US 3045671 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 24, 1962 w. H. UPDEGRAFF PORTABLE INHALER Filed Sept. 8, 1959 v 86 FIG. 3
INVENTOR WILLIAM H. UPDEGRAFF lue? ATTORNEY.
' to an individual or a patient, whenever needed.
s m an PORTABLE ENHAHJER William H. Updegralf, 62 th Ave, Mineola, NY. Filed Sept. 8, 1959, Ser. No. 838,569 6 Claims. (1. 128-403) This invention relates to a portable inhaler combined with a storage and expansion chamber and particularly to a device adapted to provide a continuous how of oxygen The invention provides an oxygen tank, preferably pocket sized, for use in emergencies; one that is capable of being carried about and is able to store a quantity of gas under reduced pressure while small amountsare metered out, as is needed. In addition, a continuous supply of ox gen, similar to that of a large tank, is available.
The number of people aillicted with a heart condition or who are subject to attacks of asthma are constantly increasing. When seized with an attack, the rapid application of pure oxygen will relieve the condition and will often save the life of the individual. Oxygen is generally supplied in large tanks which are heavy and cannot be readily moved about. As a result, by the time the victim is brought to the source of oxygen, it is too late. Attempts have been made to provide small, portable oxygen units which can be carried about and used when needed. These units usually provide a cartridge of oxygen under high pressure and an applicator, either to the nose or month. When the cartridge is attached to the applicator, it is pierced by suitable means, and the gas is released to the victim. Unfortunately, because of the high compression of the gas, normally at about 5,000 p.s.i., the gas escapes too quickly and is exhausted within a few seconds. By. the time a second cartridge can replace the initial one, oxygen has ceased to flow, and the victim will collapse.
In order to overcome these deficiencies of the prior art, the instant invention has been devised. A large chamber has been positioned between the oxygen supply cartridge and the applicator. This serves the important dual function of reducing the pressure of the oxygen which is released when the cartridge is pierced; and is also a storage reservoir for the oxygen whereby a metered amount is supplied to the patient. Because of this storage capacity, additional cartridges may replace those that are spent, while the oxygen is fed to the patient. This enables the portable inhaler to closely approximate the storage capacity of conventional oxygen tanks. By the use of this device, a continuous supply of controlled oxygen is available, while of compact construction.
It is an object of the invention to provide a storage means for a quantity of a gas under pressure so that a supply of such gas is available during the full period of required use.
It is another object to provide an expansion chamber adapted to reduce the pressure of a gas received therein whereby a patient may utilize such gas at a maximu efiiciency.
It is a further object to provide a chamber that serves the dual function of expansion chamber and storage reservoir whereby a gas entering said chamber under high compression will rapidly reduce the pressure and will be retained in said chamber until ready to be utilized.
It is still a further object to provide a portable inhaler that is compact in construction, yet has the capacity of storage of a gas substantially equal to that of storage tanks.
It is still another object to provide an inhaler that is capable of removably receiving a succession of gas cartridges so. that a continuous supply of gas may be stored in a storage reservoir chamber.
And it is yet another object to provide a hand operated Patented July 24, 1962 metering means whereby a controlled amount of gas under pressure is released from a substantial storage chamber for use by a patient.
And it is still another object to provide a readily removable applicator attachment to the metering device whereby a number of diiierent types'of applicators may be substituted without afiecting the storage function of the reservoir chamber.
These and other objects will become readily apparent as the description of the invention proceeds, and as is illustrated in the figures and as is governed by the appended claims.
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the inhaler constructed in accordance with the teaching of the invention,
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section of the inhaler,
FIG. 3 is a section taken on line 3-3 and illustrates the construction of the metering means,
FIG 4 is a view of another type of applicator in the form of a face mask, and
FIG. 5 is a view of still another form of applicator for use in the mouth.
Referring to the figures, and particularly to FIGURES 1, 2 and 3, the inhaler of the invention comprises a cartridge holder generally identified by the numeral 10 removably secured to one end of a combination expansion chamber and storage reservoiralso generally identified by the numeral 12. Mounted on the other end of reservoir, 12 is an applicator structure 14-.
The cartridge holder 10 includes a capsule orcartridge 16 retained within a shell or casing 18. The casing 33 is provided with a plurality of longitudinal grooves '20 (see FIG. 1), whereby a firm grip may be obtained by the thumb and index finger in order to thread or remove the casing from the chamber 12 by virtue of an interiorly threaded section 2 on the casing 18 that is adaptedto cooperate with an exteriorly threaded portion 24 on the extension 26 of the chamber 12. It is thus a simple matter to add or remove the cartridge 16 to the inhaler to have the contents thereof expelled into the storage reservoir 12.
