US 2619086 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 25, 1952 E DE DISPOSABLE ENEMA APPLIANCE Filed April 1, 1950 Patented Nov. 25, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,619,086 DISPOSABLE ENEMA APPLIANCE Emilie Wylde, Dover, Mass. Application April 1, 1950, Serial No. 153,315
This invention pertains to appliances for use in giving enemas, more particularly to appliances of disposable type designed to be discarded after a single use.
Customarily, enemas are'given by means of a flexible rubber enema tube one end of which is shaped to facilitate insertion and the other end of which is adapted to be attached to the delivery nipple of a fluid container or the small end of a filling funnel.
Enemas are given as a normal procedure preliminarily to rectal examinations and certain surgical operations; in cases involving inadequate functioning of the colon; as a step in X-ray examination of the abdominal region, and in many other hospital treatments, so that in a general hospital, and to a still greater extent in a military hospital, a nurse may be required to give many enemas in a day.
For sanitary and health reasons as well as because in certain cases the enema solution may contain agents or medicaments which would not be permissible for use with other patients, and because the tube or tube tip frequently becomes clogged during use, the enema tube should be thoroughly cleansed and sterilized after the giving of each enema. However, the cleansing of the enema appliance is an unpleasant and timeconsuming task and one to be shunned whenever possible. Usually enemas are given in the morning which is the busiest time in hospital routine and when, as is often the case, the nursing staff is inadequate, and there is a strong temptation to pass from one patient to the next in giving the enema treatments without taking the time and trouble properly to cleanse the enema appliance; a practice which may result in the transmission of disease from one patient to another, to say nothing of the aesthetic aspects of such a procedure.
As above noted the customary practice is to attach the rubber end of an enema tube to the small end of a filling funnel Or to the delivery nipple of a fluid receptacle or reservoir but this end of the tube may become stretched or split after a time and thus may slip off from the funnel or container during use, thereby deluging the patient and bed with solution and causing trouble and annoyance to all concerned. Furthermore, if it be desired to observe the flow of fluid it is necessary to employ a special appliance comprising a length of glass tubing or equivalent, all of which adds to the trouble in using and in cleansing and sterilizing the appliance.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide an enema appliance of such a character and so constructed and arranged that its use substantially avoids all of the above enumerated difiiculties. A further object is to provide an enema appliance which, as a practical matter, may be discarded after a single use. A further object is to provide an enema appliance of simple, but adequate type, very cheap to construct and which is light in weight and easy and time-saving to use and which may be made so cheaply that its adoption as a disposable article is readily possible. A further object is to provide an enema tube of thin, flexible material and sufiiciently transparent to permit the flow of fluid through it to be observed. A further object is to provide a very thin-walled, flexible enema tube provided with means for thickening and stifiening it at its delivery end. A further object is to provide an enema appliance of unitary character wherein the tube, the fluid container and the tube tip are integrally joined so that they cannot become separated during use. A further object is to provide an enema appliance consisting of a cellulose derivative, for example paper or regenerated cellulose, sufficiently waterproof and heat-resistant to maintain its integrity during the period of a single enema application but which may be made so cheaply as to justify its disposal without any attempt at cleansing it preparatory to further use. Other and further objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out in the following more detailed description and by reference to the accompanying drawings wherein Fig. 1 is an elevation, with the mid-portion of the tube broken away, illustrating one desirable embodiment of the invention;
Fig. 2 is a diametrical section through the filling funnel and tube shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged elevation of the tube tip;
Fig. 4 is a view similar to Fig. 2 but illustrating a modified construction; and
Fig. 5 is another view similar to Fig. 2 but illustrating a further modified construction.
Referring to the drawings, the numeral 6 designates a container for fluid to be used in giving an enema. This container, as illustrated, is an open topped funnel whose smaller end is continued downward in the form of a downwardly convergent nozzle 0r nipple l. The numeral 8 designates a flexible tube which, as more clearly illustrated in Fig. 2, is integrally joined to the lower end of the nipple portion 1 of the funnel. This tube 8 may be made of any desired length, for example 30 inches and at its lower end, as illustrated in Fig. 2, merges integrally with the tip portion 9, the lower end I0 .material employed in making this integral appli- 3 ance is of a kind such as to make it practical, from the cost standpoint, to discard the entire appliance after it .has once been used in. giving;
an enema. Rubber and similar materials are too expensive to be employed in devices of this kind which are intended to be discarded after a single.
use. However, other materials (cheaper than rubber) are available, which are so cheapas to make such disposal of the appliance practically possible. For example, the appliance may be made from a cellulose derivative suchaszipaper stock, par-chmentized paper, paper coated with a' protective film, or regenerated cellulose "(cellophane), and it is at least possible that some of the-synthetic resins may eventually be produc-ible at a cost such as to. make their. use practical-in the manufacture of this appliance.
