CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application claims the benefits of Provisional 61/210, 466 filed Mar. 18, 2009 the entire contents of which are hereby expressly incorporated by reference herein.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This universal invention relates to improvements in a user wearable fluid collection or other medical device, carrier. More particularly, the present invention creates a hands-free support and concealment to the drain collection reservoir or other medical device, enabling the patient to bathe unencumbered, perform physical or occupational therapies, provides patient confidence by providing concealment under the hospital gown or normal outer garments, earlier patient mobility, or positioning ease for x-ray examinations, all without having to dismantle the drain or infusion tubing to thread it through an opening on the garment.
2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98
Several similar products and patents have been issued that disclose products that provide a similar function. Exemplary examples of patents covering these products are disclosed herein.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,708,978. This patent is not made to wear while bathing. This patent does not allow for bathing under the garment. This patent has limited versatility. This patent is not for pediatrics. This patent has only one pocket. This patents pocket is not expandable, further limiting its versatility. The vest portion is sized for snug but slidable motion which holds the potential for pulling on or dislodging the tubing at the incision point. This patent also covers over common placement or incision points, the potential of irritation or dislodging the tubing is possible. This patent must be sized to fit properly.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,643,233. This patent is not constructed of bathe-able materials with its absorbable terry cloth construction; the bathing water will weigh the patent causing potential slippage, discomfort with the potential for pulling on or dislodging the tubing at the incision point. It has only one non-expandable pocket limiting its versatility and is not suitable for pediatrics. This patent must be individually sized to fit properly, further limiting its versatility.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,152,915. This patent must be sized to fit properly, is not universal in size. This patent is not appropriate for pediatrics. The size of the non-expandable pouch cannot accommodate a variety of appliances. This patent has only two non-expandable pockets, limiting its versatility. This patent recommends hanging the belt from plumbing appliances while bathing which fosters the risk of the patient moving too far from where it is hung which will result in overextending and possibly pulling or tearing of the connective sutures. This "hanging the belt option" also has a potential for numerous shower-related injuries to the patient.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,142,702. This patent is not suitable for extended use. This patent is not appropriate for pediatrics. The patent includes only one non-expandable pocket, limiting its versatility. This patent is moisture resistant and not suitable for bathing. This patent must be sized to fit properly.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,293,295 B2. This patent offers only two non-expandable pockets, limiting its versatility. This patent is water compatible, but not of a material that allows water to free-flow. Portions of this patent are made of water resistant materials and other portions are made of water absorbable materials rather than allowing water to free-flow, making it not suitable for bathing. The user is unable to bathe the areas under that this patent vest covers. This patent does not have versatility to accommodate other devices as it is designed for output functions only. It is not suitable for pediatrics. This patent must be individually sized to fit properly. The tabs to secure tubing on this patent are easily forgotten when the user goes to remove the garment and allows close skin contact; both a potential for chaffing and pulling.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,087,864. This patent does not have universal adaptability. This patent must be sized to fit the patient. This patent is not suitable for pediatrics. The vest is not suitable for bathing. The user is unable to bathe the areas under that this patent vest covers. This patent does not have expandable pockets, limiting its versatility.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,390,885 B1. This patent is not suitable for bathing, with the materials used and the user would not be unable to clean or bathe under the garment. This patent cannot accommodate other devices/appliances. This patent is not unisex. It is not appropriate for pediatrics. This patent must be sized to fit properly and sizing will change as the initial swelling subsides, resulting in an ineffective fit. The sides of the garment will obscure commonly placed incision points with the potential for rubbing and pain with inflammation of the surrounding skin. This patent requires the drain tubing to be disconnected from the collection bulbs to be threaded through an eyehole opening in the garment. To dismantle the tubing to thread it increases the risk of pulling on the sutures and is difficult to do during the limited range of arm mobility stage of recovery. Another shortcoming is this patent does not have expandable pockets, limiting its versatility. This garment is for acute, not long-term use.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,429,593. This patent is not suitable for pediatrics. This patent does not have universal adaptability and is not suitable for bathing. The user is unable to bathe the areas under that this patent vest covers. This patent must be sized for proper fit and use. This patent does not support the collection bulb or other medical device.
