US 3324849 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 13, 1967 H. KRAvn'z 3,324,849.,
COMBINATION TONGUE DEPRESSOR AND SWAB Filed July 27, 1964 2 Sheet-5heet 1 mkm I NVEN TOR.
HA1? V5 7 KRAV/TZ June 13, 1967 H. KRAVITZ 3,324,849
COMBINATION TONGUE DEPRESSOR AND SWAB Filed July 27, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN'TOR. HARVEY K/Q/QV/TZ 47' roRA/Exs United States Patent 3,324,849 COMBINATION TONGUE DEPRESSOR AND SWAB Harvey Kravitz, 9243 Avers Ave., Skokie, Ill. 60076 Filed July 27, 1964, Ser. No. 385,438 2 Claims. (Cl. 128-45) This invention relates generally to a novel combination tongue depressor and swab, and more particularly to a new and improved medical aid for facilitating the swabbing of a patients throat.
The swabbing of a patients throgt, for the purpose of making a culture or for coating the same, is a common medical practice. When the patient is cooperative and holds the mouth wide open and still, it is generally easy to insert a cotton swab to .the throat area. However, with uncooperative patients, as with chlidren, this practice is rendered more diflicult and generally some means, such as a tongue depressor, must be used to maintain the patients mouth open for a period sufficiently long so as to permit a swab to be inserted therein. Obviously, this past practice has presented many problems since it is necessary for the doctor to hold the tongue depressor in one hand, the cotton swab holder in the other hand, and at the same time attempt to prevent the patient from moving. In addition, it has caused much discomfort to the patient and frequently results in gagging or choking.
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide a novel combination tongue depressor and swab which overcomes the multiple problems of the prior practices described above.
'It is more particularly an object of this invention to provide a new and improved combination tongue depress-or and swab which can be held and manipulated in one hand of the doctor, thereby freeing the other hand for restraining the patient or holding the patients mouth open during the swabbing operation.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved combination tongue depressor and swab, as above, which materially reduces the time required for a throat swabbing operation, thereby minimizing the gagging or choking of the patient.
It is still another object of this invention to provide such a new and improved combination tongue depressor and swab which provides for relative movement of the swab with respect to the tongue depressor to facilitate the swabbing operation.
It is a further object of this-invention to provide a new and improved combination tongue depressor and throat swab which is characterized by its compact and relatively inexpensive construction so as to permit its disposal after each use. I
The novel features which are characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction With the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is a pictorial view of one embodiment of the combination tongue depressor and swab constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the tongue depressor shown in FIGURE 1 without the swab thereon;
FIGURE 3 is a side view of the tongue depressor construction of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially as shown along line 4-4 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially as shown along line 5-5 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a pictorial view of another illustrative ice embodiment of a combination tongue depressor and swab constructed in accordance with the present inven tion;
FIGURE 7 is a pictorial view of the combination tongue depressor and swab embodiment of FIGURE 6 showing its operation with the swab extended from the tongue depressor;
FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially as shown along line 8-8 of FIGURE 7, and further comprises a plastic surface in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 9 is a pictorial view of still another embodiment of a combination tongue depressor and swab in accordance with the invention; and
FIGURE 10 is a side view of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 9 of the drawing.
Referring now to the drawing, and more particularly to the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 5 thereof, there is shown one type of novel combination tongue depressor and swab construction embodying the present invention Advantageously, this embodiment comprises a tongue depressor 10 of a thin fiat configuration such as is generally known in the prior art. However, this embodiment differs from the conventional tongue depressor construction in that one end thereof has been narrowed to form a neck portion 12 having a width smaller than the width of the remainder of the tongue depressor. In accordance with the feature of this invention, a throat swab 14, which advantageously may be made of cotton or the like in accordance with known practices, is positioned on the narrow neck portion 12 of the tongue depressor. Advantageously, the cotton swab 14 may be rolled tightly around the narrow neck portion 12 of the tongue depressor 10, or placed thereon by any other suitable means.
In accordance with the operation of the present invention, the doctor grasps the tongue depressor 10 at the end remote from the cotton swab 14 in one hand, thereby freeing the other hand for the purpose of maintaining the patients mouth wide open for a period sufiiciently long to enable the tongue depressor to be inserted therein. As such, the tongue depressor can be used to force the patients tongue downwardly so as to permit the tongue depressor 10 to be inserted in the mouth sufficiently far to enable the cotton swab 14 to contact the throat area to be swabbed. Since this can be done in a single motion, and within a relatively short period of time, a desirable throat swabbing operation can be achieved without gagging or choking of the patient, and without interference by the patient with the throat swabbing action.
An alternative embodiment of the invention is disclosed in FIGURES 6 and 7 of the drawing. In this embodiment, the tongue depressor 16 may be in the form of a conventional tongue blade of the type now used extensively by medical practitioners. The cotton swab 14 is attached at one end of an elongated rod 18 having a finger receiving button 20 at the other end thereof. In accordance with a feature of this embodiment of the invention, the elongated rod 18 is held to the surface of the tongue blade 16 by means of one or more clamping brackets 22 extending over the elongated rod 18 and around the periphery of the tongue blade 16. In order that the elongated rod 18 may be made relatively movable with respect to the tongue blade 16, the clamping brackets 22 advantageously are provided with ridges or grooves 24 shaped to slidingly receive the elongated rod 18.
In the operation of the embodiments of FIGURES 6 and 7, the tongue blade 16 may be held in one hand of the doctor and the blade inserted within the patients mouth to depress the tongue in the normal manner. At this time, the cotton swab 14 will be resting on the upper surface of the tongue blade 16 and will not extend therebeyond so as to initially contact the throat during the blade inserting action. Advantageously, one finger 26 of the hand may be positioned upon the finger receiving button 20 of the elongated rod 18 so that after the tongue is depressed by the blade 16, the finger 26 may be moved forwardly to cause the elongated rod 18 to slide upon the blade 16. This, in turn, causes the cotton swab 14 to be extended forward of the tongue blade 16 so as to contact the throat area to be swabbed. As in the case of the previous embodiment, the embodiment of FIGURES 6 and 7 permits this entire operation to be performed by one hand of the doctor to thereby leave the remaining hand free for the purpose of maintaining the patients mouth open during the swabbing operation. Also, this embodiment permits the throat swabbing operation to be performed quickly in order to avoid gagging or choking of the patient.
A still further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGURE 8 of the drawing. This embodiment is similar to that of FIGURES 6 and 7 with the exception that the overall height of the combination tongue depressor and swab may be reduced by providing a suitable elongated groove 28 extending longitudinally of the tongue blade 16. The elongated groove 28 is of sufficient size so as to receive the elongated rod 18 and to permit it to be slidable relative to the tongue blade 16. In the event that any difiiculties are encountered in providing such elongated groove 28 in a tongue blade 16 form of wood, it is contemplated that the tongue blade may be molded of plastic, or that a wooden tongue blade may have a plastic coating formed thereon so as to enable the elongated groove 28 to be molded during the formation of the tongue'blade. In addition to facilitating the formation of the elongated groove 28, the plastic surface 30 of the tongue blade 16 also will facilitate the relative sliding movement between the elongated rod 18 and the tongue blade.
Still another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGURES 9 and 10 of the drawing. It is a feature of this embodiment that no modification of the conventional tongue blade 16 is required. Towards this end, the cotton swab 14 is positioned upon a support member 32 which is adapted to be attached to one end of the tongue blade 16, either just prior to the tongue swabbing operation or during the manufacture or packaging of the invention.
In the specific form shown in FIGURES 9 and 10, the support member 32 takes the form of a narrow shelf member 34 about which the cotton swab is placed, an intermediate bracket portion 36, and a fastener portion defined by the upper and lower arms 38 and 40. The arms 38 and 40 are spaced from each other a sufiicient amount so as to enable the tongue blade 16 to be inserted firmly therebetween. It will be appreciated that the swab support member 32 is in the general form of a bayonet attachment to the end of the tongue blade 16 and that while the illustrative embodiment of FIGURES 9 and 10 discloses a pair of spaced arms for receiving the tongue blade, any other type of fastening means sufficient to secure the swab support member to the tongue blade may be utilized.
It also will be appreciated that, if desired, the swab shelf support member 34 may be raised above the tongue blade fastening portion by means of the member 36, as particularly illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10 of the drawing. Some doctors may find it preferable to utilize a swab 14 raised in this fashion to facilitate the throat swabbing action. However, it also is contemplated that the swab 14 need not be raised above the level of the tongue blade 16, if this is not desired, and that the support member 32 may be formed so as to extend forwardly in a planar fashion from the tongue blade 16.
Those skilled in the art will further appreciate that the swab support member 32 may be formed of plastic so as to provide a relatively inexpensive and easily disposable assembly. The same is true for the remaining embodiments of the invention illustratively disclosed in the drawing. All of these various embodiments, as well as any others which come within the scope of the inventive concept disclosed herein are extremely advantageous in overcoming the prior art problems so commonly encountered by doctors in attempting to perform throat swabbing op erations. In particular, this problem has been acute where the patients involved are children and it has been found that the use of the present invention has constituted a considerable and substantial advance over conventional practices.
While there has been shown and described a specific embodiment of the present invention, it will, of course, be understood that various modifications and alternative constructions may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such modifications and alternative constructions as fall within their true spirit and scope.
What is claimed as the invention is:
1. The improvement of a combination tongue depressor and swab comprising a fiat, elongated member adapted to be inserted into the mouth for depressing the tongue of a patient, one end of said member being formed to be grasped by one hand of the user for effecting the tongue depressing operation, a separate swab support attached to the other end of said member remote from said one end, said swab support having a first portion of narrower width than said one end and having a second portion of greater width than said one end, said second portion being formed to be secured to said other end of said member so as to be supported thereby, and a swab secured to said swab support for enabling the tongue depressor and swab combination to be held and manipulated in one hand of the user in a relatively quick fashion to thereby reduce the tendency of gagging or choking by the patient.
2. The improvement of a combination tongue depressor and swab in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first portion of said separate swab support is elevated above said second portion to thereby elevate said swab above said member and facilitate the swabbing operation.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 465,161 12/1891 Chase 128l5 X 1,857,145 5/1932 Funk 128269 1,858,694 5/1932 Walsh 128-269 2,842,270 7/1958 Castelli 128269 X RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
D. L. TRULUCK, Assistant Examiner.