US 3040741 A
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June 26, 1962 R. J. CAROLAN QUICK DONNING HARNESS FOR OXYGEN MASKS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 15, 1958 I INVENTOR. Ra morn/J. C arc/m7 A 7 TORNE Y un 26, 1962 R. J. CAR'QLAN 3,040,741
QUICK DONNING HARNESS FOR OXYGEN MASKS Filed Dec. 15, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Ragmon J Caro/an 3,040,741 QUICK DONNING HARNESS FOR OXYGEN MASKS Raymond J. Carolan, Prairie Village, Karm, assignor to Puritan Compressed Gas Corporation, Kansas City, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Dec. 15, 1953, Ser. No. 780,468 16 Claims. (Cl. 128146) This invention relates to a mask assembly and more particularly, to an improved harness for oxygen masks or the like permitting the same to be donned in a very short period of time and with only one hand being required to place the harness over the wearers head with the mask positioned over his nose and mouth in an operable location.
Various types of oxygen or gas masks have heretofore been proposed but the same have not been entirely satisfactory, principally because of the extended period of time necessary to place the mask in an operable position over the wearers nose and mouth and furthermore, most usually requiring that both hands be used in placing the mask harness in proper position and then subsequently adjusting such harness to bring the mask into sealing engagement with the face of the wearer. Forexample, it has been conventional practice to employ straps made of fabric or equivalent material with various types of buckles being employed to permit adjustment of the effective length of the flexible straps and also, to permit the harness to be placed over the wearers head and then tightened in a manner to force the face mask into proper sealing engagement with the wearers face. This time consuming operation was oftentimes extremely hazardous, not only because of the normally immediate need for oxygen or the like but also necessitating the use of both hands to properly don the mask, the latter problem being particularly acute when the wearer was a pilot operating the controls of an airplane. For this reason, many pilots have been forced to wear the oxygen masks at all times, even though the same are not needed during certain intervals, to avoid the necessity of taking both hands from the controls of the plane at the same time. It can be recognized that this is both uncomfortable and oftentimes entirely unnecessary if the interior of the plane is pressurized and the masks are worn only as safety factors.
It is therefore the most important object of the present invention to provide an improved harness for oxygen masks or the like which may be donned through employment of only one of the wearers hands and in a period of about two seconds or less.
It is a further important object of the invention to provide a harness for masks of the character referred to above having adjustable straps thereon which are of construction permitting the wearer to preadjust the same to desired lengths, whereupon the same remain in their adjusted positions and the mask assembly may be donned in the short period defined without subsequent tightening or loosening of the straps being necessary.
A further important object of the invention is to provide a quick donning harness for oxygen masks having improved means thereon for holding the face mask securely and comfortably in sealing engagement with the wearers face, notwithstanding the fact that no subsequent adjustment of the harness straps is made after placement of the assembly on the wearers head.
Also an important object of the invention is to provide a harness for oxygen masks permitting the assembly to be donned in a minimum of time, wherein the straps of the harness are constructed to permit the unit to be utilized by substantially all persons, regardless of head size,
atent 3,040,741 Patented June 26, 1962 ice A further important aim of the invention is to provide a harness for oxygen masks wherein one of the strap units is swingable to a position in proximal relationship to another one of the strap units to thereby materially reduce the space occupied by the mask assembly when not in use. I
Other important objects of the invention relate to a harness of the type referred to above which is adapted to be constructed of materials such as nylon or the like, thereby lowering the cost of the unit, assuring along useful life thereof and causing the same to be resistant to deterioration and corrosion; to the provision of a quick donning harness permitting face cones of different shapes and sizes to be easily and quickly connected to the harness; to a harness assembly wherein each individual may easily adjust the force with which the face mask is biased into sealing engagement with his face; and to other important objects and details of construction of the present harness assembly which will be explained more fully or become obvious as the following specification progresses.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an oxygenvmask assembly including a quick donning harness as contemplated by the present invention and showing the unit in operable position on a wearers head;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the harness and face mask on a reduced scale and illustrating the normal position of the same when not being utilized and thereby suspended from a neck strap around the wearers neck;
FIG. 3 is another perspective View of the harness and face mask shown in FIG. 2 and ona slightly larger scale, the manner in which the mask may be donned with one hand being clearly shown therein;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, exploded, perspective view of one of the assemblies interconnecting respective ends of certain of the head straps of the quick donning harness;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, Vertical, crosssectional view taken substantially on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary, horizontal, crosssectional view taken substantially on the line 6--6 of FIG. 1 with the face mask being removed from the connector on the harness;
FIG. 7 is a vertical, cross-sectional view taken substantially on the line 77 of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a vertical, cross-sectional view taken on the line 88 of FIG. 7. V I
A quick donning mask assembly is illustrated in its preferred form in the drawings and is designated generally by the numeral 10, the harness broadly numerated 12 constituting the subject matter of this invention, while face mask 14 may be of any desired type and preferably one adapted to fit wearer and having a member 16 of resilient fluid-tight seal perimetrically disposed sealing material adapted to provide a between face mask 14 and the wearers Means for releasably connecting face wask 14- to harness 12 includes a pair of identical, oppositely ex tending, substantially coaxial, semicylindricalextensions' 18 integral with a perforated valve carrier 20, in turn over only the nose and mouth of the mounting face mask 14.
