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April 7, 1953 G, W.

, HIGGS 2,633,842
INFANT INCUBATOR
Filed March 20, 1951 5 Sheets-Sheet 2

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April 7, 1953 G. W. H.GGS 2,633,842
INFANT INCUBATOR
Filed March 20, 195l. 3. Sheets-Sheet 3

ATTORNEY
Patented Apr. 7, 1953 2,633,842

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE


2,633,82
NFANT INCUBATOR,
George William Higgs, London, England
Application March 20, 1951, Serial No. 216,47
In Great Britain March 30, 1950
Cains. (C. 28-as-)

This invention relates to infant incubators for on strips of soft material such as rubber or felt to
treating newly born infants, particularly prema reduce leakage of air.
ture infants, by maintaining them in an atmos A compartment 9 below the incubation cham
phere which is closely controlled as to tempera ber contains the air circulating and treating ap
ture and humidity and can, if required, be given paratus, and below the compartment 9 are lock
a high oxygen content. ers 20, 20 closed by hinged doors 2. The unit is
The object of the invention is to provide a unit, mounted on castors 22 to provide mobility. The
preferably portable, which includes the treat apparatus in the compartment 9 includes an air
ment chamber itself, all the necessary apparatus drying tank. 23 at one end of the compartment,
for circulating, heating and humidifying the air O a conduit 24 leading from the tank 23 to the
and for adding oxygen thereto in the desired pro inlet of a fan 25 driven by an electric motor 26,
portion, and control means for the said appara a conduit 27 leading from the outlet of the fan
tus, the unit requiring only to be connected to a 25 to a junction at 28, and branch conduits 29 and
source of electric current supply and a supply of 30 leading from the junction. The conduit 29
oxygen to be fully operative, 5 leads directly to a port 3 in a horizontal parti
An infant incubator according to the invention tion 32 between the inner and outer end walls
comprises a treatment chamber formed as the and 3, and the conduit 30 leads into a water
upper part of the unit, the lower part of the unit tank 33 from which another conduit 34 leads to
containing, in a Space which is completely iso a second port 35 in the partition 32. A down
lated from the treatment chamber, apparatus for wardly-extending baffle 36, Figure 2, is provided
circulating, heating and humidifying air and for in the tank 33. A conduit 37 leads from the tank
adding controlled quantities of oxygen thereto, 23 into the conduit 27 upstream of the junction
the air circulating apparatus Supplying air to one 28, this conduit 37 being connected to a Venturi
end of the treatment chamber and withdrawing tube 38 (Figures 2 and 4) in the tank 23, into the
it from the other. 25 mouth of which projects a tube 39 projecting to
The invention is hereinafter described with the exterior of the cabinet for connection to an
reference to the accompanying drawings, in oxygen cylinder. A controllable air inlet 40 is
which: w - provided in the tank 23, comprising an apertured
Figure 1 is a perspective view of one form of disc 4. (Figure 7) rotatably mounted to co-oper
infant incubator according to the invention; 30 ate with fixed apertures 42 in the cabinet wall and
Figure 2 is a longitudinal section of the unit associated with an indicator pointer 43, a filter
shown in Figure 1, some of the parts being dis pad 44 (Figure 2) being located on the inner side
placed from their normal relative positions for of the inlet 40. A conduit 45 leads from a hori
clarity; Zontal partition 46 between the end walls 2 and
Figure 3 is a sectional plan taken om the line 4 into the top of the tank 23. The inner end
3-3 of Figure 2; walls and 2 of the incubation chamber are
Figure 4 is a sectional plan taken on the line provided with open mesh screens 47.
4-4 of Figure 2; Electric heaters 48, 49 and 50 are provided on
Figures 5 and 6 are sectional elevations taken the tank. 23, the junction 28 and the tank 33
respectively on the lines 5-5 and 6-6 of Fig O
respectively.
urê 4; A thermostat 5 is provided in the incubation
Figure 7 is a detail shown in elevation; and chamber 10, and is provided with control means
Figure 8 is a diagram showing the electrical at 52 for setting the temperature in the incuba
circuit of the unit. tion chamber. An auxiliary electric heater 53 of
Referring to the drawings, the incubator com Small capacity is provided close to the thermo
štati.
prises a métal cabinet the upper part of which A flat tubular metal frame 54 is mounted in the
forms an incubation chamber 10, the ends of incubation chamber on a transverse pivot at the
which are defined by inner end walls and 2 longitudinal centre of the chamber, the frame 54
spaced from the outer end walls í3 and í4 of the having welded to it two stub shafts 55, 55 which
cabinet. The incubation chamber 10 is closed by 50
rest in grooves in the tops of pedestals 56, 56.
a, transparent cover including a fixed front por The frame supports a tray 57 in which the pa
tion 5, a fixed portion f6 extending over the back tient to be treatédis laid. The inclination of the
and half the top of the chamber, and a portion f7 frame is adjustable by means of a yoke 58 carried
hinged at 8 to the portion f6, to provide access 55 by a nut 59 mounted on a screw-threaded shaft
