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Publication numberUS3315664 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 25, 1967
Filing dateMay 7, 1964
Priority dateMay 7, 1964
Publication numberUS 3315664 A, US 3315664A, US-A-3315664, US3315664 A, US3315664A
InventorsHill Edward J
Original AssigneeWeck & Co Edward
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-purpose tongue blades
US 3315664 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 25, 1967 E. J. HILL 3,315,664

MULTI-PURPOSE TONGUE BLADES Filed May 7, 1964 INVENTOR.

3- 315 664 Unlted States Patent cc 3, 3,,

embodying the invention, the bottom view thereof be 3,315,664 ing similar.

MULTI-PURPOSE TONGUE BLADES Edward J. Hill, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., assignor to Edward Week & Company, Inc., Long Island City, N .Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 7, 1964, Ser. No. 365,607 9 Claims. (Cl. 12815) This application is a continuation-in-part of application for patent of Edward J. Hill for Tongue Depressors, Ser. No. 303,009, filed Aug. 19, 1963, now abandoned.

This invention relates to multi-purpose tongue blades particularly for hospital operating room and anesthesia use to provide means for separation of a patients teeth to maintain an airway into the patients month during anesthesia, operative procedures, and the post-operative recovery period, all without damage to the patients teeth and mouth. The improved multi-purpose tongue blade is also useable in the general medical field; for example, during pre-eclampsia attacks and epileptic fits or convulsions where an adequate airway must be established and maintained by adequate separation of the teeth, and also to prevent damage to the teeth or tongue by the biting down of the patient during such types of attacks.

The multi-purpose tongue blade of the invention has one hollow end in which air is preferably entrapped under 0 to pounds per square inch pressure. This gives a relatively wide range of resistance to biting at the hollow air-cushioned end of the multi-purpose tongue blade.

The multi-purpose tongue blade of the invention is so formed at the juncture of the solid end and the aircushioned end thereof as to permit the solid end to be bent readily downwardly for a combined depressing and somewhat hooking engagement with the top rear portion of the tongue. This bending of the solid end may be accomplished during production, but it is preferable that it be done by the surgeon, doctor, anesthetist or nurse, so that the extent, if any, of downward deflection and/or curvature of the solid end of the multi-purpose tongue blade may be established according to the immediate requirements.

Heretofore, it was common practice to employ one or a stack of several thin wooden tongue depressors for the aforementioned purposes, which have proved to be very unsatisfactory because of breakage or splintering and the lack of proper shape or form thereof for prying open the teeth and maintaining them apart against the unusually high pressures subconsciously applied by the patient to close the mouth during anesthesia, operative procedures, post-operative recovery periods, and convulsions. Also, the prior art thin wooden tongue blades could not be manually shaped at one end without dangerous splintering.

With the foregoing in view, the primary object of the instant invention is to provide a readily manipulated multi-purpose tongue blade and tongue depressor which may be employed without breakage or splintering for general medical use and during anesthesia, operative procedures and post-operative recovery to depress the tongue, to pry the teeth apart, to open the mouth, to maintain the upper and lower teeth separated for aspiratory purposes, to depress and forwardly urge the tongue simultaneously, and to admit of insertion in the mouth and tracheal region of aspirating devices, all without damage to the patients teeth and adjacent tissues.

Other objects of the invention will become apparent -by reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a multi-purpose tongue blade FIG. 2 is a side elevational view.

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 2 showing a multi-purpose tongue blade of the invention after having been hand manipulated to provide a sweeping downwardly curving thin end for employment to depress and simultaneously forwardly urge the tongue of a patient.

FIG. 5 is an end elevational view of the thin end portion taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the solid thin end portion taken on the line 66 of FIG. 2.

FIG 7 is a cross sectional view of the hollow thick end portion taken on the line 77 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 8 is an end elevational view of the thick end portion taken on the line 88 of FIG. 2.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like and corresponding parts throughout the several views, the particular preferred embodiment of the multi-purpose tongue blade 10 disclosed for illustrative purposes consists of a narrow strip or blade of relatively high density polyethylene or other suitable tough pliable yet relatively stiff plastic blade having substantial strength, preferably approximately seven-eighths of an inch wide and six inches long, or such other dimensions as may be desirable. The said multi-purpose tongue blade 10 has a thin solid tongue depressor end portion 11 and a thicker hollow opposite end or bite portion 12 with a gently sloping connecting portion 13 therebetween. The extreme ends of the said end portions are preferably formed to a relatively fiat generally semi-circular shape at and as shown in FIG. 1 which are tapered to a smooth somewhat blunted edge 111 and 121 respectively as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The said thick hollow end portion 12 is generally elliptical in cross section with relatively thin upper and lower walls 122 and 123, respectively, converging into a smooth curved side edge 124 of sufficient thickness to avoid breakage under high biting pressure on the upper and lower walls 122 and 123. The said thin solid end portion 11 is provided with a smooth curved side edge 114 of sufiicient thickness to avoid breakage under high biting pressure. The said thin solid end portion 11 of the multi-purpose tongue blade 10 is preferably somewhat shorter than the hollow end portion 12 thereof.

