The assignee for this patent application is Ageas Medical Compression, L.l.c.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a medical apparatus used by a person with painful torso condition to selectively create chest compression forces to reduce pain and discomfort during movement.
"Many people have painful chest conditions where any movement (such as deep breathing, coughing, rolling over, or standing up) causes severe chest pain. Examples include: a rib injury (including broken, bruised, or fractured ribs), respiratory issues, surgical patients including transplant or chest wound recovery, some muscular conditions, and many other circumstances. Often the pain of movement is so great that people may hold their chest, such as with folded arms or a pillow. However, this is not as effective as desired since it is limited to a front region of one's chest, and also the support is not as widespread and all-encompassing as desired. Historically, there is no real treatment for these conditions other than to minimize movement as much as possible and/or to use mild to narcotic painkillers. However, minimizing movement can cause shallow breathing, leading to pneumonia. Also, it is inconsistent with daily living. The use of painkillers is also not a preferred alternative due to side effects and masking of health issues.
"Sometimes, a large elastic band is fastened tight around a person's chest to provide a constant chest compression force. See Hubbard U.S. Pat. No. 4,787,381. However, medical studies have shown that constant compressive torso pressure is not good for people, since it can lead to medical issues, such as restricting a person's ability to deep breath (potentially resulting in pneumonia). Also, constant torso pressure can adversely affect healing. Also, attachment of the elastic band is difficult, and cannot be done by the patient alone, which causes people to tend to leave it on for extended periods of time. This potentially leads to medical issues as noted above."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one aspect of the present invention, a torso compression medical device is provided for a person having a painful chest condition where compressive torso support facilitates the person's movement. The device includes a band of material having a width of at least several inches and a length sufficient to extend substantially around the person's torso with ends of the band positioned generally adjacent the person's hands, handles secured to the ends that are configured and adapted to be grasped by the person and biased to generate compression forces on the person's torso from tension on the band of material, and at least one cushion on the band positioned to distribute forces from the band onto the person's torso.
"In another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided for selectively creating torso compression forces, where the method includes providing a band with handles on each end sufficient in length to extend substantially around a person's torso and having at least one cushion on the band, placing the band around the person's torso with the handles adjacent the person's hands and the at least one cushion adjacent the torso, and selectively grasping and biasing the handles to generate tension in the band and thus creating compression forces on the person's torso, with the person controlling a biasing force and thus controlling compression forces that support the person's torso when moving.
"An object of the present invention is to provide a device to allow people to better control pain, thus reducing the amount of pain medicine required, while providing a device people themselves can apply and selectively apply with as much or as little force as needed (and only when needed).
"An object of the present invention is to provide a device to allow people to breathe more deeply while reducing the amount of pain medicine required.
"An object of the present invention is to provide a non-drug mechanical device that is simple to use and that can be easily mechanically applied.
"An object of the present invention is to provide a device allowing self-control of pain, thus resulting in greater movement and deeper breathing in persons, thus allowing people to obtain benefits such as reduced incidence of pneumonia and other problems associated with lack of physical activity and shallow breathing, allowing people greater independence during daily living.
"An object of the present device is to provide an ability to significantly reduce pain in a hospital and/or home environment, enabling people to consume lesser amounts of painkillers (or eliminate them altogether), which in many cases are narcotic drugs. Notably, narcotic drugs, by their nature, reduce the natural breathing ability in a person and especially restrict deep breathing, creating a scenario where pneumonia is more likely to set in. The present device greatly reduces the possibility of that happening because the person not only avoids that impediment, but is able to breathe naturally to the very best of their ability, given their circumstances.
"An object of the present invention is to help people with various chest pain issues (described above) be more comfortable with their injury and/or disease, speed the healing process while reducing their pain, yet without (or with less) use of drugs, and while continuing to give them a greatest degree of control and independence.
