US 3148515 A
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INSULIN PRESERVING TRAVEL KIT FOR DIABETICS Filed NOV. 2, 1962 Sept. 15, 1964 R. JENTIS ETAL 2 Sheet s-Shee t 1 s 0 24 R z m m QM ad .ml in H P 7 a a w n Sept. 15, 19 64 JENTIS ETAL 3,148,515
INSULIN PRESERVING TRAVEL KIT FOR DIABETICS Filed Nov. 2, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Q '33 wwmw United States Patent 3,148,515 KNSULHN PRESEl-WKNG TRAVEL EST FQR DIABETES? Rehecca .ientis, 174 W. Fairview Ave, South Grange, Ni, and Edward A. Morris Plains, NA; said Margns assigner to said Fiied Nov. 2, i962, Ser. No. 234,934 9 Claims. (Q1. 622Z2) This invention relates in general to medicine chests or kits and has particular reference to portable kits containing a temporary supply of insulin and hypodermic injection equipment for use by diabetics while traveling.
It is well known that persons afi'licted with certain types of diabetes require hypodermic injections of insulin at regular intervals. Moreover, insulin must be preserved for safe administration at a temperature of approximately 40 Fahrenheit. At home, it is practicable for the patient to keep his supply of insulin in the kitchen refrigerator at the required temperature, but travel imposes a serious problem in this respect.
It, therefore, is the primary object of our invention to provide an insulin travel kit which incorporates in a lightweight carrying case means to hold a bottle of insulin and the dose administration accessory equipment, such as a hypodermic syringe, spare hypodermic needles, a bottle of alcohol, and a cotton dispensing container, together with means to maintain the insulin supply at the required safe temperature for at least twenty-four hours.
A further object of the invention is to provide temperature regulating means of extremely simplified construction does not utilize electrical energy nor chemical reactions in its operation.
Another object is to provide a kit of this kind in which the component parts are so constructed and arranged that the over-all device is extremely compact and light in weight so that it may be hand-carried.
It is also an object to construct the kit so that those components which have to be withdrawn or replaced at intervals are readily accessible.
Further objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent as the following specific description is read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a kit constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation looking from the left in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view;
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view;
FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken on line 5-5 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a similar view taken on line 6-6 in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary large scale detail axial section of the refrigerant control valve;
FIG. 8 is a side elevation of a refrigerant bottle, partially in axial section, having one embodiment of the pressurizing means for the refrigerating gas;
FIG. 9 is a similar view, wherein a modified form of pressurizing means is disclosed; and
FIG. 10 is a View similar to FIG. 9, showing a still further modification of pressurizing means.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views, it will be observed that our improved medical kit includes a carrying case 10 designed to accommodate the various component elements of the kit in compartments dimensioned and arranged to economize space and provide for convenient access to each element for replacement or repairs.
Case it is molded for suitable plastic material possessing inherent heat insulation properties because a heat exchange element is located therein to maintain the tempera- 'ice ture of an insulin bottle at the required constant degree of 40 F.
In order to permit manufacture by conventional plastic molding machinery and methods, case it) is divided in a medial vertical plane into two separable matching half sections 16a and lliib that may be joined together by bolts. An additional advantage of the two-section construction is the ease with which certain contained mechanisms may be uncovered or removed for replacement or maintenance adjustments and repairs, which will be understood more clearly as the description progresses.
While no carrying handle for case 10 is shown in the drawings, it is obvious that one may be provided at the top thereof.
For functional reasons, case 10 is laterally elongated and comparatively thin from front to rear. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the matching sections ltia and Nb of case lit) have inner faces which meet evenly in the transverse medial vertical plane PP. Since both sections have equipment-containing compartments molded in their inner faces, there are registering walls outlining these compartments. Therefore, to stabilize the registration of these walls and lend rigidity to the over-all case structure, the meeting edges of corresponding walls are rabeted to afford an interlocking structure. The two matching case sections are united semi-permanently by removable tie-bolts 16c, which preferably pierce registering compartment walls at corner-located points, as shown. The case sections thus joined ordinarily need not be separated except at times when the infrequent repairs or replacement of major elements are required to be made. Some compartments are intended to contain elements requiring frequent access, such as the insulin and refrigerant bottles, etc., so they have been provided with instantly openable closures.
