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Publication numberUS3153267 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 20, 1964
Filing dateSep 13, 1962
Priority dateSep 13, 1962
Publication numberUS 3153267 A, US 3153267A, US-A-3153267, US3153267 A, US3153267A
InventorsJr Roy C Rowland
Original AssigneeJr Roy C Rowland
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oral examination assistance device
US 3153267 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 20, 1964 R. c. ROWLAND, JR 3,153,267

ORAL EXAMINATION ASSISTANCE DEVICE Filed Sept. 13, 1962 INVENTOR. Fay C. Pawmzvp JP. v

United States Patent ice 3,153,267 ORAL EXA 1 @IP A'IIQN ASSISTANCE DEVICE Ray C. Rowland, In, 1329 Kansas, Norman, Ulda. Filed hept. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 223,392 4 Claims. (Cl. 24-81) The present invention relates to diagnostic instruments and more particularly, but not by way of limitation, relates to an improved clip for interconnecting a tongue depressor blade and a small flashlight to form an oral examination assistance device.

As is well known by all physicians, it is frequently necessary to visually examine the interior of a patients mouth for various diagnostic purposes. This oral examination is normally accomplished by depressing the patients tongue by means of an elongated, flat, wooden splint, which is usually referred to as a tongue blade, and simultaneously shining a light into the oral cavity. Although Various devices have been constructed for assembling a tongue blade and light source into a single unit, these devices have, in general, proven so unsatisfactory that most oral examinations are still conducted by holding the tongue blade in one hand and the flashlight in the other. Obviously, this requires the use of both hands, in which case the examiner cannot use one hand to position the patients head or use other instruments.

One type of oral examination device for holding a tongue depressor blade and a light comprises a battery case which serves as a handle and to which a light and a tongue blade holder are connected such that a blade held therein will be disposed at generally right angles to the case. In addition to being exceedingly complex and expensive to manufacture, this device requires a rather complicated movement of the entire hand and arm in order to depress the patients tongue. Other oral examination devices have provided a flashlight including a battery case which is disposed parallel to the tongue blade. However, these devices, insofar as is known, have never been accepted by the profession for one reason or another. It is believed that the primary reason for nonacceptance of this type of examination device is because of the particular features of construction which make the device hard to load and unload, hard to clean and sterilize and otherwise generally unsatisfactory, and was due in part, it is believed to the complicated structure which was provided for holding both adult-size and pediatric-size tongue blades.

Therefore, it is an important object of the present invention to provide an improved clip for interconnecting a tongue blade and a small flashlight in close, parallel relationship to provide an instrument for performing oral examinations.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved clip of the type described which may be very economically manufactured.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a clip of the type described which may be very easily attached to a flashlight and into which a tongue blade may be very easily and quickly inserted.

Yet another object of the present invention is'to provide a clip of the type described which will securely hold either an adult-size or a pediatric-size tongue blade.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a clip of the type described which can be easily attached to a flashlight without marring the plated finish thereof.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a clip of the type described which may be easily and quickly removed from the flashlight and heat sterilized in any suitable container or by any suitable means.

3,153,267 Patented Oct. 20, 1964 Another object of the present invention is to pnovide a clip of the type described which can be economically molded from plastic or the like.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a clip of the type described which can be economically extruded from plastic or the like.

Many additional objects and advantages of the present invention will be evident to those skilled in the art from the following detained description and drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an end View of a clip constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken substantially on lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially on lines 33 of FIGfl;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the clip of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an end view of another clip constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken substantially on lines 65 of FIG. 5; and,

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the clip of FIG. 1 with a flashlight and a tongue blade interconnected by the clip and shown in dotted outline.

Referring now to the drawings, a clip constructed in accordance with the present invention is indicated generally by the reference numeral 10. The clip 10 is fabricated from an integral piece of material, preferably by molding from a suitable plastic, as will hereafter be described in greater detail. The clip 10 has a box portion, indicated generally by thereference numeral 12, and a resilient, C-shaped spring clip portion, indicated by the reference numeral 14.