It will be noted from Fig. 2 that the 'walls of the funnel, including'its upper .part and thernipple 1 are thicker than the wall, of the tube 8,. the latter being intended to be very thin vandcflexible whereas the funnel should be suficientlystifi and rigid to retain its shape. when filled with :fluid.
Likewise the tip portion .9 also has a :thicker wal than the tube 8 so that the tip portion!!! is :sufilciently still to maintain its shape during :insertion.
It is contemplated that this device'may bemade by a 'molding operation in properly shaped molds or dies or-by dipping a form into a fiuid bath'of "the selected material, the coating of fiuid'which adheres to the form being stripped off from the latter after the coating has set. It is further contemplated that the appliance may be made from sheet stock out to proper shape and rolled or wound about a suitable mandrel in a 'manner similar to that employed in the formation of paper tubes.
'While the arrangementshown in Fig. 2 is preferable, wherein all of the parts ofthe appliance are integrally joined and of the same material, it is contemplated that under some circumstances it may be desirable to make the flexible tube 8 of one material and the funnel and ti'p'of' another material or materials; Thus, asshown-in Fig. 4, the flexible tube i may have very-"thin walls and may bemade-ofany suitable cheap material such as above suggested, and since-this tube 8 is of uniform diameter it is contemplated-that.
it may be produced by an extrusion process as well as by any of the procedures'abovesuggested. In this instance the funnel 6 may beof adifierent material, for example a stiff paper' rolled-or molded to shape, and they tip "9 may be of. a
'difi'erent type ofpaper or other cellulose product.
:In this instance it .is contemplated that the upper end of the tube will be; permanently secured to the lower endof the nipple l of the funnel,"for example, by cement or other adhesive, and "like-- wise thatth'e lower end of "theztube will be per- .manently .fixed to. thexupper end of the tip 9 by'lthe use of .cement rthe like. If the funnel, .tip and tube are ofmaterials capable of being interfused. then the. .joints between these parts may be produced by fusion, employing heat and/or a solvent, together with pressure, TWhjatever the mode of uniting the parts,-the union .between them should be strong, andpermanent so that they will .not become separated. duringuse.
In Fig. '5 a. further modification is illustrated wherein the funnelfi ,.tube -it 'and'the tip 9 comprise an integral length of thin, flexible material, for example cellophane'or the like,fbut in this'instance the funnel is-stifiened bytheapplication of:
one or'more-coatings 13 of some-stifiening'matefile oft-this patent;
4 rial, for instance shellac or the like, preferably of a waterproofing nature. Likewise the tip portion. 9 is stiffiened by a coating M of, a suitable :stifieni-ngmaterial, preferably waterproof and which provides a smoothly polished outer surface. While the coatings l3 and [4 may be applied as shown in Fig. 5 to the interior and exterior re- ;spectivelyofxthe funnel and tip, it is to be understoodthat the coatings may be otherwise applied 'if desired.
Ifithe.materialemployed in making the flexible tubular portion 8 of the appliance is cellophane or "the like, it will be sufficiently transparent so that the flow of liquid ithrough the tube may be observed without resortrto the insertionofaasection of :glass .tubingor eqhivalenttzmeansi While certaindesirable :embodimentsotithezinvention have been herein illustrated and: described by way of" example, it is to. :beunderstood that the invention is: broadlyrinclusive zet any and all modifications anci 'ofall materials whihh may be found of practical utility .theformationof such a disposable device, but any permissible change must fall within thepurviewbf the claims asserted-herein. v
l. A disposable, single-use, *sanitaryenema appliance of the gravity pressure-typecomprising a tube-of substantially-uniform internal diameter and-of a length of '20 inchesor'more, an open topped, downwardly tapering container permanent-ly Joined to the upper end-of the tube and a tip permanently joined'to'the*loWer-end-ot'the tube, the tip being substantially:cylindrical and of an external diameter appropriate *for 'insertion inthe rectum, the; tip being smooth'lyrounded at its lower end, and havinga "delivery orifice near its lower end, "the entire tube being or very thin,iflexible'material substantially devoid =ofinherent resiliency and-resistance to bend andfsufficiently "transparent to all'ow' the flow of fluid through it to be observed 'at-"any; point in "its ength, 'the receptacle and tip having" thicker "walls than the, tube and'bei'ng stiffer" and more shape retaining than :then'tube', theti'p having an axial bore 'of' substantially the. sameiinternal diameter as thatv of the tubegtheentire appliance, comprising. the receptacle, tube andtip, being, of
moisture-resistant -material whichgis tough and strong but substantially 'cheaper" than rubber thereby to makepracticalfthe 'disposali'offthe en- .tire aDplianceafter-one use.
2. An enema appliance accordingfto claim. 1 wherein the receptacle, tube. and. tip constitute portions. .of a single seamless, continuouallength or. regenerated, cellulose.
REFERENCES CITED I'he. following ireferences .are:-;.of: record-inethe uNr-rnnas'rnrns PATENTS;