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US2998817A - Inflatable massaging and cooling mattress - Google Patents

Inflatable massaging and cooling mattress Download PDF

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Publication number
US2998817A
US2998817A US83221159A US2998817A US 2998817 A US2998817 A US 2998817A US 83221159 A US83221159 A US 83221159A US 2998817 A US2998817 A US 2998817A
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body
cells
position
fluid
member
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Law L Armstrong
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Gary Armstrong Stebbins
Alice Armstrong Hohenberg
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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
    • 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
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F7/00Heating or cooling appliances for medical or therapeutic treatment of the human body
    • A61F7/10Cooling bags, e.g. ice-bags
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT OR ACCOMODATION FOR PATIENTS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G7/00Beds specially adapted for nursing; Devices for lifting patients or disabled persons
    • A61G7/05Parts, details or accessories of beds
    • A61G7/057Arrangements for preventing bed-sores or for supporting patients with burns, e.g. mattresses specially adapted therefor
    • A61G7/05769Arrangements for preventing bed-sores or for supporting patients with burns, e.g. mattresses specially adapted therefor with inflatable chambers
    • A61G7/05776Arrangements for preventing bed-sores or for supporting patients with burns, e.g. mattresses specially adapted therefor with inflatable chambers with at least two groups of alternately inflated chambers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F7/00Heating or cooling appliances for medical or therapeutic treatment of the human body
    • A61F2007/0054Heating or cooling appliances for medical or therapeutic treatment of the human body with a closed fluid circuit, e.g. hot water
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F7/00Heating or cooling appliances for medical or therapeutic treatment of the human body
    • A61F2007/0054Heating or cooling appliances for medical or therapeutic treatment of the human body with a closed fluid circuit, e.g. hot water
    • A61F2007/0056Heating or cooling appliances for medical or therapeutic treatment of the human body with a closed fluid circuit, e.g. hot water for cooling
    • 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
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0207Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled heated
    • 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
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0214Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled cooled
    • 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
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0221Mechanism for heating or cooling
    • A61H2201/0228Mechanism for heating or cooling heated by an electric resistance element
    • 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
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0221Mechanism for heating or cooling
    • A61H2201/0242Mechanism for heating or cooling by a fluid circulating in the apparatus
    • 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
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0221Mechanism for heating or cooling
    • A61H2201/025Mechanism for heating or cooling by direct air flow on the patient's body
    • 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
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S297/00Chairs and seats
    • Y10S297/03Pneumatic

Description

L. L. ARMSTRONG INFLATABLE MASSAGING AND COOLNG MATTRESS Sept. 5, A1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 7, 1959 II II II II II II |I II II II II II II II II II II-II-I Vfph pp mm DVV Il Il jl Il ll IL II 1| u L l 1| IIA ' 'UUU u FIG. IA

FIC-1.2

INVENTOR LAW I .ARMSTRONG w1 TNEES Sept 5, 1961 L. l.. ARMSTRONG 2,998,817

INFLATABLE MAssAGING AND COOLING MATTRESS Filed Aug. 7, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 38 T1msn F I G. 3

FLUID-COHDlTOHING FLUID-Hen um-r LINE

FUGAL INVENTOR LAW L ARMSTRONG WITNES s Qi ATTORNEY IR INATAKE T VACUUM LINE United tates atent 2,998,817 INFLATABLE MASSAGING AND COOLING MATTRESS Law L. Armstrong, 914 Canterbury Road, Raleigh, N.C., assigner of one-third to Gary Armstrong Stebbins, Rochester, N.Y., and one-third to Alice Armstrong Hohenberg, Selma, Ala.

Filed Aug. 7, 1959, Ser. No. 832,211 Claims. (Cl. V12S-433) The present invention relates to mattresses and, more particularly, to a mattress for conditioning portions of the body.