to the chamber. The edges of the portion - rest 80 mounted vertically in bearings between the
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end walls 2 and 4, the yoke being connected to through the venturi 38 and conduit 37, so that it
the frame 54 by links 6, 6 passing through slots draws air from the tank 23 as it flows through.
in the inner end Wall 2. The shaft 6 is Oper the venturi. If the fan 25 should fail whilst oxy
ated by a knob 62. gen is being supplied, the fow of oxygen keeps up
The port 35 in the partition 32 is controlled by the air circulation.
a slide 63 actuated by a knob 64, the slide being The heaters are controlled by the thermostat 5
mounted in guides 65 on the partition and Carry to maintain a constant predetermined tempera
ing a nut engaging a screw-thread on a rod 66 ture in the incubation chamber. The auxiliary
carrying the knob.64. heate 53 heats the thernostat. 5 is directly, and
A humidity meter 67 and a thermometer 68 are O thus brings it to the predetermined temperature
provided on the top of the casing, and also a before the main the heaters have heated the air
warning light S9 which remains alight at all times sufficiently to bring the incubation chamber 0 to
when the current is switched on. Additional that temperature, but as the auxiliary heater 53
warning lights 7 are provided which indicate has a much smaller heat storage capacity than
when the various heaters are working, and a fur 5 the main heaters, it cools down and allows the
ther warning light 80 which remains alight So thermostat to cut in before the main heaters have
long as the motor is running. A bell or other cooled down to any great extent.
audible warning device is provided, operated by The required temperature is thus built up grad
an independent electricity supply, this audible ually, and the temperature does not rise Substan
warning being brought into operation if the main 20 tially above the set limit due to storage of heat
electricity Supply fails. . .. by the main heaters.
Figure 8 shows the electrical circuit of the unit. If the fan 25 ceases Working, due to stopping of
Connections to alternating current Supply mains the notor 26, the Warning light 3 goes out. The
of suitable voitage are made at , the heaters Warning lights light up when the heaters are
f8, 4.9, 5 and 53 being connected directly acroSS 25 On, and go out When the heaters are off. If the
the mains and the heaters 48, 49 and 5 having main currents supply fails, the circuit is closed
in series with them their respective indicator and the alarm bell rings, Whilst at the same time
iights , each in parallel with a resistance. The the light 69 goes out.
thermostat 5 operates a hot wire vacuum Switch The position of the patient is determined by
2 the contacts of which are arranged in One of 30 turning the knob 62 to rock the frame 54 and tray
the supply lines to the heaters. The thernostat 52 about the pivot shafts 55.
controls contacts in parallel with the heating wire I ciai:
of the hot wire vacuum Switch, opening the con 1. An air circulating and humidifying system in
tacts to cause heating of the Wire When the Set an infant incubator Comprising an air drying
temperature is reached. The primary of a trans 35 chamber, means for admitting atmospheric air to
former 73 is also connected acroSS the mains, the said drying chamber, a fan drawing air from said
transformer supplying current to the motor 26 drying chamber, two conduits both receiving air
and its indicator light F4. A relay coil 5, also delivered by said fan, a humidifying chamber
connected across the mains, controls contacts 5 interposed in one of said conduits, an incubation
in the circuit including the alarm bell i8 and 40
chaniber into which both of said conduits lead,
a dry battery 79. A triple pole main switch. 8 Valve means controlling the flow of air through
controls both the connections to the Supply mains at least one of Said conduits, and a return conduit
and the circuit 77. A main fuse 8 is provided, leading from said incubation chamber to said air
and also a fuse 82 which, in the event of the am drying chamber.
bient temperature rising above a predetermined 45 2. An air circulating System in an infant incu
value, breaks the circuit through the heating Wire bator comprising an air drying chamber, means
of the hot wire vacuum Switch and the relay coil for admitting atmospheric air to said drying
5, thus opening the heater circuit and causing chamber, a fan drawing air from said drying
the alarm bell to ring. This arrangement pro chamber, an incubation chamber, a main air con
vides for preventing excessive temperatures from 50 duit leading from Said fan to said incubation
being reached if the thernostat fails. The Warn chamber, a Wenturi tube having its mouth open
ing light 69 is connected across a part of the sec to Said air drying chamber, a fan by-pass conduit
ondary Winding of the transformer 3. leading from Said Wenturi tube and connected to
The unit operates in the following manner. the main air conduit on the downstream side of
Air is circulated by the fan 25 through the con 55 the fan, an oxygen Supply tube projecting into the
duit, 27, brainch conduits 219, 30, the incubation throat of Said Wenturi tube, and a return conduit
chamber , conduit 45, tank 23 and conduit 24, leading from said incubation chamber to said air