The box portion 12 is formed by a generally planar first side portion 16, a pair of end portions 18 and 20 which are disposed in generally parallel relationship at right angles to the side portion 16 and which are integrally connected along the edges of the side portion 16, and by a second side portion 22 which is disposed generally parallel to the first side portion 16 and which is integrally connected along its edges. to the end portions '18 and 20. Thus the box portion 12 forms an'elongated passageway 24 which extends longitudinally completely through the box portion 12 and which has a generally rectangular cross section which, for convenience of reference, may be considered as having a thickness defined by the dimension between the side portions 16 and 22 and a width defined by the dimension between the end portions 18 and 20.

The second side portion 22 is arcuately curved when viewed from the end as in FIG. 1, so as to provide what may be termed an elongated projection 26 extending longitudinally of the passageway 24 and projecting into the passageway toward the first side portion 16, for purposes which will hereafter be described in greater detail. It will also be noted that the first and second side portions 16 and 22 are tapered and thicker at the centers 30 than at the ends, and the end portions 18 and 20 are also tapered and thicker at the centers 32 and 34, respectively, as can best be seen in FIG. 3. Thus it will be noted that the passageway 24 has a greater cross sectional area, both in thickness, as defined by the distance between the side portions 16 and 22 and in widthas defined by the distance between the end portions 18 and 20, in order to assist in the insertion and retention of a tongue blade, as well as to make the clip 10 easier to mold from plastic or the like as will hereinafter be described in greater detail. The decreasing taper of the passageway 24 is also shown in FIG. 1 by the double outline of the interior faces of the side portions 16 and 22, and the end portions 18 and 20.

A pair of elongated spacer members 40 and 42 are provided at the corners of the elongated passageway 24 adjacent the junctions between the first side portion 16 and the end portions 18 and 20. The spacer members 40 and 42 are preferably generally rectangular in shape and the dimensions of the spacer members with respect to the overall dimensions of the passageway 24 are dictated by the dimensions of the two sizes of tongue blades, as will hereinafter be described in greater detail. It will be noted from FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 that the spacer members 40 and 42 are larger at the center portions 44 and 46, respectively, so as to provide tapered faces 48 and St) which face one toward the other, and tapered faces 52 and 54, respectively, which face toward the second side portion 22. Further, the spacer members 40 and 42 have beveled ends 56 and 58, respectively, as best seen in FIG. 3, so that a tongue blade can be more easily inserted in the passageway 24 as hereafter described in greater detail.

The =C-shaped spring clip portion 14 comprises generally an elongated cylindrical member 60 integrally connected to the first side portion 16 and having an elongated, semicylindrical interior surface 62. The interior surface 62 has a radius of curvature corresponding to the radius of curvature of the flashlight to be held therein and subtends an arc greater than 180 but sufficiently less than a complete circle so that the flashlight can be inserted laterally through the open side, as will be evident.

Referring now to FIGS. and 6, another clip, indicated generally by the reference numeral 70, and constructed in accordance with the present invention, is very similar in construction to the clip and is also fabricated from an integral piece of material, preferably plastic. The clip '70 is designed such that it can be easily extruded from plastic because a transverse cross section through any portion of the clip will be identical to the end view shown in FIG. 5. The clip '70 is comprised of a box portion, indicated generally by the reference numeral 72, and a spring clip portion, indicated generally by the reference numeral 74. The box portion 72 is very similar to the box portion 12 and is also comprised of first and second generally parallel side portions '76 and 78, respectively, which are integrally inter-connected by a pair of end portions 80 and 82 to form an elongated passageway 84 extending completely through the box portion 72. The passageway 84 has a generally rectangular cross section as illustrated in FIG. 5 which, for convenience of reference, may be considered as having a thickness defined by the side portions 76 and 78 and a width defined by the end portions 80 and 82.