Heretofore, it has been known to provide a bed of the type shown in U.S. Patent No. 1,643,793 issued September 27, 1927 to C. E. Sparhawk. This bed comprises a plurality of movable cushions or sections mounted on a movable frame and disposed between a like number of stationary cushions or sections aiixed to a stationary frame. A motor or a hand-operated linkage reciprocates the movable cushions vertically to support the body 011 one set of cushions of the bed while the other set of cushions is being cooled by ambient air and while the portions of the body over the set of non-supporting cushions are rested.

Another mattress of the type shown in U.S. Patent No. 1,772,310, issued August 5, 1930 to J. D. Hart allows the body to be comfortably supported and provides for the pneumatic shifting of the sustaining pressures from different portions of the body to other portions thereof as frequently as necessary to stimulate the body. Such a mattress comprises a plurality of transversely disposed rubber cells contained in partitions provided in a canvas outer covering. One set of alternate cells is connected by one supply pipe through suitable valve means to a suitable fluid-supply means. The other set of alternate cells is connected by another supply pipe to the same control means and fluid-supply means. By inflating one set of cells while deiiating the other setof cells, the pressuresustaining portions of thebody are automatically varied.

As an improvement over the above-described mattress,

the mattress disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2,437,006,k

issued March 2, 1948 to W. T. Simpson, was utilized. Such mattress comprises a cover and base piece between which a closed-ended tube is arranged with parallel transverse sections thereof disposed about transversely extending plastic ribs. Inilation of the transverse sections of the tube raises the body off the plastic ribs While deflation of such transverse sections lowers the body onto such ribs. As an alternative embodiment, two tube systems are proposed, each system having alternately disposed closed-ended sections extending transversely from main feeder tubes. These feeder tubes are connected to slide valves which are operable automatically to fill one tube system while permitting deflation of the other tube system, thus operating in the same manner as the mattress of the above-mentioned Hart patent.

The above-described mattresses do not provide means for removing perspiration from the body, do not provide air conditioning of the body, and are not capable of applying medication to the body to heal or soothe skin or bed sores.

It is the general object of the present invention to avoid and overcome the vforegoing and other difiiculties of and objections to prior art practices by the provision of an improved mattress which will provide a positive circulation of air over the entire body and will at all times air condition such body.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of an improved mattress which will vary automatically the pressure-supporting portions of the body to affect a gentle massage thereof, thereby minimizing the '2,998,817 Patented Sept. 5, 1961 likelihood of bed sores and permitting the removal 'of perspiration from the body by a circulating lluid.

Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of an improved mattress which provides for the application of medication to the body by the circulating iluid.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of an improved mattress which is controlled in its operational cycle by electrical-control means thus providing automatic operation of such mattress.

A lfurther object of the present invention is the provision of an improved mattress which may utilize a heated `circulating fluid for the therapeutic treatment of shock patients.

A still further object of the present invention is the provision of an improved mattress which is adapted to use ambient air as its circulating fluid but is not limited in its use thereto.

A still further object of the present inventionis the provision of an improved mattress which is operable to use conditioned air as its circulating fluid.

The aforesaid objects of the present invention, and other objects which will become apparent as the description proceeds, are achieved by providing a mattress comprising' a fluid-tight basermem'ber and a porous cover member, which mattress is suitably partitioned into cells. Alternately one arrangement of cells is inflated while the other arrangement of cells is deflated to vary the pressure-supporting portions of the body. During deilation and inflation, and more particularly while each arrangement of cells is inated, a controlled amount of circulating fluid passes through the porous cover to remove perspiration from the body, to completely air condition the body at all times, and (additionally, if desired) to apply medication to affected portions of the body.

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings, wherein like numerals of reference indicate similar parts throughout the several views and wherein:

FIG. l is a plan view of the improved mattress of the present invention and showing a portion of the fluidfeeding means for alternately inating and deilating the two arrangements of cells.

FIG. 1A is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 1 showing an alternative embodiment of the improved mattress and omitting for the sake of clarity the fluid-feeding means.

FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view of the improved mattress shown in FIG. 1 taken along the line Il-II of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 2A is a vertical-sectional view taken along the line IIa- Ila of FIG. 1A in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the fluid-feeding means, duid-treating means, medication-supplying means` and automatic control means for the improved mattress of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical-sectional Iview of one of the normally-closed electrically-operated air valves which forms a part of the control means and which is shown in the open position.

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 of a normally-open electrically-operated air valve associated with the control means and shown inthe closed position. i

Although the principles of the present invention are broadly applicable to mattresses in general and the improved mattress of the present invention may be used either as the main mattress or as a supplementary mattress, the present invention is particularly adapted for use as a mattress for the prevention of bed sores on the body, for the removal of perspiration from the body and and hence it has been so illustrated and will be so described.

With specific reference to the form of the present invention illustrated in the drawings, and referring particularly to FIGS. l and 2, one embodiment of the improved mattress of the present invention is indicated generally by the reference numeral 10.

This mattress (FIG. 2) comprises essentially a resilient air-tight base member 12 (suitably formed of either rubber or a plastic, such as polyethylene or polystyrene, or a plastic-impregnated woven material) and a resilient porous cover member 14 which is sealed into air-tight engagement with the base member 12 (by thermoplastic welding or a suitable hermetic cement, such as epoxy resin, a condensation polymer of epichlorohydrin and bisphenol A) to form a plurality of relatively thin cells alternately designated 16a and 16b. These cells 16a and 16b form two arrangements or systems of cells for use as hereinafter explained.

This porous cover member 14 may be fabricated from a woven fabric or woven fabric sprayed lightly with a 30% solution by weight of vinyl chloride and the balance methyl ethyl ketone to partially close the interstitial spaces between threads. Such porous cover member 14 must be adapted to permit one arrangement of cells, for example 16a, to be raised from the deflated position (not shown) in FIG. 2 (but similar to the flat solid-line position of the cells 16h) to the inflated body-supporting or solid-line position shown in such figure, where such cells 16a must support (without appreciable deformation) a body (not shown) which will apply a pressure of about 2 lbs. per sq. inch thereto. Such porous cover member 14 must also be adapted (while performing this bodysupporting function) to pass about 100 cubic feet per hour of a fluid, suitably air, therethrough from the arrangement of inflated cells 16a, for example, into cavities 17 formed between the unsupported portions of the body (not shown), adjacent inflated cells 16a and contiguous deated cells 16b, thereby providing a positive air circulation over the body (not shown), air conditioning such unsupported portions of the body (not shown) as desired, and removing perspiration therefrom.

It will be appreciated that (after a predetermined period of time) while one arrangement of the cells 16a, for example, is in the body-supporting or solid-line position shown in FIG. 2 and while a fluid, suitably air, is circulating through the above-described cavities 17, the other arrangement of cells 16h is raised from `the deflated or solid-line position shown in FIG. 2 to the bodysupporting or dotted-line position shown in such figure. Such one arrangement of cells 16a. will remain in the body-supporting position until the other arrangement of cells 16b has arrived in the body-supporting position thereby preventing rocking of the body. As is Well known in the art the alternate inflation and deflation of the two arrangements of cells 16:1 and 16h provides a massaging effect to the body (not shown) and pressure relief for the pressure-supporting are of the body (not shown) thus preventing bed sores. These cells 16a, 16h are relatively thin to avoid imparting any throwing motion to the body (not shown) during the alternate inating and deflating of the two-arrangements of cells 16a and 16b. It will also be understood that while the two arrangements 16a and 16b shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are disposed transversely to the Ilongitudinal axis of the mattress 10, such cells may be disposed parallel to such longitudinal axis or at Ian angle thereto as desired.

