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Publication numberUS3694831 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date3 Oct 1972
Filing date9 Apr 1970
Priority date9 Apr 1970
Publication numberUS 3694831 A, US 3694831A, US-A-3694831, US3694831 A, US3694831A
InventorsTreace Harry T
Original AssigneeRichards Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Medical head support
US 3694831 A
Abstract
A medical head support having a variety of uses in hospitals and the like. The head support is formed from a flexible open cell foam material, and includes a base portion for resting on a supporting surface and a pair of pads fixedly mounted on the base portion. An upper minor portion of the pads and the base are provided with an open cell foam material which is soft and finer, i.e., has a greater number of cells per square inch, than the remainder of the material of the pads and base.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Treace [4 1 Oct. 3, 1972 [54] MEDICAL HEAD SUPPORT 3,315,282 4/1967 Lowery et a1. ..5/91 X 72 Inventor: T Treace, Germant 3,319,272 5/1967 Eller ..5/338 1 3,337,883 8/1967 Allison ..5/338 [73] Assignee: Richards Manufacturing Company, P i Examiner-Bobby R. Gay

Memphls, Assistant Examiner-Peter Aschenbrenner 22 Filed; April 9 1970 Attorney-John R. Walker, III

[21] Appl. No.: 27,069 57 ABSTRACT A medical head support having a variety of uses in [52] US. Cl. ..5/338, 5/327 B, 5/91 hospitals and the m The head Support is formed [51] 1131. CL ..A47g from a flexible p ce" foal," material and includes a [58] Field of Search ..5/338, 71, 91, 327 B base portion for resting on a supporting surface and a pair of pads fixedly mounted on the base portion. An [56] References C'ted upper minor portion of the pads and the base are pro- UNITED STATES PATENTS vided with an open cell foam material which is soft and finer, i.e., has a greater number of cells per square i; gggg p inojhi) than the remainder of the material of the pads an 3,140,497 7/1964 Carswell ..5/338 3,261,035 7/1966 Slocum ..5/91 X 11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED ET 3 I97? FIG. 4-

INVENTOR. HARRY T TREACE MEDICAL HEAD SUPPORT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a medical head support for various medical and related uses.

2. Description of the Prior Art Previous medical head supports known to applicant have held the head in a more or less fixed position or have been rigid and uncomfortable to the patient.

One type of prior device comprises a rigid metal head holder having inserts of foam rubber and having a strap which was placed around the patients head to hold it very rigidly.

Another type is in the shape of an inverted bowl having the bottom cut out. This type is completely rigid and is used for ear operations with the ear extending down into the hole.

Still another type is shaped somewhat like a doughnut that has a flat bottom. It is formed from foam rubber coated with a slick rubber.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed towards providing a medical head support which is effective in holding the patients head in the desired position and which is comfortable to the patient. The concept of the present invention is to provide such a medical head support which comprises a body including a base portion for resting on the supporting surface and an-upper portion for contacting and positioning the head of the patient. The body is formed entirely of a flexible porous material which will conform to the contour of the patients head and which will permit air to flow therethrough to reduce the perspiring of the patient and to allow the patient to breather and have a free air passage, as for example, when the patient is in a prone position. Thus, any dangers of the patients breathing becoming blocked are obviated, as for example, during neurosurgery in which the patient is in a prone position and under anesthetic.

A further concept of the present invention is to form the porous material from two different densities with a finer density being on the upper patient-contacting sur faces of the head support so that it will allow soft skin contact with no irritation and the bottom portions are formed from coarse pore foam to allow the above-mentioned free air passage and to keep the pad from slipping on the operating table. This device may be used as adisposable item or autoclaved and reused for a number of times. It may be readily trimmed to special shapes with ordinary scissors. In addition, the support of the present invention gives over-all gentle foam support with no pressure points to produce pain.

The present invention is a very versatile head support which is adapted for many uses in a hospital or the like, as for example, the following: Various types of surgery relating to the head including car surgery, neurosurgery, and eye surgery; in X-ray departments of hospitals as a positioner for the head; for use by the anesthesiologist or anesthetist in the administration of anesthetics; in recovery rooms of hospitals following surgery for the control and immobilization of the head; in transit throughout the hospital, as for example, from the recovery room to the patients room, particularly when the patient is still under anesthesia and his head is difficult to control and it otherwise might be bruised or hurt; in the emergency room for supporting the patients head; and in oral surgery, as for example, in difficult tooth extractions where considerable pressure must be exerted to hold the head immovable.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the medical head support of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken as on the line II--II of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3is a fragmentary sectional view of a modified embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view showing the use of the head support of the present invention for ear surgery.

FIG. 5 is a similar view showing the use for neurosur gery.