An elongated projection 86 extends longitudinally of the elongated passageway 84 and is disposed substantially in the center of the second side portion 78 and projects into the passageway 84 toward the first side portion 76. The ends 88 of the projection 86 are beveled, as illustrated in FIG. 6, so that a tongue blade may be inserted into the passageway 84 as hereafter described in greater detail. A pair of elongated spacer members 90 and 22 are integrally formed at the junctions between the end portions 80 and 82 and the first side portion 76 and extend the length of the passageway 84. The ends of the spacer members 90 and 92 are beveled, as illustrated at 94 in FIG. 6, for purposes presently to be described.

The C-shaped spring clip portion 74 may be substantially identical to the spring clip portion 14 of the clip 10 and comprises generally an elongated cylindrical member integrally connected to the first side portion 76 and having an elongated, semicylindrical interior surface 96, the longitudinal axis of which is disposed parallel to the elongated passageway 84. As in the case of the clip portion 14, it will be noted that the semicylindrical interior surface 96 of the clip portion 74 subtends an are greater than 180 but sufficiently-less than a complete circle as to permit a flashlight to be inserted through the opening of the C-shaped clip portion.

Referring now to FIG. 7, an adult-size tongue blade, shown in dotted outline and indicated by the reference 4 numeral 100, is illustrated in operative position in the elongated passageway 24 of the clip device 10. A small flashlight 102, shown in dotted outline, is illustrated in operative position within the spring clip portion 14. The flashlight 102 may conveniently be any standard pen light which uses AA batteries. Thus it will be noted that the flashlight 102 is held in close proximity and parallel to the tongue blade 100.

When conducting an oral examination, the examiner simply removes the .clip 10 from a sterilization cabinet, inserts a tongue blade 100 in the elongated passageway 24, and presses the flashlight 102 through the open side of the C-shaped clip portion 14, and the device is ready for use. The clip 10 may then be held between the thumb, forefinger and index finger in the same manner as a pencil and the tongue blade 100 inserted into the patients mouth with the tongue blade resting on and depressing the patients tongue. The light 102 will then be precisely aligned to illuminate the oral cavity and the examiner can easily examine the patients tongue and throat without the clip 10 or flashlight 102 obstructing his view. When the examination is completed, the tongue blade 100 can be removed and discarded, the flashlight 102 quickly removed and the clip 10 placed back in the sterilization cabinet. The clip 70 is used in the same manner as the clip 10.

Several important features of construction in accordance with the present invention should be noted. There are two standard sizes of tongue blades, both being of substantially the same thickness and length, but the tongue blade for children is normally somewhat narrower than the tongue blade used for adults. For this reason, the elongated spacer members 40 and 42 are provided such that the clip 10 is adapted to receive and securely hold either the wider adult-size or the narrower pediatric-size tongue blades. The distance between the spacer members 40 and 42 should be approximately equal to, but slightly greater than the width of the pediatric-size or narrow tongue blade. The distance between the end portions 18 and 20 should be approximately equal to, but slightly greater than the width of the adult-size tongue blade. The thickness of each of the spacer members 40 and 42, i.e., thedirnension between the first and second side members 16 and 22, respectively, should be relatively small since all that is actually required is an indentation or groove in the interior face of the upper side portion 16 for receiving the pediatric-size tongue blade, and to retain the pediatric-size tongue blade centered in the passageway and secure against transverse play.

