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Publication numberUS20040237366 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/857,214
Publication dateDec 2, 2004
Filing dateMay 28, 2004
Priority dateMay 29, 2003
Publication number10857214, 857214, US 2004/0237366 A1, US 2004/237366 A1, US 20040237366 A1, US 20040237366A1, US 2004237366 A1, US 2004237366A1, US-A1-20040237366, US-A1-2004237366, US2004/0237366A1, US2004/237366A1, US20040237366 A1, US20040237366A1, US2004237366 A1, US2004237366A1
InventorsRobert Chadwick, James Grenier
Original AssigneeRobert Chadwick, Grenier James Robert
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Identification bracelet
US 20040237366 A1
Abstract
Identification bracelets for use in locations such as hospitals that require that the identification bracelet be easy to apply, resistant to common solvents, difficult to remove, and printable by means of a standard office printer with high resolution print that is resistant to wear and to common solvents. The bracelet is made up of a strip of material that is resistant to common solvents and that has adhesive on a single end of the side of the strip opposite the printed side. The bracelet is made by wrapping the bracelet around the extremity of the person being identified and attaching the end with the adhesive to the printed side. Some versions include tabs on the end with the adhesive. The adhesive extends to the tabs and when the end with the adhesive has been attached to the printed side, the tabs are folded under and attached to the unprinted side. The bracelet may be made from material that is printable by an office laser printer or from material that is printable by an ink jet printer that uses water-soluble inks. In the latter case, the material permits high resolution printing and renders the printing resistant to wear and to common solvents.
Images(8)
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Claims(26)
What is claimed is:
1. An identification bracelet comprising:
a strip of material that is resistant to common solvents and to tearing and that has a first surface that may be written or printed upon and a second surface opposite the first; and
an adhesive layer on the second surface of a single end of the strip of material.
2. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 1, wherein:
the adhesive is a contact adhesive.
3. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 1, wherein:
the adhesive layer is an adhesive that does not soften when exposed to body temperature.
4. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 1, wherein:
the identification bracelet is formed by securing the adhesive layer to the first surface.
5. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 1, wherein the end comprises:
a tab on a long side of the strip; and
the adhesive layer on the end includes the tab,
whereby the end may be attached to the first surface and the tab may be folded-over and attached to the second surface.
6. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 5, wherein:
there is a plurality of the tabs and the adhesive layer on the end includes the tabs.
7. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 6 wherein:
the plurality of tabs includes tabs that are opposite each other on long sides of the strip.
8. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 1, wherein:
writing or printing on the first surface that is done using water soluble inks is waterproof.
9. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 8, wherein:
writing or printing on the first surface of the strip is resistant to other common solvents.
10. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 9, wherein:
a coating on the strip of material renders the writing or printing resistant to water and other common solvents.
11. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 1, wherein:
the strip of material accepts high resolution printing from an ink jet printer.
12. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 11, wherein:
the strip of material is an oriented and cross laminated polyethylene film.
13. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 12, wherein:
the strip of material is Valeron.
14. A secure identification bracelet comprising:
a strip of material with a first surface that may be written or printed upon and a second surface opposite the first, the strip of material being resistant to stretching or tearing once formed into an identification bracelet;
a pair of tabs opposite each other on a single end of a strip of material; and
an adhesive layer on a second surface of a single end of the strip of material the adhesive layer including the pair of tabs.
15. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 14, wherein:
the strip of material is an oriented and cross laminated polyethylene film.
16. The secure identification bracelet set forth in claim 15, wherein:
the strip of material is Valeron.
17. The secure identification bracelet set forth in claim 14, wherein:
the identification bracelet resistant to stretching or tearing when a force of up to 57 foot pounds is applied to the identification bracelet.
18. The secure identification bracelet set forth in claim 17, wherein:
the strip of material has a minimum width of approximately 1 inch.
19. The secure identification bracelet set forth in claim 18, wherein:
the strip of material has a minimum thickness of approximately 0.0125 inches.
20. The secure identification bracelet set forth in claim 14, wherein:
writing or printing on the first surface that is done using water soluble inks is waterproof.
21. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 20, wherein:
writing or printing on the surface of the strip is resistant to other common solvents.
22. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 21, wherein:
a coating on the strip of material renders the writing or printing resistant to water and other common solvents.
23. The identification bracelet set forth in claim 22, wherein:
the coating further accepts high resolution printing from an ink jet printer.
