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Publication numberUS20030056285 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/235,299
Publication dateMar 27, 2003
Filing dateSep 5, 2002
Priority dateSep 5, 2001
Publication number10235299, 235299, US 2003/0056285 A1, US 2003/056285 A1, US 20030056285 A1, US 20030056285A1, US 2003056285 A1, US 2003056285A1, US-A1-20030056285, US-A1-2003056285, US2003/0056285A1, US2003/056285A1, US20030056285 A1, US20030056285A1, US2003056285 A1, US2003056285A1
InventorsJanice Pollastri, Sandra Nowokunski
Original AssigneePollastri Janice R., Nowokunski Sandra A.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Disposable drainage container
US 20030056285 A1
Abstract
A disposable drainage container to be used in a medical procedure. One embodiment of the container comprises a sloped base and walls that are integrally formed with the sloped base. The container is adapted to collect fluids from the medical procedure and is made of a composition and shaped such that it is substantially rigid and such that it is not collapsible under weight of the fluid from the medical procedure. The container further comprises a drainage spout disposed within the sloped base that is configured such that it can be sealed to collect the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure and such that it can be unsealed to flush the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure. The composition is also disposable, is compatible with a surgical procedure environment, and provides substantial rigidity to the disposable drainage container.
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Claims(98)
1. A disposable drainage container to be used in a cystoscopy medical procedure, comprising:
a sloped base;
walls that are integrally formed with the sloped base to comprise the disposable drainage container, that is adapted to collect fluids from the cystoscopy medical procedure and that is made of a composition and shaped such that it is substantially rigid and such that the disposable drainage container is not collapsible under weight of the fluid from the cystoscopy medical procedure; and
a drainage spout disposed within the sloped base that is configured such that it can be sealed so as to collect the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure and such that it can be unsealed to flush the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure;
wherein the disposable drainage container is formed from the composition that is disposable, that is compatible with a surgical procedure environment, and that provides substantial rigidity to the disposable drainage container.
2. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the disposable drainage container is supplied for a single-use.
3. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising means for attaching the disposable drainage container to a urology table.
4. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising at least one projection adapted to fit within at least one slot of a urology table to suspend the disposable drainage container from the urology table.
5. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising at least one flange adapted to rest on a frame of a urology table to suspend the disposable drainage container from the frame of the urology table.
6. The disposable drainage container of claim 5, wherein the at least one flange is disposed around a perimeter of the disposable drainage container.
7. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, in combination with a urology table having a frame to suspend the disposable drainage container.
8. The disposable drainage container of claim 7 in combination with the urology table, wherein the urology table includes means for moving the frame relative to the table.
9. The disposable drainage container of claim 7 in combination with the urology table, wherein the urology table includes means for retracting the frame at least partially beneath a portion of the table.
10. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising a screen that is adapted to fit within the disposable drainage container, to pass the fluids and to collect debris resulting from the cystoscopy procedure.
11. The disposable drainage container of claim 10, wherein the disposable drainage further comprises a ledge formed in the walls of the disposable drainage container, and wherein the ledge is adapted to support the screen.
12. The disposable drainage container of claim 10, wherein the screen includes one or more tabs to facilitate removal of the screen from the disposable drainage container.
13. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising means for attaching a surgical drape to the disposable drainage container.
14. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising an adhesive for attaching a surgical drape to the disposable drainage container.
15. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the sloped base forms an acute angle with a first wall and an obtuse angle with a second wall.
16. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising a plug adapted to mate with the drainage spout to seal the drainage spout.
17. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, further comprising a valve coupled to the drainage spout to seal and unseal the drainage spout.
18. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the disposable drainage container has a depth dimension formed by the walls and the sloped base, and wherein the drainage spout is disposed within the sloped base at a portion of the disposable drainage container having substantially a greatest depth.
19. The disposable drainage container of claim 18, wherein the drainage spout is disposed substantially at one end of the sloped base.
20. The disposable drainage container of claim 18, wherein the drainage spout is disposed substantially at the center of the sloped base.
21. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a non-metallic material.
22. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a sterile material.
23. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a plastic.
24. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition is latex-free.
25. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a biodegradable material.
26. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a heat resistant material.
27. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the composition comprises a transparent material.
28. The disposable drainage container of claim 1, wherein the disposable drainage container includes measurement indicia.
29. The disposable container of claim 1, wherein the disposable drainage container has a cross-section having dimensions of approximately 12.5 inches by approximately 10.5 inches.
30. A method of using the disposable drainage container of claim 1 in a medical procedure, comprising an act of:
collecting the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure in the disposable drainage container.
