The invention concerns an arrangement in accordance with the preamble of claim 1.
A variety of differently formed arm rests for beds, especially examination beds, are known. U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,308 discloses an arm rest which extends at a right angle from the bed.
US publications 2004/0123389 and 2005/0015879 disclose arm rests which hold an arm in position during an operation with a relatively complicated support structure.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,101,650 discloses an arm rest which has a base plate with a trough that receives the arm. The base plate can be slipped beneath the patient and is held in place by the patient's weight. The arm rest serves for positioning and fixing the position of a patient during a radiation treatment, for example during an x-ray examination. The arms of the patient rest laterally next to his body, and the arms are positioned beneath the plane of the base plate. The trough or the bottom of the trough runs parallel to the base plate of the arm rest and therefore also parallel to the examination bed and the upper torso of the patient.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,785,057 discloses an arm rest for an operating table. This arm rest has a plate-shaped base that is placed beneath the mattress and that is weighed down by the patient himself. It further includes a cylindrically shaped support onto which the arm can be placed. The arm rest is intended to protect the hand and fingers of a patient during an operation against injuries. Such injuries can arise, for example, while the operating table is moved or reconfigured. Here too, the support or trough that receives the arm is parallel to the base, the bed and the patient.
These known arm rests have a variety of shortcomings. During an operation or a radiation examination, for example in a CT-tunnel, a multitude of access channels and hoses are typically placed onto, against or connected to the patient's arms. During the entire procedure, these must remain accessible to the physician. U.S. Pat. No. 5,785,057, for example, does not provide the needed access for physicians.
In addition, on known arm rests, the arm of the patient is always partially angularly retracted (hereafter frequently referred to as an "angled" arm). This is due to the fact that the arm rests are not adapted to the anatomy of an arm. However, the angled arm interferes with properly applying infusions, cannulas and the like to the patient's arm. In addition, angled arms limit access to the physician. For example, it is uncomfortable for the patient and difficult for personnel to change cannulas in the inner side of an angled arm.
For these reasons, it is advantageous if the arm can be fully extended. Maintaining the patient's arm in its fully extended position is readily attainable with the arm rest of the present invention. This enhances the wellbeing of the patient and improves accessibility for the physician.
In addition, known arm rests are anatomically not advantageous and are not well adapted to the real anatomical conditions of a human.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an arm rest which is readily placed in the desired position and assures an anatomically advantageous positioning of the patient's arm.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an arm rest which provides the physician with ready access to the patient's arm during an examination procedure or an operation.
These objects are attained with the characterizing features of claim 1.
Due to its advantageous configuration, the arm rest of the present invention is useable for all body sizes. By varying the position of the arm rest relative to the patient's body, an optimal position can be established.
The arm rest is particularly well adapted for use in a CT-tunnel because the arms do not extend laterally away from the body and therefore do not limit movement inside a dimensionally restricted CT-tunnel. By an appropriate movement of the arm rest, it is further possible to adjust the height of the arms carried by the arm rest so that the arm rest can be used within the restricted dimensions of a CT-tunnel.
The inclined position of the arm when supported by the arm rest of the present invention corresponds to the natural conditions of an arm that extends laterally away from the body. This reduces stress in the arm of the patient and reduces a potential pinching or adverse positions of nerves or joints. With the arm rest of the present invention, nerves that extend from the neck to the arm are relieved, and the patient's arm lies in an anatomically natural and, for the patient, comfortable position. The arms of the patient rest relaxed on the arm rest and can be fixed in a desired location and/or orientation for longer periods of time without discomfort for the patient.
Patient-initiated movements to find a more comfortable position, which, if done while tomography is in progress, can interfere with the tomography, are thereby also prevented. This enhances the quality of the CT examination.
Due to the inclination of the carrier part and the movability of the arm rest relative to the examination table, the arm rest of the present invention can be used with all body sizes.
The characterizing feature of claim 2 provides for an optimal adaptation of the arm rail to the anatomical requirements of humans. The angle is selected so that the advantages of such inclination are optimized.
To further enhance the comfort and fixation of the arm, it is advantageous to use the characterizing features of claim 3. The stability of the arm rest is retained thereby.
To prevent the arm from sliding or falling off the arm rail, it is advantageous to employ the characterizing features of claim 4. The fixation provided by the arm rail is thereby enhanced, which leads to improved quality radiation examination results. The characterizing features of claim 5 are particularly advantageous for this because they better adapt the arm rest to the human anatomy.
To avoid injury, it is advantageous to employ the characterizing features of claims 6 and 11.
The advantages of a simplified production are attained with the characterizing features of claim 7. In addition, the arm rest or rail is particularly stable and can carry a relatively large load.
For securing the arm on a carrier part, the characterizing features of claim 8 are advantageous.
The characterizing features of claim 9 enhance the stability and rigidity of the arm rest in an advantageous manner. This prevents a shaking and rocking during examination and enhances the quality of the recorded images. The quality of the examination is further enhanced by using materials which permit passage of the radiation employed by the examination.
The arm rest is flexible and is readily repositioned without major limitations, which is another advantage attainable with the characterizing features of claim 10. The arm rail can even be pivoted to a limited extent without losing its secure positioning.
To save weight and material, additional apertures in accordance with claim 12 can be provided. To prevent perspiration by the patient, apertures can also be incorporated in the carrier part of the arm rest.
