid pressure.
  • In another embodiment of the compression device 10, the inflatable bladder 12 has multiple chambers, such as a first chamber 34 (FIG. 3) and a second chamber 36. The inflatable bladder 12 could have any number of individual chambers. Each of the chambers, such as first chamber 34 and second chamber 36, is in fluidic communication with the source of fluidic pressure 16 and controller 14, separated by a valve, such as first valve 38 and second valve 40. The valves 38 and 40 may be housed with the controller 14 under the same housing.
  • The controller 14 can be capable of separately controlling the valves, such as first valve 38 and the second valve 40, in order to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure 16 supplies to the chambers. For example the controller 14 can manipulate first valve 38 to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure 16 supplies to the first chamber 34 at a first constant fluid pressure and manipulate the second valve 40 to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure 16 supplies to the second chamber 36 at a second constant fluid pressure. Alternatively, the user can simply manually manipulate valves 38 and 40, to achieve the same goals, and in such a case, controller 14 can be a manually operated valve for fluidic pressure source 16. The fluid pressure supplied to each chamber could be different (for example, the first constant fluid pressure is different than the second constant fluid pressure), so that the compression device 10 provides a gradient of pressure to the limb 20 of a living being 22, when the cuff 18 is attached thereto. The fluid pressure supplied to each chamber could be identical, for uniform compression.
  • As an alternative to a cuff 18, the compression device 10 can comprise an inflatable bladder 12, a controller 14, a source of fluidic pressure 16, and a shoe 60 (FIG. 4) at least partially housing the inflatable bladder 12 and capable of being attached to a foot of a living being. The inflatable bladder 12 is in fluid communication with the controller 14. The controller 14 is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure 16. The controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure while the foot is decreasing in volume in the manners described above. The shoe can at least partially house the inflatable bladder at the ankle and midfoot region 62, where swelling is most likely to occur. The source of fluidic pressure can be a container of compressed fluid 24 or a pump that transforms human force into fluid pressure 28. The shoe 60 can be worn with the cuff 18 and the inflatable bladder 12 in the shoe 60 can be in fluidic communication with the same source of fluidic pressure 16 as the inflatable bladder 12 in the cuff 18, and controlled as if it were a separate chamber as described above.
  • A user can use the compression device 10 herein described, either with the embodiments including an inflatable bladder 12 (FIGS. 1, 4) with just one chamber or with the embodiment including multiple chambers (FIG. 3), according to a certain method. For the inflatable bladder 12 with just one chamber, the method includes the steps of (i) presenting the compression device 10; (ii) at least partially surrounding the body part 20 of a living being 22 (including a body part 20 suffering from lymphedema or swelling caused by a surgical procedure) with the compression device 10, the body part 20 having an initial volume (a “swollen” body part); (iii) using the source of fluidic pressure 16 to inflate the inflatable bladder 12 to a first fluid pressure (for example, 20 mmHg); (iv) allowing the volume of the body part 20 to decrease from the initial volume to a second volume (a less “swollen” body part); and (v) using the controller 14 to further inflate the inflatable bladder 12 to maintain the first fluid pressure (for example, 20 mmHg). As the volume of the body part 20 decreases from the initial volume (a “swollen” body part) to a second lesser volume (a less “swollen” body part), because of the application of pressure to the body part (that is, the compression of the body part) by the compression device 10, the amount of pressure (that is, compression) within the inflatable bladder 12 decreases. Therefore, if the application of a constant pressure (state of compression) on the body party 20 is desired, then the controller 14 must be used to maintain the amount of pressure at the first fluid pressure level. The controller 14 can do so by allowing the source of fluidic pressure 16 to add further fluid to the inflatable bladder 12. The controller 14 can be electronic, with sensors (such as pressure transducers) and a programmable logic controller (that receives feedback from the sensors and adjusts the fluid released from the source of fluidic pressure 16 to maintain the pressure constant) or an adjustable valve on the source of fluidic pressure 16.
