WO2004089270A1 - Automatic patient turner - Google Patents

Automatic patient turner Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2004089270A1
WO2004089270A1 PCT/US2003/039977 US0339977W WO2004089270A1 WO 2004089270 A1 WO2004089270 A1 WO 2004089270A1 US 0339977 W US0339977 W US 0339977W WO 2004089270 A1 WO2004089270 A1 WO 2004089270A1
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WO
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
patient
mattress
flexible mattress
flexible
left
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2003/039977
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Michael Ben-Levi
Original Assignee
Michael Ben-Levi
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    • 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
    • A61G7/10Devices for lifting patients or disabled persons, e.g. special adaptations of hoists thereto
    • A61G7/1073Parts, details or accessories
    • A61G7/1082Rests specially adapted for
    • A61G7/1096Knee, upper or lower leg
    • 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
    • A61G7/001Beds specially adapted for nursing; Devices for lifting patients or disabled persons with means for turning-over the patient
    • 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
    • A61G7/10Devices for lifting patients or disabled persons, e.g. special adaptations of hoists thereto
    • A61G7/1073Parts, details or accessories
    • A61G7/1082Rests specially adapted for
    • A61G7/109Lower body, e.g. pelvis, buttocks
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT OR ACCOMODATION FOR PATIENTS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G2200/00Information related to the kind of patient or his position
    • A61G2200/30Specific positions of the patient
    • A61G2200/32Specific positions of the patient lying
    • 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
    • A61G7/10Devices for lifting patients or disabled persons, e.g. special adaptations of hoists thereto
    • A61G7/1013Lifting of patients by
    • A61G7/1021Inflatable cushions

Abstract

A flexible mattress assembly designed to prevent bedsores and fluid in the lungs is strapped to a hospital bed mattress. It will automatically, periodically, alternately tilt, and then laterally turn an immobile, bedridden patient a full 180 degrees. The knees are bent and placed in a perpendicular position being sandwiched between a pair of encased inflated knee bags on the top of the flexible mattress. The inflation of the elongated bags beneath the flexible mattress will alternately raise the longitudinal sides of the mattress to a 45° incline causing the bent knees to move from a 90° to a 135° angle relative to the flat mattress. Due to gravity, the bent knees descend laterally in the direction of the turn as the knee bags deflate. Acting as a lever arm, the descending knees pull the entire body completely to the side of the turn as a back-support pillow inflates.

Description

AUTOMATIC PATIENT TURNER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field

[0001] The Automatic Patient Turner is a flexible mattress assembly strapped to the top of a hospital bed mattress. It will automatically, periodically, and alternately tilt, and then laterally turn an immobile, bedridden patient a full 180 degrees along the longitudinal axis of the bed. It is designed so an immobile, bedridden patient lying only upon an Automatic Patient Turner will not develop bedsores or have an accumulation of fluid in the lungs. [0002] On the top of the flexible mattress are attached at least three encasements for inflatable bags. At least one encased inflatable bag is located on the outer right side of the patient's bent knees, and at least one inflatable bag is encased on the outer left side of the patient's bent knees. Moreover, at least one inflatable pillow is encased and positioned along the center longitudinal axis of the flexible mattress under the small of the patient's back. [0003] Beneath the flexible mattress is a twin chamber, with the longitudinal center of the twin chamber separating a right chamber and a left chamber. Within each chamber is at least one elongated inflatable bag. Both the flexible mattress and the twin chamber are attached to a mattress pad that is strapped and buckled to the top of a hospital bed mattress. [0004] The patterned, sequential inflation and deflation of the encased knee bags on top of the flexible mattress, in conjunction with the alternate inflation and deflation of alternate elongated bags in the twin chamber beneath the flexible mattress, will turn an immobile patient lying upon the flexible mattress 180 degrees, from one side to the other.

2. State of the Art

[0005] There are a number of inventions under U.S. Classification 5/615 that involve the the use of inflatables to reposition a patient. However, only three inventions under U.S. Classification 5/607 can be considered prior art. Those three do not turn; they merely alternately tilt a patient along the longitudinal axis of a bed to a maximum of a 45° incline due to the inflation and deflation of a right and then a left inflatable. One feature that differentiates those three inventions from the Automatic Patient Turner is what is being raised and lowered by the alternate inflation and deflation of elongated inflatables along the longitudinal axis of the bed. l [0006] De Mare's 'Clinical Manipulator', U.S. Pat. No. 3,717,885, laterally tilts a patient from side to side along the longitudinal axis of the bed by the raising and lowering of a rigid hospital bed mattress due to the alternate inflation and deflation of a right and then a left elongated inflatable in a band that is located beneath the hospital bed mattress. Bruno and Peitras' 'Patient Turning Apparatus,' U.S. Pat. No. 3,775,781, has the patient lying directly upon a two sectional air mattress that is strapped to the top of a hospital bed mattress. 'Watanabe's Tiltable Mat Assembly,' U.S. Pat. No. 4,934,002, laterally tilts the patient by using right and left inflatables to alternately raise and lower a non-flexible cradle-like mat assembly along its longitudinal axis. The Automatic Patient Turner differs from those three by alternately raising and lowering a flexible mattress.