FIG. 6 is a similar view showing the use for eye surgery.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The medical head support 11 of the present invention comprises in general a body 13 including a base portion 15 for resting on a supporting surface, such as the operating table (not shown), and an upper portion 17 for contacting the head of the patient. Body 13 is provided with a depression 19 which is preferably in the form of and includes a groove 21 extending longitudinally and centrally of upper portion 17 and a hole 23 extendingvertically through base portion 15 and communicating at the upper end thereof with groove 21.

Body 13 is light and flexible and is formed of a porous material for permitting air to flow therethrough, with the porous material preferably being open cell material of the type known to those skilled in the art as reticulated polyurethane foam and having two different degrees of porosity. An open cell material found suitable for this purpose is that produced by the Foam Division of Scott Paper Co. of 1500 East Second Street, Chester, Pa., and known as Scott foam. One of the two above-mentioned degrees of porosity of this foam material provides a soft or fine pore characteristic which will be hereinafter referred to as the fine foam. A fine foam which has been found satisfactory for this purpose is Scott's reticulated polyurethane foam having approximately pores per square inch as designated by Scott Paper Co. The other one of the two above-mentioned degrees of porosity of this foam material provides a coarse pore foam which will be hereinafter referred to as the coarse foam. A coarse foam which has been found satisfactory for this purpose has been Scotts reticulated polyurethane foam having approximately 30 pores per square inch. This foam, i. e., both the fine and coarse foam, is autoclavable (withstands temperatures up to slightly in excess of 300 F.) and hand washable with ordinary soap and water.

Base portion 15 is preferably blocklike in construction and includes a lower major part 24 which is formed from said coarse foam and includes an upper minor part 25 which covers lower part 24 and is formed of said fine foam to provide an upwardly facing soft flat surface 27. Upper part 25 is adhered on the lower surface thereof to the upper surface of lower part 24 by suitable means as by heat laminating in a manner well known to those skilled in the art so that there is provided a relatively thin layer of said fine foam as. compared with the thickness of lower part 24. Upper part 25 is preferably rounded as at 31 adjacent the upper part of hole 23 and preferably extends down into the hole for a short distance, as best seen in FIG. 2.

Upper portion 17 includes a pair of pads 33, 35 which are fixedly mounted on upper surface 27, as by suitable adhesive means as at 29, or by heat laminating the parts. The pads 33,35 extend longitudinally of the head support in spaced apart parallel relationship with one another and on opposite sides of hole 23 to establish the groove 21 therebetween. The pads 33, 35 respectively have lower major parts 37, 39 formed of said coarse foam and respectively have upper minor parts 41, 43 of said fine foam respectively mounted on lower parts 41, 43 of said fine foam respectively mounted on lower parts 37, 39 in the same manner as heretofore described relative to the mounting of minor part 25 on lower part 24 of base portion so that upwardly facing surfaces 45, 47 are provided for contacting the head of the patient. Surfaces 45, 47 slope inwardly and downwardly towards one another and are preferably flat. Pads 33, 35 preferably extend from the forward end 48 of base portion 15 to the rearward end 49 thereof with the ends 50, 50, 51, 51' of the pads preferably being respectively flush with the ends of the base portion. The exterior sides 53, 55 respectively of the pads 33, 35 are preferably in substantial alignment with the sides 57, 59 of the base portion 15, and the inner sides 61, 63 respectively of pads 33, 35 are preferably spaced outwardly of hole 23 as best seen in FIG. 2. The cross sectional shape of pads 33, 35 are preferably trapezoidal, as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. A pair of opposing arcuate notches 64, 65 are preferably provided respectively in the inward edges of pads 33, 35 offset from hole 23 towards the forward end of head support 11, in position to be adjacent the eyes of the patient when he is in a prone position as in FIG. 5 so that pressure on the eyes is avoided. It will be understood that, if desired, notches 64, 65 may be omitted without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that all of the upwardly facing surfaces of head support 11, namely, the exposed portion 66 of face surface 27 between pads 33, 35 and surfaces 45, 47 are of said fine foam which allows soft skin contact with no irritation.

If desired, the said fine foam beneath pads 33, 35 may be omitted, as in the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, leaving only the exposed part 66 and the surfaces 45, 47 formed of said fine foam. In addition, if desired, the pads 33, 35 may be integrally formed with base portion 15, as shown by the pad 35 in FIG. 3 and the righthand portion of base support 15, it being understood that the left side of the head support which has been omitted from FIG. 3 is the same as the right side except that it is a mirror image thereof.

