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Número de publicaciónWO1994000086 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudPCT/US1992/005332
Fecha de publicación6 Ene 1994
Fecha de presentación26 Jun 1992
Fecha de prioridad26 Jun 1992
También publicado comoWO1995010251A1
Número de publicaciónPCT/1992/5332, PCT/US/1992/005332, PCT/US/1992/05332, PCT/US/92/005332, PCT/US/92/05332, PCT/US1992/005332, PCT/US1992/05332, PCT/US1992005332, PCT/US199205332, PCT/US92/005332, PCT/US92/05332, PCT/US92005332, PCT/US9205332, WO 1994/000086 A1, WO 1994000086 A1, WO 1994000086A1, WO 9400086 A1, WO 9400086A1, WO-A1-1994000086, WO-A1-9400086, WO1994/000086A1, WO1994000086 A1, WO1994000086A1, WO9400086 A1, WO9400086A1
InventoresStuart B. Horn, Yale M. Kadesky, Buford T. Walters
SolicitanteHorn Stuart B, Kadesky Yale M, Walters Buford T
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos:  Patentscope, Espacenet
Temperature controlled body pads
WO 1994000086 A1
A lightweight portable temperature control system which includes form fitting disposable therapy pads (16) for selected body parts having serpentine fluid channels therethrough, a programmable microprocessor (14) for controlling the temperature type and length of cycle, quick disconnects (17, 18) for the therapy pads. A TE cooler (11) with a liquid heat exchanger (15) and a pump (10) for circulating the fluid through the system.
Reclamaciones  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)
1. A portable temperature control system to aid in therapeutic treatments comprising: a therapy pad to conform to any desired portion of the anatomy of a body, having fluid passageways defined therein for circulating a temperature controlled fluid therethrough, with said pad having at least one input coupling means and at least one output coupling means to the fluid passageways, whereby a fluid may be made to flow therethrough; pump means for circulating a temperature controlled fluid through the system; a heat exchanger for maintaining said fluid at a predetermined temperature; means serially coupling said therapy pad, said pump means and said heat exchanger whereby the temperature of the therapy pad may be precisely maintained.
2. The temperature control system of Claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger includes a thermoelectric cooler having an air exchange means, whereby air is caused to flow there across to effect the removal of heat laden air.
3. The temperature control system of Claim 2, wherein a programmable temperature control means senses the temperature of the circulating fluid and controls the current flow through the thermoelectric cooler to maintain the temperature of the circulating fluid within subscribed limits of a preset temperature programmed into said temperature control means.
4. The temperature control system of Claim 3, wherein said programmable temperature control means includes a microprocessor capable of controlling the temperature of the circulating fluid within +2° F or better of the preset temperature, which can also automatically provide heating and cooling cycles in any desired sequence and time periods as so programmed.
5. The temperature control system of Claim 5, wherein the system is designed to operate alternatively as a totally portable battery powered unit or with a voltage converter adaptable with an international input power supply functional on either 40 or 60 cycles and between 90 and 270 volts.
6. The temperature control system of Claim 5, wherein said temperature controlled fluid comprises a mixture of approximately 80% de-ionized distilled water and 20% propylene glycol.
7. The temperature control system of Claim 5, wherein said therapy pad is selected to conform to the specific contours of the body part being therapeutically treated and is designed with serpentine fluid channels which will not crimp and obstruct the flow of fluid therethrough.
8. The temperature control system of Claim 7, wherein said therapy pad includes a disposable sterile layer of material removably attached to the innermost portion of the pad making contact with the body part being treated.
9. The temperature control system of Claim 8, wherein said therapy pad is precharged with the system circulating fluid and wherein the input and output coupling means are quick disconnect couplings whereby pads may be interchanged without the loss of system fluids.
Descripción  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)


Background of the Invention

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to temperature control systems and more particularly to a light weight portable temperature control system integrating a variety of face and body pads that will conform to the various contours of the face and body to aid in the therapeutic treatment of sports injuries and other forms of trauma, to relieve post operative pain, and to control swelling, bruising and engorgement.

2. Description of Prior Art

Localized temperature control of various areas and parts of the human body, after injury and surgery, requires the use of cumbersome heating pads, ice packs, frozen gels, etc., and to maintain the body, or a portion thereof, at a temperature substantially below the body's normal temperature of 98.6° F requires the use of refrigeration systems which are large and bulky and require additional heating elements to raise or control the temperature relative to the ambient.

The use of ice pacts, for instance, when taken directly from a freezer, have been found to induce frost bite where the ice pact was not allowed to warm above 32° degrees Fahrenheit. Upon placing- the ice pack on a patient, it begins to melt and warm up rather quickly, thereby providing a constantly changing temperature at the areas of contact. In the area of cosmetic surgery, the necessity to maintain a constant temperature, slightly above freezing, say in the range of 34° - 40° degrees Fahrenheit, is extremely important to reduce internal bleeding, bruising and swelling.

