OFFSET PATIENT TRAPEZE SYSTEM

A hospital bed trapeze system includes an offset vertical frame to provide safe and convenient patient positioning in a smaller footprint. The offset patient trapeze system includes vertical support members that extend vertically from the head end of the bed, where the vertical support members angle inward toward the foot end of the bed. Similarly, additional vertical support members extend vertically from the foot end of the bed and angle inward toward the head end of the bed. The vertical support members support a horizontal grid. The horizontal grid includes side bars and cross bars that connect the vertical support members to form a trapezoidal assembly. An ergonomic grab bar is supported from the horizontal grid. The grab bar includes a handle portion with which the patient or caregiver may access the offset trapeze system to facilitate patient positioning in the bed.

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Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/903,536, filed Feb. 27, 2007, entitled “Offset Patient Trapeze System,” which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to patient beds and devices for assisting patient movement for comfort and to facilitate care. More specifically, the present invention relates to a hospital bed trapeze system with an offset vertical frame to provide safe and convenient patient positioning in a smaller footprint.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The treatment of morbidly obese, bariatric patients presents many challenges that have not been adequately addressed in the prior art. These patients typically weigh in excess of 500 pounds and present difficult challenges with regard to treatment and therapy. A number of the challenges stem from difficulties associated with adequate treatment systems capable of withstanding the weight of these patients. Previous bariatric systems have been used to assist patients in movement, but there has been a lack of a suitable bariatric bed system and device that may be used to provide full range of movement of a hospital bed in a small footprint.

Bedridden patients often require overhead devices to assist them in movement. Conventional trapeze systems have been utilized over patients' beds to provide assistance in positioning and movement. Previous systems utilized a bed with an attached frame. These frames have generally been large and cumbersome and have restricted movement of the bed/frame combination. Often, the large size of these systems requires special dimensioned hospital rooms with modified structural features. For example, the large size of conventional bed/trapeze systems has interfered with commonplace fixtures in many hospital rooms. Care facilities often have lighting fixtures and other devices mounted on walls or equipment stands at a height that interferes with the head board end of the bed being placed close to the wall. This is especially true when the bed is in the “Trendelenburg” position. That is, when the bed is positioned in a flat plane, tilted 12° with the head position lower than the foot position. In that case, the trapeze frame of conventional systems will often contact the wall and damage any lighting fixtures or other mounted devices that are within the arc of the bed/frame combination.

Managing positioning of bedridden patients using conventional systems and methods is difficult for the caregiver and for the patient. This is especially true with regard to obese patients. Obese patients may have very tender skin subject to injury during such positioning operations. Further, there is a safety issue that the trapeze/bed combination may strike light fixtures, patient monitoring devices, and other fixtures in and around hospital rooms and hospital beds. Such inadvertent contact may cause injury to the patient and or to the caregiver. There are also additional safety issues with regard to the caregiver who could be subject to injury in the process of lifting. Additionally, obese patients may require positioning systems with different geometries to more readily accommodate their physical attributes than systems designed for use with other patients.

Efforts to date to improve the ability of caregivers to facilitate movement of bariatric patients have been largely unsuccessful in providing a suitable bariatric hospital bed system that provides a full range of movement in a small foot print. Efforts aimed at improving the ability of caregivers to provide a system and device with which to move bariatric patients have not provided satisfactory results. What is needed is a system and a method for providing full range of movement of a hospital bed that requires a small footprint and avoids the problems associated with prior systems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is a need to provide an improved patient transfer positioning device that may be used with bariatric beds and with bariatric patients to effect the positioning of bariatric patients in and around hospital beds, chairs, stretchers, and other patient care and patient transport devices. The present invention overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art by providing an offset patient trapeze system that offers new mechanical and ergonomic benefits not afforded by conventional systems.

The offset trapeze system of the present invention includes an offset trapeze frame and an ergonomic grab bar to facilitate comfortable, safe, and effective positioning of bariatric and other patients in a clinical or home environment. The offset trapeze system frame includes an integrated, bed-mounted frame that provides the necessary load-bearing structure for safe and convenient patient repositioning in a smaller footprint. The ergonomic grab bar includes a contoured grab bar that suspends from the trapeze frame to provide a patient with a comfortable and ergonomically advantageous means for self-repositioning and movement.