Further advantages and embodiments of the invention are set forth in the following description and the associated drawings.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a reliable sensor for monitoring three-dimensional spaces in a manner so that its monitoring functioning is substantially unaffected by objects in the space and that the monitored space is not disturbed by the sensor.
The invention is further described with reference to exemplary embodiments and is schematically shown in the drawings and is described by reference to the drawings.
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the arm rest.
FIG. 2 is a front view of the arm rest.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show alternative embodiments for the carrier part.
FIG. 1 shows an arm rest in side elevation made in accordance with the invention. The arm rest has a substantially flat base plate 1 which can be slidably inserted beneath the body of a patient or under the mattress of an examination table. A support plate 2 is attached to the base plate 1. Support plate 2 is angularly inclined relative to base plate 1 by an angle β. The angle β is between 90° and 120°, and preferably between 104° to 113°. The inclination is preferably attained by bending the support plate relative to base plate 1 and the resulting bend is preferably rounded. The angle β is equal to or greater than 90°. As a result, in use, support plate 2 is always outwardly inclined; that is, it is inclined in a direction away from the patient.
An elongated carrier part 3 is arranged at an outer end of the support plate, that is, at the end or edge of the support plate 2 remote from base plate 1. As is illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, carrier part 3 can have a variety of different configurations. It always has a relatively longer length dimension 9 and a relatively shorter width dimension 8. According to FIG. 2, carrier part 3 has the shape of a concave conical or cylindrical segment, a cylindrical trough, a longitudinal drum shape or barrel shape so that it effectively has the shape of a concave cylinder that is longitudinally cut open. Carrier part 3 is trough shaped and has the width and length of an average arm, that is, approximately 10 cm×50 cm. The trough has the cross-section of a partial circle or of a partial ellipse.
Carrier part 3 can have a variety of other configurations. As is shown in FIG. 3, the carrier part 3 can have the cross-sectional shape of a right-angle trough and, according to FIG. 4, the carrier part can also be defined by a flat plate which can have a rectangular or oval shape, for example.
However, the carrier part is always dimensioned so that an average-sized arm can at least partially rest on it.
The substantially flat and even support plate 2 defines a plane, or lies in a given plane. The carrier part 3 is mirror symmetrically arranged relative to this plane, as is shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The carrier part 3 as well as support plate 2 are therefore slightly outwardly inclined away from the patient when in use.
To prevent injury, an edge 6 of carrier part 3 that is proximate to angle α and, if needed, an end edge 7 that is remote from the angle α are pulled inwardly in a direction towards a longitudinal center of the carrier part 3, are inwardly offset, or are rounded.
It is important that the carrier part 3 is angularly inclined relative to a base plate 1 in the direction of the length dimension or the longitudinal extent 9 of the carrier part. This inclination angle α between carrier part 3 and base plate 1 is between 10° and 30°, preferably it is between 15° and 25°, and most preferably it is 20° to 24°.
The arm rest is preferably uniformly constructed of one piece and can be formed by bending, high-temperature laminating or other high-temperature form giving processes.
The arm rest is constructed of a material that permits the passage of x-rays, for example a plastic material, which can be reinforced by coal or carbon fibers, aramide and/or glass fibers. Use of an epoxy resin or polyamide is advantageous.
To fix an arm at the carrier part 3, support plate 2 has two elongated apertures or slots 5 in the portion of support plate 2 that is remote from the base plate. Attachment devices such as securing straps can be extended through these slots for fixing the arm, for example with the help of Velcro connectors, on the carrier part 3.
To save on weight and material, additional apertures can be arranged in the arm rest. To prevent perspiration by the patient, such apertures can also be arranged in the carrier part 3.
Base plate 1 is dimensioned so that the weight of the patient resting on the base plate holds the arm rest in place. As previously mentioned, base plate 1 is slid beneath the mattress or beneath the body of the patient. This generates a corresponding pressure on base plate 1 which is sufficient to securely support the arm of the patient. The size of base plate 1 is approximately 200 to 400 cm2, but it can be made larger if desired. It is further feasible to integrate the base plate 1 into a medical examination or support table or to attach it releasably or unreleasably to the table. Attachment devices can also be provided for securing the arm rest of the present invention on a medical examination table. Accordingly, base plate 1 can include additional openings that permit a mounting of the arm rest on a table. To prevent injuries, the outer contours and end portions of the arm rest, and especially of base plate 1 and carrier part 3, are rounded.
The arm rest is used as follows.
Initially the patient lies down on the examination table. Thereafter one or two arm rests are slid directly beneath the mattress on the table or beneath the patient. The patient lies on his back and places his arm or arms on the carrier part or parts of the arm rest(s). The position of the arm rest is easily varied because the size of base plate 1 permits movement of the arm rest further beneath the mattress as well as outwardly, generally away from the patient, until the position of the arm rest is optimal for the physiological parameters of the patient. Movement of the arm rest in the longitudinal direction of the examination table is also possible. The arm rest can further be slightly pivoted so that the arms of the patient extend further away from his body, should this be desired.
The arm rest is positioned so that the patient can comfortably place his arm onto the arm rest and his elbow rests on carrier part 3. As soon as an arm rest position has been found in which the patient can comfortably remain with his arm in the extended position, the examination table together with the arm rest can be moved into the tomographic instrument, i.e. the CT-tunnel.
In another embodiment, guide rails can form part of an examination bed or table on which the arm rest can be longitudinally and/or transversely moved to change its position.