At one side of case 10 (at the left in FIGS. 1 and 5), an insulin compartment ll of reduced height is provided. This compartment has a screwthreaded opening 12 in its top wall of suificient diameter to admit an insulin bottle 13 of conventional form and capacity. Compartment 11 opens laterally into a vertically elongated refrigerant supply and control compartment 14 which extends substantially throughout the height of case It?! as a whole.
The vertical walls of compartments 11 and 14 are additionally heat insulated by a vacuum container lining 15, which rises nearly to the height of compartment 11. This lining 15 has horizontal side flanges 15a which slidably engage horizontal grooves in the corresponding compartment walls to permit easy removal of said lining when the case sections are separated.
A shock absorber pad 16 of resilient material, such as plastic foam, is mounted upon the bottom Wall of vacuum container lining 15 in suitably affixed relation thereto in vertical alignment with top wall opening 12. When a fresh bottle 13 of insulin is lowered through opening 12, it may be dropped onto pad 16 without damage to the bottle.
A tubular cap 17, which is externally screwthreaded, is engaged removably within top wall opening 12 of compartment 11 and has a medial cross wall 13 provided with a central orifice 19 for penetration by the needle of a hypodermic syringe when withdrawing a dose of insulin from bottle 13, which latter has a needle-puncturable sealing closure 20 of rubber-like material in its mouth. An auxiliary closure plug 21 fits the upper end of cap 17.
A miniature insulin refrigeration unit 22 is located in compartments 11 and 14. The base part of unit 22 is a cylindrical valve body 23 that is bolted removably medially between the top and bottom of compartment 14 to a supporting post 24 which rises from the adjacent portion of vacuum container lining 15.
The upper end of valve body 23 has an upwardly flared socket in its upper end for seating reception of the neck of an inverted supply bottle 26 containing a suitable pressurized refrigerant such as Freon and arranged with the discharge mouth of its neck downwardly directed.
Freon bottles suitable for use in our insulin kit are not presently available on the market, so we have devised a bottle construction that will meet our needs. Referring now to FIGS. 8, 9 and 10, it will be observed that each bottle 26 is divided into two chambers, viz. main chamber 26' containing liquid Freon and pressure chamber 26" containing a resilient element under compression, such as compressed gas (FIG. 8) or a metallic coil spring 27 (FIG. 9). Interposed between chambers 26' and 26" is an axially movable medium, such as the piston 28 of FIGS. 8 and 9, or the flexible diaphragm 29 of FIG. 10. The mouth of the bottle neck is initially sealed by a needle-puncturable diaphragm 30.
Valve body 23 has a central valve chamber 31 which is connected by an eccentric small-diameter inlet port 32 with bottle-seating socket 25. At the bottom of socket 25, an upwardly directed axially arranged needle 33 is fixedly positioned to puncture the neck sealing diaphragm 39 of any Freon bottle that is forced down into socket 25. An upwardly flared frusto-conical valve seat 34 is provided in the lower portion of valve chamber 31 for a rocker-type movable valve member 35 of correspondingly upwardly flared frustoconical form. Movable valve member 35 has a stem 36 rigid therewith which extends downward into the lower portion of compartment 14 through an enlarged axial bore 37 that is internally screwthreaded for reception of an externally screwthreaded sealing gland 38 of annular construction that surrounds valve stem 36 and clampingly engages a flexible upwardly tapered sealing diaphragm 39 of bellows construction that has its upper end closely connected to said valve stem by a hermetically sealed joint. Diaphragm 39 is made of elastic rubber-like material and its upper end portion of reduced diameter requires stretching upon assembly with valve stem 36, thereby creating an effective fluid seal. Further structural details of rocker-type valve member 35 will be described presently.
Directly beneath valve seat 34 and above sealing diaphragm 39, an outlet port 40 communicates with bore 37 and valve chamber 31 and extends radially through the side wall of valve body 23 into compartment 11. In said compartment 11, a heat exchange element 41 in the form of a helical metallic tube is arranged to surround the insulin bottle 13 that is installed in compartment 11. The upper end of heat exchange element 41 extends tangentially and is connected communicatively with outlet port 40. The lower end of heat exchange element 41 is open to the interior of compartment 11. Gaseous Freon which escapes into compartment 11 is vented to the atmosphere through a small vent 42 near the top of said compartment.
Inlet port 32, valve chamber 31 and outlet chamber 40 constitute conduit means for downward flow of refrigerant from bottle socket 25 to heat exchange element 41.
