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Air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay

Abstract
The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay is for use with a wheelchair to provide bedsore and decubitus ulcer wound treatment for a user. The overlay has a seat portion used to support the user's buttocks area while seated in the wheelchair, a back support portion to support the user's back area while seated in the wheelchair, a rechargeable battery pack, a compressor to provide pressurized air, an emergency button, and a control unit that houses and controls the rechargeable battery pack. A plurality of airflow tubes are located in the seat portion and the back portion and are provided with fine granules that are incorporated into pressurized air from the compressor.

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Inventors: Johnson; Timothy A.; (Washington, MD) ; Johnson; Valecia A.; (Washington, MD)
Correspondence Name and Address: Robert B. Lyons;Crystsl City Station
P.O. Box 15035
Arlington
VA
22215-0035
US


Serial No.: 188788
Series Code: 11
Filed: July 26, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 297/452.26
U.S. Class at Publication: 297/452.26
Intern'l Class: A47C 7/02 20060101 A47C007/02

 

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Claims

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1. An air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay for use with a patient care chair to provide bedsore and decubitus ulcer wound treatment, the overlay comprising: a seat portion adapted for supporting a user's buttocks area while seated in the patient care chair; a back support portion connected to the seat portion, the back portion being adapted for supporting the user's back area while seated in the patient care chair; a rechargeable battery pack attached to the back portion; an air compressor electrically connected to the battery pack; a plurality of air tubes disposed within the seat portion and the back support portion, the air tubes being connected to the compressor; fine granules disposed in the air tubes for providing granulating air delivered into the air tubes; and a control unit electrically connected to the battery pack and the compressor for controlling airflow to the air tubes.

2. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to claim 1, further comprising an emergency button disposed in said control unit for signaling user distress.

3. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to claim 1, further comprising a battery gauge disposed in the control unit for indicating power available to the rechargeable battery pack.

4. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to claim 1, further comprising a pressure gauge disposed in said control unit for indicating air pressure generated by the compressor.

5. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to claim 1, further comprising a durable and washable fabric over the seat portion and the back support portion.

6. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to claim 1, wherein the air tubes in said back portion air formed into a plurality of continuous airflow pockets, and barriers to support and provide comfort to the user's back.

7. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of metal stay tabs attached to said back support portion and said seat portion.
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Description

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/590,937, filed Jul. 26, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to an air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay that is placed on a wheelchair or similar device, and used for the treatment of decubitus ulcers and bedsores.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] The development of decubitus ulcers and bedsores can be a serious problem for non-ambulatory medical patients. As part of their treatment, these patients depend on the use of wheelchairs or similar devices to continue treatment compliance while offering these patients the added mobility offered by the wheelchair or similar device. The wheelchairs are often provided with padded overlays to enhance the comfort of the patient. Some of these overlays are reflected in the related art.

[0006] U.S. patent Publication No. 2002/0007136, published on Jan. 17, 2002, describes a pressure relief pad for persons suffering from or subject to the formation of decubitus ulcers or bedsores. The pressure relief pad is made from viscoelastic foam layers, which provide for the redistribution of pressure around an affected or wounded area allowing the wound to heal faster. The contoured viscoelastic foam pad can be positioned over a separately applied dressing or an exudated absorbing material that can be included in the pad.

[0007] U.S. patent Publication No. 2002/0027384, published on Mar. 7, 2002, discloses a pneumatic seat adjustable for a bedside chair, wheelchair or other type of seat, having a series of air cells controlled and operated through a microchip. The cells are inflated to a level of inflation adjusted to the weight of the body. In an order pre-set in the microchip, one cell at a time sequentially deflates for a predetermined length of time, thus allowing unobstructed blood flow to the part of the body above the deflated cell.