The said hollow end portion 12 is pressure molded to provide an air cushion 1200 therewithin thus permitting upper and lower walls 122 and 123 to be relatively thin and have a suilicient degree of softness to deflect reasonably under heavy biting pressure without complete collapse of the said thick hollow end 12. In addition to serving as a tongue depressor, the said hollow end portion provides an air-cushioned bite to prevent tooth damage under extremely high biting force often encountered when the multi-purpose tongue blade 10 is in use. The air pressure in the air cushion 1200 may be from 0 to 5 pounds per square inch. An air pressure from 0 to 2 pounds per square inch is desirable, and an air pressure from 0 to 1% pounds per square inch has been found preferable. Of course, the type and thickness of plastic walls employed around the air chamber or air cushion 1200 must be taken into consideration when selecting the air pressure to be employed therein.

The said multi-purpose tongue blade 10 is preferably provided with longitudinal ribs 15 and 16 disposed in lateral spaced relationship along the top and bottom thereof to provide both slip resistance during the manipulation thereof in use and added strength to the relatively thin structure thereof.

The said thin solid end portion 11 of the multi-purose tongue blade 10 may be provided with a central avity 14 preferably of triangular shape as shown in IGS. 1 and 3 longitudinally adjacent to and which comiunicate s with the air cushion 1200 within the hollow nd portion 12 thereof for the purpose of making the aid thin solid end portion 11 more pliable adjacent the aid hollow end portion 12 and less pliable further away mm the said hollow end portion 12. Such construcion or its equivalent, if used, would make the solid end iortion 11 of the multi-purpose tongue blade if) somevhat more susceptible to being manually formed to a lesired bend or curvature such as indicated in FIG. 4 without kinking at the juncture between the soiid end )ortion 11 and the hollow end portion 12 of the multiiurpose tongue blade 10.

The entire multi-purpose tongue blade 19 is so proporioned and is sufficiently firm and strong as to provide ligh torsional resistance along its longitudinal axis where- Jy to permit prying teeth apart by a twisting action after :he said multi-purpose tongue blade 10 has been forced aetween the patients teeth. The thick end 12 is preferably used for this purpose. In this technique the thin blade end 11 is utilized to force the teeth apart initially, and as the blade continues to be inserted the thick end portion 12 is rotated and slid between the teeth to establish the air way. To force the patients jaws apart in extreme cases, the thin end portion 11 of one multipurpose tongue blade 10 may be used first, followed by the use of the thick end portion 12 of a second multipurpose tongue blade to establish the patient with an adequate airway.

Although but a single embodiment of the invention has been disclosed and described herein, it is obvious that many changes may be made in the size, shape, detail and general arrangement of the elements thereof, all without departing from the spirit and scope thereof as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A multi-purpose tongue blade formed of a tough pliable yet relatively stiff plastic material including a thin generally flat solid tongue depressing portion at one end thereof and a thicker hollow combination tongue depressor and bite portion at the other end thereof,

both end portions being tapered to provide relatively thin blunt end and side edges,

said thicker hollow tongue depressor and bite portion having relatively thin upper and lower walls enclosing air at a pressure sumcient to withstand normal bite pressure whereby to provide resilient resistance to a patients bite and prevent damage to the patients teeth.

2. A multi-purpose tongue blade as claimed in claim 1 wherein laterally spaced longitudinal ribs are provided along top and bottom surfaces thereof.

3. A multi-purpose tongue blade formed of a relatively high density pliable yet relatively stiff plastic material including a thin solid portion at one end thereof having a generally semi-circular end and tapered to provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof,

a thicker hollow portion at the other end thereof formed integral with said thin end portion having relatively thin upper and lower walls and a generally semicircular end, the said thicker hollow end portion being tapered to provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof, and

the said hollow end portion having an air chamber therewithin and a volume of air under pressure enclosed within said chamber at a pressure sufficient to withstand normal bite pressure.

4. A multi-purpose tongue blade formed of a relatively high density pliable yet relatively stiff plastic material including one thin solid end portion having a generally semicircular end and tapered to provide a somewhat 5 blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof,

one thicker hollow end portion formed integral with said thin end portion generally elliptical in cross section having relatively thin upper and lower walls and a generally semi-circular end, the said thicker hoilow end portion being tapered to provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof,

the said thicker end portion having its peripheral edge walls formed thicker than the upper and lower walls thereof, and a volume of air under sufficient pressure to withstand normal bite pressure, enclosed within said hollow end portion,

said thicker end portion providing a resilient aircushioned bite.