The upper portion of compartment 14 is shaped to snugly fit the upper substantially cylindrical shape of refrigerant bottle 26 except at the front thereof. As shown in FIG. 6, a vertically elongated opening 43 is provided in the front wall of case section 19a to admit each freshly charged refrigerant bottle 26 and a cover plate 44 is secured removably in closing relation to opening 43 by spring-loaded ball and socket fastener devices 45 of well known type. The topmost part, or ceiling, of compartment 14 is dome-shaped to correspond with the semispherical bottom of a conventional refrigerant bottle and provide a thrust release cavity 14a, but the topmost part of entrance opening 43 in front section 10a of case 10 is inclined inwardly downward to a level slightly below the ceiling of compartment 14 in order to provide a depending cam face 46 that will deflect an inserted refrigerant bottle 26 downward into contact between the neck sealing diaphragm 36 of the latter and needle 33 of socket 25 in valve body 23, whereby the said diaphragm will be pierced. A coil spring 4-7 is mounted in the bottom of socket 25 surrounding needle 33 to thrust bottle 26 automatically upward into thrust release cavity 140 of compartment 14 after said bottle has passed under cam face 46. A pad 48 of resilient material, such as plastic foam, is di'fiXBd to the inner face of cover plate 44 for direct contact with refrigerant bottle 26. To facilitate removal of each installed refrigerant bottle 26 after its contents have become exhausted, a spring-retracted ejcctor pin 49 is slidably mounted in a through opening 50 in the vertical wall of rear case section 1911 which communicates with the upper portion of compartment 14.
In order to seal the upper end of socket 25 in valve body 23 and thereby prevent loss of refrigerant into the upper portion of compartment 14, an O-ring 51 of elastic material, such as Teflon, is inset in the throat of said socket.
Thermostatic regulating means for movable throttle valve 35 is shown in FIG. 5. This device includes a reentrant hook 52 which is formed integral with the lower end of valve stem 36. The upper free end of hook 52 laterally abuts the upper free end of a bimetallic element 53 which is anchored at its base in a block 54 of suitable material secured by screw means 55 to a substantially L-shaped frame 56, which in turn is affixed to the interior of vacuum container 15 in suitable manner, as by brazing. The arrangement of movable valve member 35 and bimetallic thermostatic element 53 is such that, when the temperature in compartment 11 is at approximately 40 F., the free end of said element will lightly contact the free end of hook 52. Now, whenever the temperature in compartment 11 rises above 40 F., bimetallic element 53 will bend toward the right (FIG. 5) and rock valve member 35 on seat 34 in a manner which will permit liquid Freon to leak through the valve orifice and outlet port 46 into heat exchange coil 41, wherein the liquid will be evaporated by heat drawn from insulin bottle 13. Thereupon, when the temperature has been restored to the required safe degree of 40 F., bimetallic element 53 will return to its straight inoperative position and allow movable valve member 35 again to close on its seat and check the flow of liquid Freon.
It will now be explained that the reason for inversion of Freon bottle 26 is to insure that Freon in its liquid state will gravitate into the perforated neck of the bottle. If the outlet of bottle 26 were reversed in position, gaseous Freon might enter heat exchange coil 41. Only when Freon in its liquid state is fed to coil 4-1 will proper heat exchange occur.
In order to determine when any installed refrigerant bottle 26 has become empty, a pressure gage 57 is mounted in the front wall of front section 10a of case 10. This gage 5'7 may be of any conventional type and is connected by a passage 58 to eccentric inlet port 32 of valve body 23. (See FIGS. 1 and 6.) When gage 57 indicates a decided drop in pressure it will be known that the currently installed refrigerant bottle should be replaced by a fresh bottle.
It is also desirable to know the state of consumption of insulin in bottle 13 at any time, so the front wall of front section 10a of case 10 is provided with a transparent vertical window 59 alongside said bottle, through which the level of the bottle contents may be in view from outside. Appropriately graduated scales of linear measurement 6t and 61 are shown at opposite sides of window 59 to indicate respectively the number of withdrawals (doses) and total cc.s withdrawn. To aid in checking the last reading taken, a sliding indicator 62 of frictionchecking type may be mounted in window 59. This indicator has vertically staggered pointers 63 and 64 for appropriate registration with graduations of the respective scales and 61.
To make our kit complete for its intended purpose, there are several accessory storage compartments which 53 must be made readily accessible due to the frequency with which their contents are used. Three of these compartments open through the top of case 10 and are closed by a piano lid type of hinged closure 65. These compartments are of appropriate size for their respective contents and are shown in FIG. as follows: small compartment 66 for hypodermic needles 66a; vertically elongated through compartment 67 for a hypodermic syringe 67a; a large compartment 68 for an alcohol bottle 68a having a needle-puncturable cap 68b; and a similar compartment 69 for dispensing cotton.
