US 3004686 A
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Filed June 6, 1958 Oct. 17, 1961 A. E. MOKEE 3,004,686
PORTABLE OXYGEN INHALATOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Alb en E McKee ATTORNEYS Oct. 17, 1961 A. E. MGKEE 3,004,686
PORTABLE OXYGEN INHALATOR Filed June 6, 1958 s Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR 4 Albert E McKee i Y g- ATTORNEYS I Oct. 17, 1961 A. E. McKEE 3,004,686
PORTABLE OXYGEN INHALATOR Filed June 6, 195a s Sheets-Sheet s 244 FIG 4 245 P T y 46 Ii m 22 a q I: A H 5;? 1 1 L 20 422 bm B iV/i 26 1 724 d 20 I26 224 Albert E McKee ATTORNEY usually associated with such units.
United States Patent O 3,004,686 PORTABLE OXYGEN INHALATOR Albert E. McKee, 8335 S. Halsted St., Chicago 20, 11!. Filed June 6, 1958, Ser. No. 740,453 1 Claim. (Cl. 222-3) INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND For some time there has existed a need for a low cost inhalator which is of such light weight construction that it can be easily and quickly transported from one place to another. Such a device has many uses. For example, it may be used to revive persons suffering from a respiratory failure resulting from gas poisoning, drowning, disease, nervous shock, and other causes, and to initiate respiration in newborn babies. It also may be used to deliver anesthetic, oxygen or other vapors or gases to individuals for therapeutic purposes and during operations when the patients respiration is slow and shallow. It may also be used to deliver oxygen to individuals who work in atmospheres containing poisonous gases, dust or a deficiency of oxygen.
Most hospitals and many doctors ofiices have inhalator units which will facilitate the administration of oxygen or similar gases to persons who have an oxygen deficiency either due to a heart attack, smoke or other congestion in the lungs, shortness of breath, etc. Such units are quite handy and many lives are saved each year because of them. However, such units are of rather a bulky nature. In addition, they are quite expensive and special training is necessary before one can learn to properly operate the complicated valving arrangements These factors have more or less limited the use of such inhalator units to hospitals and larger doctors oilices and have denied the OBJECTS It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a portable compressed gas dispensing unit of unusually simple construction and which can readily be operated by persons who have no mechanical knowledge whatsoever.
Another object of this invention is to provide a portable compressed gas dispension unit which is of simple construction and which can be readily disassembled, repaired or reconstructed.
Another object of this invention is to provide a portable compressed gas dispensing unit which can be safely used by persons of all ages and without any danger whatsoever to persons who may operate the unit in an improper manner.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a valve and gas pressure regulator assembly of very simple construction and of foolproof operation so that comice pressed gas may be efficiently and safely dispensed at a uniform rate.
These and other objecs are accomplished by the parts, elements, constructions, arrangements and combinations which comprise the present invention, the nature of which is set forth in the following general statement, a preferred embodiment of which is set forth in the following description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and which is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claim forming a part hereof.
THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the complete dispenser;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the compressed gas reservoir and check valve;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the regulator and gauge (not in section);
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the top of the compressed gas reservoir, the check valve assembly, the regulator assembly and the gauge;
FIGURES 5, 6 and 7 are fragmentary sectional views showing the relative positions of several parts of the regulator under varying flow conditions;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary side elevation of the top of the regulator housing and its associated handles;
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view of a modified version of the regulator housing shown in FIGURES 3 and 4.
THE INVENTION BROADLY The novel inhalator of this invention can probably be most easily understood by thinking of it as a plurality of more or less distinct parts or units which are adapted to be interconnected in such a fashion as to function as a unitary whole. These distinct units are as follows:
(a) A reservoir for compressed gas, 7
(b) A check valve located at one end of said reservoir,
(c) An automatic pressure reducing gas regulator, one portion of which is adapted to engage said check valve and another portion of which is adapted to dispense gas at a pressure which is usually at a lower pressure than the gas in the reservoir.
It is preferable that all of the parts of the check valve assembly and the regulator assembly be made of brass, in accordance with well-known safety practices, although it will be understood that other metals such as steel, iron, aluminum, etc., would be satisfactory if desired.