The system and method of the present invention provides a safe and effective manner of positioning a bed-ridden patient with increased comfort and safety. The offset patient trapeze system of the present invention utilizes a trapeze frame with vertical supports that angle inward over the bed's head and foot ends, allowing the bed to be positioned close to walls to avoid contact with wall mounted devices even when the bed is tilted.

In one embodiment, the system and method of the present invention is used to position bariatric patients by assisting movement with an ergonomic grab bar with which a patient may reach from a sitting position in a bed. By utilizing the ergonomic grab bar of the present invention to help support the patient's weight, the positioning may be accomplished safely and effectively.

Other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following specification, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration showing a bariatric hospital bed employing an offset patient trapeze system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of the trapezoidal design of the system of the present invention illustrating the trapezoid formed by the vertical supports, cross bars, side bars, and frame.

FIG. 3 illustrates the manner in which an offset trapeze frame in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention may be mounted to a bariatric hospital bed.

FIG. 4 illustrates the manner in which a horizontal grid of an offset trapeze system is attached to the vertical supports of the offset trapeze system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a horizontal grid of an offset trapeze system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates the manner in which an ergonomic grab bar is secured to the horizontal grid in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates an ergonomic grab bar in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIG. 1, a bariatric hospital bed 101 is provided including a frame 103 positioned on the floor, a deck 105 coupled to the frame 103, a mattress 107 positioned on the deck 105, a head board 109 coupled to the frame 103, a foot board 111 coupled to the deck 105 and frame 103, and a pair of side rails 113, 115 coupled to the frame 103. The frame 103 is configured to raise and lower the deck 105 relative to the floor and to move the deck 103 to the Trendelenburg position and to the Reverse Trendelenburg position.

The system and method of the present invention employs an offset trapeze frame 141 that mounts on the hospital bed 101. The offset trapeze frame 141 includes vertical supports 143a, 143b, 145a, 145b as well as a horizontal grid 151 that includes cross bars 153a, 153b and side bars 155a, 155b. The vertical supports 143a, 143b, 145a, 145b of the offset trapeze frame 141 of the present invention angle inward over the bed's head end H and foot end F, allowing the bed 101 to be positioned close to a wall while avoiding contact with wall mounted devices and devices mounted on stands, such as lights, monitors, gas outlets, electronic devices, mechanical devices, and the like. Additionally, the angled vertical supports 143a, 143b, 145a, 145b allow a large degree of bed tilt, such as the degree of tilt when the bed 101 is placed in the Trendelenburg position, without moving the bed 101 further away from the wall.

As shown in profile in FIG. 2, vertical supports 243, 245 and cross bars (not shown) and side bars 255 form a trapezoidal design where the vertical supports 243, 245 extend vertically from the longer frame 203 to the shorter horizontal grid made up of side bars 255 and cross bars (not shown). The trapezoidal design of the offset trapeze frame 241 prevents frame sway.

FIG. 3 illustrates the manner in which an offset trapeze frame 141 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention may be mounted to a bariatric hospital bed 101. The vertical supports 343, 345 are inserted into corner upright sockets 363, 365. For convenience in the profile view of FIG. 3, the left side corner upright sockets 363, 365 are shown, but it should be understood that bariatric hospital bed 101 includes corresponding right side corner upright sockets as well. The corner upright sockets 363, 365 receive vertical supports 343, 345. Vertical supports 343, 345 may be marked or otherwise coded to provide an indication of the proper end of vertical supports 343, 345 are to be inserted in corner upright sockets 363, 365. The coding or marking may included stamps on the supports, labels, color-coding, eccentric fits, and other suitable manners of indicating which end of which vertical support is to be inserted into the corresponding upright socket.

Vertical supports 343, 345 extend upward from corner upright sockets 363, 365 of frame 103. As further shown in FIG. 4, a roll pin 452 may be included to bear weight from horizontal grid 451.

Horizontal grid 451 includes receiving tubes 456 that slide over vertical supports 343, 345 at each end of the cross bars 453. When horizontal grid 451 is properly positioned, a slot 458 in each receiving tube 456 engages roll pin 452 of the vertical supports 343, 345.

