US 3033156 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 8, 1962 A. VERBISH 3,033,156
SUTURE RACK Filed March 16, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Alberta 1.. Verb/sh 1 N VEN TOR.
May 8, 1962 A. VERBISH 3,033,155
SUTURE RACK Filed March 16, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Q Wm. QM. R. m vm m m .D E r V 1 .w% W m mm Q9 W9 A S a v H W e m @M on Q mm A Q\\ Q: N
3,033,156 SUTURE RACK Alberta L. Verbish, 5421 White Oak Ave., East Chicago, Ind. Filed Mar. 16,1960, Ser. No. 15,337 7 Ciaims. (Cl. 116-133) The present invention generally relates to a device for supporting sutures for use in connection with'certain surgical operations with the device generally being in the form of a suture rack having for its primary purpose the saving of time, elimination of confusion and retaining the suture in sterile solution before andduring an operation for as long as is possible.
In surgical operations, it is usual that one specific nurse, normally called a suture nurse, is charged with obtaining and supplying the necessary suture throughout the operation. Quite often, the same nurse will be in attendance for several subsequent operations. Each surgeon and each operation requires different sutures in a dififerent sequence de ending upon the nature of the operation and the particular desires of the surgeon performing the surgery and also for dilierent parts of the anatomy. Before surgery starts, the suture nurse checks a card which lists the suture procedure for the particular surgeon who is to perform the operation. This card will tell her the type, length and gauge of suture he will use for certain parts of the anatomy during the course of the operation. The nurse then unreels and cuts the suture as indicated on the card. After it is cut, it is wound around the fingers in a circle and placed under the folds of a towel. The suture nurse may set up several different tables at the beginning of the morning before the first scheduled operation begins. While this is a conventional procedure, certain inherent problems exist which are overcome by the present invention.
The major problem existent in the present system is the necessity of remembering which suture is to be used where and under which fold of the towel this particular suture has been placed. In order to be sure, the suture nurse will often have to refer to the card, which is not sterile. Inasmuch as the nurse is sterile, she must have someone hold the card up or walk over to where it is posted. It is quite difiicult to remember the suture requirements through several operations and once an op ration has started, time is quite limited. and it sometimes is diflicult to obtain access to the card. Also, it is sometimes necessary to change nurses during an operation. Thus, it is essential that precise instructions between the nurses as regarding suture be maintained so that the on-co-ming nurse will understand the sutures being used and the manner of their sequence. Inasmuch as it is relatively difficult to communicate under operating room conditions, there sometimes are mistakes caused by changing of the nurse handling the suture.
Another problem caused by unwinding of the suture is the stiffening of the suture after it has been out of solution for a while thereby rendering the suture rather difficult to handle.
The suture rack of the present invention includes an arrangement whereby the suture nurse can tell at a glance which suture is needed and includes structural means for retaining the suture in solution for as long as possible and for maintaining the coded indicator wheel assembly for indicating the suture to be employed.
Briefly, the present invention includes a rack for supporting a plurality of plastic containers containing sutures in solution which containers still retain a certain amount of solution for maintaining the sutures pliable. Also, the rack includes means for retaining the sutures and needles in a supported condition and at the same time includes ice means for indicating the particular type, length and gauge of suture to be employed in a sequential manner;
Another object of the present invention is to provide a suture rack constructed of stainless steel material capable of being sterilized in itself and being readily supported from a table top or the like for retaining the sutures in a desired relationship to each other and in readily accessible position to the suture nurse.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and'claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the suture rack of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged longitudinal, vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 2-2. of FIGURE 1 illustrating the structural details of the suture rack;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse, vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 3-3 of FIGURE 1. illustrating the structural details of the indicating wheels and the related structure for holding sutures; Y 7
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged transverse, vertical sec tioal view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 44 of FIGURE 1 and illustrating further structural details of the suture rack; and
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged detailed sectional view taken substantially upon aplane' passing along section line 5-5 of FIGURE 1 illustrating further structural details of the suture rack.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, the numeral It) generally designates the suture rack of the present invention which includes a fiat plate or'panel 12 having a depending peripheral flange 14 for increasing its rigidity. The plate '12 and flange 14 are of one-piece construction and are of a relatively thin gauge of stainless steel capable of being sterilized. Adjacent one end of the plate 12 is a pair of generally hook shaped sup porting members designated by reference numeral 16, each of which includes a terminal U-shaped portion 18 opening toward the opposite end of the plate 12. The upper leg of the U-shaped portion 18 generally is in alignment with the bottom edge of the depending flange and the opposite end of the plate 12 so that the U-shaped portion 18 may engage over the edge of a table top as indicated diagrammatically at 20 for supporting the edge of the plate 12 to which the supports 16 are attached in elevated position with theopposite end of the plate 12 resting on the upper surface of the table top 26) there by supporting the plate 12 in a generally inclined condition as illustrated in FIGURE 2 so that the entire plate 12 will be readily observable and accessible. Each sup} port member 16 may be constructed of relatively heavy wire-like material and the U-shaped portion 18 has the upper leg thereof terminating in an upwardly extending portion 22 that in turn includes an offset or laterally extending upper end 24 which extends through notches 26 in the depending flange 14 on the endedge of the plate 12. The offset or laterally extending portion 24 terminates in an upturned threaded end portion 28 ex-, tending through. a suitable aperture .in the plate 2i! with the upper end of the threaded portion 28 receiving a nut 39 or the like for securing the support members 16 to the plate 12 and for supporting the plate 12 either by engaging over the edge of a table top 20* or resting against'the upper surface of the table top; It is preferable that it engage over the edge of a table top since the U-shaped portion 18 is constructed in such a manner to friction- 3 ally grip the table top 20 thus holding the suture rack in position.