Y Extensions 18 project a substantial distance in opposite directions from carrier 20 and are connected to the lowermost portions of respective side straps 22, forming a part of harness 12, by mechanism broadly designated 24. Each of the side straps 22 is substantially S-shaped in longitudinal configuration and has a pair of strap units 26 and 28 joined to the normally uppermost ends thereof.
It is contemplated that the principal components of harness 12 be molded of a synthetic resin material such as nylon which has high strength characteristics, is resistant to cracking, crazing and breaking during-flexing thereof and therefore, if desired, side straps 22 may be molded integrally with respective longitudinally' arcuate strips 39 of rear strap units 26 if desired. In any event, each of the side straps 22 has an enlarged head portion 32 at the uppermost end thereof which may be integral with or securely joined n1 coaxial relationship to an enlarged head portion 34 integral with respective strips of rear strap unit 26; Head portion 34 of each strip 30 has a circular depression 36 therein'which may extend completely through corresponding head portions 34 if side straps 22 and adjacent strips 30 are molded as one piece. A tubular boss 38 integral with head portion 34 of strip 30 or head portion '32 of strap 22 is disposed centrally within depression 36 in coaxial relationship with head portions 32 and 34, and has a central bore 40 therethrough in axial alignment with a passage 42 through head portion 32 of each side strap 22 and in direct alignment with an enlarged recess 44 in the outermost face of each head portion 32.
Top strap unit 28 is pivotally secured to both of the side straps 22 and rear strap'unit 26 at the points of interconnection of the latter to respective ends of side straps 22 and in this respect, it is to be noted that top strap unit 28 includes a pair of elongated strips 46 having enlarged head portions 48 at one end thereof and including a circular disc portion 50 of a diametersuch as to permit insertion of each disc portion 50 into a respective proximal depression 36 in head portions 34 of strips 30. A tubular element 52 integral with each disc portion 50 and extending laterally therefrom is adapted to be received within a respective tubular boss 38 when the harness is assembled and disc portions 50 are rotatably received within corresponding depressions 36. The internal surface of each tubular element *52 is threaded in a manner to complementally receive a screw 54 extending into each of the tubular elements 52 through circu-l'ar recesses 44, each of the screws 54 preferably being provided with an enlarged head 56 received within respective recesses 44 whereby the outermost surface of each screw 54 is fiushwith the outer surface of a corre sponding head portion 32 on side straps 22.
Means for limiting swinging movement of top strap unit 28 relative to rear strap unit 26 and side straps 22 comprises a semicircular stop 58 within each depression 36 and integral with a respectivehead portion 34 and in concentric relationship to proximal bosses 38. A laterally extending projection 60 integral with each of the disc portions 50 is disposed to engage opposed shoulders 62 and 64 of corresponding stops 58 to thereby limit pivoting movement'of top strap unit 28. A coil spring 66 surrounding eachtubular element 52 and connected to arespective projection 60 at one end thereof and disposed over shoulder 62 of a proximal stop 58, normally bias strap'unit 28 .to the position thereof illustrated in FIG.- 1 and intermediate rear strap unit 26 and the longitudinal lengths of side straps 22.
Opposed strips 30 and 46 of rear strap unit 26 and top strap unit 28 respectively are disposed with adjacent ends thereof in partially overlapping relationship and received within corresponding flexible tubular members 68 for sliding movement therein. An adjusting knob 70 is carried by each of the tubular members 68 and has an internally disposed pinion (not shown) engageable with teeth on racks within each of adjacent, overlapped ends of strips 39 and 46 respectively. In this manner, by turning knobs in one direction or the other, the overlapping portions of strips 30 and 46 are moved relatively to decrease the effective length or widen rear strap unit 26 and/ or top strap unit 28.
Each of the side straps 22 is longitudinally arcuate as previously mentioned and are configured so that when harness 12 is disposed on the wearers head, straps 22 extend from a point above the persons ears to a point substantially in a horizontal plane through the lower portion of the wearers nose, with the intermediate lengths of each of the side straps 22 curving around and clearing the wearers ears. Furthermore rear strap unit 26 extends downwardly at an angle. with respect to side straps 22 so as to engage the wearers head substantially at the zone of juncture of his neck with the rear portion of his head.
Each of the side straps 22 is provided with a transversely rectangular, tubular element 72 integral with re spective lowermost ends thereof and slidably receiving an elongated, transversely rectangular, tubular member 74. An extension or connector 76 slidably disposed within each of the members 74 normally extends outwardly from the same at the end thereof away from side straps 22, with a substantially semicircular mounting portion 78 being provided on the outer end of each connector 76 projecting away from respective tubular members 74. The mounting portions 78 of connectors 76 are releasably secured to the outermost opposed ends of extensions 18 with outer discs 80, coaxial with respective extensions 18, maintaining connectors 76 in predetermined positions relative to extensions 18 by virtue of screws 82 extending through each disc and perforations 84 in corresponding mounting portions 78 of connectors 76 and thence into extensions 18. Stop means (not shown) is provided on each extension 18 to limit the extent of pivoting of connectors 76 relative thereto, and the screws 82 may be provided with spring washer means associated therewith for preventing free swinging movement of harness 12 relative to extensions 18 and thereby, face mask 14.
In order to permit connectors 7 6 to reciprocate relative to tubular members 74, each of the connectors 76 is provided with a pair of parallel, spaced, longitudinally extending slots 86 presenting an intermediate portion 88 therebetween, with one end 90 of each intermediate portion 88 being separated from the main body of connectors 76 to thereby permit a coil spring 92 to be placed over each of the intermediate portions 88. The ends of coil springs 92 proximal to mounting portions 78 on connectors 76 bear against end walls 94 of respective tubular members 74 to thereby bias connectors 76 to the innermost ends of their paths of travel.
Structure for maintaining tubular members '74 in pre determined relationship with respect to tubular elements 72 includes a set screw 96 threadably extending through the upper part of each tubular element 72 and disposed to engage the upper surface of a proximal tubular member 74. Spaced indicia 98 on the normally outermost 'face of each of the tubular members 74 may be successively viewed through an opening 100 in each tubular element 72 to thereby permit tubular members 74 to be placed in predetermined locations relative to tubular elements 72.
Similarly, indicia 102 are placed on the outer surfaces of strips 30 and 46 of strap units 26 and 28 respectively to permit adjustment of strips 30 and 46 to predetermined locations, with indicia 102 being aligned with outer proximal ends of tubular members 68.
A circular neck strap 104 which is adapted for placement around the persons neck for suspending mask assembly 10 therefrom has a crossbar108 secured thereto and provided with a pair of opposed female snap fasteners 110 and 112 adapted to releasably receive respective male fasteners 114 on the knobs 70 of strap units 26 and 28 respectively. Note that snap fasteners 110 and 112 are disposed a distance to cause strap units 26 and 28 to be located in proximal rela'lionship when male fasteners 114 are releasabiy received within respective female fas teners lit) and 112.
The way in which mask assembly is suspended from the persons neck by neck strap 104 is best shown in FIG. 2, wherein it can be seen that the male fasteners 114 of strap units 26 and 28 are releasably connected to corresponding fasteners 110' and 112 on crossbar 108. In this position, top strap unit 28 is pivoted to a position adjacent rear strap unit 25, thereby decreasing the overall space occupied by mask assembly 10 during nonuse of the same and yet, the harness 12 may be readily placed in a position to be donned at a moments notice when required.