24. A business form comprising:
a face ply of bracelet material into which one or more strips suitable for forming an identification bracelet have been die cut, the strip including
a printable surface; and
an other surface with a contact adhesive disposed on a single end of the strip;
a liner ply disposed against the face ply, the line ply comprising:
an outer surface; and
an inner surface with a release coating allowing the face ply and liner ply to be separated.
25. The business form set forth in claim 24 wherein:
each strip further has a label associated therewith in the form, the label also being die cut into the face ply.
26. An identification bracelet comprising:
a strip of material comprising a first surface for printing or writing upon and a second surface opposite the first surface, the strip of material being resistant to common solvents and to tearing and permitting high-resolution printing thereupon by an ink-jet printer;
a tab on a long side of the strip; and
an adhesive layer on a single end of the second surface of the strip of material, the adhesive layer being a contact adhesive,
whereby the identification bracelet is formed by securing the adhesive layer to the first surface of the opposite end of the strip of material and folding the tab over and attaching the tab to the second surface.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present patent application claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/474,189, Robert Chadwick and James Grenier, Personal identification system, filed May 29, 2003. The entire provisional patent application is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to identification bracelets and more particularly to temporary identification bracelets for use in environments in which the bracelets are applied by people other than the wearer and are exposed to moisture and common solvents.
  • [0004]
    3. Description of Related Art
  • [0005]
    Identification bracelets are used in many situations where subjects require short-term identification. Examples of the use of identification bracelets include identification of participants at meetings, of guests in a resort, of passengers in transportation, and particularly patients in hospitals or other institutions. In the hospital setting, proper identification is particularly important: it prevents patients from receiving the wrong medication or medical procedure and it allows hospital administration to track the usage of hospital facilities by a patient for billing purposes.
  • [0006]
    The hospital environment places extraordinary demands on identification bracelets:
  • [0007]
    They need to be produced where they are used, namely at the nurses' stations;
  • [0008]
    They often need to carry photographs and barcodes, both of which require high resolution to be useful;
  • [0009]
    Both the bracelet and whatever is written or printed on it must be resistant to water and other common solvents;
  • [0010]
    The bracelet must be comfortable for the patient to wear;
  • [0011]
    The bracelet must be sanitary;
  • [0012]
    In many situations, the bracelet must be strong enough to withstand deliberate attempts by its wearer to remove it; and
  • [0013]
    The bracelet must be easy for the hospital personnel to make and apply.
  • [0014]
    Two main types of identification bracelets are presently used in hospitals and related institutions. The first type are bracelets that use paper protected by a plastic sleeves or an adhesive plastic film to make a band that is as printable as paper but has greater tear resistance and resistance to environmental degradation. An example of prior art of this type can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,510,634 to Riley, which discloses a multiple computer generated multi-web moisture proof identification bracelet. The Riley patent discloses an adhesive backed transparent film layer to encapsulate the paper strip. Problems with the first type of bracelet include the following:
  • [0015]
    Film sleeves and adhesive backed films are difficult for hospital staff to handle. The strip of paper must first be printed or written upon. The strip is then inserted into the film sleeve, the sleeve is looped around the patient's wrist or ankle, and the ends of the bracelet are attached using a metal or plastic clasp or adhesive on the sleeve. When an adhesive backed laminate is used, the printed strip of material is placed on the adhesive backed film and the film is folded over the strip of material to encase the printed strip. A bracelet can then be formed in the same manner described above. Alternatively, the bracelet is first fitted to the patient and then encapsulated with the adhesive backed film.
  • [0016]
    The plastic sleeve or laminate is often not tight enough to protect any paper or print within from being destroyed when the bracelet is immersed in water.
  • [0017]
    Barcode readers can have difficulty reading barcodes through the film sleeve or laminate. The Riley patent solves this problem with a die cut window in the laminate for the barcode. The drawback of this feature is that the barcode is exposed to the environment and can therefore easily be destroyed.
  • [0018]
    Where the bracelets have barcodes, the paper must be printed with laser printers. “Wicking” of the water-based inks used in ink jet printers makes the barcodes unreadable.
