The invention provides an improved support frame and extender for
an adjustable bed which comprises an inclinable head frame portion
14 and an adjustable extender 19 slideably mounted on said head
frame to bridge the space, S, between the head frame and the bed's
post and filler apparatus 12 independent of the head frame angle
of incline. The extender is slidably fastened to the head frame
through the use of extender brackets 39 and is further supported
by support bracket 40 and is interposed between the post 29 and
first filler rod 36 of the post and filler assembly. As the head
frame is inclined causing the space S to increase, the extender
can be mannually slided to bridge the space thereby preventing inadvertant
The invention claimed is:
1. In a bed having a support frame including an adjustable portion,
the improvement comprising:
an adjustable portion of said support frame adapted to be adjusted
to various angles;
a post and filler apparatus positioned such that there is a space
between said post and filler apparatus and said adjustable portion
of said support frame, the extent of said space varying with said
angle of said support frame adjustable portion;
an extender adapted to selectively bridge said space between said
support frame adjustable portion and said post and filler apparatus
independent of said angle;
whereby said space between said adjustable portion of said support
frame and said post and filler apparatus is bridged by said extender
independent of said angle.
2. The improvement according to claim 1 wherein said adjustable
portion of said support frame is a head frame.
3. The improvement according to claim 2 wherein said head frame
has a left leg, a right leg and a transverse end portion joining
said right and left legs.
4. The improvement according to claim 3 wherein said extender has
a left leg, a right leg and an intermediate end portion joining
said left and right legs.
5. The improvement according to claim 4 and further comprising
extender brackets mounted on said left leg and said right leg of
said head frame and adapted to slideably receive said left leg and
said right leg of said extender.
6. The improvement according to claim 5 and further comprising
support brackets mounted on said left leg and said right leg of
said head frame adjacent said extender brackets and adapted to support
said left leg and said right leg of said extender.
7. The improvement according to claim 5 wherein said extender bracket
comprises a hollow body member having two open ends; bushings slideably
inserted into either open end of said hollow body member, said bushings
having an aperture capable of slideably receiving one of said extender
8. The improvement according to claim 5 wherein said extender is
slideably mounted on said head frame.
9. The improvement according to claim 5 wherein said extender is
adapted to move slideably within said extender support bracket.
10. The improvement according to claim 7 further comprising stop
caps mounted on the ends of said left leg and said right leg of
said extender for maintaining said extender legs in said extender
11. The improvement according to claim 4 and further comprising
a plurality of crossmembers extending from said left leg to said
right leg of said extender.
12. The improvement according to claim 11 wherein said crossmembers
are parallel to said extender intermediate end portion.
13. The improvement according to claim 1 wherein said extender
is a hollow tube.
14. The improvement according to claim 11 wherein said crossmembers
are tubular and have two separable portions, said one separable
portion mounted on said left leg of said extender, said other separable
portion mounted on said right leg of said extender, said two separable
portions of said crossmembers being adapted to be slideably engaged.
15. The improvement according to claim 1 wherein said post and
filler apparatus comprises an elongated hollow rectangular top member
having a left end and a right end; an inside surface, an outside
surface and a bottom surface; a plurality of spaced filler rods
mounted on and extending downwardly from said top member bottom
surface; and post members, mounted on and extending downwardly from
said left end and said right end of said top member.
16. The improvement according to claim 15 wherein said extender
is operatively arranged such that said extender intermediate end
portion is positioned facing the outside edge of said top member
and said crossmembers are positioned facing the inside edge of said
top member, wherein said left leg and said right leg of said extender
are interposed between said filler rods and said post member at
either end of said top member and wherein said extender is able
to slide vertically upward or downward within said post and filler
The present invention relates generally to the field of adjustable
beds and cribs, and specifically, to an improved mattress support
frame and extender for reducing the incidence of inadvertent patient
In response to advances in medical treatment, various types of
adjustable beds and cribs have been developed to properly support
and position treating patients. In particular, it is known to incorporate
as part of a hospital bed or crib an adjustable mattress support
frame capable of folding or bending in conformance with the natural
anatomical bending of a patient's waist and knees. Adjustability
of the mattress support frame enables a generally supine patient
to be positioned at desired angles of incline for treatment and
For example, it may be important to be able to position a patient
in the "sitting" position, i.e., bent at the waist, yet
still have the patient be supported by the underlying mattress and
support frame. This, of course, requires that the head portion (i.e.,
from the waist up) of the support frame be adjustable through various
angles of incline.
Similarly, the adjustability feature is desirable and is often
used with cribs or children's beds, which typically also include
safety rails or a post and filler apparatus extending upwardly from
each side of the crib frame to prevent a young patient from inadvertently
falling out of bed. The use of these types of safety devices with
adjustable cribs has, however, resulted in a potential safety problem.