THE COMPRESSED GAS RESERVOIR As is shown in FIGURES l and 2, the compressed gas reservoir 10 preferably consists of an oblong cylindrical thick-Walled chamber of suflicient strength to safely contain the compressed gases under the desired pressure and also of sufiicient strength'to Withstand damage due to accidental jarring, bumping or dropping. The reservoir is preferably made from high-strength steel but other metals are satisfactory. A particularly preferred type of gas reservoir or cylinder is that approved by the Bureau of Explosives and the Interstate Commerce Commission and which is slightly less than 2 inches in diameter and slightly less than 12 inches in length.
It will be understood that the hereinafter described regulator can be used on any size cylinder up to the commercial oxygen cylinder containing 244 cubic feet of oxygen.
The cylinder pressure in the small cylinders usually ranges from 1800 to 2200 pounds pressure and the regulator can easily withstand this pressure.
It will be seen that the reservoir 10 is closed at one end and open at the other end. The open end is threaded to receive corresponding threads on the exterior of the hereinafter described check valve housing. The ex- POSITION OF THE MOVABLE; COMPONENTS WHEN THE SYSTEM IS IN OPERATION AND WHEN GAS IS FLOWING The inhalator apparatus of this invention is rendered operative by interconnecting the regulator assembly with the reservoir and check valve assembly. This is easily accomplished by simply inserting the end of the regulator assembly containing the nozzle assembly N downwardly into the check valve housing B. As the two memhere are brought together in this fashion, the lower portion of threaded member 206 will engage the upper portion of threaded member 122 and consequently in order to efiect an interconnection of these two members it is necessary to rotate the two members relative to each other so that the members will threadably engage each other. "As the tWo members move closer to each other during the threading operation the lower portion of nozzle stem member 202 will push downwardly upon the top 117 of check valve C and the check valve C will thus be moved downwardly despite the upward force of spring 108. As the check valve C moves downwardly the lateral passages 1 18 will reach a point where there is open communication between the interior of reservoir 10 and the outer ends of the lateral passages 118 since the normal sealing action of O-ring 114 is unsealed as the check valve C moves downwardly. When the lateral passageway 118 does come into open communication with the interior of reservoir 10 the gas within reservoir 10 will pass upward- 1y through passageway 118 then through passageway 116 and upwardly through passageway 200. FIGURE 4 illustrates most clearly the relative position of the nozzle member N and the check valve C when the high pressure gas is flowing outwardly from the reservoir 10. In this figure it will be seen that O-ring 204 effectively prevents any of the high pressure gas of reservoir 10 from escaping upwardly along the interior bore .120 of check valve housing B.
As the gas in the interior of reservoir 10 rises upwardly through passages 118, 116 and 200, see FIGURE 3, part ofthe gas enters into passageway 212 and thence into 1 gauge G to register the pressure of the gas within reservoir 10. Another portion of the gas rising from the reservoir 10 through passageway 118, 116 and 200 immediately exits through the exit portion 224 of nozzle member N, passes into annular passageway 228, through passageway 232 upwardly through axial passage 230, through filter 246 and then out through orifice 244.
However, since orifice'244 is of very small diameter (e.g. .012 inch or-number 80 drill) the outward flow of the gas is considerably restricted and a back pressure is immediately created. This back pressure exerts a downward force on the upper piston-like portion of plunger P with the result that plunger P is forced in a downward direction against the upward force of spring 238. Since the strength of spring 238 is adjusted to a fixed low outlet pressure (e.g., about 80 p.s.i.) the plunger P will move downwardly.