  • [0019]
    The second type of identification bracelets are those made using a printable plastic strip. An example of this type of identification bracelet can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,641,048 to Schintz et al., which discloses a bracelet made of a strip of polyesterplastic. The strip is printable by a standard office laser printer. The strip has adhesive at both ends of its inner side and is made into a bracelet that fits closely to the patient's wrist or ankle as shown in FIG. 1: To form the bracelet from the strip of plastic 100, the end with the first adhesive attachment point 101 must be looped and pressed against the inner surface of the strip 103, creating an adhesive bond. The second adhesive contact point 102 is then looped over and pressed against the outer surface of the strip opposite 104. Problems with the second type of bracelet include:
  • [0020]
    The plastic strip must be printed by a laser printer and consequently cannot have a thickness beyond what a laser printer will accept. The Schintz patent discloses a 0.002 inch thick polyester film. A film of this thickness can be easily torn, either by accident or deliberately by its wearer, and can thus be easily removed by its wearer or lost. Stretching can further make the barcodes and other information unreadable.
  • [0021]
    The thin plastic used for the bracelet is also hard for hospital staff to handle, as can be seen from the foregoing description of how the Schintz band is applied. Moreover, the loop-back technique creates a space in the band where moisture or micro organisms can gather.
  • [0022]
    None of the bracelets presently being used has a good mechanism for making a close-fitting bracelet. Attachment mechanisms have included the following:
  • [0023]
    Metal or plastic clasps; the problem with these is that the clasps are separate from the bracelet and easily lost.
  • [0024]
    Adhesive attachment mechanisms; these generally simply attach the ends of the bracelet to each other. The bracelet fits closely only where the patient happens to be the same size as the bracelet. Schintz solves this problem, as described above, but at the cost of a difficult application process.
  • [0025]
    It is an object of the invention disclosed herein to provide an improved identification bracelet and thereby to overcome the foregoing difficulties of prior art identification bracelets.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0026]
    The object of the invention is attained in one aspect by an identification bracelet that is made from a strip of material that may also be written upon with an ink pen or printed upon using a standard office printer. The invention further has an adhesive layer that is located on a single end of the strip of material opposite the surface that is printed or written upon.
  • [0027]
    In an additional aspect of the invention, the adhesive layer is made from a contact adhesive.
  • [0028]
    In an additional aspect of the invention, the adhesive layer is made from an adhesive that will not soften when exposed to heat from the wearer's body.
  • [0029]
    In an additional aspect of the invention, an identification band is formed by looping the end of the strip of material with the adhesive layer on the second surface over the first surface of the opposite end and pressing the adhesive end down to create an adhesive bond.
  • [0030]
    In another aspect of the invention, the identification bracelet has a tab on one end of the long side of the identification bracelet and the adhesive has been applied to the second surface of the tab in addition to the end of strip of material. To form a bracelet, a loop is created from the strip of material by placing the second surface of the adhesive end over the first surface of the opposite end of the strip of material. The ends are pressed together and an adhesive bond is created. The lateral tab is then folder over such that the adhesive layer on the second surface of each tab makes contact with the second surface of the opposite end of the strip of material, creating an additional adhesive bond.
  • [0031]
    In an additional aspect of the invention, the identification bracelet has two tabs on one end of the long sides of the identification bracelet and the adhesive has been applied to the end and the tabs on the second surface of the strip of material. To form a bracelet, a loop is created from the strip of material by placing the second surface of the adhesive end over the first surface of the opposite end of the strip of material. The ends are pressed together and an adhesive bond is created. The lateral tabs are then folded over such that the adhesive layer on the second surface of each tab makes contact with the second surface of the opposite end of the strip of material, creating an additional adhesive bond.
  • [0032]
    In an additional aspect of the invention, the bracelet is made from a material that after being written or printed upon by water soluble inks from a pen or ink-jet printer renders the writing or printing waterproof and resistant to removal by common solvents. In a preferred embodiment, this effect results from a coating on the strip of material.
  • [0033]
    In an additional aspect of the invention, the identification bracelet is made from a strip of material that is coated to accept high resolution ink jet printing. The print on the material is resistant to degradation caused by water, common solvents, cleaning agents, moisture, and heat. The material can be a cross laminated polyethylene film such as the oriented and cross laminated polyethylene film. An example of such a material is VALERON® produced by Valeron Strength Films of Houston Tex.
  • [0034]
    In-another aspect of the current invention, the identification bracelet is a secure identification bracelet. The secure identification bracelet is made from a strip of material that is of sufficient width and thickness to prevent the identification bracelet from being stretched or torn by the wearer of the secure identification bracelet. The secure identification bracelet has two tabs on a single end of the strip of material with an adhesive layer on the second surface of the end of the strip of material including the pair of tabs.
  • [0035]
    In an additional aspect of the current invention, the secure identification bracelet can resist stretching and tearing when a wearer of the bracelet applies up to 57 foot pounds of force on the secure identification bracelet. The strip of material has a minimum thickness of approximately 0.0125 inches and a minimum width of approximately 1 inch.