As previously mentioned, all surfaces forming the elongated passageway 24 are tapered such that the passageway becomes constricted in all dimensions as it approaches the center of the clip 10, and the exterior ends of the spacer members 40 and 42 are beveled as illustrated at 56 and 58 in FIGS. 2 and 3. Therefore it will be appreciated that the rounded end of the tongue blade 100 may be easily inserted into the end of the passageway 24 because the width between the projecting portion 26' of the second side portion 22 and the first side portion 16 is slightly greater than the thickness of either the pediatricsize or the adult-size tongue blades. However, as the pediatric-size tongue blade, for example, is inserted into the passageway 24 between the spacer members 40 and 42 the tapered surfaces of the first and second side portions 16 and 22, respectively, bind on the tongue blade to securely clamp the tongue blade in place. It will be appreciated that as the tongue blade is inserted in the passageway 24, the arcuately shaped second side portion 22 will be sprung away from the side portion 16 to provide a spring action which will securely clamp the tongue blade in place between the spacer members 40 and 42. It will also be appreciated that the arcuate shape of the second side portion 22 forms a structural arch which, as it is flattened by insertion of. a tongue blade, forces the end portions 18 and 2th outwardly. Therefore the end portions 18 and 20 contribute to the resilient spring action tending to hold the tongue blade in position. The rounded end of the tongue blade can be easily inserted between the spacer members 40 and 42. However, as the tongue blade passes completely through the passageway 24, the tapered faces 48 and 50 will normally bind slightly on the edges of the pediatric-size tongue blade to assist in securely holding it in place.

When the adult-size tongue blade is inserted in the passageway 24, the rounded end again easily passes between the first and second side portions 16 and 22, respectively, due to the taper of the inwardly facing surfaces thereof. As the adult-size tongue blade is passed further into the passageway 24, the outer extremeties or edges of the blade ride over the beveled ends 56 and 58 of the spacer members 40 and 42, respectively, and the arcuately shaped second side portion 22 is further depressed until it is substantially planar. The combined spring action of the end portions 18 and 20 and the side portion 22 then very securely grips the adult-size tongue blade to hold it in position. i V

It will also be appreciated that the construction of the clip makes it especially well suited for fabrication from plastic by a suitable molding process, such as the well known methods of injection molding. The exterior surface of the clip 10, as best illustrated in FIG. 4, may be conveniently tapered so that the clip may be easily removed from the mold. Further, the taper of the passageway 24 from each end toward the center is particularly well suited for withdrawal of the matrix of the mold such that the clip 10 can be easily formed by two identical mold halves meeting at the center of the clip.

The clip 70 functions in substantially the same manner as the clip 10, except for the type of spring action which secures the tongue blade, and is particularly well adapted to be fabricated by extruding a suitable plastic because it has a constant cross section. The elongated projection 86 from the second side portion 78 protrudes to a point which is spaced from the side portion 76 a distance less than the thickness of either the adult-size or the pediatric-size tongue blades. However, due to the beveled ends 88 of the projection 86, the tongue blade may be easily inserted into the elongated passageway 84. As the tongue blade is inserted in the passageway 84 and rides up over the projection 86, the second side member 78 will be forced downwardly to permit the tongue blade to enter, and the resilient plastic material will continually exert pressure on the tongue blade to hold the blade in place in the groove formed between the spacer members 90 and 92.

When an adult-size tongue blade is inserted in the passageway 84, the rounded end may be easily inserted between the first and second side members 76 and 78 because of the beveled end 88 of the elongated projection 86 and the beveled ends 94 of the spacer members 90 and 92. Then as the adult-size tongue blade is inserted further into the passageway 84, the sides of the tongue blade will ride over the beveled ends 94 of the spacer members 90 and 92 such that the projection 86 will be depressed further to a greater extent than when a pediatric-size tongue blade is inserted, and therefore the second side portion bent to a greater degree. As the second side portion 78 is bent downwardly, the end portions 80 and 82 will be drawn inwardly and may assist in securely binding the adult-size tongue blade in position.

As previously mentioned, because of its constant cross sectional configuration, the clip 70 may be easily extruded from a suitable plastic material, cut to desired length and the end of the elongated projection 86 and spacer members 9t) and 92 tapered as illustrated in FIG. 6 by a grind wheel having a wedge shaped periphery so that the tongue blades can be easily inserted in the elongated passageway formed by extrusion.