The relative position of seat 226 and the upper exit portion of portion 224 of nozzle member N is perhaps best illustrated in the three sketches shown in FIGURES .5, 6 and 7. These sketches are only fragmentary and not necessarily to scale in order that they might better illustrate the operation. FIGURE shows the relative position of seat member 226 and upper end portion 224 at the first instant that the high pressure gas from the reservoir flows upwardly through passageway 200. When the gas reaches'the outlet orifice 224, however, an immediate back pressure is exerted against the top of plunger 1? and as a consequence seat 226 is forced downwardly against the upper end portion 224 so that gases can no The 6 can exert enough upward force to separate the seat 226 from the upper end portion 224. It is possible, therefore, that the relative movement of seat 226 and the upper end portion 244 comprise a quick succession of up and down movements as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6. It is also possible, however, that the seat member 226 and upper end portion 224 may quickly assume a relatively fixed positional relationship which is intermediate between the two extremes shown in FIGURES 5 and 6. FIGURE 7 is intended to show seat 226 and end portion 224 in such an intermediate position. If in fact an essentially equilibrium condition as illustrated in FIGURE 7 does exist when the apparatus is in operative steady gas flow ing conditions, the clearance between the seat 226 and the upper end portion 224 is probably very minute, being just large enough to permit an amount of high pressure gas from reservoir 10 to flow through the clearance area to replace an equal amount of the lower pressure gas existing through orifice 244 and to maintain the desired low pressure above plunger P.
When it is desired to stop the steady outward flow of gas it is merely necessary to twist the reservoir 10 and the regulator housing R in reverse directions relative to each other so that threaded member 2G6 disengages threaded member 122, which in turn causes the lower portion of nozzle stem member 202 to exert no downward force on check valve C, thus allowing check valve C to move upwardly until the O-ring 114 is in sealing relationship with shoulder 115, thereby preventing any further iiow of high pressure gas from reservoir 10.
NOVEL FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES OF THE PRESENT INVENTION (1) Safety.-When the regulator assembly is purposely or accidentally disengaged from the reservoir and check valve assembly, there is no danger that the compressed gas in the reservoir will escape, since it will be trapped in the reservoir by the check valve. In the event that the orifice 244 becomes restricted in any way (e.g. clogged with dirt) the automatic pressure regulating action of the regulator assembly would immediately shut oif anyflow of high pressure gas to the orifice area. Moreover, even in the event that seat 226 should become defective and fail to prevent the flow of high pressure gas through exit portion 224, the construction of the parts is strong enough to withstand the full pressure without rupture of any of the critical parts.
(2) Ease of operation-No skill or previous training is needed to operate the inhalator. Even children can easily use the inhalator to administer oxygen to stricken adults. Older persons or injured persons, who might have very little strength in the event of an emergency, can easily render the inhalator of this invention operative ,by a gentle twisting action. The flow or oxygen is preset and therefore needs no calibration or adjustment by the user.
(3) Simplicity of c0rzsZructz'0n.--The various parts of the inhalator of this invention are of very simple construction and can readily be mass produced and assembled by assembly line techniques by relatively unskilled workers. The various parts are designed and manufactured in such a fashion that there is practically no need for the assembly line workers to waste any time making fine adjustmeuts, bothering with critical tolerances or worrying about positional relationships of passageways.
(4) Replaceability of parts.-If any of the parts of the inhalator becomes damaged, defective or worn, they can very easily be replaced by simply unthreading one or two parts and inserting a new part for the defective part. In emergencies, a defective part in the regulator assembly is most quickly and easily remedied by replacing the entire regulator assembly.
(5) Ease of maintenance.The inhalator device of this invention presents practically no maintenance problems.
6) Minimum amount of dead air spacey-The censtr'uc'tionpf the check valve assembly, regulator assembly sndparts adjacent thereto is such that the deadai-r space 'ilslge'ptat an absolute Therefore, when the inhalator unit is disconnected or the reservoir and regulator assembly are rotated apart there is only a very small amount of high pressure gas trapped in the regulator assemp y. This is both a safety 'feature and "'aieature having commercial appeal. It is a safety feature because there was a large volume of high pressure in either the check valve assembly or the regulator assemblyupon disengegement of these two parts there would be the danger that the great volume of escaping high pressure gas would damage one or more of the O-rings. This feature has commercial appeal because if a large volume of high pressure gas escapes'through a relatively small orifice ihesudde'n noise created could easily alarm and frighten theuser. a
' ('7) Uzilit-y.--Can be easily lifted, transported, handled, stored and refilled. i Set flow.-The regulator of this invention has a predetermined set flow. This is an important feature and a definite advantage because it does notrequire that the user malre any calculations, adjustments, decisions, etc., regarding the flow rate.