Referring now to FIGS. la and 2a (wherein is shown an alternative embodiment 10 of the improved mattress of the present invention), it will be noted that a cover member 14 may be substituted for the porous cover member 14 shown in FIGS. l and 2. This cover member 14 may be formed of an air-tight material, such as either rubber or a plastic, such as polyethylene or polystyrene, or a plastic impregnated woven material, and is provided with a plurality of apertures 1S, either holes as shown in FIGS. la and 2a or thin slits (not shown) which are adapted to pass about cubic feet per hour of a iluid, such as air, into the cavities 17 while one arrangement of the cells, either 16a or 1611, are in the body-supporting position. lt is also possible to fabricate the cover member 14 of canvas, impregnated with a vinyl-chloride paste formed by mixing 70 parts by weight of vinyl-chloride resin and 30 parts by weight of a suitable plasticizer, such as dioctylphthalate. Such cover member 14 may be thermoplasticly welded to the base member 12 to form the cells 16a and 16h.

In order to permit the alternate inflation and deflation of the two arrangements of cells 16a and 161) and to provide the above-described positive fluid circulation into the cavities 17, the opposite ends of the cells 16a and 16b are connected to feeder lines 20a and 2911 respectively, which feeder lines Zifz and Ztlb are connected, as now described and shown in FIG. 3, to the fluid-feeding means associated with the improved mattress 10 of the present invention.

Fluid-feeding means Assuming it is desired to utilize the ambient air from a heated room or an air-conditioned room as the circulating duid for the body (not shown), a centrifugal blower 22 (FIG. 3) pulls in the ambient air from an intake pipe 24 and through an air-flow regulator 26 (suitably a butterfly valve) and feeds such air at 6-8 lbs. per square inch through a common feed tube 28. This common feed tube 23 conducts the air successively into and out of a now inoperative fluid-heating unit 30, a now inoperative duid-conditioning unit 32, a tirst normally-open electrically-operated valve 34 and a second normallyopen electrically-operated valve 36 to a solenoid-operated two-way valve 38 which is automatically operable by the control means associated with the mattress 10 to alternately feed the air at ambient temperature into feed tubes 40a and 4Gb which connect respectively with the feeder lines 20a and 2Gb.

As shown in FIG. 3 air at 6-8 lbs. per square inch and at ambient room temperature is being supplied by the solenoid-operated valve 38 through the feed tube 40a and feeder line 20a to maintain the arrangement of cells 16a in the inilated or body-supporting position shown in HG. 2.

The drive means provided for the centrifugal blower 22 comprises a motor 42 connected by a line 44 and a line 46 (containing now-closed switch 48) to junctions ywith line-voltage conductors 50 and 52 respectively, which line-voltage conductors 50 and 52 are connected through a switch 54 to a suitable voltage supply indicated by the legend A.C. Supply.

As shown in FIG. 3, the solenoid-operated two-way valve 38 consists of a housing 56 provided with an airinlet 58 which registers with the common feed tube 28 and two air outlets 60a and 601: disposed at opposite ends of the housing and communicating respectively with the feed tubes 40a and 40h.

A rotatable stem 62 of the two-way air valve 38 has a connecting port 64 and is oscillatable by the control means associated with the air valve 38 between the solidline position (FIG. 3) and the dotted-line position to cause the alternate inflation and deflation of the two arrangements of the cells 16a and 16b and to provide positive air circulation in the cavities 17.

Control means The means utilized to cause the valve stem 62 and the connecting port 64 contained therein to move from the solid-line position shown in FIG. 3 tothe dotted-line position shown in such figure, comprises an arm 66 extending from such valve stem 62, which arm 66 is connected to an armature 68 of a solenoid having one side Qf tspratins Coil 701C0nt1estd (in #timer-energizing circuit) to one line-voltage conductor 5 0 and having its other side connected to a timer 72. This timer 72 is connected in turn through a switch 73` to the other line-voltage conductor 52.

lt will be understood that upon closure of the switch 73 the timer '72. `is adapted Ito energize the coil 70 of the solenoid for any desired predetermined period of time, such as for example Z seconds, and then to maintain such coil 70 in the inoperative condition for a similar period of time thereby providing a rhythmical inflation and deation of the two arrangements of cells 16a and 16b.