[0008] U.S. patent Publication No. 2003/0212357, published on Nov. 13, 2003, teaches a method and an apparatus for treating wounds by applying oxygen and reduced pressure and/or other medication sufficient in time and magnitude to induce healing and closure of the wound. The method and apparatus are applicable to wounds, infected wounds and live tissue attachments. Wound treatment apparatus includes an impermeable wound cover sealably positioned over the wound. A screen of material, such as open-cell foam or rigid porous material, is also placed beneath the wound cover and over the wound.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 3,610,238, issued to Rich, Jr. on Oct. 5, 1971, describes a wound infection prevention device, for the treatment of burns and skin lesions with a cellular-foam plastic pad encased by impervious plastic sheets and to which air under pressure may be fed to an annular space about the periphery of the foam plastic pad.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 4,753,480, issued to Morell on Jun. 28, 1988, discloses a modifiable pressure distribution pad assembly for a wheelchair with a bottom pad of resilient foam material of high density and at least one upper pad of resilient foam material of intermediate density having at least one cutout defining an opening therethrough. Filler foam material of low density is frictionally mounted as an insert in at least one of the openings of one of the pads and is removable therefrom.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 4,796,948, issued to Paul et al. on Jan. 10, 1989, teaches a support system for a person in a sitting position to vary pressures produced on affected body areas adequate to improve blood perfusion thereat. A primary resilient support element is provided that defines a generally centrally located opening with a second, inflatable fluid support element received therein. The inflatable support element is located to receive the ischial tuberosities thereover and is normally deflated whereby minimal pressures are generated on body areas thereover.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,452,940, issued to Maier on Sep. 26, 1995, shows an integral lower back pressure relief cushion with a substantially U-shaped aperture at the lower portion of the cushion open at the bottom and extending from the front to the rear of the cushion, so that the sacral and coccyx areas of the user are free from pressure contact while the portions of the cushion on either side of the aperture support the posterior superior iliac spine of the user.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,792,090, issued to Ladin on Aug. 11, 1998, discloses a method of healing surface wounds that is facilitated by increasing the wound oxygen tension through the application of an oxygen-generating wound dressing which renewably and non-sustainingly chemically generates oxygen. The wound dressing contains an oxygen permeable membrane and an oxygen supply solution reservoir adapted to receive an aqueous liquid capable of supplying oxygen through a chemical reaction.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 5,794,289, issued to Wortman et al. on Aug. 18, 1998, describes a mattress wherein at least one fabric strip bridges a foam crib for an inflatable cushion to provide lateral stability thereto, such as when the mattress is tilted for turning a patient over. The fabric strip position is selected so that it does not interfere with pressure relief to a portion of the patient's body where pressure ulcers frequently occur.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 5,850,646, issued to Turner on Dec. 22, 1998, teaches a pressure reduction mattress construction for a liquid or gel bed having a flexible basin forming a cavity with inclines at the head and the foot of the bed for surrounding and supporting a liquid or gel filled floatation bladder that is anchored to the head of the basin. The inclines are made of a soft yielding material to allow the head or foot of the bed to be easily raised as the liquid or gel moves toward the center of the bed. The head incline also serves to provide a soft yielding surface to support a patient after liquid or gel has naturally moved to the sacral area.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 5,855,415, issued to Lilley, Jr. on Jan. 5, 1999, describes a portable seat cushion having both low carrying weight and improved pressure-reducing properties that also relates to a method for producing a commercial embodiment of the portable seat cushion.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 6,036,271, issued to Wilkinson et al. on Mar. 14, 2000, discloses a seating system designed for self-adjusting pressure relief for use with wheelchairs and other generally confined seating arrangements. One or more support chambers filled with resilient foam and a fluid such as air are arranged in fluid communication with the chamber. A self-adjusting reservoir is also provided and arranged in fluid communication with the chamber.

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 6,676,215, issued to Shah et al. on Jan. 13, 2004, shows a seating apparatus for supporting a lower body region of an immobilized person for avoidance and relief of decubitus ulcers which provides regular intervals of seating pressure reduction below a predetermined seating pressure for a predetermined relief period.

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 6,685,656, issued to Duarte et al. on Feb. 3, 2004, describes a portable therapeutic device that generates longitudinally propagating ultrasound and shear waves to provide an effective healing of wounds. A transducer having an operative surface is disposed adjacent to the wound to emit ultrasound to propagate in the direction of the wound to promote healing.

[0020] International Patent No. WO 96/10352, published on Apr. 11, 1996, teaches a seating system primarily intended for use in wheelchairs and similar applications for reducing the development of decubitus ulcers. The seating system includes a relatively rigid shaped tray and a pressure relieving fluid pad. The tray has a thigh supporting shelf and a depressed seating well. The fluid pad preferably has a plurality of fluid pouches positionable over the thigh- supporting shelf of the tray and an array of rearward pouches positionable over the depressed seating well.