M sQ LANEoUs hs PQi-QBW Q a p in uni f thi ih cnti hi y' rnh c d it er ai tactic not cc cl -hho h accessories. Such accessories woule, for example, usually include a mask or other similar device to fit over a portion of the users face and sufficient tubing connecting the ,mask to h c uchh h ppie 2 .5 of he ihholato y 1 5 h l k ifi h t pc o m sks hi t he employedi hhi s i po a t hc c ulotcf o this u ch' icc jhfi c a set flow. The set flow is tied in with the fact tha the, c how is dctc m cd y tho pa ic la m sk hat might be supplied with the unit. It is preferable that the h ch hic su h he un have a 'tc rcc hin' has, o t- T i c'b o na s cot as a o asc esc vc'i'r o gas ch i flo n d n he ime e user is exhaling and resting between breaths; The ma jority'of the waste gases in exhaled air is contained in 'the last 1/; or /2 of the exhalation, When the user exhales, the first part of his breath goes into the rebreathing bag, is mixed with fresh oxygen which is flowing into the bag continuously, and when the bag expands to its fullest extent, the last /2 or /3 of the users breath passes out throughan expiratory valve in the maslg.
When a properly constructed mask is used with the present invention the gas delivered from the pressure reihtq n s r i p o c wcc 5% and 109% 9Y ch coh h t oh o virtually a lun ca ac yti n Preferred cm cdimch of his ih ch ion, the oxygen is arranged so as to flow at about'six liters per minute, which is considered as average for various other types of oxygen administration devices such as inhalers, cannula, nasal catheters or even small oggygen hoods or fac cntc- Tho co p e s gas cy ind s m y h fi lcsi v tyc ply For example, if a large commercial oxygen tanlt or other source of oxygen under high pressure is provided with a discharge means having substantially the same size and shape as the parts 266?, 2632 and 266 of FIGURE 3, and it was screwed into the threaded top of cylinder 10 and pressure was introduced it would force the check valve open until the cylinder was full of gas at the same pressure as the source. l
The gauge G indicates the pressure of the gases within the reservoir it}. 7 This gauge is not essential to the operation of the inhalator but is desirable since as the pres:- sure gauge gradually drops with use, Lhe user is able to obtain an approximate idea as to the amount of gas which remains. Omitting the gauge would eliminate the necessity for passages 216 and 212 and either O-ring 220 or 222. Asecond gauge-could be connected to the regumarked with the letters ,GA. This Second gauge could hc ali atcd n liters p'cr m ute being administered. Wh n he hlha ator device con ains no ga g s he c m vst fuc n is ccusidcrahlylsim l ficdhh h os f m n .fac ure reduc d lf it is desired to provide an Inhalator which would permit one to alternately fuse a gauge and to omit one, the threaded corinectionwhic'h usually receives the gauge c u d hc easily adap cdto receive a threaded pl When the top portion T is equipped with one or more key handle HKE llRE 8), thos handl a be d t shu o t e how hot d. o ot g th Prcccurc ducing regulator or rotat ng the cylinder. This is partic'ula rly helpful when this regulator unit is used with a largo me ic o omm al type cylin The ey handle H, however, wi 1y shirt the flow off or turn thc flo 014- the hcyhaodlcc H ar used in c nj n tion i sp in bo h he bo tom and on the p of plunger P, thekey handles can therefore be used to va y hc fl w f omp essed gas in a gr dual anne (sc pper sp in 09, lo er sprigs .1 01, and ha le H of F RE v V Th ou let p e sure may be regulated to. the d s c degree by using stronger or weaker springs (238). The o t e p cscurc mcy also be varied by g p gers of different shaft lepgths areas. 7
An er modificat on w thin the scope of his in ention wou ihvo c placin ano her l sp ng (similar to spring 233 betweep the top of plunger P and the underfdc' t thre ded mcm cr T, so as to thus countera t he upward force of spring 238; (thus providing another means for regulating the" outlet pressure).