After surgery, it has been found that controlling the swelling that normally occurs will aid in expediting the healing. The various cooling techniques presently in use fail to satisfactorily maintain a constant temperature on the desired body areas.

Not only is there a problem in maintaining a constant temperature on the selected areas, there is also a need for a body pad that will comfortably and securely fit the contours of the area being treated as well as a need for providing portability of this type of equipment.-

The present invention effectively overcomes the above noted problems by providing a light weight portable cooler coupled to a form fitting mask or pad having the capability for precisely controlling temperatures over an extended period of time, along with the option of alternating cycles of heating and cooling.

Summary of the Invention

This invention utilizes an arrangement of thermoelectric elements to effect a light weight portable cooler. These thermo electric elements or couples, heat or cool depending on the direction of the current flow through the elements (Peltier effect) . The cooler is precisely temperature controlled and coupled through quick disconnects to a body conforming pad for effecting the therapeutic result so desired.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 shows a generalized system block diagram of the instant invention;

Figure 2 shows one embodiment of a body conforming pad depicting the invention; Figures 3a, 3b and 3c show the various views of a detailed arrangement of the serpentine fluid jacket of Figure 2; and

Figures 4-12 show various designs of the body, head and face pads as envisioned by this invention.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment

Referring now to the generalized block diagram of Figure 1, which shows a typical system for controlling the temperature of a body pad as envisioned by this invention, one realizes the complexities of packaging such a system into a light weight portable system, but in the preferred embodiment the components have been miniaturized to fit into a briefcase and at the extreme, into a small piece of luggage. The novelty in this invention lies in separate and distinct improvements in several components of the system and not in the specific system. For instance, each of the elements shown as pump 10, TE cooler 11, and Fan 13, have been improved to function as a DC driven system with a voltage converter which will allow operation of an international input power supply on either 40 to 60 cycles and 90-270 volts AC input or as a totally portable unit on battery power. A thermo electric (TE) cooler 11 is shown to be the desired cooler in this instance, even though other coolers, such as a split cycle cooler could be used where portability and weight are not the primary concerns. The TE cooler is well known in the art and essentially consists of an arrangement of P and N-type semiconductor materials connected electrically for effecting a Peltier effect upon the circulation of current therethrough, and thermally in parallel for effecting a heat sink and a cold sink, in which instance the cooler may be utilized as either a heater or cooler in accordance with the direction of current flow. Also shown is a heat exchanger 12 and a fan 13. The exchanger is so coupled to the cooler that upon directing the air flow from the fan thereacross, the heat laden air is removed. The temperature controller 14 has been refined and made programmable for minute adjustment of the temperature of the liquid flowing through the system with temperature control to +2° F or better. Several fluids may be used, but one of the most desirable fluids has been found to be a mixture of 80% de-ionized distilled water and 20% propylene glycol. The liquid exchanger 15 is also coupled to the TE cooler 11 in such a manner that the liquid flowing through the system is precisely controlled in accordance with the temperature setting of a microprocessor controller 14. The microprocessor controller also can automatically provide a cooling and heating cycle for sports injuries. It can be programmed, for example, to provide desired periods of cooling and heating. The microprocessor is integrated into the temperature controller 14 and may be operated manually or in an automatic mode. In the manual mode, the user may set the desired fluid temperature. This regulates the power supply to control the current flow through the TE cooler 11 of Figure 1 and is automatically adjusted to meet the temperature setting. In the automatic mode, the user merely sets a temperature cycle to be observed. For example, the user can have the temperature set at a low (cool) setting for a predetermined period of time followed by a higher (hot) temperature setting for another predetermined period. This cycle can continue and be repeated indefinitely. An extremely important feature of this invention is the therapy pad 16 which is discussed in further detail hereinafter. Pad 16 is connected in the system with two sets of quick disconnects, one shown as 17, being a coupling to the liquid heat exchanger 15 and the other being 18, which is coupled to the pump 10, for return of the fluid. The quick disconnects allow a pad, which is precharged with liquid, to be quickly connected and disconnected to the portable cooling machine. Eventhough the cooler as shown in Figure 1 shows a single therapy pad 16, the design allows for multiple ports for treating several body parts simultaneously and even at different temperatures. The therapy____pad 16, as shown in Figure 2, represents a significant improvement over the treatment pads described in U.S. Patents 4,114,620, Moore et al and 3,867,939, Moore et al. Both patents teach the use of laminated plastic film panels defining a passage therebetween for circulating a fluid to effect a heat transfer between the pad and a patient. Such pads could be used in the instant case but fail to provide the body conforming adaptability of the instant invention. Note particularly that one of the major advantages of this system lies in the body conforming pad generally shown in Figure 2. The gel layer 20 actually represents an alternative embodiment of this invention and is shown sandwiched between a sterile pad shown as layer 21 contacting the body and a layer of fluid carrying conduits shown as layer 22 compose of flexible serpentine fluid conduit passageways, more clearly shown in Figure 3b. The gel 20 is a soft readily moldable material having a good temperature conducting characteristic such that the entire cooled or heated area maintains an even temperature gradient and as such, maintains a more constant temperature at the point of treatment. Note also that a thermal layer 23 insulates the pad from the outside environment in order to maintain a constant temperature at the point of contact with the body. This layer 23 may take various forms but in the preferred embodiment it is envisioned as one or more layers of material, such as polyvinylchloride, of a thickness of approximately 0.008 mil, having an air pocket to provide flexibility and good insulative qualities. The body pad may take the form of the area being treated and may be of any reasonable size from that of a small pad to treat a specific joint or a large body pad to treat all or a large portion of the body. Layer 21 of the pad may be fabricated as a sterile disposable pad, such as polyproplene, or as a removable and reusable pad which is durable and capable of being sterilized repeatedly. This layer 21 may be affixed to the cooling pad by various techniques, one being by use of Velcro strips to allow for ease of replacement. It should be recognized that the pad shown in Figure 2 is by way of representation only and may be fabricated of multiple layers to meet the particular need. Specifically designed body pads, such as face masks, and other body conforming designs are envisioned as applications of this invention. Looking now more specifically at Figure 3b, note the quick disconnects 17 and 18 which are used for ease of coupling and decoupling the pad. 7_.he fluid flow lines are designed such that the pad bends around the body contour with the flow lines parallel to the pad bend and are preferably fabricated of a polyvinylchloride material. This will enable the pressurized fluid within the lines to conform to the body port without crimping the flow. Note also that the quick disconnects 17 and 18 are located as far apart as possible on the pad to maintain as even a temperature across the pad as possible.