The cartridge 16 is elongated in shape and generally is rounded at the bottom 28 to seat firmly in the lower tapered end of the casing 18. The reduced neck portion 30 of the cartridge is adjacent the open end of the casing- 18 and is adapted to be pierced by a hollow piercing pin or needle 32, retained within the extension member 26. Piercing pin 32 extends down into the counter-bored section 34 of the extension member 26 while the neck port tion 30 of the cartridge 16 fits well up within the counterbored section 34, as is illustrated in the figures so that a positive piercing action always occurs when the casing is is screwed fully upon the extension 26. An O-ring 36 provides an effective seal against the escape of gas from between the casing and extension while a stop shoulder 38 limits upward movement of the cartridge member on the extension 26.
A poppet valve 40, of the one-Way or check-valve type, is retained within the extension member 26 in alignment with the hollow piercing pin 32 and permits the oxygen which has been released from the cartridge 16 after the same has been pierced to enter the storage andexpansion chamber 12, but prevents the return thereof. The construction of the poppet valve 40 is well known in the art and further description thereof is considered to be unnecessary.
The oxygenreleased by the piercing action of the pin 32 passing through the top of cartridge 16 rushes into the expansion chamber 12 and is immediately reduced from approximately 5,000 p.s.i. to a pressure of about 400 psi. The chamber 12 is completely enclosed and thus retains the released oxygen until the inhaler is ready to be used. It will be recognized that because the chamber 12 will accommodate the gas supply of the initially pierced cartridge 16, a further new cartridge 16 may now be substituted for the previously pierced one to replenish the reservoir 12 as the gas therein is expelled therefrom and used up. Hence, the present invention permits a continuous supply of gas without interruption for as long as the supply of cartridges 16 lasts.
This maybe done even while the inhaler is in continuous use, thus enabling favorable comparison of the present inhaler with large stationary storage tanks presently in use. In fact, the instant device is superior to such tanks for, despite its portability and consequently compact size, the ability to continuously add fresh cartridges of oxygen during its use as an inhaler allows the operation to be continuous, as long as is necessary This is not true for large storage tanks which must be completely replaced when exhausted, andthus resulting in a hiatus of use or a lapse of time during change-over from one tank to another during which the patient receives no supply of oxygen at all.
The chamber 12 contains an extension neck section 42 at its outlet end and is internally threaded to receive the exteriorly threaded extension 44 of the applicator member 14. The applicator member 14 is preferably of two parts and contains a metering cap generally identified by the numeral 46 cooperatively engaging the closure member 48.
The closure member 48 comprises a stopper 50, and a flange 52. The flange 52 is pressed or spun down over the neck 42 of the storage reservoir chamber 12, with the inwardly turned edge 54 gripping the annular rim 56 of the chamber 12. A sealing gasket 58, positioned between the flange 52 and the rim 56, prevents leakage of the oxygen to the atmosphere while the closure member 48 retains the normally closed valve 60 in position. Valve 60 is provided with an actuating stem 62 which is in close proximity to the metering cap 46. The valve construction may be similar to that illustrated in Patent No. 2,651,303 and need not further be described, since the Valve, per se, forms no part of the invention.
Actuating stem 62 of the valve 60 is adapted to be actuated by the structure of metering cap 46. The metering cap 46 consists of an applicator portion 64 provided with an axial passageway 66 for escape of the oxygen and a hand controlled oxygen release means 68, As is clearly disclosed in FIGS. 2 and 3, the release means 68 is of substantial thickness and is integral with the applicator 64 and the retaining flange 70. The retaining flange 70 is provided with an inturned annular rim 72 that is adapted to fit snugly all around the flange 52 of closure member 48.
The retaining flange 70 is so designed through the stepped construction 74 that a space 76 is provided interiorly between the metering cap 46 and the closure member 48. A pair of downwardly depending projections 78 and 80 extend into the space 76 and direct the flow of oxygen from the storage chamber 12 to the exit passageway 66. A channel 82 is provided adjacent the oxygen release means 68 so that the element 68 may be readily and easily depressed. Obviously, instead of the channel 82, any other manner'of providing a weakened area adjacent the element 68 may be utilized within the concept of the invention. A roughened or corrugated surface 84 on the release member 68 prevents the finger of the operator from slipping.
The stem 62 of the poppet valve 60 is in close proximity with the bottom surface of the oxygen release member and only a slight pressure is sufficient to depress the valve stem 62 to meter and allow the oxygen to .escape from the chamber 12 into the passageway 66. Various methods of applying the oxygen may be utilized. FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the use of a nasal'inducer 85. The inducer is provided with a pair of slightly diverging ducts 86, adapted to be inserted into each nostril. A depending connector 87 is adapted to be removably connected or press-fit over the applicator 64 while a reinforcing block 88 insures rigidity of the connection.
In some instances, it may be desirable to utilize the face mask 90 of FIG. 4. The face mask contains a passageway connector 92 adapted to be frictionally held on the inhaler of the invention. In a like manner, the oral inducer 4 of FIG. is removably attached by the connector 96 to the applicator 64. It is thus readily apparent that the invention may be applied in many ways to the patient.