  • [0036]
    In another aspect, the invention is a business form. The business form is made up of a face ply of material into which one or more strips suitable for forming an identification bracelet have been die cut. The strip or strips have a print surface to receive the print from a standard office printer. The strip has a second surface with a contact adhesive placed on a single end. The business form also has liner ply that that is disposed against the face ply of material. The liner ply has an outer surface and an inner surface with a release coating to allow the face ply and the liner ply to be separated from each other.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 1 is a top view of a prior art identification bracelet.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 2 is a top view of a strip of material used to produce an identification bracelet illustrating the placement of printed indicia on the bracelet.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIG. 3 is a side view of FIG. 1 highlighting the placement of adhesive on a single end.
  • [0040]
    [0040]FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a strip of material used to produce an identification bracelet with a single tab placed on the long side of the strip of material.
  • [0041]
    [0041]FIG. 5 is a top view of a strip of material used to produce an identification bracelet with a pair of tabs opposite each other on the long side of the strip of material.
  • [0042]
    [0042]FIG. 6 is a top view of a business form containing an array of bracelets.
  • [0043]
    [0043]FIG. 7 is a top view of a business form containing an array of bracelets and labels.
  • [0044]
    Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the arts to which the invention pertains upon perusal of the following Detailed Description and drawing, wherein:
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0045]
    Referring first to FIG. 2, the print side of an identification bracelet 200 made according to the current invention is shown. The bracelet includes two long edges 201 and 202. The bracelet 200 can be of various lengths and thicknesses, allowing for bracelets that will fit all ages and sizes of subjects and that have the resistance to tearing and stretching required for a particular type of subjects. The bracelet 200 is formed by looping the short edge 204 over the short edge 203 and pressing an adhesive area opposite 206 on the non-print side of the bracelet to the outer body 205 of the print side of the bracelet. The adhesive area opposite 206 on the non-print side of the bracelet has a width equal to the width of the bracelet.
  • [0046]
    An advantage of having adhesive at only one end of the bracelet is that short bracelets can be combined to make long bracelets simply by attaching the adhesive end of a first short bracelet to the printed side of the non-adhesive end of a second short bracelet and then attaching the adhesive end of the second short bracelet to the printed side of the non-adhesive end of the first short bracelet. Of course, any number of bracelets may be hooked end to end by this technique.
  • [0047]
    In a preferred embodiment the material of the identification bracelet 200 is itself impervious to environmental degradation and may be printed using a standard office ink jet printer. The printing has high resolution and is impervious to environment degradation as well. The material is the oriented and cross-laminated polyethylene film commercially known as VALERON®. With Valeron, the relationship between material thickness and tensile strength is as follows:
    Thickness in Tensile Strength
    Inches (ASTM D-882
    .0025 21 LbF
    .003 22
    .004 24
    .0065 42
    .0086 47
    .0125 57
  • [0048]
    An advantage of Valeron is that its relatively great thickness when compared with plastic materials such as the ones used in Schintz' bracelets gives it handling properties that are closer to those of paper than to those of thin plastic sheets. These handling properties in turn make bracelets made of Valeron easier to apply than those made of thin plastic sheets.
  • [0049]
    In an alternate embodiment, the material of which the bracelets are made is impervious to environmental degradation and may be printed using a standard office laser printer. The printing has the high resolution and imperviousness to environmental degradation characteristic of laser printing generally. The material is oriented polyethylene film with a symmetrical toner receptive coating. One commercially available form of this material is Solution II™ Xerographic Laser Film and is manufactured by ICI Imagedata.
  • [0050]
    The resolution of the printing in both embodiments permits machine readable bar codes 207, thumbnail images 208, institutional logos 209, patient name 210, admitting and age information 211, color codes 212, patient sex 213, and allergy information 214, as well as any other kind of information which can be fit onto the bracelet.
  • [0051]
    Referring next to FIG. 3, a side view of an identification bracelet 300 is shown. The strip of material contains a first surface with an area 301 for printing on. On a single end of the strip of material a contact adhesive 303 on the second surface is shown. The identification bracelet is formed by looping the end 303 over the contact area 302 until the bracelet fits properly then pressing the area 305 such that the contact adhesive 304 creates an adhesive bond on the contact area 302.