31. A disposable container for collection of a fluid or debris resulting from a medical procedure, comprising:
walls coupled to a sloped base to form a substantially rectangular, rigid basin, the basin being formed from a composition that is disposable; and
a spout disposed within the sloped base for passing the fluid from the basin.
32. The disposable drainage container of claim 31, wherein the disposable container is supplied for a single-use.
33. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the basin is formed from the composition and shaped such that it is substantially non-collapsible.
34. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising means for attaching the disposable container to a medical table.
35. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising:
at least one projection coupled to the walls of the basin, the projection arranged to be compatible with and suspend the container from a medical table.
36. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising at least one flange adapted to rest on a frame of a medical table to suspend the disposable container from the frame of the medical table.
37. The disposable container of claim 36, wherein the at least one flange is disposed around a perimeter of the basin.
38. The disposable container of claim 31, in combination with a medical table, wherein the medical table comprises a frame to suspend the disposable container.
39. The disposable container of claim 38 in combination the medical table, wherein the medical table includes means for moving the frame relative to the medical table.
40. The disposable container of claim 39 in combination the medical table, wherein the medical table includes means for retracting the frame at least partially beneath a portion of the medical table.
41. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising a screen that is adapted to fit within the basin, to pass the fluids and to collect debris resulting from the medical procedure.
42. The disposable container of claim 41, wherein the disposable container further comprises a ledge formed in the walls of the basin, and wherein the ledge is adapted to support the screen.
43. The disposable container of claim 41, wherein the screen includes one or more tabs to facilitate removal of the screen from the disposable container.
44. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising means for attaching a surgical drape to the disposable container.
45. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising an adhesive for attaching a surgical drape to the disposable container.
46. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the sloped base forms an acute angle with a first wall and an obtuse angle with a second wall.
47. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the container has a depth dimension formed by the walls and the sloped base, and wherein the spout is disposed within the sloped base at a portion of the basin having substantially a greatest depth.
48. The disposable container of claim 47, wherein the spout is disposed substantially at one end of the sloped base.
49. The disposable container of claim 47, wherein the spout is disposed substantially at the center of the sloped base.
50. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising a plug adapted to mate with the spout to prevent passing of fluids from the basin.
51. The disposable container of claim 31, further comprising a valve coupled to the spout to prevent passing of fluids from the basin.
52. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition comprises a non-metallic material.
53. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition comprises a sterile material.
54. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition comprises a plastic.
55. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition is latex-free.
56. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition comprises a biodegradable material.
57. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition comprises a heat resistant material.
58. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the composition comprises a transparent material.
59. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the basin includes measurement indicia.
60. The disposable container of claim 31, wherein the basin has a cross-section having dimensions of approximately 12.5 inches by approximately 10.5 inches.
61. A method of using the disposable container of claim 31 in a medical procedure, comprising an act of:
collecting the fluid or debris resulting from the medical procedure in the disposable container.
62. A disposable container that is attachable to a frame of a medical table for collection of a fluid or debris resulting from a medical procedure, comprising:
walls coupled to a base to form a substantially rectangular, rigid basin, the basin being formed from a composition that is disposable; and
at least one flange disposed around a periphery of the basin, the at least one flange being adapted to be compatible with and suspend the basin from the frame of the medical table.
63. The disposable drainage container of claim 62, wherein the disposable container is supplied for a single-use.
64. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the basin is formed from the composition and shaped such that it is substantially non-collapsible.
65. The disposable container of claim 62, in combination with the medical table comprising the frame.
66. The disposable container of claim 62 in combination with the medical table, wherein the medical table includes means for moving the frame relative to the medical table.
67. The disposable container of claim 66 in combination the medical table, wherein the medical table includes means for retracting the frame at least partially beneath a portion of the medical table.
68. The disposable container of claim 62, further comprising a screen that is adapted to fit within the basin to pass the fluids and to collect debris resulting from the medical procedure.
69. The disposable container of claim 68, wherein the disposable container further comprises a ledge formed in the walls of the basin, and wherein the ledge is adapted to support the screen.
70. The disposable container of claim 68, wherein the screen includes one or more tabs to facilitate removal of the screen from the disposable container.
71. The disposable container of claim 62, further comprising means for attaching a surgical drape to the disposable container.
72. The disposable container of claim 62, further comprising an adhesive for attaching a surgical drape to the disposable container.
73. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the base forms an acute angle with a first wall and an obtuse angle with a second wall.
74. The disposable container of claim 62, further comprising a spout disposed within the base for passing fluids from the basin.
75. The disposable container of claim 74, further comprising a plug adapted to mate with the spout to prevent passing of fluids from the basin.