Eventhough the fluid passageways 19 of the pad shown in Figure 3b are shown in a parallel configuration, as noted earlier they are actually configured in each specifically designed pad to bend and flex with the contour of the body part to which the pad is to conform. This design is necessary to assure that the fluid flow through the passageways is not restricted or pinched off. Note Figure 3c which shows a cutaway side view of the pad, further showing the extremely high percentage of surface area of the pad functioning as a fluid flow and temperature control area. Referring to Figure 3a, strips 30 and 31 are shown as VELCRO strips whereby the pad may be securely attached to a body part being treated by fastening the strap, also having a VELCRO strip 32 shown in Figure 3b around the body part to mate the respective VELCRO strips 30 and 31 to the strip 32. Various types of pads are shown in Figures 4 through 12. The pads are designed for specific areas of the body and are shown for illustrative purposes only. They do not show the required quick disconnects or specific attachment means as exemplified in the basic design of Figures 3a, 3b and 3c. In Figures 4 a, b, c, d, e, and f, a universal pad is shown adapted to the knee, elbow, arm, thigh, shin and torso, respectively.

Figures 5 a, b and c, show the application of the pad as a headband and Figure 6a shows the pad designed as a sinus mask. Figure 6b shows a face mask which is configured to conform to ones face for cosmetic surgery or facial injury recuperation. The mask may be held securely in place by adjustable straps attached thereto for coupling in a comfortable arrangement around the head.Figure 7 is designed to show the pad as conforming to the head as a chemo cap to reduce the loss of hair as a result of chemo therapy.

Figures 8 a and b show shoulder and hip pads while Figure 9 shows a collar pad and Figure 10 shows the use as a wrist band for carpol tunnel, fatigue and sports injuries.

Figures 11 a, b, and c show uses as back, neck and seat pads while Figures 12 a, b, and c show applications to the finger, thumb and toe. While this invention has been described in terms of specific applications to various parts of the human body, the representations have been made for illustrative purposes only and other, as well as more varied uses, may be made thereof, such as in the treatment of animals in the practice of veterinary.

Citas de patentes
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US3744555 *12 Nov 197110 Jul 1973Gen ElectricAutomatic control of liquid cooling garment by cutaneous and external auditory meatus temperatures
US3865116 *9 Abr 197311 Feb 1975Brooks Harold WMethod of controlling tissue hypothermia
US4338944 *16 Jun 198013 Jul 1982The Kendall CompanyTherapeutic device
US4962761 *4 May 198916 Oct 1990Golden Theodore AThermal bandage
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Otras citas
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Clasificación internacionalF25B21/02, A61F7/00, A61F7/02
Clasificación cooperativaA61F2007/0054, A61F2007/0081, A61F2007/0078, A61F2007/0056, F25B21/02, A61F2007/0001, A61F2007/0086, A61F7/02
Clasificación europeaF25B21/02, A61F7/02
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