Specifically, when, for example, the head portion of an adjustable
mattress support frame is inclined, a gap or space is created between
the top of the head frame portion and the post and filler apparatus
extending upwardly from the crib frame. This space can prove dangerous
to young patients, or even disoriented adults, who may climb or
fall through the space or become trapped between the top of the
head frame and the post and filler apparatus.
Accordingly, it is desirable to have a support frame that, upon
inclination, is easily extendable to traverse or bridge the space
created between the support frame and the post and filler apparatus
to prevent a patient from falling through the space or being trapped
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally comprises an improved head portion
of a support frame and an adjustable extender for use with a hospital
crib or bed (e.g., 10). The invention specifically includes a generally
U-shaped head frame portion (e.g., 14) adapted to support the head
of a matress; a generally U-shaped extender (e.g., 19) slidably
connected to the head frame and supported through the use of extender
brackets (e.g., 39) and support brackets (e.g., 40), and capable
of manually or otherwise being slided toward and away from the head
frame. The extender is further adapted to slide vertically within
a post and filler safety apparatus (e.g., 12) as the head frame
is adjusted to a desired incline angle. As the head frame is inclined,
the variable space (e.g., S) between the head frame and post and
filler apparatus is bridged by the extender and extender cross members
Accordingly, the general object of the invention is to provide
an extender for an adjustable mattress support frame for a crib
Another object of the invention is to provide an extender that
is adapted to continually bridge the space between the support frame
and post and filler apparatus of an adjustable crib or bed, independent
of the angle of incline.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved
support frame and extender that is easily manually adjustable.
These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from
the remainder of the written specification, the drawings, and the
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical hospital crib having
an adjustable mattress support frame and a post and filler safety
FIG. 2 is an exploded fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of
a support bracket for slideably securing a leg portion of the extender.
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view of the invention showing
the head frame in a horizontal position.
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view of the invention shown
in FIG. 3 with the head frame in a horizontal position.
FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view of the invention showing
the head frame in an inclined position and the extender bridging
the space between the head frame and post and filler apparatus.
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view of the invention as shown
in FIG. 5 with the head frame inclined at an angle, .theta..
FIG. 7 is an end view of the post and filler apparatus and extender
with the head frame in an inclined position.
FIG. 8 is transverse vertical sectional view of an extender bracket
taken along line 8--8 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 9 is a transverse vertical sectional view of a support bracket
taken along line 9--9 of FIG. 4.
MODE OF CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
At the outset, it should be clearly understood that like reference
numerals are intended to identify the same structural elements,
portions or surfaces consistently throughout the several drawing
figures, as such elements, portions or surfaces may be further described
or explained by the entire written specification, of which this
detailed description is an integral part. Unless otherwise indicated,
the drawings are intended to be read (e.g., cross-hatching, arrangement
of parts, proportion, degree, etc.) together with the specification,
and are to be considered a portion of the entire written description
of this invention. As used in the following description, the terms
"horizontal", "vertical", "left",
"right", "up" and "down", as well
as adjectival and adverbial derivatives thereof (e.g., "horizontally",
"rightwardly", "upwardly", etc.), simply refer
to the orientation of the illustrated structure as the particular
drawing figure faces the reader. Similarly, the terms "inwardly"
and "outwardly" generally refer to the orientation of
a surface relative to its axis of elongation, or axis of rotation,
The present invention provides an improved support frame and extender
for use with an adjustable hospital crib or bed. In practice, the
invention serves to improve the safety of the crib or bed by being
adapted to continuously bridge the space created between the end
of the head frame portion of the support frame and the crib's post
and filler safety apparatus when the head frame is inclined.
Turning first to FIG. 1 a typical hospital crib 10 is shown to
generally include an adjustable mattress support frame 11 having
a head frame portion 14; a post and filler safety apparatus 12 arranged
to provide a safety "wall" or "rail" on each
side of the crib or bed, and adjustment mechanisms 13 13A for adjusting
the angle of incline of various portions of the support frame including
the head frame. Upon inclination of the head frame, however, a space,
S, is created between the head frame and post and filler apparatus
thereby resulting in a potential safety hazard for young or disoriented
patients. The present invention solves this problem by providing
an extender that is interposed between the head frame and post and
filler apparatus and that bridges space S independent of the head
frame incline angle.