What is needed is a new and improved user wearable fluid collection or other medical device carrier that is unisex as well as providing unisizing capabilities. The present invention has universal adaptability, accommodating a variety of fluid collection reservoirs, external devices and hardware. The present invention is suitable for pediatrics. The present invention is suitable for bathing and is a convenient, unobtrusive management system suitable for under normal outer garments while supporting and concealing the external device painlessly. The present invention addresses the needs of the user immediately after surgery and beyond. The present invention has four expandable pocket receptacles to support and conceal fluid collection reservoirs or external infusion pumps or other medical devices without having to disconnect the tubing. The present invention accommodates limited arm mobility, upper extremity unilateral amputation, the disabled, or the elderly. The present invention is appropriate for mastectomy, tram flap, kidney, pulmonary, or thoracic/chest wall drains without threading the drain tubing through any openings in the garment, further adding to its versatility. The present invention is additionally appropriate for infusion devices such as insulin pumps, hyper alimentation (TPN), heart monitor, or an intravenous injector. The present invention is suitable to accommodate the external device or hardware during physical or occupational therapies. The present invention is appropriate for optimal positioning for x-ray examinations while supporting the drain collection bulb or other external medical device. The present invention is suitable for in-patient care, nursing home care, hospice patient care and in-home daily living. The present invention is by design hands free for bathing and does not need to be hung from the shower plumbing fixtures or shower curtain rod to free-up the user's hands; enhancing patient shower safety. The present inventions quad-pocket feature increases the longevity of the users clothing since bulbs or other hardware do not need to be pinned to the users clothing. The present invention does not snug the tubing in close contact with the user skin which prevents irritation or skin break-down due to prolonged direct contact with the skin. The present invention addresses the above mentioned needs and deficiencies of the prior art.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the user wearable fluid collection carrier to accommodate fluid collection reservoirs/bulbs or other drain devices and external infusion devices or hardware from the upper as well as the lower portion of the body with the support expandable pockets positioned at mid body line to minimize the length of tubing extending from the body and device while minimizing frictional contact to the skin. The present invention accommodates pediatrics, adults, the disabled, or the elderly. This present invention is unisex and unisized. The present invention is a unitary scarf constructed of light, breathable, durable polyester mesh fabric with four expandable support pockets that is gentle to the skin and allows water to free-flow while bathing with unencumbered hands facilitating bathing safety. The breathable mesh fabric prevents skin "sweating" when it is worn under normal outer garments, reducing the chance of infection or bacteria at the surgical incision site and prevents patient discomfort. The present invention evenly and comfortably dissipates the weight of the collection bulbs or other medical device. The present invention allows virtually unrestricted, non-binding movement of the user. The plural pocket at each end of the present invention provides easy access to the drain collection bulb or other medical device. The present invention has optional back ties, further decreasing the potential for pulling on the sutures or other injury when the user bends forward.
Various objects, features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)
FIG. 1 is an overhead view of a first preferred embodiment of the present invention as a flat, unworn scarf with front and back pleated, expandable pockets at each end of the scarf.
FIG. 2 is an overhead view of a first preferred embodiment of the present invention as a flat, unworn scarf with front and back pleated, expandable pockets at each end of the scarf with the optional back connecting strap illustrated.
FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the first preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 draped loosely over the shoulder and nape illustrating a supported drain collection reservoir within one of the four pockets.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the support pocket showing a plurality of drain collection reservoir in an expanded state according to an alternate embodiment.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating the end view of the scarf front demonstrating one expandable pocket and the end view of the rear of the scarf exposing a second or rear/back expandable pocket. Two expandable pockets per scarf end, for a total of four expandable pockets.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating the end view of the scarf front demonstrating one expandable pocket and the end view of the rear of the scarf, shaded for clarification, illustrating another expandable pocket from the back of the scarf.
FIG. 7 illustrates how to use the scarf 10 when utilizing only one expandable 50 pocket 40.
FIG. 8 illustrates the scarf from the rear view with the optional back connecting strap in place.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In describing the preferred embodiment of the present invention as illustrated in the figures, specific terminology is used for clarification. The invention is not limited to this specific terminology and it is understood that changes and variations may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the following claims. Each specific element includes similar functions as needed to support drain reservoirs as well as infusion apparatus and all equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.