"An object of the present invention is to provide a device that can be used by people having chest pain conditions including at least any of the following medical conditions: broken ribs, fractured ribs, costochondritis, osteoporosis (a disease where bones lose density making them more susceptible to bone fracture), osteoarthritis, osteopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, heart transplant, afflictions involving excessive coughing, pleurisy, tuberculosis, whooping cough, chest pain from heart disease and/or angina, shingles, lymphoma, myeloma, and certain other types of cancer. The present device is useful from injuries occurring from direct impact (such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, child abuse, contact sports), repetitive trauma (sports such as golf or rowing, severe and prolonged coughing spells), where there are significant risk factors (such as osteoporosis, sports participation, cancerous lesions in a rib making it more susceptible to breaks), and where complications are causing pain (such as a punctured lung, a lacerated spleen, liver, or kidney, pneumonia). The above items listed are not 'stretch applications', but instead illustrate the types of people who could benefit directly and greatly from use of the present device.
"The present device provides an effective solution to all kinds of chest pains as described above through selectively generated compressive torso support where forces are self-generated by the 'patient.' Movement is the most direct cause of pain from broken, fractured, or extremely sore ribs, or from a respiratory issue. In short, reduced or 'supported' movement directly and immediately reduces the person's pain. An object of the present device is to reduce unwanted unsupported movement during an activity, be it breathing, coughing, rolling, or other movement. Our testing shows that by wrapping the present device around oneself and pulling on (or pressing on) the handles, pain can be reduced anywhere from 20 percent to 100 percent, depending on the condition and circumstances. Notably, the present device can be worn much like a garment, thus making it available at any moment. Further, a person wearing the device can adjust the amount of chest compression forces by adjusting a direction and/or amount of tension on the device's handles, with maximum support provided at the moment needed, thus adjusting pain control 'on the fly', making whatever adjustment is needed in pressure when coughing or moving. This avoids problems associated with a constant chest compressive force, such as shallow breathing (lack of deep breathing).
"Using the present device, I believe that a wearer can breathe normally about 95+percent of the time (or more), varying from that only when they are placing tension on the device. Further, when using the device, they will be either moving about or taking deeper breathes than they would be able to without it. Notably, most severe chest wall injuries have historically been treated non-operatively, thus making the present device useful even in severe cases. In some recent studies, surgeons have shown interest in severe cases in rib fracture fixation surgery. However, the present device potentially allows a person to avoid such a surgery altogether, which itself can potentially be a tremendous advantage.
"These and other aspects, objects, and features of the present invention will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art upon studying the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
"FIGS. 1-3 are front, side, and back views of the present medical device wrapped around a user, including a cushioned band with loop handles grasped by the user and biased forwardly for creating torso compression.
"FIG. 4 is a front view similar to FIG. 1, but with the cushioned band wrapped tight around the user's torso including across a front of the user.
"FIG. 5 is a top view of FIG. 1, and FIGS. 6-8 are horizontal cross sectional views through FIG. 5 and showing biasing directions for the device's handles to generate the forces VI-VIII in FIG. 5.
"FIGS. 9-10 are front and side views of the device of FIG. 1 (laid out flat).
"FIGS. 11-12 are cross sectional views along lines XI-XI and XII-XII in FIGS. 9-10.
"FIG. 13 is a side view of an alternative cushion comprising an air bladder.
"FIG. 14 is a front view of an alternative device that includes hook-and-loop-attached adjustable handles and double-loop handles.
"FIGS. 15 is a fragmentary side view of a device including at least two cushion-receiving pockets and closed with a snap closure, and FIG. 16 is an enlarged fragmentary side view of a snap closure from FIG. 15.
"FIG. 17 is a fragmentary front view of an alternative handle with reinforced attachment, and
"FIG. 18 is a cross section taken along line XVIII in FIG. 17.
"FIG. 19 is an exploded perspective view of an alternative device where components are all attached together by hook-and-loop material, thus facilitating removal, cleaning, and replacement/substitution of individual components."
For more information, see this patent application: Idsinga, Scott M.; Idsinga, Robb T.; Dunn, Daniel. Torso Compression Medical Device and Method. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Surgery, Pneumonia, Chest Pain, Pulmonology, Lung Diseases, Infectious Disease, Respiratory Tract Diseases, Respiratory Tract Infections, Ageas Medical Compression L.l.c..
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