The plate 12 adjacent the end edge thereof having the supports 16 attached has a plurality of upwardly extending rod-like members 32 having a hook-shaped upper end portion 34 and having the lower end portion thereof extending down through a suitable aperture in the plate 12 and terminating in a laterally extending portion 36 that in turn terminates in an offset portion 38 extending back up through the plate 12 with the upper end of the offset portion 38 extending laterally against the upper surface of the plate 12 as indicated by numeral 40 thereby rigidly securing the wire members 32 to the plate 12. The wire or rod-like members 32 act as spindles for supporting single or a plurality of plastic containers for sutures designated by numeral 42 whereby the suture 44 may be unwound from the plastic container 42 with the latter being retained on the spindle 32 by virtue of the hook-shaped member 34. Prior to mounting the plastic container with the suture therein on the spindle 32, it must be punctured and there is provided a puncturing device generally designated by numeral 46 adjacent a corner of the plate 12 remote from the spindles 32. The puncture device for the plastic container 42 is in the form of an upstanding puncture member 48 having a pointed upper end 50 and being secured to the plate 12 by any suitable retaining means such as a retaining nut or the like with the portion of the stud or puncture 48 disposed above the plate 12 having a rigid flange -52 thereon. The container 42 is commercially available in standard lengths of sutures.
Mounted on the plate 12 adjacent the bottom edge thereof are three horizontally aligned coil spring assemblies generally designated by numeral 54 and there are also two longitudinally aligned coil spring assemblies 56 adjacent one side edge of the plate 12 with the spring assemblies 56 and 54 being identical in construction with the details thereof being shown in FIGURE 5.
As illustrated in FIGURE 5, the coil spring assembly includes a pair of upwardly and inwardly curved lugs 58 and 60 which are formed by being struck out from the plate 12 thus leaving a pair of spaced slots 62 in the plate 12. The lugs 58 and 60 are upwardly curved and extend toward each other and terminate in slightly spaced relation and a coil spring 64 is disposed on the lugs 58 and 69 with the ends of the spring 64 engaging the upper surface of the plate 12 in encircling relation to the base or lower end of the lugs 58 and 60 thus, the convolution of the coil spring 64 will frictionally retain a suture 44 disposed therein. The spring assemblies 56 are for supporting a pre-cut suture or a plurality of pre-cut sutures which are to be used in the initial stages of an operation so that such pre-cut sutures will not have time to stiffen or dry out.
Disposed substantially intermediate the length of the plate 12 is a plurality of horizontal coil spring assemblies 66 each of which are identical in construction to each other and each of which includes a pair of vertically disposed parallel apertured lugs 68 struck upwardly from the plate 12 thus leaving openings 70 in the plate 12. Extending between the lugs 68 is a connector or hub 72, see FIGURE 4, around which a coil spring 74 is disposed with the ends of the coil spring engaging the inner surface of the lugs 68 and enclosing the hub 72 which has enlarged end portions 76 and extensions 78 extending through the lugs 68.
Disposed intermediate the spring assembly 66 and the spindles 32, there is provided a pair of depending brackets 80 secured to the flange 14 by fasteners 82 with the brackets 80 supporting an elongated rod 84 having a retaining nut 86 on each end thereof. Rotatably supported by the rod or shaft 84 is a plurality of circular indicator wheels each generally designated by numeral 88.
Each indicator wheel 88 is provided with a cylindrical main body portion 90 and a cylindrical edge flange 92 of greater diameter than the main body 90 with the edge flange 92 having a plurality of notches or serrations 94 therein for locking engagement with a flat leaf spring 96 secured to the plate 12 by fasteners 98. The flat leaf spring 96 permits rotation of the wheels 88 but will resiliently retain the wheels 88 in adjusted position. The periphery of the flange 92 extends upwardly through a slot 1% in the plate 12 for access thereto from the upper surface of the plate 12 thereby permitting the indicator Wheels to be rotated by engaging the thumb with the periphery of the flange 92 and causing the desired rotation thereof.
Extending laterally from the slot 100 is a slot or notch 192 which reveals only a portion of the periphery of the cylindrical main body 90 of the indicator wheels 83. Printed on the periphery of the main body of the indicator wheels 88 is information concerning the type, length and gauge of the suture to be used.