The present invention is designed to meet the patient needs and better manage fluid drain collection systems, infusion devices, or portable heart monitors as well as other similar devices and hardware with its practical and desirable features. The present invention is appropriate for pediatrics, adults, seniors, the disabled and is unisex. The present invention is designed to fit sizes/age seven (7) years old and up.
Many surgical procedures result in postoperative edema, an abnormal excess accumulation of fluid. This fluid must be drained to prevent infection and to promote healing. Drain tube systems are used, consisting of flexible tubing that are inserted within the body and sutured at the incision site to prevent the tubing from accidentally being pulled out. The drain tubes extend outside the body and empty into a reservoir, or collection bulb. The fluid collection reservoirs are emptied periodically and the drain tubing may remain in the body up to two weeks, or when only a minimal amount of fluid is collected. The collection reservoirs must be supported, otherwise the weight of the bulb, even while empty, pulls on the sensitive sutures at the incision site, causing additional inflammation and pain and possible tearing.
Other medical procedures that the present invention manages and supports are infusion devices such as an indwelling insulin catheter, or pain management systems such as morphine medication pumped into the blood system at paced, predetermined intervals. There are numerous drain and infusion systems that the present invention can manage, support and accommodate. The present invention is constructed of mesh fabric that is gentle to the skin and allows water to free-flow while bathing. The breathable mesh fabric prevents skin "sweating" when it is worn under normal outer garments, reducing the chance of infection or bacteria at the surgical incision site and prevents patient discomfort.
At each end of the multi-purpose scarf are two expandable pocket-receptacles to support a total of four fluid collection bulbs or other invasive or infusive devices, preventing painful pulling of sensitive sutures at the incision site. The drain tubing does not need to be threaded through any openings on the garment. The healing process is accelerated by encouraging earlier patient mobility, and assisting the patient to return to normal daily routines sooner. With the expandable pocket-receptacles positioned at mid-body, the garment targets maximum support and versatility, supporting the fluid reservoir or device from the upper, middle or lower body incision site.
FIG. 1 demonstrates a sample drain tube 20 and a drain collection reservoir 30 "pocketed" at one end of the mesh## scarf 10. The pleated 50 pocket 40 is unused at the opposite end of the illustrated mesh ## scarf 10. The adaptable design of the scarf 10 accommodates patients of any size, gender and age. One size with the over-the-shoulder drape design. The scarf 10 and pockets 40 are constructed of polyester mesh ## for free-flow of shower water, light-weight breathability, comfort and versatility. The tapered 60 middle section of the mesh ## scarf 10 fits over the shoulders and across the nape of the patient. For expansion, the mesh ## pockets 40 are pleated 50. Four total expandable 50 pockets 40 are important to the invention to best accommodate and support numerous drain collection units/external devices. Present Invention named "Practical Pockets Bathing Ease".
FIG. 2 illustrates the scarf 10 from the rear perspective with an optional back connecting strap 90 in place.
The garment is typically worn over-the-shoulders as soon as the patient is at any stage of ambulation. It is used for bathing by supporting the collection bulbs or other devices, enabling a hands-free support system. FIG. 3 shows the front of the mesh ## scarf 10 is illustrated and demonstrates the tapered 60 shoulder and nape portion of the mesh ## scarf 10 for best fit and comfort. The incision and insertion point 70 of the drain tube 20 is shown although the pockets 40 will allow for the tube to come from any site on the body. Drain collection reservoir 30 is demonstrated in the mesh ## scarf 10 pocket 40. Front view of the unused pocket 40 is illustrated on the right. Pocket 40 pleat 50 allows for pocket expansion. The inclusion of mesh ## is important to the invention since it is also used to support the drain reservoir 30 while bathing, allowing water to free-flow, preventing any "pooling" of bathing water which would weigh the garment that would potentially add to patient discomfort. Although the present invention is not limited to polyester mesh construction. Style two of same scarf 10 for out-in-the-community is constructed of absorbent cotton material named "Practical Pockets Day Wear". It is also used for out-in-the-community for post-op doctor visits, usual errands, or back in the work force when worn under normal outer garments. This first style of the present invention is named "Practical Pockets Bathing Ease".