In using the head support 1 l of the present invention, the head support is placed in such a manner that groove 21 will be aligned longitudinally of the patients head or transversely thereof, depending upon the use. For example, with ear surgery and neurosurgery, the head support 11 is placed with the groove extending longitudinally of the patients head as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 and with eye surgery, it preferably extends transversely of the patients head as shown in FIG. 6. It will be understood that the inwardly and downwardly extending surfaces 45, 47 of pads 33, 35 will cradle the head and position it centrally of the head support. Also, it will be understood that the hole 23 is useful to receive one of the patients ears as in ear surgery or the nose as in neurosurgery. Additionally, as previously explained, notches 64, 65 are adjacent the patients eyes to avoid pressure thereon when the patient is in the prone position shown in FIG. 5. In addition, for neurosurgery it will be understood that there is no danger of the patients breathing becoming blocked since the coarse foam will allow free flow of air through base portion 15 into hole 23, the major portion of which is bounded by said coarse foam, as best seen in FIG. 2, and free flow of air is provided into groove 21 from said coarse foam of pads 33, 35 which defines the sides of the groove. In addition, it will be understood that air can flow through said fine foam, but to a lesser extent than said coarse foam, in the unlikely event that the persons mouth or nostrils become blocked by said fine foam. Also, with the above-mentioned fiow of air the amount of perspiration of the patient is reduced greatly since the air flows to the patients skin. Further, the said fine foam conforms to the contour of the patientss head and is soft, flexible and comfortable, particularly as compared with many of the prior rigid head supports.

Although the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of this invention.

I claim:

1. A medical head support comprising a body flexible throughout including a base portion for resting on a supporting surface and an upper portion having inwardly sloping parts extending the length of said base portion for contacting the head of a patient, said body being provided with an upwardly opening depression, said body including minor parts on the upper portions thereof formed of a fine open cell foam material through which air is adapted to pass and to provide soft upwardly facing exposed surfaces adapted to be contacted by the head of the user, and said body including major parts formed of a coarse open cell foam material through which air is adapted to pass.

2: The head support of claim 1 in which said body consists of a reticulated polyurethane open cell foam material.

3: The head support of claim 1 in which said upper portion includes a pair of pads disposed in spaced apart substantially parallel relationship over said base portion on opposite sides of said depression to expose a portion of the upper surface of said base portion.

4. A medical head support comprising a body flexible throughout including a base portion for resting on a supporting surface and an upper portion having inwardly sloping parts for contacting the head of a patient, said body being provided with an upwardly opening depression, said body including minor parts on the upper portions thereof formed of a fine open cell foam material through which air is adapted to pass and to provide soft upwardly facing exposed surfaces adapted to be contacted by the head of the user, and said body including major parts formed of a coarse open cell foam material through which air is adapted to pass, said upper portion including a pair of pads disposed in spaced apart substantially parallel relationship over said base portion on opposite sides of said depression to expose a portion of the upper surface of said base portion, said pair of pads being respectively provided with upper surfaces inwardly and downwardly sloping towards one another.

5: The head support of claim 4 in which said upper surfaces of said pair of pads and said exposed portion of the upper surface of said base portion consists of said reticulated polyurethane open cell foam material having a fine consistency of approximately 90 pores per inch.

6. The head support of claim 5 in which a major portion of said body other than said upper surfaces of said pair of pads and said exposed portions of the upper surface of said base portion consists of reticulated polyurethane open cell foam material having a coarse consistency of approximately 30 pores per inch.

7. The head support of claim 4 in which said depression extends downwardly from the top of said body to the bottom thereof to include a vertical hole opening through said body.

8. The head support of claim 7 in which said pair of pads are provided with opposing notches in the inward edges thereof offset from said hole towards one end of said head support.

9. A medical head support comprising a flexible body including a blocklike base portion including a lower major part formed of a coarse open cell material through which air is adapted to pass and having a flat lower surface for resting on a flat supporting surface,

said base portion including an upper minor part covering said lower part and formed of a fine open cell material to provide a soft upwardly facing exposed surface, said base portion being provided with a vertical hole extending therethrough and with a portion of said hole being defined by an adjacent portion of said coarse open cell material of said lower part of said base portion so that air is adapted to pass from said hole into said lower part of said base portion and into said hole from said lower part of said base portion, said body including a pair of pads fixedly mounted on said upwardly facing surface of said base portion in spaced apart substantially parallel relationship on opposite sides of said hole, each of said pads including a lower major part formed of coarse open cell material through which air is adapted to pass and including an upper minor part covering said lower part of said pads and formed of a fine open cell material to provide a soft upwardly facing surface exposed adapted to be contacted by the head of the user, said upwardly facing surfaces of said pads sloping inwardly and downwardly towards one another.

10. The head support of claim 9 in which said open cell material of said upper minor parts of said base portion and said pads consist of reticulated polyurethane foam having a consistency of approximately pores per inch and said major parts of said base portion and said pads consists of reticulated polyurethane foam having a lconsistency of approximately 30 pores per l l z The head support of claim 10 in which said pair of pads are provided with opposing notches in the inward edges thereof offset from said hole towards one end of said head support.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification5/638, 5/636
International ClassificationA47G9/00, A47G9/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47G9/10
European ClassificationA47G9/10