US 3591739 A
Description (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)
United States Patent  Inventor Henry Bruce Kenton 31 Hall Road, Sawyer Bay, Dunedin,
Otago, New Zealand  Appl. No. 817,046  Filed Apr. 17, I969  Patented July 6, 1971  SWITCH ACTUATOR MECHANISM FOR USE WITH BED-RIDDEN PATIENTS 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
52 us. C1 200/52, 200/153  Int. Cl ..HOIh 35/00, H01h 3/00  Field of Search 200/52, 59, 61.13, 61.14, 61.58, 6l.7261.75, 61.87, 153.19
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,099,475 6/1914 Tucker 200/52 (BA) 1,492,888 5/ 1 924 Marett 1 2,242,875 5/1941 Wachsman. ZOO/61.14 2,680,842 6/1954 Opphile ZOO/61.14 X 2,996,587 8/1961 McCarthy ........200/52 (BA) X 3,154,167 10/1964 Butleretalm. ....200/61.58(SB) UX 3,363,712 1/1968- Fontaine ..200/61.58 (SB) UX Primary Examiner-J. Scott Attorney-Holman & Stern ABSTRACT: A switch actuator for use with bedridden patients to operate, upon excessive movement of the patient, the actuator having a switch carrying member supported on a rail of a bed, a strap fixed to record the movement of a patient in bed and engaged with the operating arm of the switch carrying unit so that when the patient rises from the recumbent position or otherwise moves excessively in the bed, the switch will be operated.
PATENIED JUL 6 IBYI 3,591. 739
SHEET 2 [IF 4 PATENTED JUL 6 ran SHEET 3 OF 4 ATTaQ YS PATENIEU JUL sum 3 591 7 saw u 0F 4 3S SWITCH ACTUATOR MECHANISM FOR USE WITH BED- RIDDEN PATIENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a switch actuator arranged to be used with bedridden patients to operate upon excessive movement of the patient.
Most hospitals and institutions have what is known as a bedside bell. The bell is normally operated by the patient to indicate the assistance of a nurse is required. The patient in bed is given the bell switch which is electrically connected to operate a bell and to switch on a warning light in the ward corridor.
There are a number of patients who are confined to bed for various reasons who should not attempt to leave bed. Possibly the patient may be confused and any attempt to climb from the bed could aggravate and cause injuries and mean a prolonged stay in the hospital. Also in psychiatric wards, it is sometimes necessary to ensure the patient stays in bed. It is impracticable to provide all such patients with special nursing facilities whereby there is a nurse in attendance at all times.
While the present invention has particular application in hospitals, it is by no means confined to such use and could be used where a patient is being nursed at home.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the main object of the present invention to provide a means of drawing attention to a patient who is attempting to leave his bed or is otherwise moving excessively in bed.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a switch actuator which will operate the switch of a warning circuit to notify the nursing staff when a patient requires attention.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a means which can be used in association with the normal hospital alarm apparatus arranged to allowpatients to call the nursing staff.
These and other objects will become more apparent from the following description of one preferred form of the invention and a modification thereof illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the switch actuator according to the present invention,
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the actuator shown in FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is an end view of the actuator,
FIG. 4 is a part sectional view showing the restraining means between the side of the clamp and the actuating arm, and
FIG. 5 is a side elevation of a modified form of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In one preferred form of the invention, a switch actuator denoted generally 1 comprises a clamp 2 arranged to be fixed to a rail or other structural member of the bed. The clamp 2 has a fixed jaw 3 having sidewalls 4 extending from adjacent the lower part thereof and projecting downwardly. The lower end of front face of the jaw 3 is extended inwardly substan tially at right angles to form an abutment platform 5 to which a pad 6 of resilient material, for example sponge rubber or sponge plastic, is attached.
An operating knob 7 is provided on the outside of the jaw 3 and is fixed to a threaded shaft 8 so that rotation of the know 7 causes the shaft 8 to rotate while retaining its relative association with the fixed jaw 3.
A movable jaw is formed from a shaped piece of metal arranged to slidably fit between sides 4 provided on the jaw 2. The upper part of the movable jaw is complementary to the upper part of the fixed jaw 3. The jaws 9 and 3 have a recess formed therein to engage with the rail of a hospital bed.
Preferably an angle recess 10 is provided although it will be appreciated that the jaws may be of any desired shape.
A boss 1 1 is fixed to the outside of the movable jaw 9 and is arranged to be engaged by the threaded shaft 8 so that rotation of the know 7 causes the jaw 9 to move relative to the jaw 3.
A lower end 12 of the jaw 9 is deflected outwardly to lie substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shaft 8, that is at right angles to the main body of the jaw 9. The lower end 12 is preferably extended outwardly as illustrated in the drawings so that the jaws may move close together to engage with a bed rail, for example, provided by an angle iron member.
A guide 13 is pressed in from each side 4 immediately below the lower end 12 of the movable jaw 9 thereby providing a support and guide therefor in use.
Pivotally attached to the lower end of the guides 4 is an actuating arm 14. The actuating arm 14 is a metal pressing substantial channel shaped in cross section having sides 15 arranged to fit between the sides 4 and with a pivotal connection 16 between the side 15 and the lower part of the sides 4.
A base 17 adjacent the free end of the actuating arm is turned upwardly between the sides 15 to form a stop 18 which operates in conjunction with a spring-loaded pivotal quick release strap holder 19.
