US 3303840 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
eb. M9 i967 L. ETZLINGER 3,303,849
APPARATUS FOR COLLECTING AND ANALYZING ALVEOLAR GAS FROM THE LUNGS Filed July '7, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet l 245522 /126 A 39 m 28M f j@ l '....p-...u
Feb. M, i967 L. ETZLINGER APPARATUS FOR COLLECTING AND ANALYZING ALVEOLAR GAS FROM THE LUNGS Filed July 7, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 53 El'gr.
United States Patent O 3 303,840 APPARATUS FOR COLLECTING AND ANALYZING ALVEDLAR GAS FROM THE LUNGS Lucien Etzlinger, 12 Rue de Hesse, Geneva, Switzerland Filed July 7, 1964, Ser. No. 380,815 Claims priority, application Switzerland, July 12, 1963, 8,738/ 63 8 Claims. (Cl. 128-2) The determination of the percentage of alcohol in a .persons blood by the method consisting of measuring the alcohol content of the gas breathed out by the lungs of this person is only valid if the analysis is made with alveolar gas, that is to say coming from the cavities of the lungs. If this analysis is made with a `gas mixed with air not proceeding from the pulmonary cavities its result gives a percentage not corresponding to reality.
The Ipresent invention is concerned with an apparatus for collecting alveolar gas breathed out by the lungs; this apparatus may be completed by a device permitting the quantitative determination of the alcohol contained in the collected gas.
This apparatus comprises, like certain apparatus already known but not ensuring the collecting of gas solely alveolar, an inatable container adapted to receive the gas breathed out. It is characterized by the fact that the lling orifice of the said container is provided with a device permitting at least a part of the breathed in gas to issue forth from the container during the period of breathing in, followed by the closing of the said orice in order to retain in the container the gas breathed in at the end of the said period.
Thus the gas retained in the container is perforce alveolar gas because it is that driven out of the lungs at the end of breathing out. The apparatus according to the invention thus guarantees that the sample of gas taken away will not be mixed with ambient air. It is of simple construction and may be rapidly used.
The accompanying drawing shows diagrammatically by way of example three embodiments of the apparatus according to the invention. The rst two embodiments permit not only the collecting of alveolar gas, but also the quantitative determination of the alcohol contained in the collected gas. The third embodiment is concerned with an inatable container equipped with a non-return valve.
FIG. 1 is a View in prole of a first embodiment of the apparatus;
FIG. 2 is a similar view, but with a part of the container broken away, of a second embodiment of the apparatus;
FIG. 3 shows, in elevation, one part of the inatable container according to the third embodiment;
FIG. 4 is a section along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a section along line S-S of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a section along line 6 6 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a section similar to that of FIG. 4, but showing the container, in the non-return valve of which has been inserted a rigid tube for the lling or the emptying of the container.
With reference to FIG. 1, the apparatus includes a water-tight container comprised by a flattened tube 10, of flexible material, not elastic, closed at its two ends by sealing its material. The closure at one of the ends of Y the tube 10 is effected by the seal 11. A tube 12 also flat, smaller than the tube 10, but of the same material, is slipped into the other end of the tube 10 and is fixed to the latter by seals 13 and 14; these latter also close the container at this end. The walls of the tube 12, before the same is inserted in the tube 10, have been sealed one to the other along two stripes 15 and 16. Due to these ice seals, the part of the tube 12 in the container forms a nonreturn valve, for the contents of the container.
A testing tube 17 is held in the container between the seal 11 and a seal 18. It is open at its two ends, the one 19 communicates with the interior of the container and the one 20 issues into a space 21 closed due to the seals 11 and 18. The tube 17 contains potassium bichromate of a yellow colour.
A blow-pipe 22 is inserted in the tube 12 and passes between the seals 13 and 14 and then between the seals 15 and 16, to issue inside the water-tight container. This blow-pipe separates the edges 23 of the tube 12 and thus establishes a communication between the interior of the container and the surrounding air.