Because of the delicate construction of hypodermic syringe 67a, spring means 70 is provided on the under side of closure 65 to press against the upper end of said syringe and cause its lower end to bear firmly against a screw plug 71 that is engaged removably with the lower end of compartment 67.
Cotton dispensing compartment 69 is closed at its top by a cap 72 of special construction. This cap 72 has a neck 74 of reduced diameter which fits the upper end of compartment 69. An O-ring 75 of elastic material, such as Teflon, is countersunk in the side wall of compartment 69 for frictional securing contact with neck 74 of cap 72. Cap 72 has an orifice 76 through which a twisted spiral of cotton 77 may be withdrawn. A cutter device 78 is positioned in orifice 76 for use in cutting oif each withdrawn length of cotton. Moreover, to indicate complete exhaustion of the cotton supply, an index marker 79 of distinctive appearance is aifixed to each spiral cotton element at its inner end. Also, to indicate decided diminution of cotton supply, a colored thread may be tied at St). Sanitary dispensation of cotton by the means just described is made possible.
At the bottom of case and directly beneath com partments 63 and 69, a medium-size compartment 81 for storage of a number of fresh refrigerant bottles 26 is provided. This compartment 81 opens through the bottom wall of case 10 and is closed by a closure plate 82 that has a tongue 83 at its inner end for engagement with a groove 84 in case 10. At the outer end of closure plate 82, spring-loaded ball and socket means 85 is provided to secure said plate in closed position. A block 86 of elastic material, such as plastic foam, is interposed between refrigerant bottles 26 and the inner vertical wall of compartment 81.
Operation Assuming that all of the accessory equipment and supplies for a trip have been stored in their respective compartments, with the exception of compartments 11 and 14, the temporary supplies for the latter two compar ments are introduced. Cap 17 for compartment 11 is removed and a fresh bottle of insulin, which has been under refrigeration, is lowered through opening 12 into heat exchange coil 41 until it rests on shock absorber pad 16. After replacing cap 17, cover plate 44 for lateral opening 43 in the upper portion of compartment 14 is withdrawn and a fresh bottle 26 of refrigerant, in inverted position, is installed by inserting its neck into socket of vale body 23 and then rocking the bottle until its inverted bottom bears against cam face 46. By pressing bottle 26 horizontally inward, cam face 46 will impart a downward thrust to said bottle against the resistance of spring 47, whereupon needle 33 will puncture the sealing diaphragm of the bottle. Thereafter, when the inverted bottom of bottle 26 has passed cam face 46, it will be forced upward by spring 47 into thrust release cavity 14a. This action will permit escape of refrigerant liquid through the punctured aperture in sealing diaphragm 30 into inlet port 32 of valve body 23. With movable throttle valve member in its closed position shown in FIG. 5, further progress of refrigerant liquid will be halted for the time being.
Whenever the temperature of insulin in bottle 13 in compartment 11 rises above the safe temperature of F., thermosatic bimetallic element 53 will curl toward the right (FIG. 5) and press against hook 52 of valve stem 36 in such a manner that throttle valve member 35 will be rocked on its seat 34 until liquid refrigerant can flow past said valve member and through the upper portion of bore 37 and through outlet port 4% into heat exchange coil 41. In this heat exchange coil 41, the liquid refrigerant will be expanded into gaseous form by heat absorbed from the insulin content of bottle 13 thereby cooling the insulin. When the temperature of the insulin has been reduced to 40 F., thermostatic bimetallic element 53 will bend in reverse direction (to the left in FIG. 5) and permit throttle valve member 35 to rock back into closed position. These reverse temperature regulating actions occur repeatedly and automatically with insulin temperature changes.
Should access to the refrigerant supply and temperature control elements for maintenance repair purposes become necessary, this can be accomplished by unscrewing tie bolts 10c and separating front and rear sections 10a and 10b of case 10.