[0007] In those three prior-art devices, the patient always remains tilted on a 45° incline. This may cause the patient to slide down the incline, or to have the feeling of sliding. Both De Mare and Watanabe mention this problem in their disclosures by suggesting that the patient in their respective device be strapped in. The flexible mattress of the Automatic Patient Turner is only on an mcline during the turning process that takes about three minutes. Once the turn has been completed, the patient is on a flat, flexible mattress lying completely on either the patient's right or left side with a back-support pillow for comfort. [0008] The most salient feature of the Automatic Patient Turner differentiating it from the prior art is that the patient is laterally turned 180 degrees from a lateral 45° incline. This is accomplished by utilizing as a lever arm the bent knees of the patient sandwiched between at least one knee bag on the outer side of each bent knee. As one longitudinal side of the flexible mattress is raised to an elevation of a 45° incline, the fully inflated knee bags on top of the flexible mattress that initially were in a perpendicular position, also move 45 degrees pushing the bent knees in the direction of the turn. The bent knees descend with the deflation of the knee bags txirning the entire body of the patient in the direction of the turn. 3. Objective

[0009] This invention will end the scourge of bedsores that has plagued long-term, immobile, bedridden patients. Rather than manual turning, this device will alternately and gently turn a patient automatically every hour. There is consensus among medical and health care professionals that an immobile, bedridden patient must be turned at least every two hours to prevent the development of bedsores and the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The Automatic Patient Turner consists of a mattress assembly strapped to the top of a hospital bed. The patterned, coordinated inflation and deflation of at least five strategically-placed encased inflatables will alternately and periodically turn a patient a full 180 degrees. On top of the mattress assembly is a flexible mattress, and beneath it is a twin chamber. Each chamber contains at least one elongated inflatable bag along the longitudinal axis of the bed. The alternate inflation and deflation of at least one elongated bag in each chamber will raise and lower that longitudinal side of the flexible mattress. [0011] The patient is to lie along the longitudinal center of the flexible mattress with the knees bent to form the apex of an inverted-V. Attached to the topside of the flexible mattress are at least three encased inflatable bags. On the outer side of the bent right knee is positioned at least one encased inflatable bag, and on the outer side of the bent left knee is positioned at least one encased inflatable bag. When the encased knee bags are fully inflated, the bent knees are laterally perpendicular and held in place by being sandwiched between those knee bags. This means that the bent knees are held at a lateral 90° angle relative to the fiat, flexible mattress. [0012] As one longitudinal side of the flexible mattress is raised to a lateral 45° incline due to the inflation of at least one elongated bag beneath it, the bent knees of the patient have moved an additional 45 degrees. The bent knees, having been initially perpendicular, are now at a lateral 135° angle relative to the elevated side of the flexible mattress when it was in a flat position. The knees are now resting on at least one encased knee bag that is deflating. As that knee bag deflates, the bent knees descend laterally due to the force of gravity. Acting as a lever arm, the bent knees pull the entire body of the patient in the direction of the turn. While that encased knee bag deflates, an encased pillow inflates lending support to the back of the patient. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0013] The disclosure and the claims mention the use of at least one inflatable bag in each encasement. To simplify the drawings, only one inflatable bag is shown per case. Moreover, the shape of the various inflatable bags is not specified in the disclosure or claims. For the sake of simplicity, cylindrical inflatable bags are used in the drawings. The terms right and left used in the disclosure and claims are relative to the perspective of the patient lying on the flexible mattress.

[0014] Of the 18 figures in the drawings, the first five, Figs. 1 - 5, describe the various parts of the invention, their location, and how they are arranged in creating the flexible mattress assembly.

Fig. 1: A foot-of-the-bed view of the flexible mattress assembly shows almost all of its parts with all five bags deflated. Fig.2: A top, right-side view of the flexible mattress assembly shows the location of the encased inflatable knee bags and the encased inflatable back-support pillow that are attached to the top of the flexible mattress. For purposes of illustration, all three bags are shown semi- inflated. Fig. 3: This figure is an expanded side-view of the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress at a lateral 45° incline, and shows how the flexible mattress and the mattress pad are held together by the use of a ball chain. Only one ball chain out of the three ball chains used in this invention is shown in this figure. Fig. 4: A top-view of the twin chamber of the flexible mattress assembly shows the location of the right chamber and left chamber that house the right and left inflatable elongated bags. Also seen is the location of the three grommets through which the ball chains pass. The right and left elongated bags are shown in a semi-inflated state for the purpose of illustration only. In the operation of the device, only one elongated bag can be inflated at one time. Fig. 5: An expanded side-view of the three-part flexible mattress assembly shows how the parts are held together by the three ball chains.