5. A multi-purpose tongue blade formed of a relatively high density pliable yet relatively stiff plastic material including a thin generally fiat solid tongue depressing portion at one end thereof and a thicker hollow combination tongue depressor and bite portion at the other end thereof,

both end portions being tapered to provide relatively thin blunt end and side edges,

said thicker hollow tongue depressor and bite portion having upper and lower walls relatively thinner than said solid tongue depressor portion forming an air cushion, a volume of air under pressure enclosed within said hollow bite portion at a pressure sufficient to withstand normal bite pressure,

said air cushion providing sufficient resiliency to avoid damage to patients teeth under a relatively heavy bite thereon,

said multi-purpose tongue blade proportioned to provide suificient torsional resistance without breakage or collapse to admit of prying and twisting between the patients teeth to open a bite whereby to control the tongue during operating and recovery room procedures and during pre-enclampsia and convulsions.

6. A multi-purpose tongue blade as claimed in claim 5 wherein laterally spaced longitudinal ribs are provided along the top and bottom surfaces thereof.

7. A multi-purpose tongue blade formed of a pliable relatively high density tough plastic material including a thin solid portion at one end thereof having a generally semi-circular end and tapered to provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof,

a thicker hollow portion at the other end thereof formed integral with said thin end portion having relatively thin upper and lower walls and a generally semicircular end, the said thicker hollow end portion being tapered to provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof said thin portion being defined as having a thickness substantially reduced from that of said thick portion,

the said hollow end portion being hermetically sealed to provide an air chamber therewithin, and sufficient pressure being provided within said air chamber to provide adequate resistance of the thin upper and lower walls of the hollow end portion to a heavy bite by a patient and yet avoid damage to the patients teeth as the result of said bite.

8. A multi-purpose tongue blade as claimed in claim 7 wherein the cavity in the thick hollow end portion thereof extends partially into the thin solid end portion 75 thereof whereby to make the said thin solid end portion readily manually moldable to such curvature as may be ing defined as having a thickness substantially re required for specific uses, duced from that of said thick portion.

9. A multi-purpose tongue blade formed of a pliable the p and bottom of Said tongue blade having relatively high density plastic material for use in hosplurality of laterally Spaced longitudinal ribs pital and recovery room procedures and with patients along the cavity in the thick hollow end portion of said ton gue blade extending partially into the thin solid en portion thereof whereby to permit the said thi: solid end portion to be readily manually molded int having pre-enclampsia, convulsions and the like, said tongue blade including a thin solid end portion having a generally semi-circular end and tapered to provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular end and a smooth curved g g g that may be requlred m Specific Instance edge along the Sides ii the said multi-purpose tongue blade having a sufficient a thicker hollow end Poftlon Integral with and some ly high torque resistance whereby to resist a twist what longer than said thin solid end portion formed j prying action h Opening a ti t bit am generally elliptical in cross section having relatively a gaseous medium enclosed within said cavity at thin upper and lower walls and a generally semipressure sufiicient to withstand normal bite pressure circular end, the said thicker hollow end portion being formed to References Cited by the Examiner provide a somewhat blunted edge at said semi-circular UNITED STATES PATENTS end and a smooth curved edge along the sides thereof, 2,421,574 6/1947 Newmark 123 355 the said thicker hollow end portion having its peripheral 2 745 10 ,1954 Govan 12 *15 edge walls formed thicker than the upper and lower 2 357,903 10 Co fi ld 123 15 walls thereof, said thicker hollow end portion providing a cushioned 25 RICHARD GAUDET, Primary Examinerresistance to a patients bite, said thin portion be- DALTON TRULUCK Examinen

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2421574 *Oct 8, 1945Jun 3, 1947Newmark Marshall FTeething aid
US2690745 *Apr 21, 1952Oct 5, 1954Clifton D GovanTongue blade
US2857908 *Apr 26, 1957Oct 28, 1958Cornfield Leslie SCandy coated tongue depressor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5406941 *Jan 27, 1993Apr 18, 1995Roberts; James T.Adjustable curvature laryngoscope blade
US5846195 *Sep 26, 1996Dec 8, 1998Cezar Reis Promocoes Comerciaias Ltda.Tongue depressor for medical use
US5980456 *Jun 13, 1997Nov 9, 1999Falcone; Carl L.Edible tongue-depressor and the like
US6045499 *May 26, 1999Apr 4, 2000Pitesky; IsadoreTongue retractor
Classifications
U.S. Classification600/240, D24/136
International ClassificationA61B1/24
Cooperative ClassificationA61B1/24
European ClassificationA61B1/24