US 2853997 A
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sept' 30, 1958 H. J. scHl-:RcK 2,853,997
INFANT WARMER Filed May 3. 1956 INVENroR. HENRY J. ScHRcK AT'FORNEY United States lPatent O INFANT WARMER Application May 3,1956, Serial No. 582,543
4 Claims. (Cl. 128-1) This invention relates in general to hospital nursery applicances and more particularly, to an infant warmer.
Hospitals and pediatricians have for many years recognizedv the advisability of maintaining new-born infants in ra Warm state to prevent loss of body heat during the first few Criticalv post-birth hours. However, such warming means as have heretofore been generally utilized have constituted merely a box-like enclosure provided interio rly With an unprotected ordinary electric light bulb as the sole source of heat, and have been customarily referred to as a Nobel B ox. These boxes have numeroushazardous disa'dvantages,` such as the danger of serious burning of the infant, as the full voltage of the electric current is presented in immediate proximity to the infant as the heat is perforce limitedly radiated, as well as the possibility of explosion by the impingement of moisture upon the hot bulb. Eiforts to guard against the aforesaid dangers to the infant have been made, such as by providing a shield of plastic or some other material about the bulb, but such has only caused the heat to be trapped so that the desired warmth could not be provided the infant. Also of importance have been the difficulties in cleaning such units with their permanently built-in electric sockets.
Therefore, it is a primary object of the present'invention to provide an infant warmer having the enclosed, heat-retaining shell of such Shape and design as to provide even distribution of heat throughout the interior thereof, so that the same may be constantly maintained at a desired temperature.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an infant warmer having a low voltage, insulated, heatproviding element extending about the interior of an enclosure for eifectively providing uniform heat.
It is a futher object of the present invention to provide an infant warmer of the type stated provided with a fiexible heat Shield member for protecting an infant from any inadvertent contact with the heat element.
It is an additional object of the present invention to provide an infant warmer of the type stated which can be readily utilized with any convenient support surface; which is light weight and readily portable.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an infant warmer having a shell fabricated of transparent material so that an infant disposed therein will at all times be fully visible so that attendants at remote points in a nursery may maintain same under facile surveillance.
It is a still further object of the present invention to provide an infant warmer which is highly durable in construction; which is reliable in operation, having a minimum number of parts; and which may be conveniently and thoroughly cleaned.
These and other detailed objects are obtained by the structures illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
Figure l is a perspective view of an infant warmer "ice constmcted in accordance with and embodying the present invention.
Figure 2 is a side view.
Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse section taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 2.
Referring now by reference characters to thel drawing which represents a preferred embodiment of the present invention, A designates an infant warmer comprising an enclosure or hollow shell 1 of generally semiellipsoidal design, being truncated at one end to provide an opening 2; the lower edge of said shell 1 being turned outwardly to form a base fiange 3 for stable jointforming relationship with the particular support surface, such as the rails or pad of a bassinet. Shell 1 is fabricated preferably of a suitable thermoplastic resin, such as a polyacrylate, to provide a sturdy, wear-resistant, structure which may be subject to relatively hard handling without danger of damage; and which is substantially non-heat absorptive, thereby providing a relatively high degree of heat retention.
Disposed interiorly of shell 1, proximate its bottom edge and extending from a point adjacent one side of opening 2 to a point adjacent the other side thereof, is a heating element 4 being flexible for conforming 'presentation against the inner face of shell 1 and comprising a ribbon or strip type resistance member 5, asV of Nichrome, or the like, covered in a sheath of insulated material 6, such as fibreglass. Near one side of opening 2 there is formed in the wall of shell 1 an aperture 7 through which resistant member 4 is passed and loutwardly of shell 1, having extending therefrom QOIlductor 8 for leads (not shown) connecting same Within a control box 9; said latter being provided with a hanger element 10 for support thereof on any convenient member, such as a bassinet rail. Control box 9 contains an off-on switch (not shown) having an Operating lever 11, a pilot light 12, and a resistance and a transformer (not shown) with an extension cord 13 progressing therefrom for connection to a power outlet.
Heating element 4 is maintained in position by the hook-formed lower end of a plurality of hangers 1,4 having at their upper ends integral tubular portions `or sleeves 15 for extension therethrough of cooperating threaded male and female members 16, 17, for support of said hangers 14. Male members 16 project through openings 18 `drilled in the wall of shelll 1 and the female member 17 extends through slot-like openings 17' provided in a heat Shield 19 for maintainingv the latter in position. Said Shield 19 is fabricated of flexible, insulating material, such as polyethylene, and contains a multiplicity of perforations 20 for ventilation purposes. Shield 19 is disposed'by its supports in close proximity to the inner surface of shell 1, being of generally U- shaped contour to follow the elliptical curve of said shell 1 and being of such height as to extend from the lower portion of said shell 1 t-o a point substantially above the heating member 4 so as to cooperate with shell 1 in defining space or compartment 21 for heating element 4.