[0015] Figs. 6 - 18 show a progression of thirteen different stages of the turning process. All drawings are a foot-of-the-bed view of the bent knees of the patient and indicate the various positions of the patient during the turning process. A complete lateral 180° turn is accomplished by the coordinated inflation and deflation of the two elongated bags beneath the flexible mattress, with the alternate inflation and deflation of the two knee bags attached to the top of the flexible mattress. Also attached to the top of the flexible mattress is a back- support inflatable pillow placed beneath the small of the patient's back. The coordinated inflation and deflation of the back-support pillow assist in the turning process. [0016] Each of the thirteen stages of the turning process is represented by a static figure showing the end of that stage. Except for the initial stage, a discussion of each subsequent figure will point out what changes took place from the end of the previous stage. The discussion will include not only the changes in the inflation and deflation of the various inflatable bags, but also the effects those changes have in moving the bent knees of the patient, and hence the patient, in the direction of the turn. Fig. 6: The initial stage in turning the patient to the left side is shown where the bent knees of the patient are in a lateral, perpendicular position, [being held by the caregiver who is not shown in the drawings] while both knee bags are in the process of inflation. Fig. 7: The bent knees of the patient are perpendicular, and at a lateral 90° angle relative to the flexible mattress in a flat position. Fig. 8: The longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress is at a lateral 23° incline where the patient's bent knees have moved beyond the 90° mark in the direction of a turn to the left.

Fig. 9: The longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress is at a lateral 45° incline where the bent knees are at a 135° angle relative to the flat, longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress.

Fig. 10: The bent knees are descending and only 23 degrees from completing a lateral 180° turn to the left side.

Fig. 11: The bent knees have fully descended, and the patient is lying on his or her left side.

Fig. 12: The patient is reftmώig to the right side where the bent knees are at a lateral 23° incline relative to the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress .

Fig. 13: The bent knees of the patient are at a lateral 45° incline relative to the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress and moving toward a perpendicular position.

Fig. 14: The bent knees are again perpendicular waiting to be turned to the right side.

Fig. 15: The longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress is at a lateral 23° incline where the bent knees have moved beyond the 90° mark in the direction of a turn to the right side.

Fig. 16: The longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress is at a lateral 45° incline where the bent knees of the patient are at a lateral 135° angle relative to the flat, longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress.

Fig. 17: The bent knees are descending and only 23 degrees from completing a turn to the right side.

Fig. 18: The bent knees have fully descended, and the patient is lying on his or her right side.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN THE DRAWINGS

[0017] For ready reference, the following is a numerical listing of each part used in the drawings and its function, and the role each performs in the operation of the invention:

1 - Bent knees of the patient. They are shown at different angles in the demonstration of the tuπώig process. The bent knees act as a lever arm in the turning process.

2 - Flexible mattress. Flexibility is important so that one longitudinal side of the flexible mattress can be raised to a lateral 45° incline while the other longitudinal side remains in a flat position.

3 - Twin chamber. Its function is for each chamber to house an inflatable elongated bag.

4 - Right chamber. It houses the right inflatable elongated bag.

5 - Left chamber. It houses the left inflatable elongated bag.

6 - Right inflatable elongated bag. It is encased in the right chamber of the twin chamber. When the right elongated bag is inflated, it raises the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress.

7 - Left inflatable elongated bag. It is encased in the left chamber of the twin chamber. When the left elongated bag is inflated, it raises the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress.

8 - Mattress pad. The flexible mattress and the twin chamber are attached to the mattress pad. These three parts comprise the flexible mattress assembly. Since the mattress pad is located at the bottom of the flexible mattress assembly, its function is to strap and buckle the flexible mattress and the twin chamber to a hospital bed mattress. 9 - Strap(s). Attached to each longitudinal side of the mattress pad are three pairs of straps. When buckled, they secure the flexible mattress assembly to a hospital bed mattress.

10 - Hospital bed mattress. It is where the flexible mattress assembly is strapped.

11 - Strap buckle(s). Each buckle joins together the two ends of a strap.

12 - Hospital bed frame. 13 - Grommet(s). A grommet is placed at three places along the longitudinal center of the twin chamber in order that a ball chain connecting the flexible mattress to the mattress pad may pass through its hole.

14 - Ball chain(s). Each of the three chains attaches the flexible mattress to the mattress pad.

Each chain passes through a grommet in the twin chamber. 15 - Case for the right inflatable bag. It houses the right inflatable knee bag.

16 - Right inflatable knee bag. The inflation and deflation of the right inflatable knee bag guides the bent knees in the turning process.

17 - Case for the left inflatable knee bag. It houses the left inflatable knee bag.

18 - Left inflatable knee bag. The inflation and deflation of the left inflatable knee bag guides the bent knees in the ftiming process.