In con lusion, while the oregoing sp fication d dra i s cs ih th c nstru t n, op ration and u e of one prctc d e bo iment o th in ant n e i n, t is to be understood that I'do not intend to limit myself to the prcc sc c n ru t on and ar angem nt in closed, nce the ari s de ails o onst u ion, form d or on c acnt m y o viou ly be ar d o a considerable extent by any ne ll in he a Wi hou really d p ing from the basic principles and novel teachings of this invention and without sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention, and accordingly, it is intended to encompass all changes, variations, modifications and equivalents falling within the scope oi the appended claim,
What is claimed is:
A novel dispenser for compressed gases which comprises in combination a reservoir 19 for compressed gas, a check valve assembly located in one end' of said reservoir, said check valve assembly comprising a main check valve housing 13, a spring-loaded check valve C mounted in the lower portion of said check valve housing B and adapted to move in an axial direction within said check valve housing, said check valve C being pressed upwardly by a coiled spring member 1 08 seated in a lower portion of the check valve housing B, and the upward movement of the check valve C being limited by a shoulder on the upper interior part of said check valve housing, said check valve C containing a passageway 116 which is capable of alternately permitting or restricting the passage of gases through said check valve assembly depending upon the axial movement of the check valve C, an automatic straight-in-line pressuring-reducing gas regulator assembly,'one portion of which is adapted to engage said check valve assembly and another portion of which is adapted to dispense gas at a pressure which is at a lower pressure than the gas in the reservoir, said automatic pressure reducing gas regulator comprising in combination a main regulator housing R of generally hollow cylindrical shape, the-interior of which is adapted to reand of ditferent' upper surface ceive a plurality of separate elements, a nozzle assembly N fitted into the lower end of said main regulator housing R, said nozzle assembly N containing an interior central passageway 200 extending from the lower to the upper end thereof, an O-ring adjacent to the lower outside end of said nozzle assembly N, an O-ring adjacent to the upper outside end of said nozzle assembly N, said lower O-ring being adapted to provide a seal between the exterior of said nozzle assembly N and the interior of said check valve assembly, and said upper O-n'ng being adapted to provide a gas seal between the exterior of said nozzle assembly N and the interior of said main regulator housing R, said nozzle assembly additionally containing a first lateral passageway 212 connecting the said interior central passageway 200 of the nozzle assembly N with the outer portion of said nozzle assembly so that the in-' terior of said nozzle assembly is in open communication with the interior of said main regulator housing R and an O-ring is located on the exterior of said nozzle assembly N below said lateral passageway 212 and a second lateral passageway 216 is provided in the main regulator housing adjacent to the outlet of said first lateral passageway 212 in said nozzle assembly N, a top portion T fitted into the upper portion of the main regulator housing R, a spring-loaded piston-like element P mounted within the interior of said main regulator housing R and adapted to slide axially therein, the upper movement of said pistonlike member P being limited by said fitted top portion T and the lower movement of said piston-like element T being limited by said fitted nozzle assembly N, and a continuous passageway 230 for gas through said piston-like element P and a passageway through said threaded top portion which is adapted to be alternately closed or opened depending upon the position of the piston-like element wherein said piston-like element P comprises a hollow shaft portion 230 having a relatively small circumferential seat 226 fixed on its lower portion and having a relatively large circumferential plunger section fixed on its upper portion, an O-ring 236 located around the peripheiy of said plunger section, an O-ring 234 located in the lower part of said hollow shaft portion adjacent to but above said seat portion, a lateral passageway 232 located in said hollow shaft portion between said lower O-ring and said seat, said lateral passageway 232 being in open communication with an axial passageway 230 extending up wardly from the top of said seat 226 through the length of said hollow shaft portion, and a spring 238 adapted to apply force upwardly against the underside of said plunger-like element P.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,399,054 Meidenbauer Apr. 23, 1946 2,498,596 Wallach Feb. 21, 1950 2,855,950 Phillips Oct. 14, 1958 2,888,949 Evans June 2, 1959