a proportion of fresh air determined by the Set drying chamber.
ting of the inlet 4 being constantly drawn in 3. An air circulating and humidifying system in
through the inlet 48, to replace leakage from 60 an infant incubator comprising an air drying
the incubation chamber. The air is dried and chamber, means for admitting atmospheric air to
warmed in the tank 23 by the heater 48, and is Said drying chamber, a fan drawing air from said
further Warmed by the heater 49 at the junction drying chamber, a humidifying chamber, a first
28. The air which passes through the conduit 30 air conduit leading from said fan to said humidi
aiso passes through the tank 33, Which, being 35 fying chamber, an incubation chamber, a second
heated by the heater 59, maintains the air above air conduit leading from said humidifying cham
the water therein constantly saturated with water per to Said incubation chamber, a third air con
vapour, and thus the air Supplied to the incuba 1 duit brainching from Said first air conduit and
...tion chamber through the conduit 34 is Saturated. leading directly to said incubation chamber, valve
The slide 63 controls the opening of the port 35, 70 means controlling the relative flow of air in said
and thus controls the proportion of Saturated air Second and third conduits, a Venturi tube having
supplied to the incubation chamber, to control the its mouth open to said air drying chamber, a fan
humidity. by-pass conduit leading from said Venturi tube
If oxygen is required, an oxygen cylinder is 75 and connected to the first air conduit between
connected to the tube 39, the oxygen being fed the fan and the junction therewith of the third
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air conduit, an oxygen supply tube projecting branching from said first air conduit and leading
axially into the throat of said Wenturi tube SO directly to said space, valve means controlling the
that oxygen entering said Wenturi tube induces a flow of air in said second air conduit, a return air
flow of air through said Wenturi tube, and a re conduit leading from the Space between the other
turn conduit leading from said incubation cham pair of end walls to the air drying chamber, and
berto said airdrying chamber. means for admitting atmospheric air to said dry
4. An air circulating and humidifying system ing chamber.
in an infant incubator comprising an air drying 6. An air circulating and humidifying system.
chamber, means for admitting atmospheric air to for an infant incubator according to claim 1, in
said drying chamber, a fan drawing air from Said O cluding regulating means for regulating the at
drying chamber, a humidifying chamber, a first mospheric air admitting means.
air conduit leading from said fan to said humidi 7. An infant incubator comprising a cabinet, an
fying chamber, an incubation chamber, a second incubation chamber in the upper part of said
air conduit leading from said humidifying cham cabinet, outer end Walls closing the ends of said
berto said incubation chamber, a third air con 5 cabinet, inner end Walls closing the ends of said
duit brainching from said first air conduit and incubation chamber, horizontal partitions be
leading directly to said incubation chamber, valve tween said inner and outer end walls enclosing
means controlling the flow of air in said second Spaces therebetween, open mesh screens in said
air conduit, a return conduit leading from said inner end walls, air circulating means drawing air
incubation chamber to said air drying chamber, 20 from One of said spaces and returning it to the
first electric heating means for heating Said air other, trunnion Supports located in said incuba
drying chamber, second electric heating means tion chamber one on each side thereof, a frame,
for heating said first air conduit, third electric trunnions on said grane rockably engaging said
heating means for heating said humidifying trunnion Supports, a vertical screw mounted in
chamber, and thermostatic means actuated by 25 one of said spaces, a nut on said screw, means for
the temperature in the incubation chamber con holding said nut against rotation, links connect
trolling the supply of electric current to all three ing said nut to said frame, and an infant-Sup
heating means. porting tray mounted on said frame, said infant
5. An infant incubator comprising a cabinet, an Supporting tray being angularly adjustable about
incubation chamber in the upper part of Said 30 said trunnions with said frame by rotation of
cabinet, outer end walls closing the ends of said said screw.
cabinet, inner end walls closing the ends of said GEORGE WILLIAM HIGGS.
incubation chamber and Spaced from Said outer
end walls, horizontal partitions between said in REFERENCES CTED
ner and outer end walls to enclose spaces there 35 The following references are of record in the
between, open mesh screens in said inner end file of this patent:
Walls, an air drying chamber, a fan drawing air UNITED STATES PATENTS
from said air drying chamber, a humidifying
chamber, a first air conduit connecting said fan Number Name Date
to said humidifying chamber, a Second air conduit 40 2,243,999 Chapple ------------- June 3, 1941
connecting said humidifying chamber to the space 2,246,820 Taylor ------------ June 24, 1941
between One pair of end Walls, a third air conduit