US 3166439 A
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Jan. 19, 1965 H. DENNHOFER APPARATUS FOR THE PREPARATION OF SURGICAL GLOVES 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 13. 1961 IN VENT OF? R M f, r E a D W m P my? w Jan. 19, 1965 H. DENNHOFER APPARATUS FOR THE PREPARATION OF SURGICAL GLOVES 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 13. 1961 IN VENT OP IL/E/NP/CH .DENM/OFER Jan. 19, 1965 H. DENNHOFER APPARATUS FOR THE PREPARATION OF SURGICAL. GLOVES 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 13, 1961 United States Patent 3,166,439 APPARATUS FOR THE PREPARATION OF SURGICAL GLOVES Heinrich Dennhofer, Rodenkirchen, near Cologne, Germany, assignor to Heinrich Dennhofer, Rodenkirchen, near Cologne, Germany, a firm Filed Mar. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 95,404 Claims priority, application Switzerland, Mar. 17, 1960, 2,9%/6tl 9 Claims. (Cl. 118-9) The invention refers to an apparatus for the preparation of surgical gloves.
The washing of surgical gloves is usually done by hand which requires the glove to be turned. In some cases washing machines are in use, in which also the gloves must be turned by hand for a good cleaning in a reasonable length of time. It is rarely possible to take advantage of the full capacity of the washing machine because gloves of first quality (practically new gloves) and those of second quality (gloves used several times) for reasons of safety should be treated separately.
The examination of gloves to locate faults is carried out by blowing-up the glove with air, then holding it tight to determine if any air escapes. Whether the blowing-up ensues without or with technical mechanism this procedure is unsafe, because the escape of air through pin-holes is invisible and only to be detected by laborious feeling-tests.
The drying of the gloves is usually done by hanging up the glove and turning it inside out after the drying of the outer side. Also mechanically driven drying-drums are in use, in which hot air is blown in. Because wet gloves stick more or less together, the drying air has difficulty in penetrating into the gloves. The chance that hot air penetrate up the fingers is very little. Therefore often fingertips are still moist even after a 60 minute drying period.
To eliminate the great inconvenience by the powdering process if gloves are not regularly dried, they have to be turned inside out by hand and to be placed again into the drying-drum.
The gloves are powdered inside and outside. The inside-powdering facilitates to putting on of the gloves. The outside powdering is to eliminate the sticking together of the gloves during the sterilizing process. The powdering is usually done by hand, it being absolutely necessary to distribute the powder as evenly as possible. Powder is spread on a table, the glove pulled on both sides through the powder, then turned inside out and this process repeated. This proceeding is primitive as well for the regulating the quantity as for the equal distribution of the powder on the glove itself. Besides that, this method is annoying because of powder-dust and for the staff this dust may even be noxious for their health.
Too much powder in the fingertips impairs the touch of the operator. A too thick layer of powder in the glove endangers also the proper result of the sterilization, due to the fact, that the sterilizing-time for rubber-goods is usually as short as possible. There is no other regular sterilizing material which contains more of the highly resistant native spores of earth than the powder.
For some time researches have been made to improve this ever so primitive method. One result is a powdering machine with rotating drums in a closed case in which is put the powder too. It is assumed that powder will be distributed equally even in the fingertips by the rotating movement. But actually this equal distribution is completely left to chance, so that this well-known mechanical method represents in fact no improvement of the manual method. Even with an exact dose of powder in the drum there is no assurance of a uniform distribution in the gloves.
The deficiency of this mechanical method, compared with the manual method, is so important that well-known doctors have strictly forbidden the powdering of gloves in rotating drums. Besides the powdering machines are usually not absolutely dustproof, and, in gathering the gloves from the machine, during the selection by sizes, and, in putting them into the sterilizing box, there is the same annoyance with powderdust and the noxious effect for the staff.
There is no gain of time in using a powdering machine with arotating drum, because the powdering and the selection by sizes are two different processes, whereas these two processes are done in one action by the manual method.
The sterilization of rubber gloves is carried out by steam under high pressure in sterilizing boxes. The steam has to reach quickly and safely all insides and outsides of the gloves. A short sterilizing time is very important for the life of the thin rubber. The sterilizing-effect is only obtained if steam reaches the inside of the fingertips properly, because this part may be damaged during the operation, especially at the suture.
In the usual sterilizing boxes the gloves lying in the box are separated by layers of mull or filterpaper, or they are hung up with pegs, opening downward. In both cases airing is insufficient. This disadvantage may only be compensated by a longer sterilizing time with a consequent increase in the wear and tear on the rubber gloves.