During the period of the operating cycle when the coil 70 is deenergized by the timer 72, a spring 74 maintains the arm 66, the valve stem 62 and the connecting port 64 in the solid-line position shown in FIG. 3 and, of course, air at 6-8 lbs. per square inch and at ambient room temperature is fed through the feed tube 40a and feeder line 29a to the arrangement of cells 16a. When the coil '70 is energized by operation of the timer 72, the arm 66, the valve stem 62 and the connecting port 64 contained therein are moved to the right fromy the solid-line position to the dotted-line position thereby shutting olf the air flow to the arrangement of cells 16a and supplying air through the feed tube 40h and feeder line Ztb to the other arrangement of cells 16b.

It will be understood that the valve 3S is operable with such rapidity as to maintain the now cut-off arrangement of cells 16a in the body-supporting or solid-line position shown in FIG. 2 until the other arrangement of cells 1615 moves from the deflated or solid-line position to the inflated body-supporting (dotted-line) position shown in such figure.

Thereafter' the now cut-off arrangement of cells 16a is deflated by escape of air contained therein through the porous cover member 14 and by operation of an evacuating means.

Evacuatng means This evacuating means for the arrangement of cells 16a comprises a normally-closed electrically-operated valve '76 disposed in an exhaust line 78a extending from feeder line 20a to the low-pressure side (left-hand side, FIG. 3) of the centrifugal blower 22. This normallyclosed electrically-operated valve 76 (FIGS. 3 and 4) has one side connected to the timer 72 and the other side to the line-voltage conductor 5) so that during the portion of the operating cycle of the control means in which the coil 70 is energized by the timer 72 (and the arrangement of cells 16a is cut-off from the common feed tube 28) the normally-closed electrically-operated valve 76 is open to permit the air within the arrangement of cells 16a to be evacuated through the exhaust line 78a to the low-pressure side of the centrifugal blower 22.

To tmderstand the operation of the normally-closed electrically-operated valve '76 reference is made to I iIG. 4 wherein such valve 76 is shown as having a housing .96 provided with an air inlet 98 in registry with one 'side of the exhaust tube 'itin and an air outlet 160 1n registry with the other side of the exhaust tube 78a.

To provide operating means for a valve pistonl 102 of the valve 76, suitably of dumbbell-like configuration and reciprocable in the housing 96, an operating coil 104 of a solenoid is positioned about a right-hand armature 106e extending from the right-hand end of the piston 102 and beyond the housing 96. This coil 104 is connected by a conductor lith to the line-voltage conductor 5t) and by a line 11di to the timer-energizing circuit. A spring 112 connected to the left-hand armature 166b maintains the piston 102 in the dotted-line position shown in FlG. 4, which dotted-line position is the normallyclosed position of the valve '76.

Energization of rthe coil 104 by the timer 72 causes `the piston 162 to move from the dotted-line or normally-closed position shown in FIG. 4 (against the ac-` tion of the spring 112) to the solid-line position shown in such gure, which solid-line position is the open position of lthe valve 76.

It will be noted from a consideration of FIG. 3 that a normally-open electrically-operated valve (FIGS. 3 and 5) is similarly disposed in an exhaust line 78b and similarly electrically connected to the timer 72 and the line-voltage conductor 50. When the coil 70 is deenergized (and fthe arrangement of cells 16b is cut-off from 'the common feed tube 28) the normally-open electricallyoperated valve 80 permits the evacuation of the air within the arrangement of cells 1l6b through the exhaust tube 7811. During energization of the coil 70 by the timer 72 such valve 80 is energized and closes thus permitting the inflation of the arrangement of cells 16b.

rl`his normally-open electrically-operated valve 80 shown in FIG. 5 is similar in structure and operation to the above-described normally-open valve 76. rI'lie piston 102' of such valve 86a is maintained by a spring 112 in the dotted-line or normally-open position. Energization of a coil 104 of `a solenoid (which coil is connected by a conductor 108 to the line-voltage conductor 50 and by a line 110 to the timer-energizing circuit) causes the piston 102' to move from the dotted-line or normallyopen position shown in FIG. 5 to the solid-line or closed position shown in such gure so that air entering the housing 96 through air inlet 98 from one side of the exhaust tube 78b cannot leave the housing 96 through air outlet communicating with the other side of the exhaust tube 78b.