19 - Pillowcase for the back-support pillow. It houses the back-support inflatable pillow.

20 - Back-support inflatable pillow. It lends support to the patient's back near the end of the turning process, and also when the patient is lying on the side of the turn. This support continues during the beginning stages of the patient returning to the other side. 21 - Tubing with a multiplicity of holes. This tubing is placed around the top perimeter of the flexible mattress. It can periodically emit air to cool a patient, thereby reducing moisture or perspiration.

22 - Control box with panel Not shown in any of the drawings is the panel that is located on the outside of the control box. On the surface of the panel are lighted push button switches that give the caregiver various options. Also on the panel are LEDs and an LCD or a similar display. The control box contains the equipment that operates the system. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] Fig. 1: - The Automatic Patient Turner is a mattress assembly and not a patient- turning bed. In this figure, the flexible mattress assembly is shown with all of the inflatable bags deflated. A flexible mattress [2] is attached to a mattress pad [8] that is tightly secured to a hospital bed mattress [10] by straps [9] that are buckled [11]. Between the flexible mattress [2] and the mattress pad [8] is a twin chamber [3] shown fully in Fig. 4. The twin chamber [3] has a right and a left chamber [4 and 5]. The right chamber [4] encases a right elongated inflatable bag [6], and the left chamber [5] encases a left elongated inflatable bag [7]. The elongated inflatable bags are located along the longitudinal axis of the flexible mattress [2]. The alternate inflation and deflation of the right elongated bag [6] raises and lowers the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress [2]. The alternate inflation and deflation of the left elongated bag [7] raises and lowers the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2]. When fully inflated, an elongated bag raises its respective longitudinal side of the flexible mattress [2] to a maximum elevation of 45 degrees. [0019] Three separate encasements are attached to the top of the flexible mattress [2]. An inflatable right knee bag [16] is housed in a right knee bag case [15], and an inflatable left knee bag [18] is housed in a left knee bag case [17]. A back-support inflatable pillow [20] is housed in a back-support pillowcase [19].

[0020] Fig. 2: - The location of the three inflated bags attached to the top of the flexible mattress [2] is shown in this figure. The case for the right knee bag [15] and the right knee inflatable bag within it [16] are located on the top of the flexible mattress [2] on the outer side of the patient's bent right knee. Similarly, the case for the left knee bag [17] and the left knee inflatable bag within it [18] are located on the top of the flexible mattress [2] on the outer side of the patient's bent left knee. The third attachment to the top of the flexible mattress [2] is the back-support pillowcase [19] with the back-support inflatable pillow [20] within it. They are located along the center longitudinal axis of the flexible mattress [2] under the small of the patient's back. [0021] This figure also shows the tubing containing a multiplicity of pinholes [21] that is located along the perimeter of the top surface of the flexible mattress [2]. The caregiver of the patient has the option of having air periodically emitted from the tubing containing a multiplicity of pinholes [21] by pressing the cooling lighted push button on the control panel that is on the outside of the control box [22]. The tubing with the multiplicity of pinholes [21] is designed to cool the patient and lessen moisture by reducing the probability of the patient perspiring. Also shown in this figure is the location of the three straps [9] that are attached to the mattress pad [8]. These straps, when buckled, securely fasten the flexible mattress assembly to the hospital bed mattress [10]. [0022] Fig. 3: - This figure is an enlarged foot-of-the-bed view of the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress at a lateral 45° incline. There are three ball chains that attach the flexible mattress [2] to the mattress pad [8]. This figure only shows one ball chain [14] fastened at one end to the inner bottom-side ticking of the flexible mattress [2], passing through a grommet in the twin chamber [3], and is fastened at the other end to the bottom- side of the mattress pad [8]. While the flexible mattress [2] is attached to the mattress assembly, ball chains [14] allow the flexible mattress [2] a sufficient degree of flexibility for it to form a gentle curve when each longitudinal side is alternately raised to a 45° mcline. [0023] Fig. 4: - The primary purpose of this figure is to show the location of the three grommets [13] along the center longitudinal axis of the twin chamber [ 3]. The three grommets [13] allow the three ball chains [14], shown in Fig. 5, to pass through the twin chamber [3] when attaching the flexible mattress [2] to the mattress pad [8]. In this figure, the elongated right bag and the elongated left bag in the twin chamber [3] are shown semi- inflated for purposes of illustration. However, in the operation of this device, only the right or the left elongated bag or bags can be inflated at one time. [0024] Fig 5: - This figure is a right side-view that clearly shows the location of the three ball chains [14] that go from the inner bottom-side ticking of the flexible mattress [2], passing through the three grommets in the twin chamber [3], not visible in Fig. 5, and ending at the bottom side of the mattress pad [8]. This arrangement allows the flexible mattress [2] to be 'free-floating' so that it can form a gentle curve when one longitudinal side is raised, while at the same time remaining attached to the mattress pad [8]. This arrangement also makes the twin chamber [3] 'free-floating,' allowing it to adjust to the inflation and deflation of an elongated bag in one of the two chambers [4 or 5].