It is contemplated that the person grasp face mask 14.
and valve carrier 20 with one hand, as illustrated in FIG. 3, and then pull downwardly on mask assembly 10 until fasteners 114 part from respective fasteners 11% and 112 to thereby not only release strap units 26 and 28 from neck strap 164, but also permitting top strap unit 28 to swing relative to rear strap unit 26 to the position thereof shown in FIG. 3. It can be recognized that top strap unit 28 is swung to the outermost position thereof under the action of coil springs 66 acting against projections 66 and thereby pivoting corresponding disc portions 50 within proximal depressions 36 and effecting pivoting of strips 46 about the axes of tubular elements 52.
Next, the person lifts mask assembly 19 upwardly and initially places rear strap assembly 26 in proper position at the zone of juncture of the wearers part of the base of his neck, whereupon face mask 14 is then pulled downwardly into position over the persons nose and mouth. Top strap unit 28 limits downward movement of mask 14 when strap unit 28 engages the top part of the wearers head. As face mask 14 is swung downwardly, the person donning the assembly pivots face mask 14 about the axes of screws 82 until face mask 14 is in proper position to provide a seal against the face of the wearer and furthermore, 'valve carrier 29 and face mask 14 are pulled outwardly with respect to side straps 22 to a location clearing facial projections of the wearer, as well as appurtenances such as glasses, if the person donning the'mask is wearing devices of this character. Connector 76 may shift relative to tubular members 74 against the action of respective coil springs 92, thereby permitting face mask 14 to be moved a considerable distance away from the wearers face as face mask 14 is swung downwardly into operable position, and donning of mask assembly 10 over glasses or the like is facilitated by virtue of the fact that side straps '22 are spaced a sufficient distance by extensions 18 to maintain harness 12 out of substantial interfering relationship to the defined eyeglasses.
it is contemplated that the wearer initially adjust harness 12 to suit his particular features and once the adjustments have been made, mask assembly 10 may be donned'in a minimum of time and, in most instances, within less than two seconds. Rotation of knobs 70 on tubular members 68 increases and decreases the effective length of strap units 26 and 28, while the normal distance of face maskld from strap units 22 may be varied by shifting tubular members 74 relative to tubular elements 72 and then securing tubular members 74 preferably with set screws 96. Another feature of the present harness in this respect tis the fact thatcoil'springs 92 bias face mask 14 toward the wearers face and thereby maintain sealing member 16 in tight engagement with the wearers face in surrounding relationship to his nose and mouth.
Having thus described the invention what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. In a quick donning mask assembly provided with a face member for covering the wearers nose and mouth, the combination with said face member of a harness inhead with the upper 6 eluding a pair of spaced, relatively rigid side straps, means connecting one end of each of the side straps to respective opposed margins of the face member in positions causing said side straps to be disposed on opposite sides of the wearers face when the assembly is in place thereon,a longitudinally arcuate rear strap unit joined at opposite ends thereof to corresponding side straps in a position to engage the rear portion of the wearers head, a longitudinally arcuate top strap unit secured at opposite ends thereof to the rear strap unit and said side straps substantially at the points of interconnection thereof, said side straps, when the assembly is in place on the wearers head, being disposed with the upper ends thereof above the wearers ears, on respective sides of his head, and extending downwards into proximity to the nose and mouth of the wearer, said top strap unit being disposed to engage the top portion of the wearers head, one of said strap units being freely swingable from its normal position adapted to engage a portion of the wearers head to a location proximal to the other strap unit for reduc ing the space occupied by said assembly when not in use, and resilient structure connected to said one strap unit and said other strap unit for normally biasing said one strap to said normal position thereof.
2. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said structure includes a pair of adjacent, relatively rotatable elements at each end of said one strap unit, one of the elements of each of said pair being secured to a respective extremity of said one strap unit and the other element of each of said pair being secured to said other strap unit and a corresponding side strap, there being a coil spring interconnecting the elements of each of said pair thereof and disposed to bias said one element of each pair in a direction to swing said one strap unit toward said normal positionthereof.
3. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 2, wherein is provided interengageable stop means on the elements of each of said pair thereof for preventing said one strap unit from swinging past said normal position thereof in a direction away from the other strap unit.
4. A quick donning mask assembly asset forth in claim 1 wherein each of said strap units includes a pair of elongated strips having proximal ends thereof in partial overlapping relationship, and mechanism releasably interconnecting said overlapping ends permitting selective variation in the eifective length of each strap unit.
5. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 4 wherein said mechanism on each of the strap units is located substantially intermediate the ends thereof to permit substantially uniform paying out or taking in of said strips during adjustment of the effective length of each strap.
6. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said side straps lie in a plane disposed at an angle to a plane through said rear strap unit.
7. quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 6 wherein theangle between said planes through the side straps and said rear strap unit respectively is less than 180.
8. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said rear strap is disposed at an angle relative to said side straps in a position to normally engage the rear portion of the wearers head substantially at the zone of juncture thereof with his neck.
9. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said side straps, when the assembly is in place on the wearers head, extend downwardly and forwardly from the rear and top straps and terminate in horizontal alignment with the lower parts of the wearers nose, each of the side straps being longitudinally curved in directions to clear the wearers ears.
10. In a quick donning mask assembly provided with a face member, the combination with said face member of a harness including a pair of spaced relatively rigid,
normally downwardly extending side straps adapted to be positioned on opposite sides of the wearers face in positions with the lower. extremities thereof in proximity to the nose and mouth of the wearer,,a longitudinally arcuate rear strap unit joined at opposite ends thereof to, the upper extremities of corresponding side straps in a position to engage the rear portion'of the wearers head, cross means connected to said upper extremities of the side straps and adapted to engage the upper part of the wearers head for limiting downward movement of the side straps as the assembly is donned, and structure shifta'oly mounting said face member on the lower portions of said side straps in spannnig relationship thereto for normally horizontal movement toward and away from said side straps whereby the face member may be shifted away from the side straps to a position clearing facial projections or articles over the wear ers face during donning of the assembly, said structure including resilient means coupled to said side straps and the face member and normally biasing the face member toward said sidestraps.
11. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 10 wherein said structure includes oppositely projecting extensions on said face member, a tubular element secured to the lower part of each of the side straps and extending forwardly therefrom, a connector joined to each of the extensions and telescoped within a respective proximal tubular element, and spring means within each of said tubular elements, engaging the latter and a respective connector, and disposed to bias said connectors and thereby the face member toward said side straps.
12. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 11 wherein said tubular elements are slidably mounted on respective side straps, there being means on each of the side straps releasably maintaining the elements in predetermined positions relative to corresponding side straps.
13. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 11 wherein is provided means pivotally joining the connectors to respective extensions on the face member.
' 14. In a quick donning mask assembly provided with a face member, the combination with said face member of a harness including a pair of spaced'side straps, means connecting one end of each of the side straps to respective opposed margins of the face member in positions causing said side straps to be disposed on opposite sides of the wearers head when the assembly is in place thereon,'a longitudinally arcuate rear strap unit joined at opposite ends thereof to corresponding side straps in a position to engage the rear portion of the wearers head, a longitudinally arcuate top strap unit secured at opposite ends thereof to the rear strap unit and said side straps substantially at the points of interconnection thereof, said top strap unit being disposed to engage the top portion of the wearers head, one of said strap units being swingable from its normal position adapted to engage a portion of the wearers head to a location proximal to the other strap unit for reducing the space occupied by said assembly when not in use, coupling means for releasably interconnecting said one strap unit and the other strap unit when the same are in proximal relationship anda neck strap releasably connected to one of said strap units for suspending the assembly from the Wearers neck while said one strap unit and the other strap unit are interconnected by said coupling means and prior to use of the assembly.
15. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 14 wherein said neck strap is releasably connected to both of said strap units with said top strap unit releavably maintained in said location thereof proximal to said rear strap unit.
16. A quick donning mask assembly as set forth in claim 14 wherein is provided, a quick release snap fastener interconnecting said neck strap and said one strap unit connected thereto.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain 1914 Great Britain Sept. 27, 1937
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