76. The disposable container of claim 74, further comprising a valve coupled to the spout to prevent passing of fluids from the basin.
77. The disposable container of claim 74, wherein the base is sloped to direct the fluid to the spout.
78. The disposable container of claim 77, wherein the container has a depth dimension formed by the walls and the sloped base, and wherein the spout is disposed within the sloped base at a portion of the basin having substantially a greatest depth.
79. The disposable container of claim 77, wherein the spout is disposed substantially at one end of the sloped base.
80. The disposable container of claim 77, wherein the spout is disposed substantially at the center of the sloped base.
81. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition comprises a non-metallic material.
82. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition comprises a sterile material.
83. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition comprises a plastic material.
84. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition is latex-free.
85. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition comprises a biodegradable material.
86. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition comprises a heat resistant material.
87. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the composition comprises a transparent material.
88. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the basin includes measurement indicia.
89. The disposable container of claim 62, wherein the basin has a cross-section having dimensions of approximately 12.5 inches by approximately 10.5 inches.
90. A method of using the disposable container of claim 62 in a medical procedure, comprising an act of:
collecting the fluid or debris resulting from the medical procedure in the disposable container.
91. A method of collecting a fluid resulting from a medical procedure, comprising acts of:
providing a container, made of a composition and shaped to be disposable and substantially rigid, with a sloped base;
coupling the container to a medical table; and
collecting the fluid resulting from the medical procedure in the container.
92. The method of claim 91, further comprising an act of moving the container to position the container with respect to the medical table.
93. The method of claim 92, wherein the act of moving the container includes retracting the container at least partially under the medical table.
94. The method of claim 91, further comprising an act of disposing of the container.
95. The method of claim 91, wherein the act of coupling the container to the medical table includes supporting the container within a frame of the medical table.
96. The method of claim 91, further comprising an act of passing the fluid from the container through a spout disposed within the sloped base.
97. The method of claim 91, further comprising an act of retaining medical instruments in the container.
98. The method of claim 91, further comprising an act providing a screen with the container to filter debris from the fluid.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e), of the filing date of U.S. provisional application serial No. 60/317,155 entitled “Disposable Drainage Container,” filed Sep. 5, 2001, and U.S. provisional application serial No. 60/332,262 entitled “Disposable Drainage Container,” filed Nov. 21, 2001, which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to the field of medical drainage containers and, more particularly, to the field of disposable drainage containers.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART
  • [0003]
    Medical tables are often provided in doctor's offices or hospitals for patients requiring medical procedures or examination. Some medical tables, such as those used for urological procedures, are equipped with a drainage pan to collect fluid or debris that may result from a medical procedure. The drainage pan may be attached at a foot of the medical table, to be disposed between a patient on the table and a doctor performing the procedure. Typically, the drainage pan is manufactured from stainless steel or another metal, and is designed for repeated use. Thus, the drainage pan must be cleaned between patients or procedures to ensure sterile conditions.
  • [0004]
    The task of cleaning the drainage pan after its use is time consuming for medical staff, and may nevertheless be insufficient to eliminate all microorganisms from the drainage pan. As a result, some attempts have been made to design disposable drainage containers that do not require the same degree of maintenance as non-disposable drainage pans. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,414,968, issued on Nov. 15, 1983 to Amin, discloses a medical drape secured to a foldable pocket for collecting fluids resulting from a medical procedure. U.S. Pat. No. 5,944,014, issued on Aug. 31, 1999 to Webb, discloses a disposable collection tray to be used during vaginal deliveries in connection with an irrigation system to flush the surgical site. The collection tray of Webb includes a living hinge that couples a planar portion of the collection tray, positioned on the medical table, with a basin portion of the collection tray.
  • [0005]
    Notwithstanding the foregoing disposable drainage containers, existing disposable drainage containers are still insufficient for certain applications. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a disposable drainage container for use in medical procedures.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    One embodiment of the invention is directed to a disposable drainage container to be used in a cystoscopy medical procedure. The disposable drainage container comprises a sloped base and walls that are integrally formed with the sloped base to comprise the disposable drainage container, that is adapted to collect fluids from the cystoscopy medical procedure and that is made of a composition and shaped so that it is substantially rigid such that the disposable drainage container is not collapsible under weight of the fluid from the cystoscopy medical procedure. The disposable drainage container further comprises a drainage spout disposed within the sloped base that is configured so that it can be sealed so as to collect the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure and so that it can be unsealed to flush the fluid from the cystoscopy procedure. The disposable drainage container is formed from the composition that is disposable, that is compatible with a surgical procedure environment, and that provides substantial rigidity to the disposable drainage container.
  • [0007]
    Another embodiment of the invention is directed to a disposable container for collection of a fluid or debris resulting from a medical procedure. The disposable container comprises walls coupled to a sloped base to form a substantially rectangular, rigid basin, the basin being formed from a composition that is disposable. The disposable container further comprises a spout disposed within the sloped base for passing the fluid from the basin.
  • [0008]
    A further embodiment of the invention is directed to a disposable container that is attachable to a frame of a medical table for collection of a fluid or debris resulting from a medical procedure. The disposable container comprises walls coupled to a base to form a substantially rectangular, rigid basin, the basin being formed from a composition that is disposable. The disposable container further comprises at least one flange disposed around a periphery of the basin, the at least one flange being adapted to be compatible with and suspend the basin from the frame of the medical table.
  • [0009]
    Another embodiment of the invention is directed to a method of collecting a fluid resulting from a medical procedure. The method comprises acts of coupling a container made of a composition and shaped to be disposable and substantially rigid to a medical table at an end of a medical table, the container being provided with a sloped base, and collecting fluid resulting from the medical procedure in the container.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    The accompanying drawings, which are herein incorporated by reference, are not intended to be drawn to scale. In the drawings, each identical or nearly identical component that is illustrated in various figures is represented by a like numeral. For purposes of clarity, not every component may be labeled in every drawing. In the drawings:
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 1A is a side view of one illustrative embodiment of a disposable container for receiving fluids or debris resulting from a medical procedure;
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 1B is a top view of the disposable container of FIG. 1A;
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 2A is a side view of the disposable container of FIGS. 1A and 1B with a screen insert disposed therein;
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 2B is a top view of the disposable container and screen insert of FIG. 2A;
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 3A is a side view of another illustrative embodiment of a disposable container having a sloped base;
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 3B is a side view of the disposable container of FIG. 3A;
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 4 is a side view of a further illustrative embodiment of a disposable container having a sloped base;
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 5A is a fragmentary side view of another illustrative embodiment of a disposable container having a plug disposed in the drainage spout thereof;
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 5B is a fragmentary side view of a further illustrative embodiment of a disposable container having a valve in a closed position coupled to the drainage spout thereof;
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 5C is a fragmentary side view of the disposable container of FIG. 5B with the valve in an open position;
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 6A is a fragmentary side view of a medical table attached via a frame to the disposable container of FIGS. 1A and 1B;
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 6B is a fragmentary top down view of the medical table and disposable container of FIG. 6A;
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 6C is a fragmentary side view of the medical table and disposable container of FIGS. 6A and 6B with the container disposed partially under a portion of the medical table;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 7A is a top down view of another illustrative embodiment of disposable container having projections for attachment to a medical table;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 7B is a fragmentary side view of a medical table attached to the disposable container of FIG. 7A; and
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top down view of the medical table and disposable container of FIGS. 6A and 6B, and a medical drape on the medical table attached to the disposable container.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0027]
    The following description sets forth embodiments of a disposable drainage container, at least a portion of which may be formed from a composition. It is to be understood that the term “composition” as used herein can be and is intended to include any homogeneous material, such as plastic, as well as any heterogeneous materials. Further, it is to be understood that the term “disposable” as used herein refers to an item which is to be discarded after use rather than cleaned and reused. It is to be appreciated that any invention disclosed herein is not limited to specific embodiments disclosed herein with reference to the figures and shall be defined by the claims and any equivalent of each element of the claims. It should also be appreciated that the figures provided are for illustrative purposes, and are not intended to be drawn to scale. It is also to be appreciated that like elements may be disclosed in different figures and may not be described in detail with reference to each figure, and may also be illustrated by the same or different reference numbers in different figures.
  • [0028]
    Applicants have appreciated a number of deficiencies of prior art drainage containers, such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,414,968 (Amin) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,944,014 (Webb) described above. For example, in some cases it may be desirable for a collection container to be capable of retaining fluids or debris for measurement or examination purposes. The foldable pocket disclosed in Amin is not suitable for this application, as the pocket has no mechanism to inhibit the drainage of fluids and has a collapsibility that results in the pocket having a variable volume. Similarly, the tray disclosed in Webb is not suitable for the application described above, as the tray has no mechanism to inhibit the drainage of fluids. Further, the living hinge of the disclosed tray would result in the basin of Webb having a variable angle with respect to the floor, rendering visual measurement of fluid volume unreliable. Other deficiencies of the above-described prior art, such as a lack horizontal mobility with respect to a medical table, will also become clear as embodiments of the present invention are described below.
  • [0029]
    Accordingly, one aspect of the present invention is directed to a drainage container to collect fluids or debris that result from a medical procedure. The drainage container may be attached to a medical table such that it is positioned between a patient on the medical table and a doctor performing the medical procedure. For example, the drainage container may be used in a urological or gynecological procedure and attached at the foot of the medical table, in close proximity to the urogenital region of the patient. The container may be used to collect a number of different substances, including fluids originating from the patient (e.g., blood or urine), fluids introduced into or on the patient (e.g., saline, dye, or disinfectant), or tissue or other materials removed from the patient.
  • [0030]
    Some exemplary procedures that may be beneficially performed using the drainage container described herein are cystoscopy procedures, transurethral resections, ureteroscopy procedures, hysteroscopy procedures, urodynamic monitoring, biopsies, and stent placements or removals. The container may be used to confine fluids and debris that may otherwise soil the floor and surrounding areas, to collect specimens of tissue or fluid, or to monitor fluid loss. Although the container described may be adapted to be compatible with a number of different medical tables, in one embodiment of the invention the container is compatible with a STERIS® Tri Layer Technology Table, having any of model numbers 1080, 2080, 3080, or 3085. These tables are available from the STERIS Corporation, 5960 Heisley Road Mentor, Ohio 44060, USA.
  • [0031]
    One illustrative embodiment of a container 1 in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B. The container 1 includes walls 3 and a base 5, which together form a basin 7. A drainage hole 10 is formed within the base 5, which is coupled to a drainage spout 9. Tubing may be attached to the drainage spout 9 to allow fluid to pass from the container 1 into a storage receptacle, which may be stored locally (e.g., beneath the medical table) or remotely (e.g., in a central area). Fluid and debris may be moved from the container 1 to the storage receptacle by gravity or suction. The walls 3 are shaped to form a ledge 13, which may be used to suspend a screen insert, as will be discussed in connection with FIGS. 2A and 2B. A flange 11 is formed at the top of the walls 3, around the periphery thereof. The flange 11 may be used to suspend the container 1 from a frame of a medical table, as will be discussed in connection with FIGS. 6A-6C.
  • [0032]
    The walls 3 may form a generally rectangular shape, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. For example, the walls 3 of the container 1 may have dimensions of approximately 12.5 inches by approximately 10.5 inches. However, it is to be appreciated that the container 1 need not be rectangular and may alternatively be circular, semi-circular, or any other shape and may, for example, be provided with a concave curve on at least one side of the container 1 to be disposed adjacent a doctor during a medical procedure to allow more freedom of movement for the doctor performing the procedure. In one example, the flange 11 may have a width of approximately 0.5 inch. However, it should be appreciated that the flange 11 is not limited to any particular width, and may have any dimensions suitable for allowing the container 1 to be suspended, for example by a frame, a medical table or any device for holding the drainage container, via the flange 11. The drainage hole 10 may be sized according to the rate or flow of drainage of fluid that is desired. It is to be appreciated that the size of the drainage hole 10 is not limited to any particular size, and that drainage hole 10 may have any size that permits the drainage of fluids from the container 1. The drainage spout 9, which may optionally be detachable from the container, may be sized to accommodate a variety of tube sizes. For example, the drainage spout 9 may be tapered or may be notched (as will be discussed in connection with FIG. 5A) so that several different tube sizes may be secured to the drainage spout 9. However, the shape of the drainage spout 9 is not limited to a tapered or notched shape, and may have any configuration that facilitates attachment of a drainage tube or other drainage equipment. It is further to be appreciated that the container 1 may be shaped and formed of a composition such that it is substantially rigid, and not collapsible by the downward force of fluid or an inward force exerted by medical personnel leaning on the container 1. Further, the container 1 may be shaped and formed of a composition such that noise and splashing caused by fluids and debris entering the container 1 is minimized.
  • [0033]
    According to one aspect of the invention, the container 1 is disposable, such that it may be disposed of after a single procedure or after use with a single patient. According to one aspect of the invention, the container 1 can be provided at a low cost, for example by forming the container from an inexpensive composition, such that it is inexpensive to manufacture, and such that it is inexpensive to store or transport. One exemplary composition that may be used to form the container 1 is a polymer, including, but not limited to, any of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, polyethylene terephthalate, and nylon. However, the container 1 may alternatively be made from other fluid-impervious synthetic or non-synthetic compositions, or any other composition suitable for use in a medical procedure. Further, the container 1 may be formed of a lightweight composition. It is also to be appreciated that the container 1 may be made from recycled compositions, such as the polymers listed above, and/or may be itself recyclable.
  • [0034]
    According to one embodiment, the container 1 is molded, cast, extruded, or otherwise formed into a single, integral object. Alternatively, the container 1 may be formed from a composite of individual components, or made by any other manufacturing technique known to one of skill in the art. The container 1 may be arranged such that it is stackable with other containers, for example by sizing the container such that similarly sized containers fit within one another, or by providing the container with outwardly sloping walls as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.
  • [0035]
    Because the container 1 is disposable according to one aspect of the invention, it may be desirable to provide or manufacture the container 1 such that it is not harmful to the environment. For example, as described above, the container 1 may be made of a recyclable composition. The container may also or alternatively be made of a biodegradable composition, or a composition that is otherwise easily broken down by mechanical energy, heat energy, or any other recycling technique. The container 1 may also be made of a composition that is free from toxic chemicals, environmental pollutants, or other harmful materials.
  • [0036]
    According to another aspect of the invention, the container 1 is designed for use in a medical setting. For example, the container 1 may be used in a doctor's office, hospital, veterinarian's office, or other location of medical examination or procedures. Accordingly, it may be desirable that the container be sterile, e.g., formed from a sterile material in a sterile environment or formed from a composition that is sterilizable. For example, the container 1 may be formed from a composition that can be sterilized or disinfected, through chemical, heat, or electromagnetic treatment, or any other treatment sufficient to sterilize or disinfect the container 1. The container 1 may also be arranged so as not to interfere with medical equipment and procedures. For example, the container 1 may be formed from a composition or otherwise arranged so as not to interfere with medical equipment or radiation, such as X-rays used for imaging or medical lasers used for treatment. The container 1 may also be made of a composition or arranged so as to be chemically unreactive and free from hazardous materials so as not to be dangerous to patients or medical personnel. Hospital fire codes often require the use of non-flammable and heat resistant materials. Thus, the container 1 may also be constructed from non-flammable materials or compositions. For example, the container 1 may be made of a composition that is latex-free so as to be compatible with a latex-free surgical environment.
  • [0037]
    According to another embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the container 1 of FIGS. 1A and 1B may also comprise a screen insert 15 to be disposed therein. The screen insert 15 includes a screen portion 17 and a border portion 19 disposed around the periphery of the screen portion 17. According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the screen insert 15 (illustrated in phantom in FIG. 2A) is suspended by the ledge 13 in the walls 3 of the container 1. However, the screen insert 15 may alternatively be suspended by the flange 11 of the container 1, for example by an additional flange (not shown) located on the screen insert 15 itself. It should be appreciated that the screen insert 15 need not include border portion 19, and may have many alternative implementations for suspending the screen on or within the container that have not been described above. The screen portion 17 may comprise a mesh, a perforated surface, or another discontinuous structure. It should also be appreciated that the present invention may be employed with numerous types of screens, and is not limited to use with the exemplary structures disclosed herein. According to one aspect of this embodiment, one or more tabs, such as the tab 21 of FIGS. 2A and 2B, may be disposed on the border portion 19 to facilitate placement or removal of the screen insert 15 in the container 1. It should be appreciated that the one or more tabs 21 may be alternatively be disposed elsewhere on the screen insert 15, for example on the screen portion 17 itself. Further, it is to be appreciated that another device for facilitating placement or removal of the screen insert 15 may alternatively be employed, such as a hole, cut-out, recess, or handle formed in the screen portion 17 or on the border portion 19.
  • [0038]
    The screen insert 15 may be used to filter debris 23, for example tissue samples, tumor material, or calculi, from fluid resulting from a medical procedure. The screen insert 15 may also be used to hold one or more instruments 25, such as a scalpel, cystoscope, speculum, or forceps, which may be used during the medical procedure. In particular, the instruments may be placed on the screen portion 17 of the screen insert 15. Thus, the instruments may be retained in a location accessible to the doctor performing the procedure, while being maintained above the fluid in the container 1. The screen insert 15 may also be used to conceal fluid, which passes therethrough, from doctor and patient view. Further, the screen insert 15 may prevent or reduce splashing of fluid in the container above the level of the screen insert 15. A number of alternative configurations for filtering debris from fluid, allowing fluid to pass while concealing the fluid from view or from splashing out of the container, or retaining instruments above a fluid level, may also be readily appreciated and are intended to be within the scope of this disclosure.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate another embodiment of the container 1 in accordance with the present invention. The container 1 is configured as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, but includes a base 27 that is sloped. The base 27 includes two planar surfaces that are coupled to the walls 3 and join along a junction 31, which extends along a length of the container 1 at substantially its midline. The junction 31 represents a substantially deepest portion of the container. Hence, fluid collected in the container 1 flows to the junction 31. The drainage spout 9 is disposed at one end of the container 1 at the junction 31 of the container to allow fluid to flow easily towards the drainage spout 9 and drain from the container 1. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, the drainage spout 9 is disposed at an end 29 of the container, although the drainage spout may alternatively be disposed in the center or elsewhere on the base 27, such as at a deepest depth of the sloped base of the container 1.
  • [0040]
    [0040]FIG. 4 illustrates another configuration of the container 1 having a sloped base. In this embodiment, a base 33 of the container includes a sloped planar surface that slopes downward towards the drainage spout 9. Hence, the base 33 forms an obtuse angle with the wall 3 on the upper portion of the base 3 and an acute angle with the wall 3 on the lower portion of the base 3. The base 33 may have a steep or gradual slope. It should be appreciated that the sloped base shown in FIG. 4 is for illustrative purposes and is not intended to be drawn to scale. In one example, the base 33 has a graded depth of approximately 4-5 inches. FIGS. 3A-3B and 4 illustrate two possible configurations of a container 1 having a sloped base; however, it should be appreciated that other configurations, such as a base with three or more surfaces, may alternatively be used.
  • [0041]
    A further illustrative embodiment of the container 1 in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5A-5C. According to the embodiment, the container 1 may be configured to prevent the drainage of collected fluid or debris and allow for visualization or measurement of the collected fluid. FIG. 5A illustrates the container 1 of FIGS. 1A-1B having a plug 35 disposed in the drainage spout 9. The plug 35 may be positioned manually in the drainage spout 9 via a tab 36 coupled to the plug 35. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5A, the plug 35 is inserted from the upper portion of the drainage spout 9. However, it is to be appreciated that the plug 35 may be sized and shaped so that it alternatively can be placed into the drainage spout 9 from the underside of the container 1. In addition, the plug 35 may be configured to have a mating shape that mates with the drainage spout 9 to seal the drainage spout. The plug 35 seals the drainage spout to prevent fluid from draining from the basin 7. With the plug 35 removed from the drainage spout 9, tubing 39 can be coupled to the drainage spout 9 to drain the fluid from the container 1. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5A, the spout 9 includes notches 38 and is tapered so as to accommodate several different tube sizes. However, it should be appreciated that the spout 9 may alternatively have a uniform circumference, be tapered without notches, or have any other shape that accommodates tubing 39. The plug 35 may be disposable or reusable, and may be formed of any material that will form a substantially fluid-tight seal with the drainage spout 9.
  • [0042]
    According to an embodiment of the invention, the container 1 may be transparent or translucent, such that the contents of the container 1 and/or a fluid level 37 may be visualized through the walls 3. It is to be appreciated that the container 1 may alternatively be semitransparent or semi-translucent. For example, the container may be made of a composition that is semi-transparent or semi-translucent, or only a portion of the container 1 may be transparent or translucent, or the container 1 may have any alternative configuration to allow for the visualization of the fluid level 37 or contents of the container 1. Further, measurement indicia 41 may be provided on the walls 3 to allow measurement of the fluid level 37. In one example, the measurement indicia 41 may comprise a plurality of demarcations (e.g., lines and/or numbers) specifying a plurality of volumes. It is to be appreciated that the measurement indicia may also be provided on walls of a container that are not transparent or translucent, or semi-transparent or translucent. It is also to be appreciated that the measurement indicia 41 may be provided on the interior surface of at least one wall 3 or may be provided on an exterior surface of at least one wall.
  • [0043]
    [0043]FIGS. 5B and 5C illustrate another embodiment of the invention, according to which the drainage of fluid or debris from the container 1 may be accommodated and prevented. A valve 43 is coupled to the drainage spout 9, to allow controlled sealing or unsealing of the drainage spout 9. The valve includes a handle 47 that is coupled to a shaft 46 of the valve 43 to control a disk 45 within the drainage spout 9. The disk 45 may be positioned in a horizontal position, as shown in FIG. 5B to seal the drainage spout 9. To unseal the drainage spout 9, the handle 47 may be turned to rotate the shaft 46 and the disk 45 to a vertical position, as shown in FIG. 5C. When the drainage spout 9 is unsealed, fluid may be released from the container 1 in direction 49 through the tubing 39 coupled to the drainage spout 9. It is to be appreciated that the valve described above is a basic mechanical disk valve, but that many other types of valves would be suitable for controlling the flow of fluid and may alternatively be used.