[0025] Fig. 6 through Fig. 18 show the progression of thirteen sequential steps in the inflation and deflation of the five strategically-placed inflatable bags that result in turning a patient 180 degrees to one side, and approximately an hour later, returning the patient to the other side. The two elongated inflatable bags [6 and 7] beneath the flexible mattress and the two inflatable knee bags on the top of the flexible mattress [16 and 18] are shown in the drawings with a pattern that is different from the back-support inflatable pillow [20]. The two elongated inflatable bags and the two knee inflatable bags that are in the process of inflation or are fully inflated are shown with a dot pattern denser than that of the elongated and knee inflatable bags in the process of deflation.

[0026] To differentiate in the drawings the two knee inflatable bags [16 and 18] on top of the flexible mattress [2] from the back-support inflatable pillow [20], the former are shown with a dot pattern, while the back-support inflatable pillow [20] is shown with a criss-cross pattern. The back-support pillow [20] that is inflating or fully inflated is shown with a denser criss-cross pattern than a back-support pillow in the process of deflation. [0027] It is necessary for the caregiver to position and prepare the patient prior to activating the Automatic Patient Turner. First, the patient must be placed in the middle of the flexible mattress [2] lying flat on his or her back with arms folded across the chest. To start automatic turning, the caregiver has the option of pressing either the lighted right or left turn push button. The drawings from Fig. 6 through Fig. 18 show the thirteen sequential steps in the turning process that the caregiver initiated by pressing the lighted left turn push button that automatically began turning the patient to the left side. [0028] Fig.6: - Immediately after pressing the left turn lighted push button, the right knee bag [16] and the left knee bag [18] begin to inflate. While the two knee bags inflate, the caregiver is to bend the patient's knees [1] to form the apex of an inverted- V, and is to hold the bent knees in place during the inflation process. For comfort, a small flat pillow should be placed between the patient's bent knees. [0029] Fig. 7: - The caregiver is to continue holding the bent knees [1] of the patient until the right and left knee bags [16 and 18] are fully inflated. The bent knees are now firmly held in place being sandwiched between the two fully inflated knee bags. They are now perpendicular, being in a lateral 90° position relative to the flat, flexible mattress [2]. The automatic turning process will now take place, and no additional assistance is required by the caregiver. The caregiver, however, should remain long enough to observe that the initial turn of the patient in the direction of the turn is performed properly. [0030] Fig. 8: - As soon as the right and left knee bags are fully inflated, the right knee bag [16] remains inflated, while the left knee bag [18] begins to deflate. At the same time, the right elongated bag [6] begins to inflate, causing the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress [2] to rise slowly. It also causes the right knee bag [16] that is on top of the flexible mattress [2] to move slowly to the left pushing it against the right knee of the patient. Since the left knee bag [18] is slowly deflating, the bent knees of the patient begin moving beyond the 90° mark in the direction of the turn. In this figure, the rising longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress [2] is at a lateral 23° incline. [0031] Fig. 9: - The right elongated bag [6] beneath the flexible mattress [2] continues to inflate, causing the continued elevation of the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress [2]. During all this time, the fully inflated right knee bag [16] continues to push the bent knees [1] against the deflating left knee bag [18]. When the right elongated bag [6] is fully inflated, it causes the longitudinal right side of flexible mattress [2] to be at a lateral 45° incline. The bent knees [1] have also moved an additional 45 degrees from its former perpendicular position. The bent knees are now at a lateral 135° angle relative to the right side of the flexible mattress [2] when it was in a flat position. [0032] Fig. 10: - Now that the bent knees [1] are at a lateral 135° angle relative to the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress [2] when it was in a flat position, the right knee inflatable bag [16] has fulfilled its function in the turning process. Therefore, the right knee bag [16] begins to deflate along with the deflation of the right elongated bag [6] causing the longitudinal right side of the flexible mattress [2] to return to a flat position. As the left knee bag [18] continues to deflate, the bent knees [1] that are resting upon it begin to descend due to the force of gravity. Acting as a lever arm, the lateral descent of the bent knees [1] pulls the entire body of the patient in the direction of the turn. To assist in the turning process by lending support to the back of the patient, a back-support pillow [20] begins to inflate while the patient is being turned to lie on his or her left side. [0033] Fig. 11: - The flexible mattress is now in a flat position with the patient lying on his or her left side with a back-support inflatable pillow [20] ensuring that the patient will remain turned to the left. Since the turning process takes approximately three minutes, and the patient will lie on his or her left side for about 57 minutes, the patient will be turned hourly. This regularity enables the caregiver to approximate the time each automatic turn will occur. [0034] Fig. 12: - After lying on his or her left side for about 57 minutes, the patient will be turned automatically to the right side. With the flexible mattress [2] remaining in a flat position, the right knee bag [16] and the left knee bag [18] begin to inflate. At the same time, the back-support pillow [20] begins to deflate. The inflation of the left knee bag [18], in conjunction with the deflation of the back-support pillow [20], allows the back of the patient to be lowered from a perpendicular position. At the end of this phase the bent knees [1] are at a lateral 23° incline in the process of being raised further to a lateral 45° incline. [0035] Fig. 13: - The continued deflation of the back-support pillow [20], in conjunction with the continued inflation of the left knee bag [18], results in the back of the patient moving even further from a once perpendicular position, thereby allowing the bent knees [1] to be raised to a lateral 45° incline, and then continuing on towards a perpendicular position. [0036] Fig. 14: - In this figure, both knee bags [16 and 18] are fully inflated and the back- support pillow is fully deflated. The patient is lying on the flat, flexible mattress, and the bent knees [1] are again in a perpendicular position. The bent knees [1] are held in place by being sandwiched between the two fully inflated knee bags waiting to be further turned to the right. The left knee bag [18] remains fully inflated, while the right knee bag [16] is scheduled to deflate.