From the foregoing description, the opera-tion and use of the inhaler of the invention is readily apparent. In an emergency, a cartridge 16 containing oxygen under about 5000 p.s.i. is inserted into the opening of the extension 26 of the chamber 12. When fully secured therein by the cap or casing 18, the hollow piercing pin 32 will puncture the cartridge 16 to release the oxygen therein. Each capsule ordinarily contains about 3 liters of oxygen and this quickly rushes into the larger combination storage and reduced pressure chamber 12 and expands to about 400 psi. If it is assumed that only 3 liter-s of oxygen are introduced and retained in the chamber 12, this entire amount would be released from the chamber and consumed in about 45 seconds. By carefully depressing the release means 68 to meter the exhaust of oxygen only when inhaling, the period of use can be materially lengthened.
Moreover, unlike prior known devices like Patent No. 2,651,303, the full force of the oxygen expelled from cartridge 16 is dissipated by expansion in chamber 12 as not to damage the users sensitive nasal or oral membranes. Further, when additional oxygen is required, the now exhausted or empty cartridge 16 may be removed and replaced by a fresh one that will replenish the supply in the chamber 12 even before the oxygen therein is partially exhausted. Hence, the chamber 12 is capable of storing the contents of several cartridges while the user is inhaling and metering its use at a predetermined rate. The invention has thus overcome the one-shot devices previously in use. In addition, by reducing the pressure in the expansion chamber 12, loss of oxygen to the user, due to excess pressure, is prevented. The weakened area 82 of the structure around the oxygen release member 68 enables instantaneous and fully controlled operation of the poppet valve 60 to release the oxygen.
While the description has been directed to the use of oxygen for cardiac or asthmatic patients, it is obvious that the invention may be used for other conditions. Fast relief from nervous fatigue or from exhaustion is made available. The relief from excessive drinking by the application of oxygen is also available by this invention. In the foregoing instances, one cartridge is generally sufficient to bring relief.
The materials utilized in the construction of the invention are readily available. The storage reservoir chamber 12 is preferably of aluminum, although plastics may be utilized. The applicator 14 should be somewhat flexible in construction and it has been found that the polyethelenes are generally satisfactory.
It is to be understood that the description above is merely illustrative of a preferred form of the invention and. that no limitations as to structure and design, other than as is defined in the appended claims, are intended.
l. A portable and continuous gas supply device com prising cartridge means adapted to retain a supply of gas under high compression, a chamber providing combination pressure reducing and storage means, one way gas inlet means connecting said chamber and cartridge means in linear alignment to provide a direct passage for said gas from' said cartridge means to said chamber, outlet means in said chamber to release said gas, and metering a, a If 4 5 means connected with said outlet means for controlling the amount of gas being released.
2. In a portable inhaler, a chamber having an enlarged enclosure therein, a casing having means thereon releasably cooperable with said chamber to releasably secure thereto a cartridge having a gas contained therein under pressure, means on said chamber to admit the gas in direct line communication from the cartridge to said enclosure wherein the same is stored under lower pressure than in said cartridge, and means connected with said chamber to meter the exhaust of the gas from said chamber enclosure.
3. A portable and continuous gas supply device comprising cartridge means for storing a gas under high pressure, a combination expansion chamber and storage reservoir, said chamber including an extension member removably securing said cartridge means, gas passageway means in said extension member connecting said cartridge means and combination chamber in direct line communication, a gas outlet port in said chamber, means connected with said port metering the escape of gas from said chamber, and means connecting said chamber with a point of exhaust.
4. The combination of claim 3, a casing to hold said cartridge means, said chamber extension member and casing including means cooperable to releasably connect said casing to said extension member, and means in said extension to pierce said cartridge means to release the gas therein directly into the combination chamber, said pierced cartridge means being adapted to be replaced by an unpierced cartridge means to provide a continuous supply of gas directly to the combination chamber.
5. A portable and continuous inhaler comprising a cartridge member containing a gas under high pressure, a chamber in direct line communication with said cartridge member and having an enclosure larger than that of said cartridge member to simultaneously store and reduce the pressure of a gas received therein, means connected with said chamber to secure said cartridge member to said chamber, means to admit the gas directly from said cartridge member to said chamber, and means in said chamber to exhaust the gas therefrom.
6. The combination of claim 5, said gas release means comprising an outlet, a metering housing mounted in said outlet, said housing including a poppet valve and an actuating pin extending therefrom, and gas application means secured to said metering housing, said gas application means including pressure release means overlying said actuating pin in spaced apart relation and adapted to be depressed to engage said pin to unseat the valve and to enable gas to escape from said chamber into said gas application means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,203,391 ODonnell Oct. 31, 1916 1,449,047 Johnson Mar. 20, 1923 2,651,303 Johnson Sept. 8, 1953 2,860,634 Duncan Nov. 18, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 107,990 Great Britain July 26, 1917 790,263 Great Britain Feb. 5, 1958