  • [0044]
    Another embodiment of the invention is directed to an arrangement for attaching the container 1 described above to a medical table. It is to be appreciated that the present invention is not limited to any particular arrangement for attaching the container to a medical table. However, one illustrative example of such an arrangement is shown in FIGS. 6A-6C. As shown in FIGS. 6A-6C, a medical table 51 includes a surface 53 to accommodate a patient. The medical table 51 may be any type of medical table (e.g., a urology table), may be adjustable and/or include stirrups or other additional features. A frame 55 is attached the medical table 51 and includes an opening 59 to receive the container 1. The flange 11 of the container 1 rests on the frame 55, such that the basin 7 of the container is suspended below the frame 55. The container 1 may be shaped to fit existing frames of commercially available medical tables. For example, the container 1 may be shaped to fit a frame of a STERIS® Tri Layer Technology Table as discussed above, having dimensions of approximately 12.5 inches by approximately 10.5 inches. The frame 55 may be designed such that it is movable with respect to the table. For example, the frame 55 may be moved horizontally in direction 57, as shown in FIG. 6A, to conceal at least a portion of the container 1 beneath the medical table 51. The frame 55 may also be moved in the opposite direction to be fully accessible. Further, as shown in FIG. 6C, a portion of the frame 55 may be slidably received within or below the medical table 51. Thus, the container 1 may be positioned in a location convenient for the doctor performing the procedure. For example, the container 1 may be positioned partially under the medical table 51, wholly under the medical table 51, or be fully extended. When the container 1 is in a desired position, the frame 55 may be optionally locked in position by a device (not illustrated) to prevent unintended movement of the container 1.
  • [0045]
    FIGS. 7A-7B show another illustrative embodiment of an arrangement for attaching the container 1 to a medical table, such as the medical table 51. As shown in FIG. 7A, the container 1 includes a pair of rod-shaped projections 61 fixedly attached to the basin 7 of the container 1. The projections may be integrally formed with the basin 7, or may be attached to the basin 7 after manufacture. The prongs 61 may be detachable, and may, if desired, be formed of a non-disposable material such that re-use is possible. Although two rod-shaped projections 61 are illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, it should be appreciated that any number of projections may be included, and the projections 61 may have any shape. For example, a single planar projection may be used. As shown in FIG. 7B, at least a portion of the projections 61 may be slidably received within apertures or slots formed in the medical table 51. The projections may be fixed to the medical table 51, or may be movable within the medical table 51 such that the container 1 may be movable with respect to the medical table 51. The container 1 may be optionally locked in position to prevent unintended movement when a desired position is achieved.
  • [0046]
    [0046]FIG. 8 shows one illustrative embodiment of an arrangement for attaching a medical drape 63 to the container 1. The medical drape 63, to be disposed on the surface 53 of the medical table 51, may be placed over a patient on the medical table 51. The medical drape 63 may include an optional opening 65 to provide access to the examination or procedure site. To prevent or minimize exposure of the medical table 51, the frame 55, the doctor and/or hospital personnel to fluid and debris, the drape 63 may be attached to a portion of the container 1. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the drape 63 is attached to the container 1 by means of an adhesive 67 disposed on the flange 11 of the container 1. The adhesive 67 may be covered with a protective strip until the drape 63 is attached to the adhesive 67. It is to be appreciated that the adhesive 67 need not be attached to the flange 11, and instead may be, for example, included on the frame 55, the interior of the container 1, or the drape 63 itself. Further the present invention contemplates a number of alternative ways in which the drape 63 may engage with the container 1 or frame 55. For example, velcro, snaps, or perforations that mechanically hold the drape 63 may alternatively be used, and may be located at any of the possible locations noted above for the adhesive 67. The drape 63 may also cover the entire container 1. For example, the adhesive 67 or other engagement mechanism may be included on two or three sides of the flange 11 such that the drape covers the entire container 1.
  • [0047]
    Although the various features of container 1, such as the ledge 13, the flange 11, the drainage spout 9, the screen insert 15, the sloped base 27 or 33, the plug 35, the valve 43, and the adhesive 67 are advantageously employed together in accordance with several illustrative embodiments of the invention, the present invention is not limited in this respect, as each of these aspects of the present invention can also be employed separately. In addition, the invention is not limited to the combinations described, as any combination of features may be employed. Further, each of the arrangements for attaching the container 1 to a medical table or moving the container 1 with respect to the medical table may be used with a container having any combination of the features described herein.
  • [0048]
    Having thus described several illustrative embodiments of the invention, various alterations, modifications and improvements will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Such alterations, modifications and improvements are intended to be in the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description is by way of example only and is not intended as limiting. The invention is limited only as defined in the following claims and the equivalence thereto. In the claims that follow, it should be appreciated that the use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having” and variations thereof herein is intended to be open-ended, i.e., to mean “including but not limited to.”
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Classifications
U.S. Classification4/574.1
International ClassificationA61G13/10, H01L51/30, A61G13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61G13/0009, A61G13/102
European ClassificationA61G13/10B