  • [0052]
    Referring next to FIG. 4, a non-printed side of an identification bracelet 400 is shown. The strip of material includes two edges 401 and 402 which are the long edge of the strip used to form an identification bracelet. On a single end of the strip, a tab 405 projects from the long edge 402. The second surface of the strip of material contains a contact adhesive 406 which is dispersed along the lateral tab 405 and the end of the strip of material 404. The identification bracelet is formed by looping the end 404 over the first surface 408 causing the contact adhesive 406 to be pressed against the first surface opposite 408. The lateral tab 405 is then folded over at the line 407 such that the adhesive on the second surface comes in contact with the second surface 408.
  • [0053]
    Referring next to FIG. 5, identification bracelet 500 is harder for a wearer to remove than the identification bands of FIGS. 2 and 4. The strip of material includes two edges 501 and 502 which are the long edge of the strip used to form an identification bracelet. In a preferred embodiment the strip is wider than the strips of FIG. 2 and FIG. 4. The wider strip makes the identification bracelet stronger and thus more resistant to stretching. On a single end of the strip two tabs 505 and 506 project laterally from the long edges 501 and 503 respectively. The second surface of the strip of material contains a contact adhesive opposite 509 which is dispersed along the lateral tabs 505 and 506 and the end of the strip of material 505. In a preferred embodiment, the contact adhesive is resistant to softening at body temperature. The identification bracelet is formed by looping the end 504 over the first surface 508, causing the contact adhesive opposite 509 to be pressed against the first surface 508. The lateral tab 505 is then folded over at the line 511 such that the adhesive on the second surface comes in contact with the second surface opposite 508. The lateral tab 506 is then folded over at the line 510 such that the adhesive on the second surface comes in contact with the second surface opposite 508. The lateral tabs 505 and 506 when folded over meet but do not overlap. The two tabs anchor the end of the bracelet so that it cannot be pried up by the wearer. In a version of bracelet 500 used for adult wearers who may attempt to remove the bracelet, 500 the width of the bracelet 500 is 1 inch. The thickness of the identification bracelet 500 is a range of approximately 0.010 inches to approximately 0.020 inches.
  • [0054]
    Referring next to FIG. 6, a business form 600 with multiple plies and an array of identification bracelets is shown. The top ply 605 of the business form 600 is constructed with a strip of material from which bracelets are made. The identification bracelets 601-604 can be removed from the form 600 along a preferential line of weakness 606. Interposed between the top ply 605 and the liner ply 607 is a contact adhesive on a single end 608 of each identification bracelet 601-604. The liner ply 607 contains a release coating to allow the removal of the identification bracelets 601-604 with the adhesive end 608. The business form 600 is inserted into the input tray of a standard office printer or manually fed into a standard office printer for the purposes of printing indicia on the surface of the identification bracelets 601-604.
  • [0055]
    Referring next to FIG. 7, a business form 700 with multiple identification bracelets and a label are disclosed. The business form 700 contains an identification bracelet 701 suitable for wearing by a larger child. The form further contains a second identification bracelet 702 suitable for wearing by an infant or smaller pediatric patient. The form 700 also contains a label 703 suitable for labeling an item related to the patient such as the patient's file or medicine intended for the patient.
  • [0056]
    Conclusion
  • [0057]
    The foregoing Detailed Description has disclosed to those skilled in the relevant technologies how to make and use the identification bracelet of the invention and has further disclosed the best modes presently known to the inventors of so doing. It will be immediately apparent that many variations on the techniques disclosed herein are possible. For instance any sheet material that resists environmental degradation and permits high-resolution printing with ordinary office printers that is resistant to environmental degradation can be used for the bracelets. Width and thickness of the bracelets, as well as the kind of adhesive used and the number of tabs depend on their intended wearers. As for what is printed on the bracelets, that is limited only to what will fit. It will be further apparent that the techniques disclosed herein may be employed in any application of identification bracelets but are particularly useful in applications whose requirements for identification bracelets are similar to those of hospitals.
  • [0058]
    The Detailed Description is therefore to be regarded as being in all respects exemplary and not restrictive, and the breadth of the invention disclosed herein is to be determined not from the Detailed Description, but rather from the claims as interpreted with the full breadth permitted by the patent laws.
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Referenced by
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US7810267Apr 21, 2005Oct 12, 2010Avery Dennison CorporationPatient identification products
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USD782052Jan 5, 2016Mar 21, 2017Rhonda Ferguson-ShakirDiagnostic wrist band
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Classifications
U.S. Classification40/633
International ClassificationG09F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F3/005
European ClassificationG09F3/00B