For that reason practically all steam sterilizers built for temperatures of 134 Celsius and 2.4 atm. pressure have to be equipped with a commutation device for C. and 1 atm. which is used only for sterilization of gloves. How paradoxical this is, from the point of view of sterilization, may be proved by the fact that many hospitals have eliminated their sterilizers with only 1.2 atm. working-pressure and replaced them by sterilizers for 2.4 atm.
Surgical rubber gloves are far more difficult to sterilize than for instance textiles. The sterilization of rubber gloves called the break in the asepsis has been recognized by those who put the gloves over a hand rack with the result of a quick and good airing and consequently of a perfect sterilization. But putting gloves on the presently known racks required too much time and therefore the method never became familiar in practice.
These presently known racks were made of wire in hand form or stiff metal or Bakelite-hands and have been used only for the sterilizing process. Attempts were made to facilitate the difficult task of pulling the glove 'over a stiff rack by making racks with articulated fingers. Even at relatively low temperatures the fingertips of the gloves were submitted to a high degree of wear and tear by hanging on the tips of the metal rack. At high temperatures-as they are used today for sterilization-the fingers of the gloves burn and stick on the metal'rack tips. Another disadvantage is the fact that the thin rubber of gloves is squeezed in the finger-articulations of the rack, making the foregoing control of holes useless, because damage is caused afterwards. .These racks, useful only for sterilization, were never introduced in practice.
To take the gloves fromthe sterilizing box is by all actually used methods still a problem, laborious and uncertain. The sterile operating nurse has to take from the sterilizing box (whose outer sides are nonsterile) the sterile gloves. This is particularly difficult when the glove lies near the bottom of the box and the nurse. has to do this handling and the picking-out of the size demanded as quick as possible. i V
The foregoing described procedures of preparation of rubber gloves for medical use are laborious, unrational,
uncertain, non-hygienic and even noxious for health, in
11.3 one word: imperfect! Not one of the known hand racks makes it possible to carry out other procedures, and even for that single one they are unsuitable.
All these disadvantages, described in detail, are eliminated with the new invention.
According to the invention, the rubber glove is put over a hollow rack consisting of five flexible fingers with open tips and on the other ends assembled in a hollow cone which makes it possible to connect different treatmentdevices, for instance water-connection for washing, compressed air for testing, warm air for drying, a connection for powdering, and finally a part for the sterilization by high-pressure steam in a standard sterilizing box.
The rubber glove has to be put over the rack only once for all following procedures (washing, testing, drying, powdering selection, sterilizing, storage and removal). The introduction of the present hand rack is easy and extremely quick. The flexible fingers are first squeezed together, then released so that they slip automatically in the fingers of the glove. Furthermore the introduction is facilitated because the rack is made of plastic which glides easily even on wet rubber.
The cone on the back-end of the rack is-clue to a special form of execution according to the invention stuck on an adapter with a shell with rolled edge. The cuff of the glove is pulled over the rolled edge of the adapter to be held thereon. The shell is provided with two holes necessary for the different procedures. The adapter is provided with a second cone under the shell to be stuck on the connection of the different treatment devices.
For washing the glove, it is put on the rack with the adapter and stuck on the tube-system of the washingdevice to be rinsed inside and outside with cold and warm water through spray-nozzles.
For testing, with the glove still on the rack, the adapter is connected to the compressed air conduit. This connection is provided with two rubber-tips to close automatically the two holes in the shell of the adapter. The compressed air is admitted only after introduction of the glove into a so-called control-basket made of a nylon-net with a metal frame, which is placed in a basin under water. The ring opening of the basket forms a close contact between the glove-cuff and the basket. Within the testingbasket the glove is only able to inflate to a certain degree, which makes it possible to test under high pressure. Consequently this high pressure is equally distributed in the glove and gives a perfect control right up to the fingertips even for pin-holes which are easily recognized by air-bubbles in the water.
After the testing the gloves are stuck complete with rack and adapter on the warm-air drying device. The warm air passes through the hollow rack to the open tips and returns between the rack and the inside of the glove to the bottom of the shell where it is exhausted through the two holes. A continuous warm air-stream sweeps regularly over the whole inside of the glove. The glove doesnt touch the rack because the air-stream is slightly retarded by the exit opening, and therefore the glove becomes inflated. This fact together with the tight fixation on the shell of the adapter produces a quick and regular drying of the gloves.