Having thus described two preferred embodiments of the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that various changes," substitutions and alterations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A clip for connecting an elongated flashlight having a longitudinal axis with a generally circular cross section to an elongated tongue blade having a longitudinal axis with a rectangular cross section to form an oral examination assistance instrument, the clip comprising an integral member having an elongated box portion comprised ofa first, elongated side portion, a pair of generally parallel, elongated end portions connected to the first side portion and disposed at generally right angles to the first side portion, and a second, elongated, resilient side portion connected to the end portions to form an elongated passageway extending longitudinally through the box member, said second side member being arcuately shaped to form an elongated projecting portion extending generally along the center thereof and projecting toward the first side portion to a point spaced from the first side portion a distance less than the thickness of the tongue blade to be received in the passageway, said first and second side portions having facing surfaces tapered toward the middle portion of said passageway and restricting said passageway whereby the tongue blade may be more easily inserted therein yet will be wedged and held by said first and second side portions at the center portion of the passageway, said box portion having a spacer member integrally formed at the junction of each of the end portions with the first side portion, the spacer members extending longitudinally of the passageway and projecting into the passageway, whereby a pediatric-size tongue blade may be inserted between the spacer members and securely held, and anadult-size tongue blade may be inerted between the spacer members and the second side portion and securely held; said clip alsohaving a resilient C-shaped integral clip portion connected to the first side portion for receiving the flashlight, the C-shaped clip portion having a cylindrically curved interior surface the axis of which is generally parallel to the longitudinally extending passageway, whereby the elongated flashlight inserted in the C-shaped clip portion will be disposed in close parallel relationship to a tongue blade inserted in the passageway.

2. A clip for connecting an elongated flashlight having a longitudinal axis with a generally circular cross section to an elongated tongue blade having a longitudinal axis with a rectangular cross section to form an oral examination assistance instrument, the clip comprising an integral member having an elongated box portion comprised o-f a first, elongated side portion; a pair of generally parallel, elongated end portions connected to the first side portion and disposed at generally right angles to the first side portion; and a second, elongated, resilient side portion disposed generally parallel to the first side portion and connected to the end portions to form an elongated passageway extending longitudinally through the box member and having a generally rectangular cross section for receiving a tongue blade, the second side portion having an elongated projecting portion extending generally along the center thereof and projecting toward the first side portion to a point spaced from the first side portion a distance less than the thickness of the tongue blade to be received in the passageway; an elongated spacer member integrally formed with the box portion at the junction of each of the end portions with said first side portion, said spacer members extending longitudinally of the passageway and projecting into the passageway, the spacer members being spaced apart a distance sutficient to receive a pediatric-size tongue blade therebetween, whereby a pediatric-size tongue blade may be inserted between the spacer members and securely held, and an adult-size tongue blade may be inserted between the spacer members and the second side portion and securely held; a resilient C-shaped clip connected .to the first side portion for receiving the flashlight, the C-shaped. clip: portion having a cylindrically curved interior surface, the axis of which is generally parallel to the longitudinally extending passageway, whereby the elongated flashlight inserted in the C-shaped clip portion will be disposed in close, parallel relationship to a tongue blade inserted in the passageway.

3. A clip for connecting an elongated flashlight having a longitudinal axis with a generally circular cross section to an elongated tongue bladehaving a longitudinal axiswitharectangular cross section to form an oral examination assistance instrument as defined in claim 2 wherein the ends of the spacer members adjacent at-ieast one end of the passageway are beveled whereby a. tongue blade may be more easily inserted in the passageway.