A second style of this scarf is constructed of fashionable, light, absorbent cotton and is worn over normal outer garments, with the two expandable pocket-receptacles positioned on the inside or back of the scarf, concealing the device or reservoir. The scarf is constructed the same as style one, except it has two pockets rather than four and is made of fashionable cotton polyester blend fabric rather than polyester mesh that is worn on the outside of the user clothing. This style of the present invention is named "Practical Pockets Day & Evening Wear".
This present invention is beneficial for the patients initial ambulatory therapy within the post-operative medical/surgical ward, allows for optimal positioning ease for x-ray examinations with its metal-free and versatile construction, and freedom of movement for physical and occupational therapies without the encumbrance and unsightliness of collection bulbs pinned to their hospital gown or street clothes.
This present invention is appropriate for mastectomy, tram flap, pulmonary, kidney, and thoracic surgery fluid drain collection reservoirs. This present invention is also appropriate for invasive devices such as insulin, or pain medication infusion pumps. This present invention is appropriate for pediatrics, is unisex, and is any-size-friendly with its over-the-shoulder design.
The pocket-receptacles are pleated to allow for expansion. FIG. 4 shows a sectional side view of the expanded 50 pocket 40 is illustrated in its plurality. At each end of the scarf 10 are expandable 50 pockets 40. There is a front pocket 40 and a back pocket 40 for a total of two pockets 40 per end, a total of four pockets 40 per scarf 10. The mouth 80 of the pocket is shown with the pleat 50 expanded and open. The inclusion of pocket 40 expansion 50 is important to the invention, providing easy support of the drain collection reservoir 30/external device.
The expandable pockets are constructed of the same material as the unitary body. The expandable pockets are prepared with a standard pleat at the center of the pocket sewn in place before being sewn to the scarf body. The top of the pleated pocket, or the mouth of the pocket, is bound at the raw edges with polyester seam binging. An expandable pocket is sewn to the end of the scarf body, one placed under, or on the back of the scarf, another placed on the front or on the top of the scarf body, for a total of two expandable pockets at each end. The expandable pockets are then sewn to the scarf body from the upper left corner where the left corner of the pocket mouth meets the scarf body outer edge, down to the end of the scarf body, across the bottom of the scarf body end and pocket bottom, then up along the right side of the expandable pocket and scarf body outer edge, ending where the mouth of the expandable pocket meets the scarf body on the opposite side. This is repeated at both ends of the scarf body giving a total of four expandable pockets, two at each end of the scarf body.
FIG. 5 shows one end of the mesh ## scarf 10 illustrates the front and the back view of the expandable 50 pockets 40. One pocket 40 on the front, another pocket 40 on the back at each end of the mesh ## scarf 10. FIG. 6 is a shaded illustration of the back pocket 40 section for best clarification.
Polyester seam binding then is applied to all of the raw edges of the scarf body; curving the bottom edges of the expandable pockets for additional expansion and versatility and best application of the binding, giving an elongated oval appearance. The entire scarf is now sewn together as one piece, with minimal seams to interfere with patient comfort. The scarf is tapered at the shoulders and nape of the neck for best fit and comfort. The present invention can also house, or "pocket" a solitary collection bulb or other device by inserting one end of the scarf, or pocket area into or inside the opposite expandable pocket, creating one centered expandable pocket for preferred balance. The now unipocket can be worn centered on the wearer or off to the side, under the wearers arm, sash style to further conceal the medical device when worn under normal outer garments.
FIG. 7 illustrates how to use the scarf 10 when utilizing only one expandable 50 pocket 40 by inserting one end of the scarf 10, pockets 40 and all, into the pocket 40 of the other end of the scarf 10 to keep the external device/drain collection reservoir 30 balanced on the body. The present invention has an optional back connecting tie. When this tie is in place, the two front ends of the scarf are unable to fall forward when the patient bends forward, keeping the collection reservoirs and flexible tubing close to the body. This prevents any surprise pulling on the sensitive sutures at the incision site when the patient is more active.
FIG. 8 illustrates the back view of a scarf 10 worn with the optional back connecting tie 90 in place. This is also shown in FIG. 2. The ties are connected to the scarf mid-way or approximately upper waist area, with hook and loop fasteners and the two ends are tied together to best accommodate the patients individual adjustment or sizing need.
Thus, specific embodiments of DRAIN COLLECTION & MEDICAL DEVICE SUPPORT GARMENT aka PRACTICAL POCKETS have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims.