(19)
(11)EP 3 359 107 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 16852929.5

(22)Date of filing:  18.07.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61G 7/14(2006.01)
G08B 3/00(2006.01)
A61G 7/10(2006.01)
G08B 5/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/CA2016/050847
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/059526 (13.04.2017 Gazette  2017/15)

(54)

PATIENT LIFT SYSTEM

PATIENTENHEBESYSTEM

SYSTÈME DE LEVAGE DE PATIENT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 05.10.2015 US 201562237199 P
15.03.2016 US 201662308316 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.08.2018 Bulletin 2018/33

(60)Divisional application:
20172380.6

(73)Proprietor: Amico Mobility Solutions Corp.
Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 2N4 (CA)

(72)Inventors:
  • CHANDAN, Varun
    Caledon, Ontario L7K 0K7 (CA)
  • BENSON, Wayne
    Newmarket, Ontario L3X 3E6 (CA)
  • CHEPURNY, Mark P.
    Bradford, Ontario L3Z 2A5 (CA)

(74)Representative: Sessford, Russell 
Forresters IP LLP Skygarden Erika-Mann-Strasse 11
80636 München
80636 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-B- 2 254 539
US-A- 3 628 588
WO-A1-2009/155930
US-A1- 2013 019 401
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD



    [0001] The present application relates generally to hospital equipment and, more specifically, to a patient lift system. The invention being defined by the appended claims.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Patient lift systems are known. For example, companies such as V. Guldmann A/S of Århus, Danmark, Prism Medical Canada of Concord, Canada, the ArjoHuntleigh portion of the Getinge Group AB of Getinge, Sweden, the Liko portion of Hill-Rom, Inc. of Batesville, Indiana, and Tollos, Inc. of Barrie, Canada are known to manufacture and distribute patient lift systems.

    [0003] The known patient lift systems are typically designed to be attached to a track fastened to the ceiling of a room. Once installed, the patient lift system is suspended from the track. The track may be seen to provide a range of possible locations. The track may also provide the patient lift system with electrical power.

    [0004] Unfortunately, the size of the known patient lift systems may be seen to be too large, especially for a small room or a room with a low ceiling. Similarly, the shape of known lift systems might be considered to be ungainly.

    [0005] EP2254539 discloses a patient hoist provided on a trolley which tides along a track, with the hoist being powered by a conductor extending along the track. A contact carrier is loosely fit within the trolley, and it bears a contact which elastically biased against the track conductor, with die contact being in electrical communication with the hoist. The contact carrier is tree to laterally displace with respect to the trolley so that it (and its contact) follows the contour of the track, with the contact remaining in electrical communication with the track conductor.

    [0006] WO2009155930 discloses a coupling including:- a housing with a cutout;- a cylindric shaft extending transversely to the cutout through aligned openings;- a hook having a width which is less than the width of the cutout and which has a receiving opening with a diameter corresponding to the shaft diameter, and which is intended for receiving the shaft and an insertion opening having a width which is less than the shaft diameter and which is oriented at an angle relative to a direction of pull by loading the hook, where the shaft at a part for disposition in the cutout is provided with opposing flats with mutual spacing which is less than the width of the insertion opening, wherein the shaft is arranged for manual displacement in its longitudinal direction against the action of a spring, from a first position where the flats are located outside the cutout, and to a second position where the flats of the shaft are displaced into the cutout.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] Reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings which show example implementations; and in which:

    FIG. 1 illustrates, in an underside perspective view, a patient lift system having a lift unit chassis connected to a track;

    FIG. 2 illustrates, in a topside perspective view, the lift unit chassis of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 3 illustrates a quick release trolley for connecting the lift unit chassis to the track of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 4 illustrates the quick release trolley of FIG. 3 in a sectional view;

    FIG. 5 illustrates, in sectional view, the quick release trolley of FIG. 3 in use connected to the lift unit chassis of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 6 illustrates, in a right front perspective view, elements of a lift unit internal to the lift unit chassis of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 7 illustrates, in a right rear perspective view, elements of the lift unit of FIG. 6;

    FIG. 8A illustrates, in a perspective view, the track of FIG. 1 modified to include a seal; and

    FIG. 8B illustrates, in a sectional view, the modified track of FIG. 8A.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0008] A patient lift system described herein may be seen to help lift and mobilize a disabled person in a home or in an institution with minimal effort from a caregiver. The patient lift system includes a lift, a carry bar and a hand control. The lift, the carry bar and the hand control have shapes and features that may be seen to facilitate quick and easy cleaning. Notably, gaps have been minimized for infection control purposes. Typically, a patient lift system includes an integral trolley for connecting the patient lift system to a track. For the patient lift system described herein, the trolley and lift system are separate pieces that are easily and quickly either attached or detached.

    [0009] According to an aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided a patient lift system for connecting to a track. The system includes a trolley arranged to form a mechanical and electrical connection to the track. The system further includes a lift unit chassis operable to form an electrical connection and a mechanical connection with the trolley, the chassis enclosing: a strap hub; a hub gear attached to the strap hub; a plurality of gear shafts; a plurality of gears; and a plurality of motors, each motor of the plurality of motors arranged to drive a respective gear shaft among the plurality of gear shafts, each gear shaft of the plurality of gear shafts connected to a respective gear among the plurality of gears, the plurality of gears arranged such that the hub gear rotates responsive to rotation of the gear shafts by the motors. The system further includes a strap extending external to the lift unit chassis, attached, at a first end, to the strap hub and attached, at a second end, to a connector and a carry bar connected to the connector, wherein the rotation of the hub gear acts to gather or release the strap, thereby raising or lowering the carry bar.

    [0010] Other aspects and features of the present disclosure will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon review of the following description of specific implementations of the disclosure in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

    [0011] FIG. 1 illustrates, in an underside perspective view, a patient lift system 100. The patient lift system 100 includes a lift unit chassis 102, a carry bar 106 and a strap 104 connecting the carry bar 106 to the lift unit chassis 102. The strap 104, which may, for example, be formed from polyester, has a connector for releasably connecting the strap 104 to the carry bar 106. Indeed, the connector 114 may include passive disengagement prevention. That is, the connector 114 may be arranged such that, before the carry bar 106 may be disengaged from the connector 114, a user lifts the carry bar 106 to reduce downward forces on the connector 114. The carry bar 106 has, at one end, a first hook 112A and, at the other end, a second hook 112B. The lift unit chassis 102 is held aloft through a connection to a quick release trolley 300 (illustrated in FIG. 3) that is maintained in a track 108. FIG. 1 illustrates a hand control unit 110 dangling from a connection to the lift unit chassis 102.

    [0012] FIG. 2 illustrates, in a topside perspective view, the lift unit chassis 102 of FIG. 1. The view of FIG. 2 facilitates review of a quick release system that allows connection of the lift unit chassis 102 to the quick release trolley 300. The quick release system includes a first quick release trolley button 202A and a second quick release trolley button 202B, which may, for example, be formed of plastic. The first quick release trolley button 202A and the second quick release trolley button 202B are positioned at either end of a quick release trolley plate 204. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the quick release trolley plate 204 defines a slot-like aperture that is not specifically associated with a reference numeral. Also illustrated in FIG. 2 are two battery compartment covers 230R, 230L. The battery compartment covers 230R, 230L cover battery compartments in which are housed batteries (not shown) and battery charging circuitry (not shown).

    [0013] FIG. 3 illustrates the quick release trolley 300 operable for connecting the lift unit chassis 102 to the track 108. FIG. 4 illustrates the quick release trolley 300 of FIG. 3 in a sectional view. The quick release trolley 300 is based around a trolley block 320 comprising two parallel plates 330R, 330L joined a first end 314A and a second end 314B. The first end 314A of the trolley block 320 carries a first axle 322A, on which a first pair of quick release trolley wheels 306A are rotatably installed. The second end 314B of the trolley block 320 carries a second axle 322B, on which a second pair of quick release trolley wheels 306B are rotatably installed. The first pair of quick release trolley wheels 306A and the second pair of quick release trolley wheels 306B may, for example, be formed of plastic. The plates 330R, 330L of the trolley block 320 define a first aperture (not shown) in which a first pivot pin 308A is held and a second aperture (not shown) in which a second pivot pin 308B is held. The material for the trolley block 320 may be, for example, aluminum 6061-T6. The first axle 322A and the second axle 322B may be formed of American Iron and Steel Institute/Society of Automotive Engineers (AISI/SAE) 1020 steel.

    [0014] A first hook-shaped quick release trolley latch 312A is supported by the first pivot pin 308A between the plates 330R, 330L of the trolley block 320. The first quick release trolley latch 312A is sheathed in a first trolley latch cover 310A. Similarly, a second hook-shaped quick release trolley latch 312B is supported by the second pivot pin 308B between the plates 330R, 330L of the trolley block 320. The second quick release trolley latch 312B is in a second trolley latch cover 310B. The first trolley latch cover 310A and the second trolley latch cover 310B may, for example, be formed of plastic.

    [0015] A first track guide 316A is positioned under, and attached to, the first end 314A of the trolley block 320. A second track guide 316B is positioned under, and attached to, the second end 314B of the trolley block 320. The track guides 316, which may, for example, be formed of plastic, assist in maintaining the quick release trolley 300 in position in the track 108. Without the track guides 316, the quick release trolley 300 may be inclined to tilt under transverse forces. In operation, a majority of the quick release trolley 300 is carried within the track 108, with only the quick release trolley latches 312A, 312B extending through a slot-like aperture in the track 108 to engage the quick release trolley plate 204 of the lift unit chassis 102.

    [0016] As illustrated in FIG. 4, a slot in the first quick release trolley latch 312A that extends out of the top of the trolley block 320 carries a first charging bolt 303A and a first charging bolt biasing member 332A. The first charging bolt biasing member 332A urges the first charging bolt 303A toward an upper end of the slot in the slot in the first quick release trolley latch 312A. A first charging contact 302A is mounted to the first charging bolt 303A.

    [0017] A slot in the second quick release trolley latch 312B that extends out of the top of the trolley block 320 carries a second charging bolt 303B and a second charging bolt biasing member 332B. The second charging bolt biasing member 332B urges the second charging bolt 303B toward an upper end of the slot in the slot in the second quick release trolley latch 312B. A second charging contact 302B is mounted to the second charging bolt 303B.

    [0018] The first charging contact 302A and the second charging contact 302B may be formed of AISI/SAE 1020 steel.

    [0019] The trolley 300 includes a quick release trolley spring (generically, a biasing member) 304 arranged to bias the portion of the first quick release trolley latch 312A that extends out of the top of the trolley block 320 toward the portion of the second quick release trolley latch 312B that extends out of the top of the trolley block 320. Accordingly, the quick release trolley spring 304 acts to bias the bottom of the first quick release trolley latch 312A away from the bottom of the second quick release trolley latch 312B. The quick release trolley spring 304, the first quick release trolley latch 312A and the second quick release trolley latch 312B may be formed from AISI/SAE 1020 steel.

    [0020] FIG. 5 illustrates, in sectional view, the trolley 300 in use connected to the lift unit chassis 102. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the first quick release trolley button 202A hides a first latching post 502A and the second quick release trolley button 202B hides a second latching post 502B. The first latching post 502A and the second latching post 502B may, for example, be formed from AISI/SAE 1020 steel. To achieve the connection illustrated in FIG. 5, the lift unit chassis 102 may be manually maneuvered to allow the first quick release trolley latch 312A and the second quick release trolley latch 312B to be received by the slot-like aperture defined by the quick release trolley plate 204. As the quick release trolley latches 312A, 312B are received within the slot, a lower portion of the first quick release trolley latch 312A is urged toward a lower portion of the second quick release trolley latch 312B by the first latching post 502A. Similarly, as the second quick release trolley latch 312B is received within the slot, the lower portion of the second quick release trolley latch 312B is urged toward the lower portion of the first quick release trolley latch 312A by the second latching post 502B.

    [0021] The lift unit chassis 102 may include one or more indicator light emitting diodes (LEDs), which, when illuminated, may be visible outside of the lift unit chassis 102. Responsive to sensors (not shown) within the lift unit chassis 102 determining that the lift unit chassis 102 is installed improperly, notification circuitry (not shown) may control an indicator LED of a particular color (for example, red) to illuminate. Furthermore, the notification circuitry may control an audio alarm, such as a buzzer, as a secondary indicator that the lift unit chassis 102 is installed improperly. The notification circuitry may control the red LED to remain illuminated (and the buzzer to continue to sound) until the sensors determine that the lift unit chassis 102 has been installed properly. Responsive to the sensors determining that the lift unit chassis 102 is installed properly, the notification circuitry may control an indicator LED of another color (for example, green) to illuminate and remain illuminated until the lift unit chassis 102 has been disconnected from the trolley 300.

    [0022] FIG. 6 illustrates, in a right front perspective view, elements of a lift unit 600 internal to the lift unit chassis 102 of FIG. 1. Central to the lift unit 600 is a strap hub 602 that extends between and beyond a motor mounting plate 610 and a strap hub mounting plate 612. A space is defined between the motor mounting plate 610 and the strap hub mounting plate 612, with the space maintained through the use of a plurality of braces fastened to both the motor mounting plate 610 and the strap hub mounting plate 612. Two example braces are associated with reference numerals 632 and 634.

    [0023] A first lift motor 620A and a second lift motor 620B are fastened to the motor mounting plate 610. The first lift motor 620A connects to a first motor shaft 608A. Similarly, the second lift motor 620B connects to a second motor shaft 608B. The first lift motor 620A may include a spindle lock for preventing the first lift motor 620A from back driving. Similarly, the second lift motor 620B may include a spindle lock for preventing the second lift motor 620B from back driving. Fastened to the strap hub 602, outside of the space, is a hub gear 630. Teeth of a first motor gear 604A, mounted to the first motor shaft 608A, are positioned to mesh with teeth of a first idler gear 606A. Teeth of the first idler gear 606A are positioned to mesh with teeth of the hub gear 630. Teeth of a second motor gear 604B, mounted to the second motor shaft 608B, are positioned to mesh with teeth of a second idler gear 606B. The strap hub 602, the first idler gear 606A, the second idler gear 606B, the first motor shaft 608A and the second motor shaft 608B may, for example, be formed from AISI/SAE 1020 steel.

    [0024] FIG. 7 illustrates, in a right rear perspective view, elements of the lift unit 600 of FIG. 6. Included among elements of the lift unit 600 that are not visible in the view of FIG. 6 are a strap guard 702 mounted to the strap hub 602.

    [0025] In overview, the patient lift system 100 may be seen to help lift and mobilize a disabled person with minimal effort from a caregiver.

    [0026] In one aspect of the present application, the lift motors 620A, 620B are direct current (DC) motors that are powered by the batteries that are hidden by the battery compartment covers 230R, 230L. An alternating current (AC) electrical circuit may be formed as the first charging contact 302A contacts a first charge point (not shown) within the track and the second charging contact 302B contacts a second charge point (not shown) also within the track.

    [0027] Via the first charging bolt 303A, the current received by the first charging contact 302A may be transferred to the first quick release trolley latch 312A and from the first quick release trolley latch 312A to the first latching post 502A. The current may then flow from the first latching post 502A to the second latching post 502B through battery charging circuitry (not shown) within the lift unit chassis 102. From the second latching post 502B, the circuit is completed through the second quick release trolley latch 312B, the second charging bolt 303B and the second charging contact 302B. It should be appreciated that the design of the battery charging circuitry is fairly routine and may include relays, integrated circuits, resistors and other electronic components.

    [0028] In operation, the caregiver may employ the hand control unit 110 to control the patient lift system 100 to cause the first lift motor 620A and the second lift motor 620B to rotate their respective motor shafts 608A, 608B. Indeed, signals from the hand control unit 110 may be received, within the lift unit chassis 102, at control circuitry (not shown). Responsive to receiving the signals, the control circuitry may control flow of current from the batteries to the first lift motor 620A and the second lift motor 620B. The rotation of the first motor shaft 608A effects rotation of the first motor gear 604A, which effects rotation of the first idler gear 606A. Similarly, the rotation of the second motor shaft 608B effects rotation of the second motor gear 604B, which effects rotation of the second idler gear 606B. The rotation of the first idler gear 606A and the second idler gear 606B causes rotation of the hub gear 630, which causes rotation of the strap hub 602 in a manner that, in one direction, allows the strap 104 to spool out of the lift unit chassis 102, thereby lowering the carry bar 106. The rotation of the first idler gear 606A and the second idler gear 606B causes rotation of the hub gear 630, which causes rotation of the strap hub 602 in a manner that, in the other direction, allows the strap 104 to spool up into the lift unit chassis 102, thereby raising the carry bar 106.

    [0029] With the carry bar 106 lowered, the care giver may connect a first end of a sling (not shown) to the first hook 112A of the carry bar 106 and may connect a second end of the sling to the second hook 112B of the carry bar 106. The caregiver may then position the sling under the patient to be moved. Once the sling has been appropriately positioned, the caregiver may, through appropriate actuation of one or more buttons on the hand control unit 110, control the patient lift system 100 so that the first lift motor 620A and the second lift motor 620B rotate their respective motor shafts 608A, 608B to, indirectly, cause rotation of the strap hub 602 in a manner that, in one direction, allows the strap 104 to spool up, into the lift unit chassis 102, thereby raising the carry bar 106 and the patient in the sling.

    [0030] The patient lift system 100 of FIG. 1 is dramatically smaller in size than current competitors (small size => 7.86" or 19,96cm long, 7.82" or 19,86cm wide, 4.29" or 10,90cm thick). By reducing the size, a user gains degrees of vertical travel important in an area with a relatively low ceiling. Furthermore, the user may find improved horizontal travel (over competing devices), which is important in small rooms where beds and other furniture will be against walls. Even further, the reduced size facilitates easier storage at a manufactures warehousing facility and in a hospital's central equipment area. The reduced size also reduces shipping costs and makes installation and maintenance easier. The small size also allows the fitting of multiple lifts in the same amount of space that would fit a single lift of known size and shape. Two lifts may facilitate the lifting of a patient weighing over 453,6kg (1000 lbs).

    [0031] The relatively small size of the patient lift system 100 is facilitated through the selection of small powerful motors for the first lift motor 620A and the second lift motor 620B. Furthermore, the patient lift system 100 may be considered to have been enhanced relative to competitive devices through the use of efficient metal gearing to reduce power loss through internal friction. Indeed, spur gears with high strength bushing or bearings may be used for the hub gear 630, the first idler gear 606A, the second idler gear 606B, the first motor gear 604A and the second motor gear 604B. Consequently, deflection may be minimized while reducing rotational resistance.

    [0032] A value representative of efficiency is current draw. It may be illustrated that the patient lift 100 may draw only 12 Amps for a task that may cause a competitive system to draw 20 Amps or more.

    [0033] In addition, the overall shape is designed for aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, the overall shape is designed for seamlessness, which may be seen to address infection control concerns. Conveniently, the lift unit chassis 102, the carry bar 106 and the hand control unit 110 have been designed to have shapes and features that may be seen to facilitate quick and easy cleaning. Furthermore, gaps have been minimized for infection control purposes.

    [0034] Moreover, the patient lift system 100 may include a sterile strap cover (not shown) to fit the exposed length of the strap 104 to provide protection against infection. This strap cover (not shown) may be mounted, on one end, to a carry bar attachment mechanism on the carry bar 106 and, on the other end, to a lift unit chassis attachment mechanism on the lift unit chassis 102. Conveniently, minimal effort from user is required to install such a strap cover. The strap cover may be disposable or may be configured for easy sterilization.

    [0035] The hand control unit 110 is also designed with infection control in mind. In order to provide a seamless hand control unit 110, the hand control unit 110 is designed with touch sensitive controls that have no seams and, thereby, facilitate cleaning. The touch sensitive controls are designed to allow for operation by a user wearing gloves, a user wearing no gloves or through other plastic covers around the hand control unit 110. By designing features that take into account infection control, the patient lift system 100 could be installed in areas where sterilization and infection control is a major concern, e.g., in an operating room. Furthermore, the touch sensitive controls allow caregivers with limited dexterity to operate the patient lift system 100 with ease.

    [0036] Another feature allows for hospital administration to manage lift stock by installing track all around the hospital, while utilizing only a few lifts at any given point. Such ease of management is facilitated by the quick release trolley system. The quick release trolley system is designed with a multiple hook system that allow for a connection to be formed between the trolley 300 and the lift unit chassis 102. The trolley 300 is designed such that the installation of the lift unit chassis 102 to the trolley 300 is a one hand operation. The connection to be formed between the trolley 300 and the lift unit chassis 102 provides both a mechanical connection and an electrical connection. A visual and/or audio confirmation may provide, to a user, feedback for confirmation of correct installation. Indeed, for audio confirmation of correct installation, one or more tones may be generated. Upon detection of an incorrect installation, an audio buzzer may be activated to alert the user. For visual confirmation, the lift unit chassis 102 may be equipped with multiple light emitting diodes (LEDs) whose illumination may be visible outside of the lift unit chassis 102. Upon detecting that the patient lift system 100 is not installed correctly, circuitry within the lift unit chassis 102 may arrange the illumination of a red LED. The red LED may remain illuminated until the patient lift system 100 is installed properly.

    [0037] To prevent accidental disengagement, the patient lift system 100 employs a passive locking system, which is designed such that the user must apply force to the lift unit chassis 102, e.g., lift the lift unit chassis 102 and press the quick release trolley buttons 202A, 202B toward each other to disengage the lift unit chassis 102 from the trolley 300. The quick release latches 312A, 312B are designed to ensure they do not move unless and until is lifted upwards to remove load from the quick release latches 312A, 312B before being able to press the quick release latches 312A, 312B inwards to disengage.

    [0038] Moreover, in areas where there is possibility of a patient with a weight that surpasses a weight limit, the track can be outfitted with multiple trolleys but without the lift unit chassis 102. When there is need for lifting a particularly heavy patient, the user can simply bring in a second lift unit chassis 102 and quickly connect the second lift unit chassis 102 to the trolley 300. This allows for sharing of patient lift systems 100 between multiple rooms.

    [0039] To provide a lift unit chassis 102 with such a small size required innovation on the mechanical level as well on the electrical level. The lift unit chassis 102 was designed such that two motors 620 are used to wind the strap 104 upon the spool 702, thereby lifting the patient. The use of the two motors 620 enables the strap 104 and the center of gravity to remain at the center of the lift unit chassis 102. The strap hub 602 is arranged in parallel with the gear shafts 608 of the motors 620. This provides a high efficiency system that is both powerful and compact.

    [0040] In addition, for maintenance, the lift unit chassis 102 is designed with separate battery compartments. Separate battery compartments the user does not have to disassemble the main covers to replace batteries. In addition, the unit is designed to accept multiple battery technologies such as Li-Po, Ni-Mh, etc., to ensure ease of switching to a different battery type if need ever arises.

    [0041] The motors 620 also incorporate a spindle lock technology that prevents the motors 620 from back driving and ensures a smooth consistent acceleration and deceleration.

    [0042] The carry bar 106 is also designed with usability and infection control in mind. A quick connect design allows the user to quickly engage and disengage the carry bar 106 from the strap 104. Passive safety systems in the quick connect carry bar hooks 112A, 112B ensures no accidental disengagement occurs. The user has to lift the carry bar 106 such that the tension is removed between the strap 104 and the carry bar 106 before being able to disconnect the carry bar 106 from the strap 104. Thus, possibility of accidental disengagement is minimized. Seamless design of covers ensure no infection control issues arise from use of the units.

    [0043] Patient lift systems are primarily used in areas where the patients are too fragile to move themselves and require assistance. This also means that these patients are easily susceptible to infections. Although the patient lift system 100 is designed with infection control in mind, other devices within the room may not have been designed with the same care.

    [0044] The patient lift system 100 may also include a light wand (not shown) to help with infection control. The light wand may connect to a light wand trolley unit that is received within, and receives electrical power from, the track 108. Alternatively, the light wand may detachably connect to the lift unit chassis 102. Further alternatively, the light wand may employ a built-in connection to the lift unit chassis 102. The light wand may include a light source for generating light in a spectral range that is known to kill bacteria. In use, a user my actuate a switch to illuminate the light source and then cast the light generated by the light source upon exposed surfaces of the patient lift system 100.

    [0045] Consider that the slot-like aperture in the track 108 may allow bacteria into the track 108. It is proposed herein to minimize exposure of the inside of the track 108 to the ambient environment.

    [0046] FIG. 8A illustrates, in a perspective view, the track 108 of FIG. 1 modified to include a seal made up of two portions: a first seal portion 802A; and a second seal portion 802B. Collectively, the first seal portion 802A and the second seal portion 802B may be called a seal and associated with reference number 802. The seal 802 may be manufactured, for example, from natural rubber or other materials that are known for relative ease in cleaning. Further example materials include Polyurethane, Silicone, Buna-N and a flexible form of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). FIG. 8B illustrates, in a sectional view, the modified track of FIG. 8A.

    [0047] Conveniently, while the opposing portions of the track 108 define a gap of a certain dimension, the seal 802 defines a gap 804 of significantly smaller dimension.

    [0048] In operation, the seal portions 802A, 802B are arranged to flex to allow the quick release trolley latches 312A, 312B to enlarge and extend through the gap 804 to engage the quick release trolley plate 204 of the lift unit chassis 102. It will be understood that, along the length of the track 108, wherever the quick release trolley latches 312A, 312B are not extending through the gap 804, the gap 804 is maintained at a minimum.

    [0049] The above-described implementations of the present application are intended to be examples only. Alterations, modifications and variations may be effected to the particular implementations by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the application, which is defined by the claims appended hereto.


    Claims

    1. A patient lift system (100) for connecting to a track, the system comprising:

    a trolley (300) arranged to form a mechanical and electrical connection to the track;

    a lift unit chassis (102) operable to form an electrical connection and a mechanical connection with the trolley, the chassis enclosing:

    a strap hub (602);

    a hub gear (603) attached to the strap hub;

    a plurality of gear shafts (608A, 608B);

    a plurality of gears (604A, 604B); and

    a plurality of motors (620A, 620B), each motor of the plurality of motors arranged to drive a respective gear shaft among the plurality of gear shafts, each gear shaft of the plurality of gear shafts connected to a respective gear among the plurality of gears, the plurality of gears arranged such that the hub gear rotates responsive to rotation of the gear shafts by the motors;

    a strap (104) extending external to the lift unit chassis, attached, at a first end, to the strap hub and attached, at a second end, to a connector (114); and

    a carry bar (106) connected to the connector;

    wherein the rotation of the hub gear acts to gather or release the strap, thereby raising or lowering the carry bar;

    wherein the trolley includes hook-shaped latches (312A, 312B) arranged to extend into the lift unit chassis when the connection between the lift unit chassis and the trolley is formed.


     
    2. The patient lift system of claim 1 further comprising a light emitting device for providing a visual confirmation of connection between the lift unit chassis and the trolley.
     
    3. The patient lift system of claim 1 further comprising a device for providing an audio confirmation of connection between the lift unit chassis and the trolley.
     
    4. The patient lift system of claim 1 wherein the connector includes passive disengagement prevention.
     
    5. The patient lift system of claim 1 wherein at least one motor of the plurality of motors further comprises a mechanism for preventing back driving.
     
    6. The patient lift system of claim 5 wherein the mechanism is a spindle lock.
     
    7. The patient lift system of claim 1 further comprising a seamless lift cover.
     
    8. The patient lift system of claim 1 further comprising a cover for the strap.
     
    9. The patient lift system of claim 8 further comprising a carry bar attachment mechanism adapted to attaching the cover to the carry bar.
     
    10. The patient lift system of claim 8 further comprising a lift chassis attachment mechanism adapted to attach the cover to the lift chassis.
     
    11. The patient lift system of claim 8 wherein the strap cover comprises:

    a disposable strap cover; or

    a strap cover configured for easy sterilization.


     
    12. The patient lift system of claim 1 further comprising a hand control unit adapted to actuate operation of the plurality of motors.
     
    13. The patient lift system of claim 12 wherein the hand control unit comprises touch sensitive switches.
     
    14. The patient lift system of claim 13 wherein the touch sensitive switches comprise capacitive touch switches.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Patientenhebesystem (100) zum Verbinden mit einer Bahn, wobei das System Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Schlitten (300), ausgelegt zum Bilden einer mechanischen und elektrischen Verbindung mit der Bahn;

    ein Hebeeinheitschassis (102) mit der Aufgabe, eine elektrische Verbindung und eine mechanische Verbindung mit dem Schlitten zu bilden, wobei das Chassis Folgendes beinhaltet:

    eine Riemennabe (602);

    ein Nabenzahnrad (603), das an der Riemennabe angebracht ist;

    mehrere Zahnradwellen (608A, 608B);

    mehrere Zahnräder (604A, 604B); und

    mehrere Motoren (620A, 620B), wobei jeder der mehreren Motoren zum Antreiben einer jeweiligen Zahnradwelle unter den mehreren Zahnradwellen ausgelegt ist, wobei jede Zahnradwelle der mehreren Zahnradwellen mit einem jeweiligen der mehreren Zahnräder verbunden ist, wobei die mehreren Zahnräder so ausgelegt sind, dass das Nabenzahnrad als Reaktion auf die Drehung der Zahnradwellen durch die Motoren rotiert;

    einen Riemen (104), der außerhalb des Hebeeinheitschassis verläuft, an einem ersten Ende an der Riemennabe und an einem zweiten Ende an einem Verbinder (114) angebracht; und

    eine mit dem Verbinder verbundene Tragstange (106);

    wobei die Rotation des Nabenzahnrads die Funktion hat, den Riemen einzuziehen oder auszugeben, um dadurch die Tragstange zu heben bzw. zu senken;

    wobei der Schlitten hakenförmige Klauen (312A, 312B) aufweist, so ausgelegt, dass sie sich in das Hebeeinheitschassis erstrecken, wenn die Verbindung zwischen dem Hebeeinheitschassis und dem Schlitten hergestellt wird.


     
    2. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, das ferner eine lichtemittierende Vorrichtung zum Geben einer visuellen Bestätigung der Verbindung zwischen dem Hebeeinheitschassis und dem Schlitten umfasst.
     
    3. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, das ferner eine Vorrichtung zum Geben einer akustischen Bestätigung der Verbindung zwischen dem Hebeeinheitschassis und dem Schlitten umfasst.
     