Horizontal grid 451 may include cross bars 453 and side bars 455 that are securely attached to one another to form horizontal grid 451 and may likewise include separate cross bars 453 and side bars 455 that when assembled form horizontal grid 451. In this embodiment of the present invention, the offset trapeze is described as having a horizontal grid 451 that includes two cross bars 453 and two sidebars 455 that are discrete components 453a, 453b, 455a, 455b.

As such, receiving tubes 456 on cross bars 453 slide over vertical supports 343, 345 and are secured using the slot 458 and roll pin 452 combination. Once the cross bars 453 are properly positioned, side bars 455 are slid over vertical supports 343, 345. Side bars 455 include mounting tubes 466 that slide over vertical supports 343, 345 and rest on top of receiving tubes 456 of cross bars 453. The side bar mounting tubes may be secured using a stability mechanism 448, such as a clevis pin 452 and cotter pin 454 mechanism. Of course, other stability mechanisms that insure vertical supports 343, 345 are secured to cross bars 453 and side bars 455 may also be used. In an embodiment of the present invention that employs an integrated horizontal grid 451, the stability mechanism engages and secures horizontal grid 451 to vertical supports 343, 345.

The position and immobility of many bariatric patients causes these patients to pull movement assistance mechanisms at a severe angle to conventional frames. This torque causes vertical frames of conventional systems to sway. The angled vertical supports 143a, 143b, 145a, 145b of the offset trapeze frame 141 of the present invention are aligned with the forces exerted by the patient, resulting in a more stable frame.

When a patient, such as a bariatric patient, is positioned in bariatric hospital bed 101, the weight of the patient makes it difficult for a caregiver to change the position of the patient without lifting help. In an embodiment of the present invention, offset trapeze frame 141 includes an ergonomic grab bar shown in FIG. 1 as reference numeral 190 and in FIG. 3 as reference numeral 390. As best illustrated in FIG. 1, ergonomic grab bar 190 is attached to chains 192 that are attached to horizontal cross bar 194. Horizontal cross bar 194 spans the distance between side bars 155a, 155b and is attached at each end to side bars 155a, 155b using an attachment mechanism such as U-brackets 196a, 196b and eye bolts 198a, 198b such that horizontal cross bar 194 hangs down below side bars 155a, 155b and provides a substantially level horizontal plane from which chains 192 hang. Of course, other attachment mechanisms may also be used, including roller devices and stationary tie points.

Ergonomic grab bar 190 may be installed in accordance with FIG. 5. To install the ergonomic grab bar 190, U-brackets 196a, 196b are installed over side bars 155a, 155b as shown in FIG. 5. Locating pins 526a, 526b in U-brackets 196a, 196b are inserted in locating holes (not shown) in side bars 155a, 155b. Clevis pins 527a, 527b are inserted through one side of each U-bracket 196a, 196b through the horizontal cross bar 194, eye bolts 532a, 532b, and through the opposite side of each U-bracket 196a, 196b. Cotter pins 528 are inserted through the hole in each clevis pin 527a, 527b to secure the assembly.

Additionally, horizontal cross bar 194 may be mounted at different positions with respect to the head end H and foot end F of bed 101. For example, one patient may require ergonomic grab bar 190 be mounted directly over the patient's head, while a second patient may wish to have ergonomic grab bar 190 mounted directly over the patient's chest. Side bars 155a, 155b include mounting holes at different positions extending from head end H of the offset trapeze frame 141 to foot end F of offset trapeze frame 151, such that the ergonomic grab bar 190 may be mounted in the desired position. Similarly, horizontal cross bar 194 may be adjusted in a side to side fashion by lifting and sliding trapeze slide brackets 533a, 533b to alternative hole positions 540a, 540b, 560a, 560b along horizontal cross bar 194.