  • For the inflatable bladder 12 with multiple chambers (each in fluidic communication with a valve), such as a first chamber 34 (FIG. 3) and a second chamber 36, the method includes the steps of (i) presenting the compression device 10; (ii) at least partially surrounding the body part 20 of a living being 22 (including a body part 20 suffering from lymphedema or swelling caused by surgery) with the compression device 10, the body part 20 having an initial volume (a “swollen” body part); (iii) using the source of fluidic pressure 16 to inflate the first chamber 34 to a first fluid pressure and using the source of fluidic pressure 16 to inflate the second chamber 36 to a second fluid pressure; (iv) allowing the volume of the body part 20 to decrease from the initial volume to a second volume; and (v) manipulating valves 38 and 40 to further inflate the first chamber 34 to maintain the first fluid pressure and the second chamber 36 to maintain the second fluid pressure. The first fluid pressure can different than the second fluid pressure, in order to provide a gradient of compression on the body part 20. The manipulation of valves 38 and 40 can be manual or electronic through controller 14. The controller 14 can be electronic, with sensors (such as pressure transducers) and a programmable logic controller (that receives feedback from the sensors and adjusts the fluid released from the source of fluidic pressure 16 to maintain the pressure constant) or an adjustable valve on the source of fluidic pressure 16.
  • In another embodiment, a compression device 80 (FIG. 5A) comprises a wrap 82 comprising a first end 84 and a second end 86 and a winding reel 88 capable of receiving the first end 84 and the second end 86 of the wrap 82. The winding reel 88 is attached to a ratchet gear 90 (FIG. 5B). A base 92 supports the winding reel 88. A ratchet lever 94 is attached to the base 92 in ratchet communication with the ratchet gear 90. The ratchet gear 90 can include a female slot 96 to receive a male lever 98 (or a lever may be permanent attached to the ratchet gear).
  • As a method of using this compression device 80, the user wraps the wrap 82 around a body part 20 of a living being 22, places the first end 84 of the wrap 82 and the second end 86 of the wrap 82 in the winding reel 88, and uses the male lever 98 to rotate the ratchet gear 90 and cause the tightening of the wrap 82 around the body part 20 of the living being 22. As the body part 20 decreases in size, the user can tighten the wrap 82 further, in order to keep the application of pressure on the body part 20 relatively constant. The ratchet gear 90/ratchet lever 94 combination allows the ratchet gear 90 to move in only one direction, that is, the direction that tightens the wrap 82 around the body part 20.
  • In the foregoing description, it will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the invention without departing from the concepts as disclosed herein. Such modifications are to be considered as included in the following claims, unless those claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

Claims (81)

  1. 1. A portable compression device comprising:
    an inflatable bladder;
    a controller;
    a source of fluidic pressure; and
    a cuff at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a body part of a living being, the source of fluidic pressure being releasably attached to the cuff;
    wherein:
    the inflatable bladder is in fluid communication with the controller;
    the controller is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure; and
    the controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure while the limb of a body part is decreasing in volume.
  2. 2. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the source of fluidic pressure is a container of compressed fluid.
  3. 3. The compression device of claim 2, wherein the compressed fluid is carbon dioxide.
  4. 4. (canceled)
  5. 5. (canceled)
  6. 6. (canceled)
  7. 7. (canceled)
  8. 8. (canceled)
  9. 9. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the cuff further includes fasteners that are capable of assisting the attachment of the cuff to the limb of a living being.
  10. 10. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the cuff comprises a non-rigid base material.
  11. 11. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the cuff comprises a rigid base material.
  12. 12. (canceled)
  13. 13. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the controller is removably attachable to the cuff.
  14. 14. (canceled)
  15. 15. (canceled)
  16. 16. (canceled)
  17. 17. (canceled)
  18. 18. (canceled)
  19. 19. The compression device of claim 18, wherein the first constant fluid pressure is different than the second constant fluid pressure.
  20. 20. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the cuff further comprises an antimicrobial substance.
  21. 21. (canceled)
  22. 22. (canceled)
  23. 23. A method of using a compression device comprising:
    a. presenting a portable compression device comprising:
    an inflatable bladder;
    a controller;
    a source of fluidic pressure;
    a cuff at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a body part of a living being, the source of fluidic pressure being releasably attached to the cuff;
    wherein the inflatable bladder is in fluid communication with the controller;
    the controller is in fluid communication with the source of fluidic pressure; and
    the controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure;
    b. at least partially surrounding a body part of a living being with the compression device, the body part having an initial volume; and
    c. using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the inflatable bladder to a first fluid pressure;
    d. allowing the volume of the body part to decrease from the initial volume to a second volume; and
    e. using the controller to further inflate the inflatable bladder to maintain the first fluid pressure.