    4. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Verbinder eine passive Trennungsverhinderung aufweist.
     
    5. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, wobei wenigstens ein Motor der mehreren Motoren ferner einen Mechanismus zur Rücklaufverhütung umfasst.
     
    6. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Mechanismus eine Spindelsperre ist.
     
    7. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, das ferner eine nahtlose Hebeabdeckung umfasst.
     
    8. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, das ferner eine Abdeckung für den Riemen umfasst.
     
    9. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 8, das ferner einen Tragstangenanbringmechanismus umfasst, der zum Anbringen der Abdeckung an der Tragstange ausgelegt ist.
     
    10. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 8, das ferner einen Hebechassis-Anbringmechanismus umfasst, der zum Anbringen der Abdeckung am Hebechassis ausgelegt ist.
     
    11. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Riemenabdeckung Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Einweg-Riemenabdeckung; oder

    eine Riemenabdeckung, die für eine leichte Sterilisation konfiguriert ist.


     
    12. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 1, das ferner eine Handsteuereinheit umfasst, die zum Bedienen des Betriebs der mehreren Motoren ausgelegt ist.
     
    13. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 12, wobei die Handsteuereinheit berührungsempfindliche Schalter umfasst.
     
    14. Patientenhebesystem nach Anspruch 13, wobei die berührungsempfindlichen Schalter kapazitive Berührungsschalter umfassen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de levage de patient (100) destiné à être connecté à un rail, le système comprenant :

    un chariot (300) agencé pour former une connexion électrique et mécanique avec le rail ;

    un châssis d'unité de levage (102) actionnable pour former une connexion électrique et une connexion mécanique avec le chariot, le châssis renfermant :

    un moyeu de sangle (602) ;

    un pignon de moyeu (603) fixé au moyeu de sangle ;

    une pluralité d'arbres de pignon (608A, 608B) ;

    une pluralité de pignons (604A, 604B) ; et

    une pluralité de moteurs (620A, 620B), chaque moteur de la pluralité de moteurs étant agencé pour entraîner un arbre de pignon respectif parmi la pluralité d'arbres de pignon, chaque arbre de pignon de la pluralité d'arbres de pignon étant raccordé à un pignon respectif parmi la pluralité de pignons, la pluralité de pignons étant agencés de telle sorte que le pignon de moyeu tourne en réponse à la rotation des arbres de pignon par les moteurs ;

    une sangle (104) s'étendant à l'extérieur du châssis d'unité de levage, fixée à une première extrémité au moyeu de sangle et fixée à une deuxième extrémité à un connecteur (114) ; et

    une barre de support (106) raccordée au connecteur ;

    dans lequel la rotation du pignon de moyeu agit pour prendre ou relâcher la sangle, ce qui élève ou abaisse la barre de support ;

    dans lequel le chariot inclut des loquets en forme de crochet (312A, 312B) agencés pour s'étendre dans le châssis d'unité de levage quand la connexion entre le châssis d'unité de levage et le chariot est formée.


     
    2. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un dispositif électroluminescent pour fournir une confirmation de connexion visuelle entre le châssis d'unité de levage et le chariot.
     
    3. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un dispositif pour fournir une confirmation de connexion sonore entre le châssis d'unité de levage et le chariot.
     
    4. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le connecteur inclut un dispositif anti-désengagement passif.
     
    5. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, dans lequel un ou plusieurs moteurs de la pluralité de moteurs comprennent en outre un mécanisme pour éviter un recul.
     
    6. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le mécanisme est un verrouillage de broche.
     
    7. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un couvre-système de levage sans jointure.
     
    8. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un couvre-sangle pour la sangle.
     
    9. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre un mécanisme de fixation de barre de support adapté pour fixer le couvre-sangle à la barre de support.
     
    10. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre un mécanisme de fixation de châssis de levage adapté pour fixer le couvre-sangle au châssis de levage.
     
    11. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le couvre-sangle comprend :

    un couvre-sangle jetable ; ou

    un couvre-sangle configuré pour une stérilisation facile.


     
    12. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre une unité de commande manuelle adaptée pour actionner le fonctionnement de la pluralité de moteurs.
     
    13. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 12, dans lequel l'unité de commande manuelle comprend des commutateurs à effleurement.
     
    14. Système de levage de patient selon la revendication 13, dans lequel les commutateurs à effleurement comprennent des commutateurs à effleurement capacitifs.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description