US 3278010 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct; 11, 1966 KATZ 3,278,010
REUSABLE PILL DISPENSING UNIT Filed March 4, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 fi 48 .f M 1 y T mfigiijgfiww mww@ Wi-Ei;@@@@% WWW 51????3 INVENTOR. E L/ 6. I64 72 ATTORNEY Oct. 11, 1966 T 3,278,010
REUSABLE PILL DISPENSING UNIT Filed March 4, 1964 2 Sheets-$heet 2 7a PATIENT DATA a4 ZQ a0 5 E f INVENTOR. EL 6. KA TZ igimxm A TTOR/VEV United States Patent 3,278,010 REUSABLE PILL DISPENSING UNIT Eli G. Katz, 3S0 Irvington Ave., Elizabeth, NJ. Filed Mar. 4, 1964, Ser. No. 349,314 8 Claims. (Cl. 206-42) In general, this invention relates to a new and improved pill dispensing unit and more particularly to a pill dispensing unit which can be utilized with a time indicator integral therewith so that one may know in a simple and easy manner when to take a given pill.
In the past, when one was required to take pills at specified times for therapeutic purposes, he was required to remember when he had last taken a pill, and what type of pill he had taken.
This problem has arisen in recent days with respect to the taking of birth control pills by a woman, which pills are required to be taken for twenty consecutive days, five days after the inception of the menstrual period. Many times women tend to forget the exact date of the start of their menstrual period, and also tend to forget whether they had taken the pill required for the day.
Still another problem with respect to taking of pills occurs in hospitals. That is, nurses are required to provide care for many patients, whose course of treatment is varied during any given eight-hour period. Thus, the nurse must have an accurate means of determining whether a given patient has received the pills or other medication he requires and this must be accomplished in a simple and easy manner in view of the number of patients serviced by the nurse.
In view of the foregoing, it is the general object of this invention to achieve a new and improved pill t dispensing unit which is reusable, and can indicate to the user thereof when particular pills have been taken.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a new and better pill dispensing unit which can be utilized in combination with a perpetual calendar to indicate pills to be taken over a one-month span.
Still another object of this invention is the provision of a new and better pill dispensing unit which can be carried in the pocket or purse of the user and is not bulky or ditficult to handle,
A further object of this invention is the provision of a new and better pill dispensing unit in the form of a chart which can be utilized in a hospital to service a patient in a manner which insures the proper dispensing of pharmeceutical products and prevents errors on the part of the nurse.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings, forms which are presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
In FIGURE 1, there is shown an endless calendar pill dispensing unit built in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a cross sectional view of two of the pill dispensing elements of FIGURE 1 taken along lines 2-2.
FIGURE 3 is a front plan view of a pocket pill dispenser built in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
FIGURE 4 is a calendar pill dispenser suitable for pocket or purse built in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
FIGURE 5 is a front plan view of another embodiment of the present invention in the form of a combined nurses chart and pill dispensing unit.
At present, many women throughout the country are utilizing estrogenic or progestational sex steroids in the form or oral contraceptive pills to inhibit ovulation. In order for these pills to be effective, they must be taken once a day for twenty consecutive days starting five days after the inception of the womans menstrual period. There is a tendency on the part of most women to forget the actual first date of their menstrual period, and even if this date is remembered, they tend to forget whether a particular pill on a given day has been taken.
Accordingly, the embodiment in FIGURE 1 is extremely useful for women who desire to have a simple and easy means of dispensing the oral contraceptive pills in a manner which will give a positive indication to them that the necessary pill for a given day has been taken. In FIGURE 1, the pill dispensing unit of the present invention is generally designated by the numeral 10. The pill dispensing unit 10 includes an opaque plastic main body 12 having indicia thereon indicating five horizontal rows of seven blocks 16 in the form of a monthly calendar face 14. The blocks 16 forming the calendar face are aligned in colurnar form under the appropriate designation of the days of the week indicated at the top of the calendar.
In each block 16, there is provided a pill filling and dispensing member 18. The dispensing member 18 includes a recess 20 formed in the main body 12 immediately below a pill receiver 22. The pill receiver 22 includes a tubular main body 24 having a portion extending beyond the front face of the main body 12. The extension of the tubular portion 24 acts as a finger gripping portion 26. The pill receiver 22 is transparent, and has a notch 28 formed therein for receiving the oral contraceptive pill 30 when the notch 28 has its openend in alignment with the recess 20. The tubular member 24 fits within a suitable hole 32 passing through the main body 12. The pill receiver 22 has an enlarged back wall 34 which is circular in cross section and which is supported and guided within a circular recess 36 are ially aligned with the hole 32 in the back wall of the main body 12. Thus, the pill receiver 22 can be rotated by gripping the finger receiving portion and rotating the same until the notch 28 is out of alignment with the recess 20. In this manner, the pill receiver 22 can be loaded. It should be noted that the upper pill receiver 22 shown in FIGURE 2 is in position for receiving the pill while the lower pill receiver in FIGURE 2 has been rotated to a position wherein the not-ch 28 is out of alignment with the recess 2t) thus insuring that the pill 30 will remain in place.
The calendar pill dispensing unit 10 includes an opaque back plate 38 which is secured to the main body 12 about the periphery thereof. A perpetual calendar 40 passes between the back plate 38 and the main body 12 and is wound on suitable rolls 42 and 44 mounted on opposite sides of the main body 12. Suitable finger controls 46 and 48 extend through the main body 12 so that one may rotate the rolls 42 and 44 to change the month on the calendar 40 aligned with the monthly calendar face 14. It should be noted that when a particular month is aligned with the face 14 the indicia 5t denoting each day of the month is spaced behind the pill receiver 22. In this position, with a pill 30 in the notch 28, the pill 30 blocks the indicia 50 so that one looking at the unit 10 would not see a number associated with the receiver 22 having a pill 30 therein. When the pill 30 is removed from the notch 28 by rotating the notch 28 into alignment with the recess 20, the particular indicia Stl is then visible through the transparent receiver 22.
In FIGURE 1, the unit 10 is shown fully loaded for a particular womans needs. For example, as shown in FIGURE 1, the womans period started on the 4th of the month. The unit 10 was loaded with five dummy pills, i.e. merely markers, for five days (the 4th through the 8th days of the month). The next 20 pill receivers are loaded with the oral contraceptive pills by inserting the pills through the recess 20 to the notch 28 and rotating the pill receiver 22 into a position wherein the notch 28 is out of alignment with the opening 20.
Accordingly, as each day passes after the menstrual period the woman removes one of the markers. After five days, she starts to take the oral contraceptive pills on the dates noted on the calendar. In this way, as she removes a pill, she has a positive indication that the pill was taken for the particular day. At the end of the twenty pills, she waits until her next menstrual period before reloading the unit Iii. When she does reload, she changes the month by rotating the rolls 42 and 44. In this manner, she has an accurate determination of when her pills must be taken and this is accomplished in a simple and easy manner.
Further, it should be noted that the calendar can be simply manufactured as the pill receivers 22 can be easily fitted into place prior to securement of the backing plate 38.
In FIGURE 3 there is shown a second embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment is a pill dispensing unit for the pocket or purse similar in construction to the unit 10, but intended for persons who are required to take pills up to three times a day. The unit 52 is set up with seven vertical columns for the days of the week and three horizontal rows of seven individual pill dispensing members 54 similar to the pill dispensing members 18 of FIGURES l and 2. The pill dispensing member 54 includes a pill receiver 56 and a recess 58 similar to the pill receiver 22 and recess 20 of FIGURE 2.
The unit 52 is utilized as follows:
At the beginning of a given week, one who has to take pills regularly at specified intervals during a day fills up the unit 52 by inserting the pills for each day in the receivers 56 by inserting them through the recesses 58. The pills in the pill receivers 56 can be seen due to the transparent nature of the pill receiver. By rotating the pill receiver 56 to a position wherein the notch therein is out of alignment with the recess 58 the pills will be held in place until desired. The pills can be taken from the pill receiver 56 by merely rotating the same until its notch is in alignment with the recess 58. When a pill has been taken, the absence thereof from the pill receiver 56 will be an indication to the user that the particular medication has been ingested. If the pill is still in the receiver for a particular day, the user can determine that it is necessary to take the medication. Although it may seem unlikely that one would forget having taken a pill at a particular time, it should be noted that persons who regularly take medication and rely on their memory as to the time of taking their last medication ofttime forget a dosage or take a double dose by mistake. This simple unit will prevent such errors and insures proper dispensing of the medication.
In FIGURE 4, there is shown a third embodiment of the present invention similar to the apparatus shown in FIGURE 1. It should be noted, that the unit 68 of FIG- URE 4 is a simplified means of achieving the results of the apparatus of FIGURES 1 and 2. That is, the unit 60 is intended to be utilized by a woman who desires to take oral contraceptive pills and wishes a means for determining when to take the pills and an indicator of when the pills have been taken.
The unit 60 includes a main body 62 on which are formed five horizontal and five vertical rows which act as an indicia of time, in this case the days the woman must consider in taking the oral contraceptive pill. The first horizontal row 64 of indicia has five separate blocks each having a roughened plastic portion 66. The roughened plastic portions 66 in the first row of five blocks 64 are intended for those five days immediately following the inception of the womans menstrual period. At the inception of a womans menstrual period, she will write in the date on the roughened plastic portion 66 for each of the next five days. She will additionally fill the pill receivers 68 formed in four horizontal rows of five indicia blocks 72, by inserting pills through a recess 78 immediately below the pill receiver 68. The pill receiver 68 and recess 70 are exactly similar to the pill receiver 22 and recess 20 of FIGURE 2. The indicia blocks 72 of each of the twenty blocks having pill receivers 28 has a roughened plastic portion 74 immediately below the recess 78 for the user to write the date on which the pill in the receiver 68 is to be taken. The user may fill in the date on the roughened portion 74 upon taking of the pill from the pill receiver 68 or the twenty five days after the inception of the menstrual period can be written in consecutive order on the roughened portions 66 in the first row 64 and on the roughened portions 74 on the remaining twenty indicia blocks of the unit 68. It should be noted that this simple unit 60 can be small, and easily manufactured and is reusable at the start of each ensuing menstrual period. The dates on the roughened portion 66 and 74 can be removed by washing the unit 60. Since the pill receivers 68 are transparent, the taking of a pill therefrom is visible to the user and provides a positive indication that the pill for a given day has been taken.
In FIGURE 5, there is shown a fourth embodiment of the present invention especially designed for hospital use by nurses in making their rounds about the hospital wards.
The unit 76 has a main body 78 which has a front face on which is placed indicia indicating at the top thereof the particularly patient for whom the unit 76 is to be utilized. Below the patients name, there are formed twelve horizontal rows 80 for a given twelve-hour shift. The horizontal rows 80 each have four pill dispensing members 82 therein lined up horizontally in side by side relation. The pill dispensing members 82 each are similar to the pill dispensing members 18 of FIGURE 2. Also aligned with the pill dispensing members 82 are two spaced parallel channels 84 and 86 adapted to receive a card indicating special instructions for a particular patient at a particular time. For example, a card might be placed between the channels 84 and 86 indicating that a patient should have an enema at a particular hour or any other suitable instructions. A second set of channels 88 and 90 can be provided for a second set of instructions if desired. The twelve horizontal rows 80 are set up as timed indicia cooperating with the pill dispensers 82 for indicating to the nurse that a particular pill or set of instructions must be followed at a particular time. Further, these rows give an indication as to whether the particular instructions have been followed.
At the bottom of the unit 76 below the lowermost row 80 there is provided a place for separate pill dispensing members 92 each provided with their own separate channel members 94. These pill dispensing members 92 are intended to be utilized for storing pills which are to be taken only under certain conditions. For example, a sleeping pill could be placed in one of the members 92 with instructions to the nurse to give such pill only if requested by the patient. Tranquilizers or pain relieving pills could also be so dispensed with special instructions to the nurse.
The unit 76 is especially useful in that it would replace the necessity for special bottles of pills to be kept by nurses in combinations with patients date sheets. In place thereof, the pharmacy of a hospital need only fill up a unit 76 for a particular patient and give it to the nurse for dispensing to him. In this way, the nurse can fill her medication cart with the units 76 of each patient and need only look at the chart 76 for a particular patient and give to him the medication indicated at a particular time of day. She can also quickly and easily determine whether a particular medication has been given to the patient at the specified time by scanning the pill dispensing members 82. In this manner the patient is assured he will receive the pills he desires or needs at the specified times, and special instructions from one nurse to another regarding the giving of medication to a particular patient is not necessary as the incoming nurse need only look at the particular patients unit 76 to determine his future needs.
When the unit 76 has been emptied, it need only be returned to the pharmacy for refilling in a simple and easy manner. Since the entire unit can be manufactured of a plastic material, it can be easily sterilized.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims rather than to the foregoing specifications as indicating the scope of the invention.
I claim as my invention:
1. A pill dispensing unit comprising a flat main body, said main body having a purality of circular holes extending from the front surface thereof through said main body to a parallel back surface thereof, a plurality of pill receivers fitting within said holes, said pill receivers having a cylindrical portion fitting within said holes and being rotatable therein, said cylindrical portions having a cylindrical surface with a notch extending therethrough to a point within said cylindrical portion, said main body having a recess associated with each of said cylindrical portions on said front surface, said recesses being formed adjacent their respective cylindrical portions and extending into said main body to a point adjacent said notches when said notches are aligned with said recesses, said notches being out of alignment with said recesses when said cylindrical portion is rotated.
2. The pill dispensing unit of claim 1 wherein said main body has time based indicia formed on the front surface thereof, said pill receivers being spaced in accordance with said indicia, said pill receivers being transparent to enable one to see pills in said notches from said front surface.
3. The pill dispensing unit of claim 1 including a back wall covering said main body back surface, a calendar fitting between said back wall and said back surface, said calendar being substantially similarly positioned on said back surface as said indicia is formed on said front surface, said calendar having numbers spaced behind an associated pill receiver, whereby the removal of a pill from the notch in said pill receiver is operative to uncover a number on said calendar.
4. The pill dispensing unit of claim 3 wherein said calendar is formed of a movable tape, said tape being movable with respect to said main body to position various portions thereof against said back surface whereby the pill dispensing unit may be utilized for different periods of time.
5. The pill dispensing unit of claim 1 wherein said main body has a plurality of enlarged recesses on said back surface axially aligned with said holes and extending about said holes, said pill receivers having an enlarged portion fitting within said back surface recesses, and a back wall fitting over said back surface to hold said pill receivers in place.
6. A pill dispensing unit comprising a flat main body, said main body having a plurality of circular holes arranged in horizontal and vertical rows extending from the front surface of said main body through said main body to a parallel back surface of said main body, a plurality of pill receivers fitting within said holes, said pill receivers having a cylindrical portion fitting within said holes and being rotatable therein, said cylindrical portions having a cylindrical surface with a notch therein extending through a part of said surface to a point within said cylindrical portion, said main body having recesses associated With each of said cylindrical portions on said front surface, said front surface recesses being formed adjacent their respective cylindrical portions and extending into said main body to a point adjacent said notches when said notches are aligned with said recesses, said notches being out of alignment with said recesses when said cylindrical portion is rotated, said main body and said pill receivers being manufactured of a plastic material, said pill receiver being manufactured of a transparent plastic material, said main body having time based indicia thereon formed on said front surface and coirolated with said horizontal and vertical rows, said pill receivers having at least one indicator associated therewith on said main body for presenting information relative to said pill receivers.
7. The pill dispensing unit of claim 6 wherein said indicator is a pair of spaced parallel channels having their open ends facing each other to receive a card which can be removed after the instructions thereon have been completed.
8. The pill dispensing unit of claim 6 wherein said indicator is a roughened surface on said main body front surface, said roughened surface being capable of receiving penciled writing.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,029,443 2/ 1936 Sanders 22992.9 2,046,869 7/1936 Burke 206-42 2,115,021 4/1938 Joffee 22915 2,582,355 1/1952 Ratner 40-107 2,914,871 12/1959 Smith et a1. 40-107 2,943,730 7/1960 Tregilgas 206-42 2,971,638 2/1961 Altison et al. 206-42 3,025,952 2/1962 Phipps 20678 3,057,473 10/1962 Stein et al. 206-78 3,099,352 7/1963 Aven 206-78 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. M. L. RICE, Assistant Examiner.