4. A clip for connecting a flashlight to a tongue blade to form an oral examination assistance instrument, saidclipcomprising a generally rectangular box portion having two generally parallel spaced side portions and a pair of generally. parallel end portions interconnecting said side portions; a retaining portion on a first of said.

side portions extending along the center thereof and projecting toward the second of said side portions for trio-- tionally retaining a tongue blade between said side portions; a clip connected to one of said side portions for receiving 'a flashlight; and a spacer member positioned at 8 the junction of each of the end portions with the other of said side portions, said spacer members projecting toward said one side portion and being spaced apart by a distance less than the spacing between said end por- 1 tions whereby a pediatric-size tongue blade may be inserted between the spacer members and securely held, and an adult-size tongue blade may be inserted between the spacer members and the other side portion and securely held.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 712,140 Keeley Oct. 18, 1902 856,257 Hill June 11, 1907 1,153,135 Rodeck Sept. 7, 1915 1,274,547 Hohle Aug. 6, 1918 1,666,265 Rosenfeld Apr. 17, 1928 2,189,715 Hoiseth Feb. 6, 1940 2,644,212 Markowitz July 7, 1953 2,968,849 Cain Jan. 24, 1961 3,019,500 Duflin et a1. Feb. 6, 1962 FOREIGN PATENTS 19,211 Austria Feb. 25, 1905 15,652 Great Britain of 1890

Patent Citations
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US1274547 *Nov 11, 1916Aug 6, 1918Antone T HohleTongue-depressor.
US1666265 *Apr 23, 1927Apr 17, 1928Joseph E RosenfeldTongue-blade holder
US2189715 *Sep 19, 1938Feb 6, 1940Edwin Hoiseth SelmerConnector yoke for flashlights
US2644212 *Mar 5, 1951Jul 7, 1953Albert A MarkowitzMagnetic holder for pencils
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3771514 *Jun 29, 1971Nov 13, 1973ConceptLaryngoscope
US3900924 *Sep 16, 1974Aug 26, 1975Steven D MeltznerAdjustable oral examination assistance device
US4337761 *Nov 28, 1979Jul 6, 1982Upsher Michael SLaryngoscope
US5024218 *Oct 27, 1988Jun 18, 1991The Kendall CompanyIntubating airway
US5237985 *Jun 22, 1992Aug 24, 1993Crystal Wind, Inc.Uterine retractor
US5409496 *Aug 16, 1993Apr 25, 1995Blairden Precision InstrumentsUterine manipulator with locking mechanism
US5487377 *Nov 5, 1993Jan 30, 1996Clinical Innovation Associates, Inc.Uterine manipulator and manipulator tip assembly
US5520698 *Oct 19, 1994May 28, 1996Blairden Precision Instruments, Inc.Simplified total laparoscopic hysterectomy method employing colpotomy incisions
US5540700 *May 3, 1994Jul 30, 1996The Cooper CompaniesUterine manipulator
US5643285 *Oct 18, 1994Jul 1, 1997Blairden Precision Instruments, Inc.Vaginal extender for colpotomy surgery
US5643311 *Sep 22, 1995Jul 1, 1997Clinical Innovation Associates, Inc.Uterine manipulator and manipulator tip assembly
US6141838 *May 5, 1999Nov 7, 2000Cooper; GaryCosmetic accessory clip with make-up compact case
US6520909May 16, 2000Feb 18, 2003Robert C. RankinsAdjustable tongue blade holder for endoscope
US6830547 *Mar 11, 2002Dec 14, 2004Sol WeissAttachment devices for surgical instruments
US8292901Apr 27, 2010Oct 23, 2012Coopersurgical, Inc.Uterine manipulators and related components and methods
US8439850Nov 1, 2010May 14, 2013Coopersurgical, Inc.Cervical sizing devices and related kits and methods
US8545513Sep 23, 2009Oct 1, 2013Coopersurgical, Inc.Uterine manipulator assemblies and related components and methods
US8740916Aug 29, 2013Jun 3, 2014Coopersurgical, Inc.Uterine manipulator assemblies and related components and methods
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Classifications
U.S. Classification600/241, 24/339, 24/531
International ClassificationA61B1/24
Cooperative ClassificationA61B1/06, A61B1/24
European ClassificationA61B1/24, A61B1/06