The apparatus as described above is ready for use; it serves for the taking away of alveolar gas breathed out by the lungs and for the analysis of the alcohol content of the gas taken away.
To this end, the person whose alcohol percentage in the blood is to be determined takes in the mouth the end 24 of the blow-pipe 22 and blows through the latter into the container. The gas thus blown in at 25 penetrates at 26 into the container, inflates the latter and sweeps the inside as shown by the arrows 27, to issue out again by passing along the outside of the blow-pipe 22 in the middle part of the tube 12, as shown by the arrows 28. Ihis circuit of blown in gas is maintained during the whole :period of the breathing. At the end of breathing out, the blowpipe 22, which does not offer much resistance, is cornpletely withdrawn from the container and from the tube 12. The latter then carries out its role of non-return valve and hermetically closes the container by maintaining therein a definite volume of gas blown out at the end of the breathing, thus alveolar gas.
The closed space 21 is then put into communication with the atmosphere, for example by tearing its cover. By manual pressure on the container, the lgas which it contains is obliged to pass into the tester tube 17 as shown by the arrows 29 and 30. During this passage, the alcohol contained in the gas reduces the yellow potassium bichromate to a greenish chromate and this from the admission end 19 of the tube towards the outlet end 20. The separation between the yellow part and the greenish part of the contents of the testing tube moves in the direction 19 to 20. When all the gas contained in the container has been driven through the tube 17, the position of the said separation in comparison with a graduated scale (not shown) gives the alcohol percentage in parts per thousand contained in the blood -of the person who has blown into the container. The apparatus' is discarded, since it can only serve once.
The apparat-us shown in FIG. 2 has the same parts 10, 11, 113, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, V22, 24 as that of FIG. 1. The two apparatus differ only by a device permitting the breathed in gas to leave the container during the period of breathing in, but their operation is the same.
In the apparatus of FIG. 2, a rigid duct 3,1 is hermetically fixed to the tube 10. This duct is capped by a non-return Valve 32 at its end inside the container. This valve 32 is held on this end by elastic members 33'.
For the use of the apparatus, the blow-pipe 22 is inserted in the duct 31 over a length sutlicient to lift the valve 32 from its seat. During the breathing in of gas by the person to be examined, the valve is held away from the blow-pipe as shown in FIG. 2 and this against the pull of the elastic members 33. The gas breathed in penetrates into the container and sweeps the contents as shown by the arrows 34, 35, 36 and 37 to come out therefrom as indicated by the arrows 38 and 39.
At the end of the breathing, the blow-pipe 22 is withdrawn from the duct 31 and the valve 32 closes this duct, preventing any exit of gas from the container. Thus a definite volume of alveolar gas is taken away from the container. The continuation of the operations is the same as that described for the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
FIGURES 3-7 of the accompanying drawing show an inflatable container provided with a non-return valve at least one part of which lies in the interior of the container, this part being constituted by a attened tube of a flexible material, having seals holding the walls one against the other. These seals are in the form of a circle, and at least two of these circles are disposed on either side of a filling and/or emptying duct of the container.
This infiatable container is for collecting alveolar gas breathed out by the lungs, according to the present invention. However, this infatable container could be -used for other purposes. It could in particular serve to receive and preserve gases or liquids. It may advantageously be of a flexible material, for example of polytheylene. It could obviously find a great number of other uses, in the field of medical analysis (quantitative determination of acetone, etc.) or in the industrial field (quantitative determination of noxious gases),
According to FIGURES 3-7 of the drawing, the container shown is constituted by two sheets of plastic material (for example polyethylene), placed one against the other and sealed at their edges 11.
A tube 12, also of plastic material, is inserted partly in the container 10 and is fixed to the latter by two seals 13 and 14.
The tube 12, whichis open at its ends 15 and 16, before ybeing partly inserted in the container 10, has received four seals in the form of a circle indicated by the numbers 17, 18, 19 and 26. The tube 12 may, for example, measure 30 mm. (3.2 in.) in length between its ends, and 50 mm. (2 in.) in width. The circle-shaped seals 19 and 20 then have their centre at about 15 mm. (0.6 in.) from the end 16 and the centres of the circles 19 and 20 are distant about 3() mm. (1.2 in). The centres of the circles 17 and 18 are distant about 25 mm. (1 in.); the diameter of each of these circles is about 15 mm. (0.6 in.).
The seals 13 and 14 do not extend over the whole length of the side of the container 10 by which it is fixed to the tube 12; as a matter of fact, a free space 21 is left between these two seals 13 and 14. The seals 13 and 14 are tangent respectively to the circles 17 and 1'8, while slightly overlapping a part of the width of the seal of these circles, as seen diagrammatically at 22 and 2-3.
The four seals 17, 18, 19 and 20 render the tube 12 undulated in its part inside the container 10. These seals secure the walls of the tube 12 one against the other. As a result the part of the tube 12 lying inside the container 10 constitutes a non-return valve. This valve is very particularly effective when the gas in the container 10 exerts a pressure against the walls of the said tube 12, pressure securing these walls one against the other. Even in the absence of gas in the container 10, the walls of the tube 12 are stuck one against the other due to the seals 17, 18, 19 and 20.
In order to fill the container 10, it is sufiicient to breathe in or pump gas through the free space 21. This operation may advantageously be effected by passing a blow-pipe 24 (see FIG. 7) through the space 21. This blow-pipe separates the walls of the part of the tube 12 forming the valve. Its use is necessary in any case for the emptying of the container 10.
The space 21 and the spaces between the welds 17 and 18 and 19 and 20, respectively constitute a `duct for the filling or the emptying of the container 10.
The container 10 could be provided with a testing tube similar to tube 17 of the embodiments shown in FIG- URES l and 2; it could then be used for collecting alveolar air breathed out by the lungs .and the determination of alcohol in that air.
What I claim is:
1. Apparatus for collecting alveolar gas from the lungs for analysis, comprising an infiatable container of fiexible nonelastic material, means defining a filling orifice for directing a specimen of breath into the container, means defining an outlet orifice adjacent said filling orice for discharging gas from the container in a direction opposite to the direction of entry of -gas into the container so that gas introduced into the container first fills the container and then ejects from the container gas previously introduced into the container, whereby the gas that remains in the container is substantially the gas which was last introduced into the container, a test tube containing a reagent and through which tube the contents of the container may be blown by exerting pressure on the container, said test tube being embedded in the flexible material of the container and communicating at one of its ends with the interior of the container, and means releasably closing the other end of the tube and adapted to vbe opened to open said other end of the tube to allow gas to pass through the tube.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said releasable closing means comprising a portion of the side wall of the container than can be torn away to expose said other end of the tube.
3. Apparatus for collecting and analyzing alveolar gas from the lungs, comprising an inflatable container of flexible nonelastic material having a filling orifice for directing a specimen of breath into the container, a test tube containing a reagent and through which tube the contents of the container may be blown by exerting pressure on the container, said test tube being embedded in the fiexible material of the container and communieating at one of its endsV with the interior of the container, and means releasably closing the other end of the tube and adapted to be opened to open said other end of the tube to allow gas to pass through the tube.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3, and one-way valve means for preventing the escape of gas from said container through said filling orifice.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3, said releasable closing means comprising a portion of the side wall of the container that can be torn away to expose said other end of the tube.
`6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4, said one-way valve means comprisingra duct of fiexible material extending into the container so that at rest it is fiattened and remains closed when pressure exists in the container, said filling orifice being defined by a blowpipe passing through said duct and holding it open.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4, and a blowpipe extending through said container to define said filling orifice, said one-way valve means comprising a nonretum valve member for closing the end of said blowpipe.
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4, said one-way valve means comprising a flattened duct of flexible material that extends into the container-and seals holding portions of the walls of the duct against each other.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/ 1885 McDonnell 12S-2.08
6/1957 Stampe 128-2