The glove, remaining on the rack and adapter, is then stuck on the powdering nozzle. The construction of the invention is such that, by pressing a button, an impulse releases a compressed air stream. The compressed air blows down in the powder-container and whirls up the powder which is blown through two connecting-tubes fitting tightly in the two holes of the shell into the glove. The air/powder-mixture sweeps all over the inside of the glove right up to the finger-tips. A concentration of powder in the fingertips is impossible, due to the fact that the air-flow displaces the air in the glove into the hollow rack producing a certain circulation. This circulation makes it possible, by varying the duration of the air-flow, to apply a feeble or intense, but in any case an absolutely uniform powdering.
Inapplying the present powdering-device the gloves are only powdered on the inside, and powdering on the outside, undesirable from the medical point of view, is eliminated. It is no longer necessary to use resorbable powder. The external powdering is not even necessary to avoid the sticking together during the sterilization, because this annoyance is impossible by the present device.
During the powdering process the gloves are selected by sizes. The stretched suit on the shell of the adapter makes it easy to recognize the size number printed on the glove. While the glove sticks on the powdering nozzle, it is enclosed in a coloured protecting bag. Each colour of bag identifies a size. Then, with one motion, the glove with the hollow rack in the protecting bag is taken off from the adapter without producing the slightest powder dust, which is instead sucked back into the powder-container.
For the sterilization the hollow rack without the adapter remains in the glove and is placed with the protecting bag lying down or standing up in the sterilizing box. The hollow rack prevents the gloves from being compressed and permits a perfect airing so that steam reaches quickly the insides and outsides of the gloves.
The glove on the hollow rack according to the invention needs only a short sterilizing time at 134 Celsius and 2.4 atm. pressure without more wear and tear than at low temperature and longer sterilizing time. The gloves, sterilized on the rack in the protecting bag, are taken in the closed sterilizing box to the operating theater. The gloves on the rack of the invention reach above the edge of the sterilizing box and may be taken off easily without touching the non-sterile outside of the box. The coloured protecting bags permit an immediate identification of the desired size. Furthermore the bags make it possible to grasp in between the piles without contaminating the gloves, and the sterilizing box may remain open during the operation.
Only an instant before use the rack is taken off from the glove by holding the bag at the top together with the fingertips of the gloves so that the rack slips out of the glove and bag and can be picked up with the other hand. The drawing represents a form of the invention:
FIG. 1 shows a front-view of the hollow rack according to the invention;
FIG. 2 shows the testing device;
FIG. 3a shows the adapter from above;
FIG. 3b shows a cross-section through the adapter on the line BB of the drawing 3a;
FIG. 3c shows a cross-section through the adapter on the line AA of the drawing 3a;
FIG. 4 shows a cross-section through the powdering device with the hollow rack and glove stuck on;
FIG. 5 shows another execution of the powdering device.
In FIG. 1 of the drawing the fingers 1 of the rack are hollow throughout and open at the tips. They end in, spherical tips 2 which facilitate the introduction of the rack into the glove. On the other end the hollow fingers are fixed separately in a hollow cone 3 which may be stuck on devices with inner cones for the difi'erent treatments.
Through the air-openings 3a in the cone 3 warm air sweeps over the cufi of the glove and reduces the drying time. The wedge piece 33 holds the fingers of the rack in necessary straddled position and gives to the three middle fingers a supplementary stability. Corresponding to the choice of wedge pieces 38 it is possible to vary the size of the hand racks. The colours of the wedge pieces 38 in union with the similarly coloured other parts of the racks enables more combinations to identify the different applications.
FIG. 2 shows the control device before the blowing in of compressed air. The hollow rack it) sticks with its cone 3 in the adapter 5 and is provided with the rubber glove 8 whose cult is pulled over the rolled edge 6 of the adapter-shell 5. The adapter 5 sticks with its outer cone in the inner cone of the connecting device for compressed air 27 and which is regulated by a valve (not shown). The connecting device 26 is provided with two rubber tips 28 to close the two holes '7 in the adapter 5. The sealing occurs when the connecting device 26 with the stuck-on adapter 5 is pressed against the ring opening 29 and becomes tight. The ring 29 is secured to the testing bag 30 and both together fixed with anchors 31 on the bottom of the testing basin 32 so that it remains as much as possible under the Water-level. For better illustration the testing bag is partly in section on the drawing. In inflating the rubber glove 8 with compressed air, the testing bag eliminates too strong expansion or bursting of the glove. Therefore it is possible to apply quite high pressure. Air bubbles identify easily all flaws, even pin holes.