In use, a strap 20 may be fixed on the opposite sides of the bed and passed over the body of the patient in the recumbent position. The end of the strap is passed between the stop 18 and the quick-release holder 19 by rotating the holder 19 in a counterclockwise direction. A serrated cam face 21 of the holder is released from engagement with the connecting strap 20 which may then be easily adjusted to the correct length so that undue movement of the patient will cause the actuating arm 14 to move.
The base 17 also includes an aperture 22 having a recessed area thereabout arranged to seat the shoulder of a normal pushbutton switch 23 found in hospitals. A slot 24 extends in from the end of the base 17 adjacent the pivotal connection 16 to allow the cordof the switch 23 to be passed therethrough so that the switch may be seated as is illustrated in the drawings. When the switch is so positioned, the resilient pad 6 is immediately above a pushbutton 25.
It is desirable to provide some biasing means to move the actuating arm and-thus the switch carried thereby away from the resilient pad. To this end, a spring-loaded ball 26 is fitted in each side 15 of the actuating am 14 and the ball is arranged to engage within a substantially pear-shaped recess'27 in the side 4. The ball and recess will, in combination, operate to restrain movement when there is only slight movement of the patient in bed and also ensure the ball being moved back to the inoperative position when any pressure on the strap 20 is relaxed.
While the above described invention has been described particularly with reference to the normal alarm pushbutton switch found in hospitals, it could be possible to adapt the unit to use its own alarm circuit. In this case, the unit could be modified as illustrated in FIG. 5. One contact 28 is carried on the abutment platform 5 and another contact 29 is carried on the actuating arm 14. These contacts are electrically connected through a cord 30 to a plug 31 which can be plugged into a socket in the wall completing the alarm circuit which will operate an alarm unit upon the contacts 28 and 29 closmg.
The switch actuator is used as follows:
The clamp 2 is tightened onto a bedrail by turning the knob 7 to move the adjustable jaw 9. The belt 20 is then fixed to record the movement of the patient in bed. The method of association will dependlargely on'the type of bed and upon the patient being controlled. Where bedsides are not used, the plain strap may be fitted over the patient's chest, for example, between the folds in the blanket so that the patientis not consciously aware of its presence. The button switch is then fitted in the actuator by passing the cord through the slot and feedstrap will be tightened moving the actuating arm relative to the clamp to bring the pushbutton 25 into engagement with the resilient pad 6, thus operating the switch and actuating the warning device.
It is desirable to provide the pad of resilient material to ensure the hospital pushbutton bedside switch is operated even under adverse conditions. in some cases, particularly with old switches, the pushbutton is below the holder even in the inoperative position. The resilient pad makes it possible for such switches to be operated. Also, the pad allows for considerable tolerance in the position of the pushbutton in the holder.
If bedsides are used, the strap may then be placed under the patient, and a special strap with a length of elastic may be provided with the elastic secured firmly, for example, with safety pins to the collar of the patients gown. The strap can again be adjusted using the adjustment previously described so that controlled amount of movement is possible, for example, the strap may be adjusted to allow the patient even to sit up before the alarm will ring.
Where it is desired to use the invention in home nursing, it would be necessary to install an alarm unit which would be operated by the switch. This alarm unit could be in the form of a battery operated bell which would be positioned where the nurse or guardian looking after the patient was normally present. Apart from this modification, the operation would be the same.
The above described preferred embodiment of the invention is particularly simple and efficient. However, it will be ap preciated that various modifications thereof are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A switch actuator for use with bedridden patients to operate upon excessive movement of the patient, said switch actuator comprising a fixed jaw, sidewalls extending normally from the lower part of the fixed jaw in one direction, a movable jaw slidably positioned between the sidewalls cooperable with the fixed jaw to provide a clamp, a threaded boss on the lower part of the movable jaw, a threaded shaft rotatably associated with the fixed jaw and engageable with the boss to control the sliding movement between the fixed jaw and the sliding jaw, an actuating arm pivotally supported between the sidewalls to extend away from the movable jaw, strap engagement means on said actuating arm to adjustably hold in use one end of the strap fixed to record the movement of a patient in bed, a switch means arranged to be operated upon movement of the actuating arm relative to the sidewalls and fixed jaw of the clamp upon the patient arising from the recumbent position or otherwise moving excessively in the bed.
2. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 1 including a pushbutton switch in a position to be operated after movement of the actuating arm relative to the sidewalls and fixed jaw of the clamp.
3. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 1 wherein a base of the movable jaw is directed to lie substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shaft and a guide extends inwardly from each side of said fixed jaw to provide support for the base of said movable jaw.
4. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 3 wherein the actuating arm is pivotally connected to the side of said fixed jaw of the clamp to return under the fixed jaw and project therebeyond with the strap engagement means adjacent the free end of the arm.
5. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 4 wherein said actuating arm comprises a channel shaped member having an aperture through the base thereof, a slot leading into the aperture from the pivoted end of the base, and a recess surrounding said aperture arranged in use to engage with a shoulder of a pushbutton switch.
6. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 5 wherein the fixed jaw has an abutment platform directed inward! from the lower end thereof and a pad of resilient material 15 ixed to the under surface of the abutment platform, with said resilient material being positioned above the switch supported in the actuating arm.
7. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 6 wherein biasin means are provided to return the actuating arm to the inoperative position with the switch spaced apart from the abutment platform.
8. The switch actuator as claimed in claim 7 wherein said biasing means comprise spring-loaded balls positioned on either side of said actuating arm and arranged to engage with a shaped recess in the sidewalls of said fixed jaw.
Citations de brevets