[0021] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus an air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay is for use with a wheelchair to provide bedsore and decubitus ulcer wound treatment for a user. The overlay has a seat portion used to support the user's buttocks area while seated in the wheelchair, a back support portion to support the user's back area while seated in the wheelchair, a rechargeable battery pack, a compressor to provide pressurized air, an emergency button, and a control unit that houses and controls the rechargeable battery pack. A plurality of airflow tubes are located in the seat portion and back support portion and are provided with fine granules that are incorporated into the pressurized air from the compressor.

[0023] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a wound overlay pad for a wheelchair that offers greater comfort and healing than currently used wound pad overlays.

[0024] It is another object of the invention to provide a wound overlay pad for a wheelchair having an air-fluidized surface.

[0025] It is a further object of the invention to provide a wound overlay pad that will result in a cost savings for treating decubitus ulcers and bedsores.

[0026] Still another object of the invention is to provide an air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay that will continue treatment of a patient while the patient is sitting in a wheelchair.

[0027] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which are inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0028] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of an air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay according to the present invention placed in a wheelchair.

[0030] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay of the present invention.

[0031] FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view of the seat portion and control unit of the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay of the present invention showing the flow of compressed air in the seat portion.

[0032] FIG. 4 is a side view of the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay of the present invention.

[0033] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0034] The present invention is an air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 1 0 for use with a wheelchair WC to provide bedsore and decubitus ulcer wound treatment for a user (not shown). The overlay 10 is depicted in use with a wheelchair WC in FIG. 1.

[0035] As shown in FIG. 2, FIG. 3 and FIG. 4, the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 comprises a seat portion 20 used to support the user's buttocks area while seated in the wheelchair WC, a back support portion 30 to support the user's back area while seated in the wheelchair WC, a rechargeable battery pack 40 to provide power to the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 and a compressor 50 to provide continuous pressurized air to the air fluidized wound care wheelchair overlay 10.

[0036] The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 further comprises: an emergency button 60 to indicate if a user is distressed; a control unit 70 that houses and controls the rechargeable battery pack 40, battery gauge 62, pressure gauge 64 and the emergency button 60; a compressor connected to the control unit; a plurality of airflow tubes 80 that are located in the seat portion 20 and provided with fine granules that are incorporated into pressurized air from the compressor 50; and a durable and washable fabric 90 over the seat portion 20 and the plurality of airflow tubes 80. There is also a plurality of continuous airflow pockets and barriers 100 set within the back portion 30 that also receive pressurized air from the compressor 50 to support and provide comfort to the user's back, and a plurality of metal stay tabs 110 that temporarily secure the air fluidized wound care wheelchair overlay 10 to the wheelchair WC.

[0037] The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 is therapeutic and provides treatment of a user's wounds while the user is sitting against it. The first component is the durable and washable fabric 90 that is spread over the seat portion 20 and supports the plurality of airflow tubes 80, which encase the air fluidized granular media that promotes healing by displacing continuous pressure on the user's skin. The second component is the plurality of continuous airflow pockets and barriers 100 on the back support portion 30. The third component is the control unit 70 that is able to control the air pressure from the compressor 50 and provides access to an emergency button 60 in times of distress. The final component is a rechargeable battery pack 40 that powers the compressor 50 to provide continuous airflow for up to twelve hours.

[0038] The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 can be used to enhance a user's quality of life by allowing the user to leave a room without leaving any wound care treatment intervention. Users with bedsores and decubitis ulcers may in fact hinder their treatment by not conforming to a physician's orders, or to get out of their bed and into a wheelchair or Geri-chair. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 can continue healing and treatment compliance while meeting psychosocial needs by reintroducing patients back into social interaction and activities.

[0039] To provide patient stability, the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 can be secured with a plurality of metal stay tabs 110 to a wheelchair WC. Other therapy assistance devices such as wedges, lap buddies, foam padding and splints can still be used with the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 1 0. The control unit 70 is disposed on top of the back support portion 30, while the compressor 50 and the rechargeable battery pack 40 are disposed on the back of the wheelchair WC.

[0040] Use of the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 is straightforward. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 can be used with a wheelchair WC or Geri-chair. The air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 has a patient capacity of up to 250 lbs and is specifically used for treating Stage II, III and IV sacral wounds. A second embodiment of the air fluidized granular wound care wheelchair overlay 10 can also be provided with an ultrasound attachment for additional treatment.

[0041] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.

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