FIGS. 3a, 3b and 3c show the adapter 5 with the shell 6 and the holes 7. The adapter 5'serves as junction between the cone 3 of the rack and the nozzles of the devices for the difierent treatments. The gloves cult 8 is pulled over the rolled edge of the shell 6. The holes 7 serve for the exhaust and retarding of. the warm air during the drying process, as well as to introduce the powder tubes in the powdering process.
FIG. 4 illustrates the powdering device together with the rack 10. The rack is provided with a glove 8 with its open end pulled over the rolled edge of the shell 6. The hollow cone 3 of the rack 10 sticks in the adapter 5 which itself sticks in the nozzle 12 of the powdering device. The nozzle 12 leads as a channel-in which the motor 14 with propeller 15 is fixed-to the lowerpart of the powder container 13 in which the powder 34 is stored. From the powder container 13'the two powder tubes 9 extend on both sides of the adapter 5 through the holes 7 into the glove 8. The air stream produced by the propeller 15 on the motor 14 whirls the powder and brings it up thr'ough'the tubes 9 into the glove 8 where it sweeps along the inside up to the fingertips of the rack 10 from where it returns inside the rack downward to the propeller 15.
This produces a thin regular layer of powder on the inside of the glove 8. In front of the openings of the powder tubes 9 the flap valves 16 which control rods 17 and the return spring 18 are fixed. By sticking the adapter 5 on the nozzle the air stream will be released.
Simultaneously the stirring device 37 is put in action by means of the connecting rod 35 and the lever 36, to recollect the powder 34 and replace it under the blowing hole. Consequently the powdering eliect remain absolutely uniform for all gloves. 4
Another form of construction of the powdering device is shown in FIG. 5. The powder is stored in the powder container 19 in which air is blown from underneath by a bellows 20 through the blowing tubes 21. The air stream whirls up the powder and leads it through the powder tubes 9 into the glove 8. As described by FIG. 4 the glove is powdered uniformly. The recoil-flaps 23 on the blowing tubes 21 eliminate a floating backwards of the air. A filter 25 prevents the powder dust from spreading out in the room.
1. A device for handling gloves during testing, washing, drying, dusting and the like comprising a hollow base portion having an upper end and a lower end and an outer wall and being open at its lower end, the outer wall of the base portion tapering outwardly as it extends upwardly away from the lower end, a plurality of flexible plastic laterally closed finger-receiving members extending from the upper end of the base portion having passages therethrough from end to end communicating with the space within the base portion and opening at the tips of the members, said base being connectible to difierent types of apparatus by engagement of the base over a tapered receiving member of the apparatus.
2. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which the fingerreceiving members have enlargements on the outside thereof adjacent the tips. 1
3. Apparatus for testing gloves comprising a device as claimed in claim 1, a vat for water, a frame of screenlike material within the vat and having its axis slanting with respect to the vertical, means for holding said device within the frame, and means to supply air under pressure to said hollow space.
4. In apparatus as'claimed in claim 3, in which said frame has a ring at its upper end, a tapered receiving portion complementary to the space within said base portion with at least one passage therethrough communicating with said space, a projecting cup-shaped flange around said receiving portion opening toward the smaller end thereof, the free edge of said cup-shaped flange being adapted to engage the spread wrist portion of a glove and press it against said ring.
5. A device as claimed in claim 1, in which there are five finger-receiving members, having a wedge-shaped member surrounding the parts of the middle three members adjacent the base portion.
6. A device as claimed in claim 1, in combination with a connecting member having an internally tapered receiving portion complementary to the outer wall of the lower part of said base portion with at least one passage therethrough communicating with said space, said receiving portion, by reason of its taper, having a larger and a smaller end, a projecting cup-shaped flange around said receiving portion opening towards the larger end thereof and having a. free edge, the free edge of said cup-shaped flange being adapted to engage a said wrist portion of a glove and press it on to a ring of an apparatus when a connecting base is secured thereto, said cupshaped flange having openings in the bottom thereof on opposite sides of said portion, and means to feed air to the passage.
7. In combination with a device as claimed in claim 6, a powder container having means to receive said connecting member and means to draw air outward through the passage thereof from the interior of a glove positioned on said device and to force air carrying powder therewith through said opening inwardly of the glove on the outside of the finger-receiving members, said air drawing means including means to discharge air into the container to agitate the powder therein.
8. In a device as claimed in claim 7, an agitator. within the powder space of the powder container in the path of said discharged air.
9. In a device as claimed in claim 7, in which the container includes a powder-holding space, said air forcing means comprising a bellows connected with said container and having pipes leading therefrom into the powderholding space of the container so that air forced through said pipes impinges directly on the powder.
Reierences Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS