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Publication numberUS20030213714 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/150,573
Publication dateNov 20, 2003
Filing dateMay 17, 2002
Priority dateMay 17, 2002
Also published asCA2484008A1, DE60308859D1, DE60308859T2, EP1507489A2, EP1507489B1, WO2003096921A2, WO2003096921A3
Publication number10150573, 150573, US 2003/0213714 A1, US 2003/213714 A1, US 20030213714 A1, US 20030213714A1, US 2003213714 A1, US 2003213714A1, US-A1-20030213714, US-A1-2003213714, US2003/0213714A1, US2003/213714A1, US20030213714 A1, US20030213714A1, US2003213714 A1, US2003213714A1
InventorsDonna Moats, John Japuntich, Ronald Klein, Jack Salzman
Original AssigneeMoats Donna L., Japuntich John C., Klein Ronald T., Jack Salzman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Low profile sharps container system
US 20030213714 A1
Abstract
A closure is provided for a medical waste receptacle defining a receptacle opening positioned to receive medical waste. The closure includes a hood positionable adjacent the receptacle opening of the medical waste receptacle. The hood has a limiting surface at least partially defining an access opening facilitating access to an interior of the hood. A door is mounted at least partially within the interior of the hood. The door is mounted for movement about a pivot axis between an opened position and a closed position. In the opened position, a support surface of the door substantially permits access through the access opening of the hood, and in the closed position, the support surface of the door substantially prevents access through the access opening of the hood. The door is biased by gravity to rotate from the closed position toward the opened position. The support surface of the door in the closed position forms an angle at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane. The door has a width and a depth defining the support surface, and the door has a width:depth ratio at least about 1.9:1. The door and the hood together define the access opening in the opened position, forming an access angle. The access angle is defined by the pivot axis of the door and the access opening, and is at least about 60.
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Claims(47)
What is claimed is:
1. A closure for a medical waste receptacle defining a receptacle opening positioned to receive medical waste, said closure comprising:
a hood positionable adjacent the receptacle opening of the medical waste receptacle, said hood having a limiting surface at least partially defining an access opening facilitating access to an interior of said hood; and
a door mounted at least partially within said interior of said hood, said door being mounted for movement about a pivot axis between an opened position wherein a support surface of said door substantially permits access through said access opening of said hood and a closed position wherein said support surface of said door substantially prevents access through said access opening of said hood;
said door being biased by gravity to rotate from said closed position toward said opened position, said support surface of said door in said closed position forming an angle at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane;
said door having a width and a depth defining said support surface, said door having a width:depth ratio at least about 1.9:1; and
said door and said hood together defining said access opening in said opened position and forming an access angle defined by said pivot axis of said door and said access opening, said access angle being at least about 60.
2. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said support surface of said door in said closed position forms an angle at least about 105 with respect to a horizontal plane.
3. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said door has a width:depth ratio at least about 2.2:1.
4. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said access angle is at least about 80.
5. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said door is substantially planar.
6. The closure recited in claim 5, wherein the plane of said door traverses through said pivot axis.
7. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said door rotates backwards from said opened position to said closed position.
8. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said door rotates forward from said closed position to said opened position.
9. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said pivot axis of said door is a vertex of said access angle.
10. The closure recited in claim 1, wherein said closure further comprises a lid positionable adjacent said hood, said hood being supported by said lid.
11. The closure recited in claim 10, wherein said lid has a portion contoured to deflect medical waste toward the medical waste receptacle.
12. A closure for a medical waste receptacle defining a receptacle opening positioned to receive medical waste, said closure comprising:
a hood positionable adjacent the receptacle opening of the medical waste receptacle, said hood having a limiting surface at least partially defining an access opening facilitating access to an interior of said hood; and
a door mounted at least partially within said interior of said hood, said door being mounted for movement about a pivot axis between an opened position wherein a support surface of said door substantially permits access through said access opening of said hood and a closed position wherein said support surface of said door substantially prevents access through said access opening of said hood;
said door being biased by gravity to rotate from said closed position toward said opened position, said support surface of said door in said closed position forming an angle at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane; and
said door having a width and a depth defining said support surface, said door having a width:depth ratio at least about 1.9:1.
13. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said door and said hood together define said access opening in said opened position and form an access angle defined by said pivot axis of said door and said access opening, said access angle being at least about 60.
14. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said support surface of said door in said closed position forms an angle at least about 105 with respect to a horizontal plane.
15. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said door has a width:depth ratio at least about 2.2:1.
16. The closure recited in claim 13, wherein said access angle is at least about 80.
17. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said door is substantially planar.
18. The closure recited in claim 18, wherein the plane of said door traverses through said pivot axis.
19. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said door rotates backwards from said opened position to said closed position.
20. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said door rotates forward from said closed position to said opened position.
21. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said pivot axis of said door is a vertex of said access angle.
22. The closure recited in claim 12, wherein said closure further comprises a lid positionable adjacent said hood, said hood being supported by said lid.
23. The closure recited in claim 22, wherein said lid has a portion contoured to deflect medical waste toward the medical waste receptacle.
24. A closure for a medical waste receptacle defining a receptacle opening positioned to receive medical waste, said closure comprising:
a hood positionable adjacent the receptacle opening of the medical waste receptacle, said hood having a limiting surface at least partially defining an access opening facilitating access to an interior of said hood; and
a door mounted at least partially within said interior of said hood, said door being mounted for movement about a pivot axis between an opened position wherein a support surface of said door substantially permits access through said access opening of said hood and a closed position wherein said support surface of said door substantially prevents access through said access opening of said hood;
said door having a width and a depth defining said support surface, said door having a width:depth ratio at least about 1.9:1; and
said door and said hood together defining said access opening in said opened position and forming an access angle defined by the pivot axis of said door and said access opening, said access angle being at least about 60.
25. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said door is biased by gravity to rotate from said closed position toward said opened position, said support surface of said door in said closed position forming an angle at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane.
26. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said support surface of said door in said closed position forms an angle at least about 105 with respect to a horizontal plane.
27. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said door has a width:depth ratio at least about 2.2:1.
28. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said access angle is at least about 80.
29. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said door is substantially planar.
30. The closure recited in claim 29, wherein the plane of said door traverses through said pivot axis.
31. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said door rotates backwards from said opened position to said closed position.
32. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said door rotates forward from said closed position to said opened position.
33. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said pivot axis of said door is a vertex of said access angle.
34. The closure recited in claim 24, wherein said closure further comprises a lid positionable adjacent said hood, said hood being supported by said lid.
35. The closure recited in claim 34, wherein said lid has a portion contoured to deflect medical waste toward the medical waste receptacle.
36. A closure for a medical waste receptacle defining a receptacle opening positioned to receive medical waste, said closure comprising:
a hood positionable adjacent the receptacle opening of the medical waste receptacle, said hood having a limiting surface at least partially defining an access opening facilitating access to an interior of said hood; and
a door mounted at least partially within said interior of said hood, said door being mounted for movement about a pivot axis between an opened position wherein a support surface of said door substantially permits access through said access opening of said hood and a closed position wherein said support surface of said door substantially prevents access through said access opening of said hood;
said door being biased by gravity to rotate from said closed position toward said opened position, said support surface of said door in said closed position forming an angle at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane; and
said door and said hood together defining said access opening in said opened position and forming an access angle defined by the pivot axis of said door and said access opening, said access angle being at least about 60.
37. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said door has a width and a depth defining said support surface, said door having a width:depth ratio at least about 1.9:1.
38. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said support surface of said door in said closed position forms an angle at least about 105 with respect to a horizontal plane.
39. The closure recited in claim 37, wherein said door has a width:depth ratio at least about 2.2:1.
40. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said access angle is at least about 80.
41. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said door is substantially planar.
42. The closure recited in claim 41, wherein the plane of said door traverses through said pivot axis.
43. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said door rotates backwards from said opened position to said closed position.
44. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said door rotates forward from said closed position to said opened position.
45. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said pivot axis of said door is a vertex of said access angle.
46. The closure recited in claim 36, wherein said closure further comprises a lid positionable adjacent said hood, said hood being supported by said lid.
47. The closure recited in claim 46, wherein said lid has a portion contoured to deflect medical waste toward the medical waste receptacle.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a closure for a medical waste receptacle. More specifically, this invention relates to a closure positioned to receive and contain medical waste for safe and efficient disposal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In hospitals, clinics, and similar medical institutions, contamination continues to be of utmost concern. The prevention of the spread of communicable diseases is a major priority; therefore, disposable, single-use, patient care products have become prevalent. Such items are contaminated, once used, and can readily transmit disease. These items include such devices as hypodermic needles, intravenous needles, razors, scalpel blades, or other sharps—all of which are required to be disposed of at their point of usage under current guidelines of the United States Centers for Disease Control.

[0003] Various disposal containers for medical wastes have been proposed for the purpose of preventing an individual from gaining access to contaminated items such as sharps once the wastes have been deposited into the container, and many such disposal containers go far to accomplish this purpose. With hospital and medical office space at a premium, however, a challenge exists to accommodate the disposal of a range of sharps sizes while avoiding a bulky container assembly. In many uses, such container assemblies may be wall-mounted and therefore extend into the space of a room from the wall.

[0004] Thus, it is desirable for a container to accommodate sharps ranging from small to large, yet have a profile or depth that does not extend excessively into the room in which it is positioned. For example, some larger sharps requiring disposal include 60 cc syringes with the plunger fully extended, butterfly needles, and angel wing transfer devices. Accommodating such larger sharps as well as smaller sharps, without providing an unduly bulky container assembly, presents a significant challenge.

[0005] Accordingly, there is a need for a medical waste disposal system that can accommodate a range of sharps sizes, while maintaining an acceptable profile.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] This invention provides a closure for a medical waste receptacle defining a receptacle opening positioned to receive medical waste. The closure includes a hood positionable adjacent the receptacle opening of the medical waste receptacle. The hood has a hood limiting surface at least partially defining an access opening facilitating access to an interior of the hood. A door is mounted at least partially within the interior of the hood. The door is mounted for movement about a pivot axis between an opened position and a closed position. In the opened position, a support surface of the door substantially permits access through the access opening of the hood, and in the closed position, the support surface of the door substantially prevents access through the access opening of the hood. The door is biased by gravity to rotate from the closed position toward the opened position.

[0007] According to one aspect of this invention, the support surface of the door in the closed position forms an angle of at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane.

[0008] According to another aspect of this invention, the door has a width and a depth defining the support surface, and the door has a width:depth ratio of at least about 1.9:1.

[0009] A further aspect of this invention is that the door and the hood together define the access opening in the opened position, forming an access angle. According to yet another aspect of this invention, the access angle is defined by the pivot axis of the door and the access opening and is at least about 60.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The invention will be described with reference to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the figures of which:

[0011]FIG. 1 is a right side view of an embodiment of an assembly having a closure (in its opened position) according to aspects of this invention.

[0012]FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the assembly illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0013]FIG. 3 is a right side view of the assembly illustrated in FIG. 1, with the closure in its closed position.

[0014]FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the assembly illustrated in FIG. 3.

[0015]FIG. 5A is a front view of an embodiment of a medical waste receptacle with which a closure according to this invention can be used.

[0016]FIG. 5B is a side view of the medical waste receptacle illustrated in FIG. 5A.

[0017]FIG. 5C is a top plan view of the medical waste receptacle illustrated in FIG. 5A.

[0018]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a hood component of a closure according to this invention.

[0019]FIG. 6A is a front view of the hood illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0020]FIG. 6B is a right side view of the hood illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0021]FIG. 6C is a top plan view of the hood illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0022]FIG. 6D is a cross-sectional right side view of the hood illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0023]FIG. 6E is a detailed view of the hood illustrated in FIG. 6D.

[0024]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a lid component of a closure according to this invention.

[0025]FIG. 7A is a front view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 7.

[0026]FIG. 7B is a cross-sectional left side view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 7.

[0027]FIG. 7C is a top plan view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 7.

[0028]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a door component of a closure according to this invention.

[0029]FIG. 8A is a front view of the door illustrated in FIG. 8.

[0030]FIG. 8B is a right side view of the door illustrated in FIG. 8.

[0031]FIG. 8C is a bottom plan view of the door illustrated in FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0032] Preferred features of embodiments of this invention will now be described with reference to the figures. It will be appreciated that the spirit and scope of the invention is not limited to the embodiments selected for illustration. Also, it should be noted that the drawings are not rendered to any particular scale or proportion. It is contemplated that any of the configurations and materials described hereafter can be modified within the scope of this invention.

[0033] Generally, medical waste disposal systems preferably include a receptacle and some form of a closure assembly that permits the introduction of medical waste into the receptacle while limiting access to the interior of the receptacle. For example, such a medical waste disposal system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,947,285 to Gaba et al., which is incorporated by reference. The closure of this invention provides a medical waste disposal system adapted to accommodate a range of sharps sizes, while maintaining a low profile (e.g., for wall-mounted assemblies, a limited depth of the container assembly protruding from the wall on which it is mounted).

[0034] Generally, with reference to FIGS. 1 through 8C, this invention provides a closure 10 for a medical waste receptacle 12 defining a receptacle opening 32 positioned to receive medical waste. The closure 10 includes a hood 14 positionable adjacent the receptacle opening 32 of the medical waste receptacle 12. The hood 14 has a hood limiting surface 16 at least partially defining an access opening 18 facilitating access to an interior of the hood 14.

[0035] A door 20 is mounted at least partially within the interior of the hood 14. The door 20 is mounted for movement about a pivot axis 22 between an opened position (illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2) and a closed position (illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4). In the opened position, a support surface 24 of the door 20 substantially permits access through the access opening 18 of the hood 14, and in the closed position, the support surface 24 of the door 20 substantially prevents access through the access opening 18 of the hood 14. The door 20 is biased by gravity to rotate from the closed position toward the opened position.

[0036] According to one aspect of this invention, the support surface 24 of the door 20 in the closed position forms an angle “B” of at least about 100 with respect to a horizontal plane (see FIG. 4).

[0037] According to another aspect of this invention, the door 20 has a width “W” and a depth “D” defining the support surface 24, and the door 20 has a width:depth ratio of at least about 1.9:1 (see FIG. 8C).

[0038] A further aspect of this invention is that the door 20 and the hood 14 together define the access opening 18 in the opened position, forming an access angle “A” (see FIG. 2). According to yet another aspect of this invention, the access angle “A” is defined by the pivot axis 22 of the door 20 and the access opening 18, and is at least about 60.

[0039] One embodiment of an assembly, with which a closure according to this invention can be used, is illustrated in FIG. 1. A medical waste receptacle 12 defines an opening 32 at the top of the receptacle 12 (as illustrated in FIG. 5A). A closure 10 is mounted on top of the medical waste receptacle 12 at its opening 32. The closure 10 consists of an assembly of a lid component 26, a hood component 14, and a door component 20. Together, the lid 26, hood 14, and door 20 serve to permit the introduction of medical waste such as sharps into the receptacle 12, while preventing access by a user of the assembly to the interior of the receptacle 12.

[0040] The lid 26 includes a skirt portion 27 (as illustrated in FIG. 7) positioned to engage a lip portion 13 of the receptacle 12 (as illustrated in FIG. 5A), thereby preventing inadvertent removal of the lid 26 from the receptacle 12. The lid 26 also includes a contoured portion 28, sometimes referred to as a cowl, for guiding medical waste into the receptacle 12 from the interior of the hood 14. The lid 26 further includes a ramp portion 30, and provides an overall base structure for the closure 10 assembly.

[0041] The door 20 is mounted at least partially within the interior of the hood 14 for movement about a pivot axis 22. The door 20 includes a substantially planar support surface 24 along which medical waste is guided as it is introduced into the assembly. As the door 20 is rotated about pivot axis 22, the increasing incline angle of the support surface 24 will cause the medical waste to travel toward the rear of the container and toward the receptacle 12. As described previously, an access opening 18 is defined by surfaces of the door 20 and the hood 14. Specifically, the door 20 provides a door limiting surface 17, which defines a lower limit to the access opening 18.

[0042] The door 20 also includes a series of weight fins 21 positioned along the underside of the door limiting surface 17 that serve to bias the door 20 by gravity toward an opened position, as illustrated in FIG. 1. In other words, because the door 20 is pivotally mounted, the weight of its fins 21 tends to balance the door 20 toward its opened position. By providing a series of fins 21 with a size and quantity sufficient to alter the center of gravity of door 20 with respect to the pivot axis 22, it has been discovered the access angle “A” of the door 20 in the opened position can be increased. More specifically, by virtue of the weight of material in fins 21, the center of gravity of the door 20 is shifted such that the door 20 can be rotated beyond a vertical position to the closed position, yet return to the opened position when released.

[0043] It has been discovered that, by increasing the angle “B” of the door in the closed position (as illustrated in FIG. 4), the size of the disposal opening 29 defined between the door 20 and the lid contoured portion 28 (illustrated in FIG. 3) can be increased. By increasing the size of the disposal opening 29, the assembly can accommodate larger medical waste such as sharps having a larger diameter or thickness.

[0044] This ability to accommodate larger sharps (by virtue of the increased angle “B” and the resulting increase in disposal opening 29) can therefore be accomplished without the need for increasing the profile “P” of the assembly (illustrated in FIG. 3). Also, this ability to accommodate larger sharps can be accomplished without the need to significantly alter the lid contoured portion 28 (e.g., by reducing the degree to which it extends toward the front of the assembly). The lid contoured portion 28 is provided, at least in part, to provide a barrier preventing access to the interior of the receptacle 12. It is, therefore, advantageous to avoid undue reduction of the contoured portion 28 as the sole means for increasing the disposal opening 29. The optional increase in angle “B” of door 20 in the closed position, alone or in combination with other exemplary aspects of this invention, therefore facilitates this exemplary feature.

[0045]FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the closure 10 in its opened position. The door limiting surface 17 and the hood limiting surface 16 define the access opening 18, and form the access angle “A” defined by the pivot axis 22 of the door 20 and the access opening 18, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The access angle “A” is at least about 60, which is sufficiently large so that the access opening 18 may accept a wide range of sharp sizes. Preferably, access angle “A” is at least about 80, and most preferably at least about 83.

[0046] This relatively large access angle “A,” alone or combined with additional features described herein, enables the closure according to this invention to provide a medical waste disposal system that can accommodate large sharps, while maintaining a low profile “P.” More specifically, by providing an increased access angle “A,” the size of the access opening 18 can be increased or maintained without unduly increasing the profile “P” of the assembly. For example, by increasing the angle “A,” the distances between the pivot axis 22 and the door limiting surface 17 and between the pivot axis 22 and the hood limiting surface 16 need not be increased to provide an increased access opening 18. While those distances could be increased according to this invention to increase the size of the access opening 18 (e.g., to accommodate larger waste), such an increase could result in an increase in the profile “P” of the assembly, the height of the hood 14, and/or the degree to which the outer edge of the door 20 extends outwardly from the hood 14 in its opened position.

[0047]FIG. 3 illustrates the closure 10 in its closed position, and FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the closure 10 in its closed position. The door 20 in this position substantially prevents access to the medical waste receptacle 12 through the access opening 18 of the hood 14. The support surface 24 of the door 20 in the closed position forms an angle “B” with respect to a horizontal plane, as discussed previously. The angle “B” is at least about 100, and more preferably at least about 105, and is sufficiently large so that the support surface 24 expands the disposal opening 29 as the door 20 is rotated toward its closed position, thereby permitting a wide range of sharp sizes to drop into the medical waste receptacle 12. It is this relatively large angle “B,” alone or combined with an increased access angle “A” described previously and/or other exemplary features of this invention, that enables the closure according to this invention to provide a medical waste disposal system that can accommodate larger sharps, while maintaining a low profile “P.”Referring to FIGS. 1-4, the door 20 is biased by gravity, due to the series of weight fins 21 configured along the underside of the door limiting surface 17, to rest naturally toward its opened position, as illustrated in FIG. 1. When a sharps is placed on the support surface 24 of the door 20, it slides or rolls down the support surface 24 causing the door 20 to rotate. The door 20 rotates backwards about its pivot axis 22 toward the closed position illustrated in FIG. 3, and the sharps is deposited into the medical waste receptacle 12. The contoured portion 28 of the lid 26 deflects the sharps toward the medical waste receptacle 12.

[0048] Because the door 20 is biased by gravity, it then automatically rotates back forward toward its opened position, illustrated in FIG. 1. Once the medical waste receptacle 12 is full, the user then fastens flexible recessed locking tabs 34 on the hood 14 by pushing the door 20 further into the hood 14, thereby securing the closed door 20 to the hood 14.