[0037] Fig. 15: - The patient's bent knees [1] begin to move from a perpendicular position toward making a turn to the right. This is caused by the elevation of the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] due to the inflation of the left elongated bag [7] beneath it. As the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] ascends to a lateral 23° incline, the fully inflated left knee bag [18], that is on top of the flexible mattress [2], pushes against the left knee of the patient. Since the right knee bag [16] is deflating, the bent knees [1] of the patient moves beyond the 90° mark in the direction of a turn to the right. [0038] Fig. 16: - As the left elongated bag [7] beneath the flexible mattress [2] continues to inflate, it causes the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] to approach a lateral 45° incline. During all this time, the fully inflated left knee bag [18] continues to push the bent knees [1] against the deflating right knee bag [16]. When the left elongated bag [7] is fully inflated, the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] has moved from a flat position to a lateral 45° incline. The bent knees have also moved an additional 45 degrees from a perpendicular, lateral 90° angle and are now at a lateral 135° angle relative to the left side of the flexible mattress [2] when it was in a flat position.

[0039] Fig. 17: - Now that the bent knees [1] are at a lateral 135° angle relative to the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] when it was in a flat position, the left knee inflatable bag [18] has fulfilled its function in the turning process. Therefore, the left knee bag [18] begins to deflate along with the deflation of the left elongated bag [7] causing the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] to return to a flat position. As the right knee bag [16] continues to deflate, the bent knees [1] that are resting upon it begin to descend due to the force of gravity. Acting as a lever arm, the lateral descent of the bent knees [1] pulls the entire body of the patient in the direction of the turn. To assist in the turning process, by lending support to the back of the patient, a back-support pillow [20] begins to inflate lending support to the back while the patient is being turned to lie on his or her right side.

[0040] Fig. 18: - In this figure, the flexible mattress is now in a flat position, and the patient is lying on his or her right side with an inflated back-support pillow [20] ensuring that the patient will remain turned to the right. After lying on his or her right side for about 57 minutes, the patient will then be automatically turned to the left. The automatic turning cycle will continue hourly until the caregiver presses the lighted flat push button. [0041] Figs. 6 - 18 do not show the entire turning cycle. To do so, it would be necessary to include two additional figures. The initial stage in the toning process begins with the patient's bent knees [1] placed in a perpendicular position. The toning process began with Fig. 6 where the patient was being turned to the left side. The patient's turn to the left started out with the bent knees [1] in a perpendicular position sandwiched between two fully inflated knee bags [16 and 18]. There are, however, no figures showing the two stages where the patient is moved from lying on the right side to the position where the bent knees [1] are in a perpendicular position. If included, those two stages would have been numbered Figs. 19 and 20. It should be pointed out that those two figures are mirror images of Figs. 12 and 13. [0042] Figs. 12 and 13 show the inflation of both knee bags [16 and 18] raising the bent knees [1] to a perpendicular position in Fig. 14. In Figs. 15 and 16, the left elongated bag [7] raises the longitudinal left side of the flexible mattress [2] to a 45° incline. In the drawings, the inflation of these two sets of bags is shown to be independent of each other. Depending upon the size of the patient, there is the option of having these two sets of bags inflate at the same time. This would also apply when returning the patient to the other side. Moreover, there is the option of the back-support pillowcase [19] having twin chambers, where each chamber would contain at least one back-support pillow [20]. The alternate inflation and deflation of a right and left back-support pillow would be coordinated with the patient's turn to the right or left. [0043] When the caregiver wishes to terminate automatic turning and have the patient lie flat on his or her back, the caregiver is to press the flat lighted push button on the control box panel [22]. Should the patient remain in a flat position for more than one hour, a warning buzzer and a flashing reset lighted push button will alert the caregiver to view a message on the display panel. The message will remind the caregiver to move the patient to the side opposite of the one the patient was on last. [0044] Though the control box [22] is shown to be on the floor near the hospital bed in Fig.2, it should be placed on a small table near the foot of the hospital bed. Tubing from the five inflatable bags, as well as the tubing for the air cooling system, are connected to the control box [22], as seen in Fig. 2. Each end of the six flexible tubes coming from the flexible mattress [2] will not only be color-coded, but the quick coupler attached to each end will be uniquely designed to fit only its appropriate port on the control box. The control panel, that is not seen in any of the drawings, has the following lighted push button switches: power, off/on, automatic/non-automatic mode, right turn, left turn, flat, cooling, reset. Also on the panel are LEDs, and an LCD or a similar display. The sound of a warning buzzer, together with the blinking light in the reset push button, is designed to alert the caregiver to acknowledge reminder messages and to clear them, as well as to clear any error messages on the display panel by pressing the lighted reset push button. [0045] Among the important items in the control box [22] are the following: a near silent air compressor with a vacuum port, quiet solenoid valves, a pressure switch, a vacuum switch, a pressure relief valve, a vacuum relief valve, an isolation transformer, a warning buzzer, an assortment of sensors, and a microprocessor. THE ADVANTAGES OF THE AUTOMATIC PATIENT TURNER [0046] Exhibited at the trade shows of nursing home associations specializing in the long- term care of patients are devices related to the prevention of bedsores. These devices merely reposition a patient, alternate the pressure on a patient lying upon a mattress or pad, or tilt a patient to a maximum lateral incline of 45 degrees. The Automatic Patient Turner is unique in that no device has been patented or is on the market that can turn a patient a full 180 degrees. Turning a patient using the Automatic Patient Turner is gentler than manual turning. Since the turn is so gentle, it is unlikely that a sleeping patient will be awakened by automatic turning, which is not the case with manual turning. A patient's health is enhanced when the patient is not disturbed and receives a full night's sleep.

[0047] This device would be most useful in hospitals and nursing homes where the staff is often overloaded, and there is insufficient time to manually turn a patient every two hours. Failing to turn a patient every two hours is the major cause of bedsores. Being an endemic worldwide problem, bedsores have brought untold suffering to millions of immobile, bedridden patients. In the United States, the estimated annual cost of treating bedsores exceeds one billion dollars. That estimate does not include the enormous financial cost to have the nursing staff manually turn a patient every two hours. Being turned hourly, an immobile, bedridden patient lying in the Automatic Patient Turner will not develop bedsores! [0048] The Automatic Patient Turner would especially be useful, if not indispensable, to families who wish to care for an immobile patient at home. The burden of having to continually turn a patient is a major factor discouraging patient home care, especially when the number of caregivers at home is limited. The cost of patient home care is considerably less than the cost at a nursing facility. There would be a tremendous saving to families and to government agencies that pay the cost of long-term patient care. Finally, a patient's mental health is enhanced if he or she remains at home among family. [0049] To ensure a quality product, sensors have been included in the system to detect any malfunction. A diagnostic test is performed each time the patient turner is switched on verifying that all of the parts are in working order. Any failure in the system will sound a warning buzzer, and the cause of the failure will appear on a display. The immediate identification of the failure will lessen downtime. The system will be automatically monitored whenever the device is activated. PRECAUTIONS [0050] This device is designed to be used only when the hospital bed is in a flat position. To ensure this, the plug for a hospital bed must be inserted into a specially designed outlet on the control box. If such a plug is not inserted, the device will not operate even when the lighted on push button of the patient turner is pressed. As an added precaution, sensors are to be clipped to the four corners of the hospital bed frame to detect if the hospital bed is no longer in a flat position. If that occurs, the caregiver will be alerted by the sound of a buzzer and a blinking reset push button, and the patient turner will automatically go into a flat mode where all of the inflatable bags will deflate and the patient brought to a flat position. [0051 ] Though not shown in the drawings, padded side rails must be used with this device. The side rails of a regular hospital bed when padded may suffice for patients of average size. For very tall or long-legged patients, it may be necessary to attach to the sides of a regular hospital bed specially designed padded side rails that can be adjusted to extend out from the sides of the hospital bed. The condition of each patient is unique. Though this device is safe for general use by immobile, bedridden patients, each Automatic Patient Turner will have a prominently displayed warning label stating the following: 1. The Automatic Patient Turner should only be used by a patient upon the advice and written permission of the attending physician.