Mounted upon the top portion of shell 1 is a pivotally mounted handle 22 providing a carrying grip for ready transport of infant warmer A and which may be rocked to downward position so as to permit a stacking of infant Warmers A within minimum storage space.
In operation, the infant warmer of the present invention is placed coveringly over the body of a new-born baby whose head and neck will extend outwardly through opening 2. The temperature within warmer A is desirably maintained at about 20 above room temperature and will thus most immediately approximate the body temperature of the mother, whereby the infant 3 will be not subjected to any marked temperature change during the first few hours of life. The ellipsoidal character of shell 1 is productive of a pattern of heat fiow therein so as to provide an even, uniform, heat distribution, Whereby there is obviated the undesirable temperature gradients present in devices currently used. In actual operation the present invention has effectively raised an infanfs subnormal temperature 2 C. in one hour, which matches the performance of an incubator.
With the infant disposed within shell 1, it Will be seen that there is no untoward, potential danger or source of injury present, since the heating member 4 is of lowvoltage type, being in the neighborhood of volts, so that even direct contact therewith could not infiict harm on the infant. However, in the present invention said heating element 4 is completely sheathed in insulating material, and then is further removed from the child by heat shield 19, so that thus the dangers of burning, shock and explosion are prevented by the novel structure of infant warmer A.
Furthermore, the said shell 1 is transparent so that the infant is at all times fully visible and hence, an attendant at a remote point in a nursery could readily view the infant to determine its state.
Infant warmers constituted in accordance with the present invention are light-weight, easily handled, and resistant to rough and hard usage, and the operation thereof does not require any developed training on the part of the user.
It should be understood that changes and modifications in the formation, construction, arrangement, and combination of the several parts of the infant warmer may be made and substituted for these herein shown and described without departing from the nature and principle of my invention.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. An infant warmer comprising an enclosure-forming member of semi-ellipsoidal character with an upper dome-like portion and being truncated at one end to define an opening for outward extension therethrough of an infanfs head and neck, an elongated heating element disposed interiorly of said member in the lower portion thereof and extending lengthwise thereabout for the development of convection currents for circulating direction by the dome-like upper portion of said member to provide uniform heat distribution throughout the member, said heat element being flexible for conforming to the contour of said member, a flexible, perforated, protective shield presented interiorly of said heating element throughout its extent, and means for supporting said element and said perforated shield in mutual spaced apart relationship and said element spacedly from the inwardly presented face of said enclosure-forming member.
2. An infant warmer comprising a transparent, low heat-absorptive, housing-forming member of semi-ellipsoidal character having an upper dome-like portion and an opening at one end for extension outwardly therethrough of the head and neck of an infant, an elongated, ribbon-type heating element disposed within said housing in the lower portion thereof and extending length- Wise thereof from substantially one side of said opening to the other, said heating element being fiexible for general conformance to the contour of the lower portion of said housing, a flexible, protective shield provided with ventilating openings presented in proximity to, and in- Wardly of, said heating element, said shield being of greater width than said heating element so as to prevent inadvertent contact of the infant therewith, means for maintaining said shield and heating element in mutual, spaced apart relationship and said heating element spacedly from the inner surface of said housing, there being an insulating sheathing about said heating element, said housing having an aperture for projection outwardly therethrough of said heating element, and means external of housing for Operating said heating element.
3. An infant warmer comprising an enclosure-forming member fabricated of transparent, low heat-absorptive material, said member being of semi-ellipsoidal character and being truncated at one end to define an opening for outward extension therethrough of an infanfls heat and neck, an elongated ribbon-type heating element disposed interiorly of said member in the lower portion thereof and extending from a point proximate one side of said opening to a point proximate the other side of said opening, a fiexible protective shield provided with a multiplicity of perforations for ventilation purposes presented interiorly of said heating element throughout its extent, there being an insulating sheathing provided about said heating element, and means for supporting said shield and heating element in mutual spaced relationship.
4. An infant warmer as described in claim 1 wherein the enclosure-forming member is turned outwardly along its lower edge to form a base fiange for joint-forming relationship with -the support surface, and a handle for ready portability of the warmer is provided on the upper out- Ward portion of said member.
References Cted in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,401,605 Boren June 4, 1946 2,409,083 Valverde Oct. 8, 1946 2,579,964 Reynolds Dec. 25, 1951 2,708,927 Dixon et al May 24, 1955 2,759,474 Kling Aug. 21, 1956 F OREIGN PATENTS 442,449 Great Britain Feb. 10, 1936