Printed on the face of the plate 12 intermediate the spring assemblies 66 and the spring assemblies 54 is a color code and indicia corresponding to the indicia appearing on the wheel body which is designated by numeral 104. The indicia printed on the plate 12 includes colored dots 106 which may correspond to a color forming part of the indicia 164. Also, printed words 108 indicating the different types of suture are included and certain of the dots 106 have fractional indicia thereon. As will be seen in FIGURE 1, the first letter of the indicia 104 indicates the type of suture. For example, the left hand indicator wheel has the first letter P and may have a background color corresponding to the background color of one of the dots 166 disposed adjacent the word 108 indicating the type of suture to be employed. The second letter on this indicator wheel is the letter F which indicates that the suture is to be full length or 54 inches in length which is the standard full length suture. Thus, the first letter or letters indicates the type of suture while the last letter or numerical indicia indicates the length of the suture involved. Thus, by setting the difierent indicator wheels, the indicator wheels will act as the guide cards for guiding the suture nurse in the sutures to be employed and these may be arranged in a sequential manner so that the suture in the first spring assembly 54 to the left will be used first and correspondingly to the right.
Mounted on the plate 12 adjacent to but intermediate the spring assemblies 54 is a pair of inverted U-shaped members 110, which have flanges 112 thereon and which are retained in position by retaining nuts 114. The inverted U-shaped members 110 hold another conventional instrument, commonly referred to as a needle holder, which is used to hold suture needles, not only prior to their being threaded but also during a surgical operation thereby holding the suture needle in convenient position for use and association with the sutures when required.
The entire structure of the suture rack is of stainless steel material which lends itself readily to sterilization and it will be understood that the suture container normally supplied in packets is a commercially available item and is not part of the present invention except in the manner in which it is associated with the rack. Also, the distance between the spindle 32 and a spring assembly 54 may conveniently be thirteeen and one-half inches which will facilitate the measuring of one-quarter and one-half lengths of suture since the standard suture is 54 inches in length. This arrangement will greatly facilitate the cutting of the suture to the desired length.
The purpose of this board is to permit a surgical nurse to set up in advance the suturing materials which she will need in connection with an operation, as prescribed by the surgeon in advance. The sutures, which are available in containers as disclosed are placed on the hooks 34 at the top of the board, in such quantities as will be needed and in the order in which they will be needed. Nee .ies will be placed in the spring holders 66 shown at the middle of the board. The colored wheels 83, will be set to show the type and length of the suture to be used for each step in the operation.
During the course of the operation, the surgical nurse will draw a suture from the desired container, placing the loose end in the spring holder 54, at the bottom of the board, and thereafter threading the needle, obtained from the spring holder 66 in the center of the board with the needle holder supported by 110, shown at the bottom of the boards, cutting the suture near the disk or at any other required length. The length of the board is such that it coincides with fractional parts of the sutures manufactured and sold in package form. The springs 56 at the right hand margin of the board, which are independent of any hook, are placed so that the nurse may precut sutures and place them between the springs, prior to the commencement of the operation.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
'What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A suture rack comprising an enlarged substantially fiat plate, means on said plate and depending therebeneath for supporting said plate in inclined position for access to the upper surface thereof, means mounted upon said plate and adjacent one edge thereof for supporting a plurality of suture supply containers, means adjacent the opposite edge of said rack for frictionally retaining a suture above said plate and in position for easy access, means mounted upon and intermediate the ends of the plate for supporting a plurality of suture needles and indicator means mounted on said plate for indicating the sequence of use of the sutures in an operation.
2. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means supporting a plurality of supply containers includes a plurality of upstanding spindles having laterally offset upper ends for permitting rotation of the containers while retaining them in position.
3. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means at the end of the plate opposite from the containers supporting means includes a plurality of coil springs each disposed in substantially a semi-circular configuration, upwardly struck lugs on said plate curving inwardly for reception in each of the coil springs thereby forming a coil spring substantially in a semi-circular manner for receiving sutures between the convolutions on the spring.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said indicator means includes a plurality of indicator wheels, means frictionally retaining the indicator wheels in adjusted position, means on said wheels including indicia thereon indicating the type and length of suture, said wheels each having a peripheral notched flange extending upwardly through a slot in the plate, a cylindrical body member secured to r the flange and having the indicia thereon, said plate having a notch revealing such indicia for indicating the sutures to be used.
5. The combination of claim 1 wherein said plate is provided with a rigid upwardly extending pointed member mounted thereon for puncturing the suture supply containers.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein said needle holding means on the plate includes a plurality of spring assemblies each including a pair of vertical lugs, a horizontal shaft interconnecting said lugs, and a horizontal coil spring on said shaft.
7. The combination of claim 1 wherein said supporting means for the plate includes a pair of hook members supported from the plate and spaced rearwardly therefrom, said hook members being generally U-shaped and opening towards the opposite end of the plate for frictional engagement with a table support with the opposite end of the plate resting against the table top.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,527,386 Barnard Feb. 24, 1925 1,711,222 Bronner Apr. 30, 1929 2,588,589 Tauber Mar. 11, 1952 2,692,676 Grover Oct. 26, 1954