2. The device should only be used on a hospital bed with padded side rails or extended padded side rails.

3. The patient turner should only be used on a hospital bed in a flat, horizontal position. 4. When wires or tubing are connected to the patient, the patient turner must never be used in the automatic turn mode. 5. When wires or tubing are connected to the patient, the patient turner may be used in the non-automatic turn mode where the patient will be turned only once, each time the right or left lighted push button is pressed. In the non-automatic turn mode, the caregiver is at the control panel to press one of the lighted push buttons each time the patient is to be turned. Being at the foot of the bed, the caregiver must remain to monitor and to adjust any wires or tubing that may get tangled during that one-time turning process. The Automatic Patient Turner is still very useful even when in the non-automatic turn mode. It will relieve the caregiver of having to manually turn the patient. Furthermore, an automatic turn is gentler than a manual turn.

Claims

Claims:
1. A flexible mattress assembly, strapped to the top of a hospital bed mattress, designed to prevent bedsores and the accumulation of fluid in the lungs by automatically, periodically, and alternately turning an immobile, bedridden patient a full lateral 180 degrees along a generally longitudinal axis of the mattress assembly and hospital bed comprising: a flexible mattress [2] having a generally longitudinal axis where the longitudinal right side of said flexible mattress [2] is raised and lowered relative to the longitudinal axis of the flexible mattress due to the alternate inflation and deflation of at least one right elongated inflatable bag [6] encased in the right chamber [4], and where the longitudinal left side of said flexible mattress [2] is raised and lowered relative to the longitudinal axis of the flexible mattress [2] due to the alternate inflation and deflation of at least one left elongated inflatable bag [7] encased in the left chamber [5] of a twin chamber [3] located beneath said flexible mattress [2]; a mattress pad [8] strapped to the top of a hospital bed mattress [10] and attached to the said flexible mattress [2] and said twin chamber [3].
2. The flexible mattress assembly defined in claim 1 further comprising: at least three encasements for inflatable bags attached to the top of said flexible mattress [2] with at least one encased inflatable bag [16] positioned on the outer right side of the patient's bent knees [1], and at least one encased inflatable bag [18] positioned on the outer left side of the patient's bent knees [1] where the inflation and deflation of said right and left knee bags [16 and 18] utilize the bent knees [1] of the patient as a lever arm crucial to the turning process; at least one encased inflatable pillow [20] attached along the center top longitudinal axis of said flexible mattress [2], and positioned under the small of the patient's back to lend support to the back during and following the turning process.
3. The flexible mattress assembly defined in claim 2 further comprising: tubing [21] attached to the top perimeter or sides of said flexible mattress [2] containing along its length an array and multiplicity of pinholes that emit air for cooling the patient, and for reducing moisture or perspiration.
PCT/US2003/039977 2003-12-08 2003-12-08 Automatic patient turner WO2004089270A1 (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1985273A3 (en) * 2007-04-25 2009-07-29 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Patient support including turn assist, low air loss, or integrated lateral transfer
CN103767394A (en) * 2012-10-22 2014-05-07 八乐梦医用床有限公司 Mattress apparatus

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3717885A (en) 1971-05-24 1973-02-27 Mare B De Clinical manipulator
US3775781A (en) 1971-10-15 1973-12-04 J Bruno Patient turning apparatus
US3895403A (en) * 1974-04-05 1975-07-22 Sanford Davis Patient orienting device
US4934002A (en) 1989-06-20 1990-06-19 Kabushiki Kaisha Nihon M.D.M. Tiltable mat assembly
US5092007A (en) * 1991-02-21 1992-03-03 Hasty Charles E Air mattress overlay for lateral patient roll
GB2333230A (en) * 1998-01-17 1999-07-21 Martyn Shane Finney Variable temperature airflow mat
US6253402B1 (en) * 1998-10-09 2001-07-03 Joenne Lin Air bed structure capable of alternate lying thereon on either of one's sides

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3717885A (en) 1971-05-24 1973-02-27 Mare B De Clinical manipulator
US3775781A (en) 1971-10-15 1973-12-04 J Bruno Patient turning apparatus
US3895403A (en) * 1974-04-05 1975-07-22 Sanford Davis Patient orienting device
US4934002A (en) 1989-06-20 1990-06-19 Kabushiki Kaisha Nihon M.D.M. Tiltable mat assembly
US5092007A (en) * 1991-02-21 1992-03-03 Hasty Charles E Air mattress overlay for lateral patient roll
GB2333230A (en) * 1998-01-17 1999-07-21 Martyn Shane Finney Variable temperature airflow mat
US6253402B1 (en) * 1998-10-09 2001-07-03 Joenne Lin Air bed structure capable of alternate lying thereon on either of one's sides

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1985273A3 (en) * 2007-04-25 2009-07-29 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Patient support including turn assist, low air loss, or integrated lateral transfer
US7712171B2 (en) 2007-04-25 2010-05-11 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Patient support including turn assist, low air loss, or integrated lateral transfer
EP2446871A3 (en) * 2007-04-25 2012-12-19 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Patient support including turn assist, low air loss, or integrated lateral transfer
CN103767394A (en) * 2012-10-22 2014-05-07 八乐梦医用床有限公司 Mattress apparatus

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