  24. 24. (canceled)
  25. 25. (canceled)
  26. 26. (canceled)
  27. 27. (canceled)
  28. 28. (canceled)
  29. 29. (canceled)
  30. 30. (canceled)
  31. 31. (canceled)
  32. 32. (canceled)
  33. 33. (canceled)
  34. 34. (canceled)
  35. 35. (canceled)
  36. 36. (canceled)
  37. 37. (canceled)
  38. 38. (canceled)
  39. 39. (canceled)
  40. 40. The method of claim 23, wherein:
    a. the compression device further comprises a first valve and a second valve,
    wherein the first valve is in fluidic communication with the first chamber and the controller;
    wherein the second valve is in fluidic communication with the second chamber and the controller; and
    wherein the first valve and the second valve are separately adjustable in order to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the first chamber at a first constant fluid pressure and to maintain the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the second chamber at a second constant fluid pressure; and
    b. the step of using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the inflatable bladder to a first fluid pressure comprising the steps of:
    i. using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the first chamber to a first fluid pressure; and
    ii. using the source of fluidic pressure to inflate the second chamber to a second fluid pressure;
    c. allowing the volume of the body part to decrease from the initial volume to a second volume; and
    d. further inflating the first chamber to maintain the first fluid pressure and the second chamber to maintain the second fluid pressure.
  41. 41. (canceled)
  42. 42. (canceled)
  43. 43. (canceled)
  44. 44. (canceled)
  45. 45. The method of claim 23, wherein the method is used for decreasing lymphedema.
  46. 46. (canceled)
  47. 47. (canceled)
  48. 48. (canceled)
  49. 49. (canceled)
  50. 50. (canceled)
  51. 51. (canceled)
  52. 52. (canceled)
  53. 53. (canceled)
  54. 54. (canceled)
  55. 55. (canceled)
  56. 56. (canceled)
  57. 57. (canceled)
  58. 58. (canceled)
  59. 59. (canceled)
  60. 60. (canceled)
  61. 61. (canceled)
  62. 62. (canceled)
  63. 63. (canceled)
  64. 64. (canceled)
  65. 65. (canceled)
  66. 66. (canceled)
  67. 67. The compression device of claim 1, wherein said cuff is configured as
    a shoe at least partially housing the inflatable bladder and capable of being attached to a foot of a living being,
    wherein the controller is capable of maintaining the fluid pressure that the source of fluidic pressure supplies to the inflatable bladder at a constant fluid pressure while the foot is decreasing in volume.
  68. 68. The compression device of 67, the shoe comprising an ankle and midfoot region, wherein the shoe at least partially houses the inflatable bladder at the ankle and midfoot region.
  69. 69. (canceled)
  70. 70. (canceled)
  71. 71. A compression device comprising:
    a wrap comprising a first end and a second end;
    a winding reel capable of receiving the first end and the second end of the wrap;
    the winding reel attached to a ratchet gear;
    a base supporting the winding reel; and
    a ratchet lever attached to the base in ratchet communication with the ratchet gear.
  72. 72. The compression device of 71, the ratchet gear including a female slot to receive a male lever.
  73. 73. (canceled)
  74. 74. (canceled)
  75. 75. (canceled)
  76. 76. The method of claim 23, wherein the method is used for decreasing the swelling of a body part.
  77. 77. The method of claim 76, wherein the body part of a living being suffering from swelling is swelling caused by a surgical procedure.
  78. 78. (canceled)
  79. 79. The compression device of claim 1, the controller further comprising an antimicrobial substance.
  80. 80. (canceled)
  81. 81. The compression device of claim 1, wherein the source of fluidic pressure is a pump.
US13132417 2008-12-02 2009-12-02 Compression device and control system for applying pressure to a limb of a living being Abandoned US20110245743A1 (en)

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US22165009 true 2009-06-30 2009-06-30
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US13132417 US20110245743A1 (en) 2008-12-02 2009-12-02 Compression device and control system for applying pressure to a limb of a living being

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US12629526 Active 2031-06-23 US8449483B2 (en) 2008-12-02 2009-12-02 Compression device and control system for applying pressure to a limb of a living being
US13132417 Abandoned US20110245743A1 (en) 2008-12-02 2009-12-02 Compression device and control system for applying pressure to a limb of a living being
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US20110242549A1 (en) 2011-10-06 application
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