If it is necessary to connect the exhaust line 78av and 78b to a more positive evacuating system, normally-open manually-operated valves 82a 4and 82h in the exhaust lines 78a and 78b respective, may -be closed Iand normallyclosed manually-operated valves 84a tand 84]; may be opened.

When, las a further, example of the operation of the improved mattress lil, it is deemed desirable to eliminate the massaging of the body (not shown) by the alternate inflation and deflation of the two arrangements of cells 16a and 1Gb and to maintain both arrangements of cells 16z1and 16h in the inflated body-supporting position while still providing a positive air ow over the body (not shown), the timer 72 may be shut oft` by opening the switch 73 and the mattress 1) operated by means of an auxiliary-control means.

Auxiliary-control means This auxiliary-control means (utilized when the timer 72 is electrically disconnected fro-m the line-voltage conductors S0 and 52 by opening the switch 73) comprises the hereinbefore mentioned normally-open electricallyoperated valve 36 in the common feed tube 28 and a pair of normally-closed electrically-operated valves 86a and y and the normally-open valve 36 is similar to the normally- A Y lopen valve 80 (FIG. 5).

Referring to the auxiliary-control circuit shown in lPIG. 3, it Will be appreciated that closure of the switch 94 causes energization of the normally-open valve 36 with resultant closure thereof and cut-off of the 4air from the common feed tube 28 to the two-way valve 38. Simultaneously energization of the normally-closed valves 86a and 86]; results in the opening thereof and the admission of air through the respective branch lines 88a and 88h to both arrangements of the cells y16a and 16h.y Both arrangements of the cells 16a and 16b remain in the inflated body-supporting position and a limited quantity of air passes through the porous cover member 14 to provide a partial positive air circulation, air conditioning of the body (not shown) and removal of perspiration therefrom.

Assuming for the purposes of illustration that the above-described auxiliary-control circuit is deenergized by opening the switch 94 and that the flow of air to the mattress is once more `automatically controlled by electrically connecting the timer 72 to the line-voltage conductors 50 and S2 by closure of the switch 73, it is possible by use of the Huid-heating unit 30 to heat the air being passed through the common feed tube 23 to any desired temperature for the therapeutic treatment of a body (not shown) suffering from shock.

This fluid-heating unit 30 comprises essentially a housing 114 containing a resistance-type heating element 116, one side of which is connected by a line 118 in the heating circuit to the line-voltage conductor 50 and the other side of which heating element 116 is connected by a line 126 through a variable resistor 122 and a switch 124 to the other line-voltage conductor 52. Closure of the switch 124 causes the -heating element 116 to heat the air passing through the duid-heating unit 30 to any desired temperature as controlled by the variable resistor 122.

It will also be understood from a consideration of FIG. 3 that it is also possible to utilize the fluid-conditioning unit 32 to present conditioned air (cooled to any desired temperature and humidity) to the two `arrangements of cells 16a and 16b.

F luid-conditioning unit This fluid-conditioning unit 32 comprises a housing 126 containing evaporator coils 128 of a suitable air-conditioning unit. The vaporized refrigerant follows the path of the arrows (FIG. 3) from the evaporator coils 128 to a compressor 130 and thence to cooling coils 132. From the cooling coils 132 the now-liquid refrigerant is returned to a sump-tank 134 and fed therefrom through a control valve 136 to the evaporator coils 128. Energization of a motor 138 (by closure of 'a switch 140) drives the compressor 130 with resultant operation of the airconditioning unit to cause the evaporator coils 128 to condition the air passing through the lair-cooling unit y132 to any desired temperature and humidity thus providing positive cooling of a body (not shown) on the mattress 10 and the prevention of perspiration thereon.

As a further alternative use of the improved mattress 10 of the present invention it is possible to entrain a medication, such as alcohol vapor, in the air being fed to the two-arrangements of cells 16a and 16b and ultimately to the body (not shown) to prevent the formation and to ease the discomfort of bed sores by operation of a medication-entraining means or medication-supplying means.

Medication-supplying means This medication-supplying means comprises a closed container or bubbler 142 containing a medication, such as alcohol, and connected by means of an inlet pipe 144 through a normally-closed electrically-operated valve 146 to the common feed tube 23. The inlet pipe 144 extends into the alcohol. Further, an outlet pipe 148 connects the interior of the bubbler 142 above the alcohol through a normally-closed electrically-operated valve 150 to the common feed tube 28. The normally-closed electricallyoperated valves 146 and 15) `are similar to the valve 76 shown in FIG. 4.

The normally-open electrically-operated valve 34 disposed in the common feed tube 2S between its junction with the inlet pipe 144 and its junction with the outlet pipe 148 completes the medication-supplying means. This normally-open electrically-operated valve 34 is similar to the valve 80 shown in FIG. 5".

The valves 34, 146 and 150 are connected in electrical parallel (in a medication-supplying circuit) with each other and are joined by a line 152 to the line-voltage conductor 50 and by another line 154 through a switch 156 to the other line-voltage conductor 52.

Closure of the switch 156 in the medication-supplying circuit energizes the normally-open valve 34 to prevent passage of air through the common feed tube 28 between its junctions with the inlet pipe 144 and the outlet pipe 148. Simultaneously, the normally-closed valves 146 and 150 are opened so that the air passes through the intake pipe 144, bubbles through the alcohol contained in the bubbler 142 thereby entraining alcohol vapor in such air. The air and the entrained alcohol vapor pass out of the bubbler 142 by way of the outlet pipe 148, into the common feed tube 28 and ultimately, as hereinbefore described and as shown in FIG. 3, to the particular arrangement of the cells 16a, for example. where such air and entrained alcohol vapor passes through the porous cover member 14 and into the cavities 17 to ease and soothe adjacent unsupported portions of the body (not shown).

I-t will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the objects of the present invention have been achieved by the provision of an improved mattress which automatically varies the pressure-supporting portions of the body to effect a gentle massaging thereof thus mnimizing the likelihood of the creation of bed sores and permitting the removal of perspiration from the body by the passage of a fluid through the porous cover of the mattress. Such improved mattress provides for the application of a medication to the body by the circulating fluid. In addition, such mattress provides a positive circulation of air over the entire body and will at all times air-condition such body. Further, such improved mattress is controlled during its operation by electrical-control means which facilitates its operation. Again such improved mattress is adapted for therapeutic usage for the treatment of shock patients and for the alleviation of their discomfor.

It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that as an alternative embodiment a liquid, such as water, may be used as the iluid for the satisfactory operation of the improved mattress of the present invention. In such alternative embodiment a pump (not shown) is substituted for the centrifugal blower 22 and such water 1 s indirectly heated by the Huid-heating unit 30, the heating element 116 of which is electrically insulated from such water. Further, in this embodiment the medication may be mixed with the water prior to the introduction of such solution of water and medication to the pump (not shown).

While in accordance with the patent statutes one best known embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it is to be particularly understood that the invention is not limited thereto or thereby.

I claim:

1. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, and a cover member hennetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in arca and in number to permit the pressure `exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of said uid to pass therethrough, thereby providing a posi- Itive fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

2. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, and a porous cover member herrnetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit the pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, said apertures being large enough-in area to permit a portion of said fluid to pass therethrough, 'thereby providing a positive fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

3. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, and a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit the pressure exerted by a conditioned fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of said conditioned fluid to pass therethrough, thereby providing a positive conditioned fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom. 1

4. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit the pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, and fluidfeeding means connected to two arrangements of cells and operable to alternately move one arrangement of the cells from the deflated position to the inflated body-supporting position and to move the other arrangement of cells from the inllated body-supporting position to the deflated position to provide a plurality of fluid-circulating cavities between said body and said cover member, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of said fluid to pass therethrough into said cavities, thereby providing a positive fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

5. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided ywith a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit the pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, fluid-feeding means connected to two arrangements of the cells, and control means operatively associated with said fluid-feeding means and operable to alternately cause said fluidfeeding means to move one arrangement of the cells from the deflated position to the inflated body-supporting position and to move the other arrangement of cells from the inflated body-supporting position to the deflated position to provide a plurality of fluid-circulating cavities between said body and said cover member, said apertures being large enough in area to permit fluid to pass therethrough into said cavities, thereby providing a positive fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

6. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit the pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, fluid-feeding means connected to the cells, and control means operatively associated with said fluid-feeding means and operable to move said cells from the deflated position to the inflated body-supporting position, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of said fluid to pass therethrough, thereby providing a positive fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

7. A mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to 4permit the pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, fluid-feeding means connected'to two arrangements of the cells, control means operatively associated with said fluid-feeding means and operable to alternatively cause said fluid-feeding means .to move one arrangement of the cells from the deflated position to the inflated body-supporting position Vand to move the other arrangement of cells from -the inflated body-supporting position to the deflated position to provide a plurality of fluid-circulating cavities between said body and 4said cover member, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of said fluid to pass therethrough into said cavities, thereby providing a positive fluid circulation over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom, and evacuating means connected to said fluid-feeding means and actuated by said control means for evacuating the arrangement of cells being moved to the deflated position.

8. A therapeutic mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a fluid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deilated position to an inflated body-supporting position, fluid-feeding means connected to two arrangements of the cells and operable to alternatively move one arrangement of the cells from the deflated position to the inllated body-supporting position and to move the other arrangement of cells from the inflated body-supporting position to the deflated position to provide a pluralityV of fluid-circulating cavities between said body and said cover member, and fluid-heating means associated with said fluid-feeding means for heating said fluid, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of the heated fluid to pass therethrough into said cavities; thereby providing a positive circulation of heated fluid over said body, conditioning said body and removingl perspiration therefrom.

V9. A mattress for supporting and treating a body coml prising a fluid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one 'side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit pressure exerted by a fluid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a deflated position to an inflated body-supporting position, fluid-feeding means connected to two arrangements of cells and operable to alternately move one arrangement of the cells from the deflated position to the inflated body-supporting position and to move the other arrangement of cells from the inated body-supporting position to the deated position to provide a plurality of Huid-circulating cavities between said body and said cover member, and huidconditioning means associated with said uid-feeding means for conditioning said fluid, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of the conditioned fluid to pass therethrough into said cavities, thereby providing a positivegcirculation of conditioned fluid over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

10. A therapeutic mattress for supporting and treating a body comprising a luid-tight base member, a cover member hermetically sealed along a plurality of lines extending transversely from one side of said base member to the other side of said base member to form a plurality of cells, said cover member being provided with a plurality of apertures which are small enough in area and in number to permit pressure exerted by a luid introduced into said cells to move said cells from a delated position to an inflated body-supporting position, tluidafeeding means connected to two arrangements of the cells and operable to alternately move one arrangement of the cells from the deated position to the inflated body-supporting position and to move the other arrangement of cells from the inflated body-supporting position to the deflated position to provide a plurality of Huid-circulating cavities between said body and said cover member, and medication-entraining means associated with said fluid-feeding means for entraining a medication in said fluid, said apertures being large enough in area to permit a portion of the fluid and the medication entrained therein to pass therethrough into said cavities, thereby providing a positive circulation of uid and said entrained medication over said body, conditioning said body and removing perspiration therefrom.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES 4PATENTS 96,989 Somes i Nov. 16, 1869 630,565 Safran Aug. 8, 1899 813,731 Murmans Feb. 27, 1906 1,712,391 Mausser May 7, 1929 1,772,310 Hart Aug. 5, 1930 2,025,659 Gilquin Dec. 24, 1935 2,493,067 Goldsmith I an. 3, 1950

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