Adverting to FIGS. 3-6 the invention is shown and illustrated
with the head frame in a horizontal position (FIGS. 3 4) and with
the head frame inclined at an angle .theta. (FIGS. 5 6). Turning
in particular to FIG. 3 the head frame 14 is shown to be an integrally
formed generally U-shaped member having a left leg 15 a right leg
16 and a transverse end portion 18 joining the left and right legs
at their ends. As is generally shown in FIG. 1 the head frame supports
the head portion of the crib's mattress through the use of cross-wires
and springs interposed within the frame. Adverting to FIG. 8 the
head frame is, in cross-section, a generally inverted L-shaped thin
walled member, usually constructed of steel, aluminum or any suitable
alloy, and includes a top horizontal planar surface 80 and a vertically
downwardly extending planar outside surface 81. Accordingly, the
"open" portion of the inverted L-shaped head frame faces
inwardly toward the mattress support springs and wires, shown generally
in FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 3-6 the head frame is arranged such
that the transverse end portion 18 thereof is parallel to and in
spaced relation with the crib's post and filler safety apparatus
12. Accordingly, a space, S, exists between the head frame transverse
end portion and the post and filler apparatus. Space S unavoidably
becomes larger as the head frame is inclined from the horizontal
position (FIG. 4) to an angle of incline, .theta. (FIG. 6).
Adverting to FIG. 3 an extender 19 is shown to be a tubular member
which includes a left leg 20 and a right leg 21. Both the left and
right leg are, at one of their respective ends, integrally formed
to an angle of approximately 90.degree. which results in each leg
having a substantially "L" shaped end portion 2324. In
addition, left leg end portion 23 and right leg end portion 24
although both tubular, are of slightly different diameter. Accordingly,
upon assembly, the left leg end and right leg end are slideably
joined to form an extender intermediate end portion 22. This sliding
engagement of the extender legs and their respective end portions
results in the extender U-shape of the assembled extender shown
by the various drawing figures (e.g., FIGS. 3 5).
Continuing to advert to FIG. 3 the extender is shown to further
include a plurality of spaced crossmembers 25 arranged parallel
to the extender transverse end portion and attached, at either of
their ends, to the extender left and right legs. The crossmembers
are comprised of two tubular portions, a left portion 26 attached
to the extender left leg, and a right portion 28 attached to the
extender right leg. The left and right crossmember portions are
of different diameter and are slideably engaged upon assembly in
the identical manner as the extender left leg end portion and right
leg end portion. Thus, as is shown in FIGS. 3 and 5 the preferred
embodiment of the generally U-shaped extender also includes two
spaced crossmembers joining the left and right extender legs and
parallel to the extender intermediate end portion.
Adverting now to FIGS. 3 5 and 7 extender 19 is shown to be generally
mounted on head frame 14 and to extend through the adjoining post
and filler safety apparatus 12. Referring specifically to FIG. 5
the post and filler apparatus is shown to be comprised of a hollow
elongated top member 30 having a generally square cross-section
comprised of an outwardly facing planar surface 31 and inwardly
facing planar surface 32 a planar top surface 35 and a planar bottom
surface 38. Top member 30 also includes open left end 33 and open
right end 34. Attached at either end of top surface 30 are vertically
and downwardly extending substantially rectangular hollow end posts
29. The end posts extend to the crib wheel mounts, shown generally
in FIG. 1 and serve as the primary supports for the crib or bed
frame. As shown in FIG. 7 the post and filler apparatus further
includes a plurality of filler rods 36 generally cylindrical in
shape, spaced between the end posts 29 and mounted and extending
vertically downwardly from top member bottom surface 38. The filler
rods act as vertical "guard rails" to prevent the patient
from falling or climbing out of the crib or bed.
Continuing to advert to FIGS. 3 5 and 7 the extender is generally
shown to be mounted and supported on the head frame by a pair extender
brackets 39 and support brackets 40. Extender bracket 39 is shown
in FIGS. 2 and 8 to specifically comprise an elongated hollow rectangular
body member having planar side surfaces 41 and 43 planar top surface
47 and planar bottom surface 42. The ends of the support bracket
are "open" and are adapted to receive a rectangular bushing
52 comprised of top planar surface 51 bottom planar surface 53
vertical planar side surfaces 52 and 54 and a facing planar end
surface 50 slideably fitted into the "open" ends of the
extender bracket. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 8 a circular aperture
56 though end surface 50 is adapted to slideably receive an extender
leg, e.g., 21. Bushing 52 is secured to the support bracket body
member through the alignment of companion through-holes 44 on the
support bracket body member and 55 on the bushing. A bolt or other
securing device is inserted into the aligned through-holes to prevent
the bushing from moving in response to any sliding movement of the
extender legs or any other random movement of the crib or bed. Referring
to FIG. 8 extender bracket 39 is mounted to the head frame through
the use of a thin-walled vertically downwardly extending connector
45 comprised of an upper portion 46 and a lower portion 48. In particular,
upper portion 46 is aligned with and bolted to head frame bottom
outside surface 81 by bolt 49. Similarly, extender bracket surface
43 is welded or otherwise attached to connector lower portion 48
and the extender bracket is thereby mounted on the head frame legs.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5 the extender is mounted on the head
frame by slideably inserting the extender legs into the corresponding
support bracket and bushing aperture; e.g., the left extender leg
is inserted into the support bracket mounted on the left leg of
the head frame. A stop cap 60 is placed over the end of each extender
leg after insertion through the support bracket to prevent the leg
from inadvertently sliding out of the support bracket and bushing.
Turning now to FIG. 9 the extender legs are further supported
by support brackets 40. Specifically, the support brackets are step-like,
thin-walled members mounted on the head frame at a point between
the extender brackets and the head frame cross-members. The support
brackets are integrally formed of steel or any other suitable material
and include a vertically downwardly extending planar surface 63
and a horizontal rightwardly extending planar surface 64. The support
bracket is mounted on head frame outside surface 81 by the alignment
of and welding or other connection of vertical surface 63 thereto.
The length of support bracket horizontal surface 64 is such that
it is sufficient to accommodate the diameter of the extender legs.
Upon assembly, the extender legs, after insertion into the support
brackets, rest, in part, just above surface 64 of the support bracket
which insures the stability and strength of the extender as it is
slided into position.
Although slideably mounted to the head frame, the extender is also
specially positioned with respect to the post and filler apparatus
to insure free vertical movement consonant with the angle of incline,
.theta., of the head frame and to insure that space S is continuously
bridged. Specifically, adverting to FIGS. 3 5 and 7 the extender
is positioned with respect to the post and filler apparatus such
that extender intermediate end portion 22 faces and is parallel
to post and filler top member outside planar surface 31 and further,
such that crossmember 25 faces and is parallel to top member inside
planar surface 32. This configuration is accomplished by the insertion
of the end portions of the extender legs, 23 and 24 into the space
between post 29 and the first filler rod 36 extending from each
end of top member 30. Thus, the post and filler apparatus is effectively
"captured" between the crossmembers and the extender intermediate
end portion. As a result, the extender may be slideably moved within
the support brackets through a finite distance L between the crossmember
and extender intermediate end portion 22. The extender, however,
is free to move upwardly and downwardly within the post and filler
apparatus as the head frame is inclined.
FIGS. 3-6 illustrate operation of the improved head frame and extender.
In particular, the position of the extender can be manually slideably
changed dependent upon the angle of incline, .theta., of the head
frame. Adverting specifically to FIGS. 3 and 4 the head frame is
shown to be in a horizontal position (i.e., .theta. equal to approximately
0.degree.), and the extent of space S between the head frame transverse
end 18 and the post and filler apparatus filler rods 36 is de minimis.
The extender legs are therefore slideably pushed through the extender
brackets such that the extender intermediate end portion rests against
the "outside" of the filler rods (FIG. 4). Similarly,
crossmembers 25 are vertically beneath the head frame. Thus, in
this configuration, the extender is essentially inoperative since
space S is so small.
Adverting now to FIGS. 5 and 6 however, the head frame is shown
to be adjustably inclined at an angle .theta.. Accordingly, space
S between the head frame transverse end 18 and the post and filler
apparatus filler rods 36 is proportionally larger thereby posing
a potential danger. The extender, however, is slideably pulled away
from the post and filler apparatus such that a crossmember 25 is
resting against the "inside" of the filler rods and extender
intermediate end portion 22 is at its most distant point from the
post and filler apparatus. It can also be readily appreciated that
the extender and crossmembers 25 now extend beyond the head frame
and serve to bridge or traverse space S thereby preventing inadvertent
injury to a patient who may fall or climb in to the space. It can
be readily appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that
the extender can be manually adjusted as required by the angle of
incline and resulting space S to insure that any potential danger
Many modifications and changes are, of course, contemplated by
the invention, and the invention should not be limited to that disclosed
in the preferred embodiment.
In particular, the extender and crossmembers are, in the preferred
embodiment, comprised of essentially two separate portions; however,
an extender comprising a single integral piece might easily be accommodated
by either existing or new crib designs. Moreover, the shape of the
extender may readily be adapted to accommodate other head frame
designs or be used on other portions of a bed or crib frame for
Similarly, use of the extender need not be limited to the head
portion of the support frame; rather, the extender may readily be
adapted to any other adjustable portion (e.g., the foot portion)
of the support frame to prevent injury.
Likewise, the extender may also be adapted to any type of head
board configuration or safety rail and need not be limited to use
with the post and filler apparatus disclosed in the preferred embodiment.
In addition, the component parts of the invention need not be tubular
or hollow and there may be applications where it is desirable to
have more solid or durable components.
Accordingly, while the presently-preferred form of the improved
head frame and extender has been shown and described, and several
modifications and changes thereof discussed, persons skilled in
the art will readily appreciate that various additional changes
and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit
of the invention, as defined and differentiated by the following