Once the horizontal cross bar 194 is properly positioned, chains 192 may be installed as shown in FIG. 6. To install chains 192, the spring loaded bar side 642 of the spring hook 609 is pushed to open the spring hook 609. The open spring hook 609 is inserted through loop 613 on the trapeze slide brackets 633. The spring loaded bar 642 is then released, and the spring hook 609 is then oriented such that the smaller diameter end of spring hook 609 is vertically above the larger end of spring hook 609 such that chains 192 extend below horizontal cross bar 194. At the lower end of chains 192, a lower spring loaded hook 659 is suspended from chain 192 and attached to ergonomic grab bar 690.

The ergonomic grab bar of the present invention includes a larger diameter as well as an improved gripping distance over conventional trapeze bars. For example, the gripping distance of bariatric patients is wider than that of other patients. Anthropometry measurements used in the design of the ergonomic grab bar of the present invention suggest an optimal gripping distance between 16 inches and 22 inches. As shown in FIG. 7, the ergonomic grab bar 790 of the present invention includes a gripping distance dg1, dg2 between 12.5 inches and 25 inches.

Additionally, the “grip line” is the anatomical angle from a hand gripping a cylindrical object measured perpendicularly from the wrist. The ergonomic grab bar 790 of the present invention matches the angle of a grip line to the ergonomic grab bar 790 by providing angles β, ø, ∂ in the ergonomic grab bar 790 at optimal lengths. The length of these angles β, ø, ∂ provides handles that are 4 inches to 6 inches long, an optimal length according to further anthropometry. This ergonomic grab bar geometry results in an optimum ergonomic choice for the patient to pull or push from either an overhand or underhand position. This ergonomic grab bar geometry eliminates unnecessary strains on the patient's hand, wrist, and forearm.

In addition, the system of the present invention incorporates an ergonomic grab bar diameter of 1.25 inches, and the ergonomic grab bar may be covered with a semi-pliable and textured grip. As well, anthropometry indicates that a diameter less than 1.25 inches required more patient grip strength.

The foregoing description of exemplary aspects and embodiments of the present invention provides illustration and description, but is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Those of skill in the art will recognize certain modifications, permutations, additions, and combinations of those embodiments are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the invention. Therefore, the present invention also covers various modifications and equivalent arrangements that would fall within the purview of appended claims and claims hereafter introduced.

Claims

1. An offset patient trapeze system to assist positioning of a patient in a bed, the system comprising:

a first vertical support member extending vertically from a head end of the bed, the first vertical support member angling inward toward a foot end of the bed that is on the opposite end of the bed from the head end;
a second vertical support member extending vertically from the foot end of the bed, the second vertical support member angling inward toward the head end of the bed that is on the opposite end of the bed from the foot end;
a horizontal grid that extends horizontally and connects the first vertical support member to the second vertical support member;
a grab bar supported by the horizontal member, the grab bar including a handle portion with which the patient may access the offset trapeze system to facilitate patient positioning in the bed.

2. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 1, wherein the first vertical support member includes two vertically extending supports that attach to a first lateral side and a second lateral side of the bed.

3. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 2, wherein the second vertical support member includes two vertically extending supports that attach to a first lateral side and a second lateral side of the bed.

4. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 3, wherein the horizontal grid connects the two vertically extending supports of the first vertical member to the two vertically extending supports of the second vertical member, thereby forming a trapezoidal trapeze system.

5. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 1, wherein the grab bar is further supported by a chain assembly and spans a distance substantially equal to the width of the horizontal grid.

6. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 5, wherein the grab bar position is adjustable with respect to the head end of the bed and the foot end of the bed and in a lateral direction with respect to the head end of the bed and the foot end of the bed.

7. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 6, wherein the grab bar includes a gripping distance of 12.5 inches to 25 inches.

8. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 7, wherein the grab bar includes grip line angles formed by handle lengths of 4 to 6 inches.

9. The offset patient trapeze system of claim 8, wherein the grab bar includes a diameter of at least 1.25 inches.

Patent History
Publication number: 20090013474
Type: Application
Filed: Feb 27, 2008
Publication Date: Jan 15, 2009
Applicant: CAMBRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (Cambridge, MD)
Inventor: Robert Larry GOOTEE, SR. (Cambridge, MD)
Application Number: 12/038,078
Classifications
Current U.S. Class: Self-help Support, Grip Or Handhold (5/662)
International Classification: A47C 31/00 (20060101);