When the time arrives for administration of an injection of insulin to the patient, lid is opened, syringe 67a is withdrawn from compartment 67 and a fresh needle is taken from package 66a in compartment 66 and applied to said syringe. In connection with use of syringe 67a, alcohol from bottle 68a in compartment 68 and cotton 77 from compartment 69 are withdrawn and employed in the usual way. Then, closure plug 21 is removed from cap 17 and the needle of hypodermic syringe 67a is caused to pierce sealing closure 2% of insulin bottle 13 in compartment 11 to permit withdrawal of the number of cc.s of insulin that constitute one dose. The hole made by the hypodermic needle in closure 20 will be self-sealing, so all that is required to restore the condition of bottle 13 to normal upon withdrawal of the needle therefrom is to re-insert plug 21 in the hole in cap 17. The hypodermic syringe 67a is now ready for administration of an injection to the patient. Thereafter, the used needle is removed from syringe 67a and disposed of in the usual way; the syringe is sterilized and restored to compartment 67 of case It) and lid 65 is closed.
It should now be apparent that we have provided for use by diabetics while traveling a simple and complete kit which will contain everything required for administration of quite a number of injections. The refrigeration means will maintain the temperature of the insulin at a safe degree of 40 F. for at least twenty-four hours.
While the invention has been illustrated and described with respect to a particular embodiment thereof, it will be understood that it is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the embodiment shown which do not constitute departures from the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
1. An insulin preserving traveling kit for diabetics comprising:
a portable case having a heat insulated interior compartment containing:
a holder element for a pressurized refrigerant supply bottle arranged with the discharge mouth of its neck downwardly directed;
a heat exchange element located at a lower level than said holder element;
a holder element for an insulin bottle arranged in operative proximity to the heat exchange element;
conduit means leading downwardly from said refrigerant supply bottle holder to said heat exchange element and being adapted to conduct refrigerant in a liquid state therethrough; and
throttle valve means to control flow of refrigerant through said conduit means.
2. The invention defined in claim 1, to which is added thermostatic means to open and close the throttle valve means responsive to changes in temperature of the contents of the insulin bottle and thereby maintain the said temperature at a substantially constant predetermined level.
3. The invention defined in claim 2, wherein the throttle valve means includes:
a valve body having a frusto-conical valve seat;
a frusto-conical movable valve body constructed and arranged to fit said valve seat in closed condition when aligned axially therewith and to open the orifice therethrough when rocked laterally; and
an axial stem rigid with said movable valve body;
and wherein the thermostatic means to open and close the throttle valve means is in the form of a bi-metallic element having a base stationarily mounted in the case of the kit close to the heat exchange element and having its free end in contact with one side of the stem of the movable valve body.
4. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein the case of the kit has a cylindrical axially vertical compartment to receive an inverted refrigerant bottle having a neck at its lower end closed by a needle-penetrable diaphragm, said compartment having a lateral entrance shaped to admit each refrigerant bottle by lateral insertion; wherein the conduit means has an upwardly pointing needle affixed thereto in alignment with the closure diaphragm of the refrigerant bottle when in installed position; wherein a downwardly projecting cam face is provided in the refrigerant bottle receiving compartment near the upper end thereof and being constructed and arranged to thrust the closure diaphragm of said bottle downward into perforating engagement with said needle during lateral insertion of said bottle through said compartment entrance; wherein a thrust release cavity is provided in said compartment laterally inside said cam; and wherein spring means is provided in the conduit means beneath the bottle receiving compartment to force the refrigerant bottle upward into said release cavity following insertion into said compartment to permit downward flow of refrigerant into said conduit means.
5. The invention defined in claim 4, wherein the kit case is provided with a through hole in its wall laterally opposite to the bottle entrance; and wherein an ejecting plunger is mounted in said hole.
6. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein the heat exchange element is in the form of a vertical expansion coil defining a socket to receive an insulin bottle; and wherein the conduit means is connected to the upper end of said expansion coil.
7. The invention defined in claim 6, wherein the insulin bottle has a self-sealing rubber-like closure for its upwardly presented mouth; wherein the kit case has an opening above the receiving socket for the insulin bottle; and wherein a removable closure cap is engaged with said opening,
8. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein the removable closure cap is tubular in form; and wherein an auxiliary closure plug is fitted in the outer end of said cap.
9. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein the case is laterally wide and thin from front to rear and is divided in a lateral medial plane into separable front and rear sections; wherein the compartments of the case comprise registering front and rear half-compartments; and wherein means is provided to secure the case sections together in closed condition.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,432,791 Osses Dec. 16, 1947 2,496,816 Schlumbohm Feb. 7, 1950 2,900,808 Wang Aug. 25, 1959 2,925,722 Blackburn Feb. 23, 1960 2,990,699 Dennis July 4, 1961 3,022,923 Hoffman Feb. 17, 1962