[0049] The ramp 30 positioned on the lid 26 generally discourages users from placing sharps on the lid of a medical waste disposal system filled to capacity. Although the ramp 30 serves some utility, it is recognized that the configuration of the ramp 30 can take a wide variety of shapes and forms and that the configuration of the ramp 30 illustrated in the figures is primarily an ornamental design, and other configurations are of course contemplated. For example, the ramp 30 can be provided by one or more fins extending upwardly from the surface of the lid 26, by a combination of such fins or ribs with an inclined surface, or by any structure capable of discouraging users from positioning sharps on the lid. Ornamental features of the closure 10 are described in co-pending U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. XX/XXX,XXX.

[0050] FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate the medical waste receptacle 12 of FIGS. 1 and 3 in detail. The lip 13 of the medical waste receptacle 12 defines a receptacle opening 32 positioned to receive medical waste, and is typically formed from plastic. Further details of a suitable receptacle are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,947,285 to Gaba et al., which is incorporated by reference.

[0051]FIGS. 6 and 6A-6E illustrate the hood 14 of FIGS. 1-4 in detail. The hood 14 includes a hood base 36 for connection with the lid 26. The base 36 defines pivot axis apertures 38 that, in combination with lid pivot axis supports 48 (illustrated in FIG. 7 and described subsequently), house the pivot axis 22 of the door 20. A contoured portion 40 toward the back of the hood 14 permits passage of a range of sharps sizes as they are deposited into the medical waste receptacle 12. A top surface 42 of the hood 14 includes the hood limiting surface 16 which defines the access opening 18 to accommodate a wide range of sharp sizes. The top surface 42 also defines recessed portions 44, which house the recessed locking tabs 34. When the medical waste receptacle 12 is full and the door 20 is in its closed position, the user then depresses the flexible locking tabs 34 into locking tab apertures 50 (illustrated in FIG. 8 and described subsequently), and a hook portion 46 of each locking tab 34 engages the door 20, permanently securing the closed door 20 to the hood 14. Alternatively, the locking tabs 34 are configured to engage the door 20 as the door is urged by the user further, into the hood 14, thereby permitting the hook portions 46 of the biased locking tabs 34 to enter corresponding apertures 50 in the door 20, and thereby facilitating engagement between the door 20 and the hood 14. The locking tabs 34 are positioned on the hood 14 in recessed portions 44 to prevent unintentional locking of the door 20. The hood 14 is typically formed from plastic.

[0052] The hood 14 can be provided with a wide variety of configurations while still accomplishing the foregoing functions. For example, the shapes of the hood contoured portion 40, the hood top surface 42, the hood limiting surface 42, the recessed portions 44, the hood base 36, and other surfaces of the hood 14 can be modified while still accommodating the door 20, medical waste, and the locking features described herein. The configuration of hood 14 selected for illustration in the figures is dictated by ornamental considerations, and those ornamental aspects of the hood 14 are disclosed in co-pending U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. XX/XXX,XXX.

[0053]FIGS. 7 and 7A-7C illustrate the lid 26 in detail. The lid 26 provides an overall base structure for the closure 10 assembly. The lid 26 includes a skirt portion 27 positioned to engage the lip portion 13 of the receptacle 12, thereby preventing inadvertent removal of the lid 26 from the receptacle 12. The lid 26 also includes a contoured portion 28 which, as described previously, deflects sharps toward the medical waste receptacle 12 when sharps are deposited. Furthermore, the lid 26 includes pivot axis supports 48 that support the pivot axis 22 of the door 20. As described previously, the pivot axis apertures 38 of the hood base 36 combine with the lid pivot axis supports 48 to house the pivot axis 22 of the door 20. As described previously, the ramp 30 positioned on the lid 26 discourages users from placing sharps on the lid of a medical waste disposal system filled to capacity. However, it is recognized that the ramp 30 is primarily an ornamental design, and other configurations are of course contemplated. Ornamental features of the lid 26 are further described in co-pending U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. XX/XXX,XXX. The lid 26 is typically formed from plastic.

[0054]FIGS. 8 and 8A-8C illustrate the door 20 in detail. The door 20 is substantially planar, and is mounted for movement about its pivot axis 22. The door 20 includes a support surface 24 and a door limiting surface 17. The door limiting surface 17 and the hood limiting surface 16 together define the access opening 18 (as illustrated in FIG. 1). The door 20 also includes a series of weight fins 21 configured along the underside of the door limiting surface 17. As described previously, the weight fins 21 serve to bias the door 20 by gravity toward an opened position (as illustrated in FIG. 1).

[0055] The support surface 24 of the door 20 is defined by a width “W” and a depth “D.” The width to depth ratio “W:D” is at least about 1.9:1, more preferably at least about 2.0:1, and most preferably at least about 2.2:1, and is sufficiently proportioned so that the support surface 24 may accept a wide range of sharp sizes, while maintaining a relatively small depth “D” dimension (and thereby permitting a limited profile “P” of the overall assembly). It is this width to depth “W:D” ratio, alone or combined with a selected access angle “A” and/or a selected rotation angle “B,” both described previously, that enables the closure according to this invention to provide a medical waste disposal system that can accommodate large sharps, while maintaining a low profile “P.”

[0056] The door includes locking tab apertures 50 for engagement with the recessed locking tabs 34 positioned on the hood 14 when the closed door 20 is to be secured. As described previously, when the medical waste receptacle 12 is full and the door 20 is in its closed position, the user depresses the flexible locking tabs 34 into the locking tab apertures 50, and a hook portion 46 of each locking tab 34 engages the door 20, permanently securing the closed door 20 to the hood 14. Alternatively, the hood 14 and door 20 are engaged by virtue of the bias of hook portions 46 toward the locking tab apertures 50 when the door 20 is urged by the user into the hood 14. The door 20 is typically formed from plastic.

[0057] Although exemplary embodiments of a closure according to this invention have been described, there are others that support the spirit of the invention and are therefore within the contemplated scope of the invention. For example, with respect to the access angle “A,” it is not limited to at least about 60, and may be at least about 80 or may be less than 60. Similarly, the angle “B” is not limited to at least about 100, and may be at least about 105 or less than 100. Additionally, the width to depth ratio “W:D” of the door 20 is not limited to at least about 1.9:1, and may be at least about 2.2:1 or may be less than 1.9:1.

[0058] Also, it will be appreciated that various exemplary features of the invention can be employed alone or in combination to achieve the objectives of the invention. For example, the increased width:depth ratio “W:D,” increased access angle “A,” and increased rotation angle “B” can be employed independently or in any combination in order to achieve the objective of increasing the range of sharps sizes that can be accommodated by the assembly without unduly increasing the profile “P” of the assembly. While the exemplary assembly illustrated in the figures employs a combination of all of these features, the features alone or in other combinations can be selected.

[0059] It will be appreciated that other modifications can be made to the illustrated embodiment of the closure according to this invention without departing from the scope of the invention. The scope of the invention is separately defined in the appended claims.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7789230Sep 27, 2005Sep 7, 2010Covidien AgMethod and apparatus for collecting sharps
US8426480Sep 16, 2010Apr 23, 2013Becton, Dickinson And CompanyPlastic reclaimed from infectious medical waste and medical devices manufactured therefrom
US8434616 *Oct 8, 2008May 7, 2013Ultimed, Inc.Sharps container
US8584850 *Sep 27, 2005Nov 19, 2013Covidien AgApparatus for collecting sharps
US8584885Jul 5, 2007Nov 19, 2013Covidien LpMailbox style sharps container
US8863951Apr 25, 2013Oct 21, 2014Ultimed, Inc.Sharps container
US8875881Sep 27, 2005Nov 4, 2014Covidien AgMethod and apparatus for collecting sharps
US8993644Sep 18, 2009Mar 31, 2015Becton, Dickinson And CompanyMedical devices formed from recycled medical waste and methods of manufacture
WO2008005537A2 *Jul 5, 2007Jan 10, 2008Tyco HealthcareMailbox style sharps container
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/366
International ClassificationB65F1/16, A61G12/00, A61B19/02, B65F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B19/0288, A61B2019/0209
European ClassificationA61B19/02R2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 17, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: SHERWOOD SERVICES AG, SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MOATS, DONNA L.;JAPUNTICH, JOHN C.;KLEIN, RONALD T.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:012925/0352;SIGNING DATES FROM 20020509 TO 20020514
Aug 1, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: COVIDIEN AG,SWITZERLAND
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SHERWOOD SERVICES AG;REEL/FRAME:019628/0425
Effective date: 20070309