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Publication numberUS3332414 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 25, 1967
Filing dateJan 20, 1964
Priority dateJan 20, 1964
Also published asDE1466865A1
Publication numberUS 3332414 A, US 3332414A, US-A-3332414, US3332414 A, US3332414A
InventorsArthur D Gasper
Original AssigneeMonarch Molding Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vaginal speculum having selectively locked angular and vertical blade adjustment means
US 3332414 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 25, 1967 I A. D. GASPER 3,

VAGINAL SPECULUM HAVING SELECTIVELY LOCKED ANGULAR AND VERTICAL BLADE ADJUSTMENT MEANS Filed Jan. 20, 1964 r 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ARTHUR 0. GASPER ATTORNEYS July 25. 1967 A. D. GASPER 3,332,414

VAGlNAb SIECULUM HAVING SELECTIVELY LOCKED ANGULAR AND VERTICAL BLADE ADJUSTMENT MEANS Filed Jan. 20, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ARTHUR D. GASPER BY Mr M ATTORNEYS July 25, 1967 A. D. GASPER 3,332,414

VAGINAL SPECULUM HAVING SELECTIVELY LOCKED ANGULAR AND VERTICAL BLADE ADJUSTMENT MEANS Filed Jan. 20, 1964 s Sheets-Sheet s INVENTOR ARTHUR D GASPER BY MM, WWW

ATTORNEYJ United States Patent O 3 332,414 VAGINAL SPECULUIVI HAVING SELECTIVELY LOCKED ANGULAR AND VERTICAL BLADE ADJUSTMENT MEANS Arthur D. Gaspar, Lawrence, Kans., assignor to Monarch Molding, Inc., Council Grove, Kans., a corporation of Kansas Filed Jan. 20, 1964, Ser. No. 338,946 22 Claims. (Cl. 128-17) This invention relates to a surgical instrument, known as a speculum, for examining body orifices or cavities and more particularly to a vaginal speculum of simple construction, yet providing a wide range of adjustability together with ease of operation and manipulation. The simple construction is such as to enable the speculum to be molded from plastic at a relatively inexpensive cost permitting a basic selling price sufiiciently low to warrant disposability after use.

Previous specula have heretofore been proposed which, because of their complex design, are beset with numerous shortcomings; for example, they are expensive to manufacture, often are difficult to manipulate and most of them, because of materials and form of construction, permit only limited visual inspection of the body passage. Many of the previously known specula utilize a plurality of parts, some of which have crevices and openings, which multiply the difficulties and expense required for proper cleaning and sterilizing.

Desirably, a vaginal speculum to be acceptable and satisfactory for various routine examinations and treatments of the vaginal canal and cervix uteri should have the following aspects: relative simplicity of operation; good exposure obtained by its use; a stem or handle to permit handling and facilitate insertion and positioning of the instrument without contaminating the sterilized blades that enter the vagina; and adjustment of both proximal and distal ends of the blades in a simple convenient manner.

Many of the popular specula are based on the Graves speculum and these as well as other types provide most of the desired aspects; however, the Graves and similar specula have certain shortcomings, for example, both hands are required for adjustment, and construction does not permit of costs sufficiently low to warrant discarding a speculum after use. The present invention has been devised to provide the advantages and the necessary, desired characteristics of an acceptable speculum with additional advantages of simplicity in number of parts, shape and use. These additional advantages enable low cost construction from hard, clear non-toxic plastic of high strength, such cost being less than that required for sterilization and cleaning and thereby warranting discarding after a single use.

It is previously known to make a speculum of molded construction as shown by Arnesen, United States Patent No. 2,320,709 and of plastic as shown by Jones Patent No. 2,672,859. The previously known art also includes a Venning United States Patent No. 679,712 showing a speculum construction having two major units, one of the units being assembled from several components.

None of the previously known specula, molded or otherwise fabricated, afford the numerous advantages accomplished by reason of the construction of the instant invention. For example, the proximal opening adjustments of all previously known specula are accomplished by different hinge or pivot arrangement, some which must be set prior to insertion of the speculum. Also the distal adjustment latching device of many of the known prior art specula is located offset to one side of the speculum handles, resulting in unbalanced stresses on the distal end pivots or journals and usually separate latch and/ or lock 3,332,4i4 Patented July 25, 1967 devices are required for the proximal and the distal adjustments.

Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention resides in the provision of a novel speculum of simple construction enabling ease of manufacture and use. In conjunction with the foregoing object, a further object resides in the provision of such a speculum made solely of two pieces of material, the construction of which permits manufacture from plastic material, by molding at such cost to warrant discarding after a single use.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a vaginal speculum of simple construction which is reliable in use, provides requisite adjustments and access and is economical in construction.

A further object resides in the provision of a novel, two-part speculum incorporating plural latching adjustments of both proximal and distal ends of the blades capable of being readily made with one hand, thereby sequentially enabling insertion, positioning, latched adjustment, of both the proximal and distal ends, release of such adjustment and finally, removal, all by use of only one hand of the operator. In conjunction with the preceding object an object resides in the provision of a single latch device, controlled by the operator thumb pressure and serving to lock the proximal end adjustment as well as to latch the distal end adjustment.

Still another object resides in the provision of a novel speculum in which the distal end of the anterior blade is an operating lever and includes the distal access opening with a centrally located latch member, and the latch member coacts with centrally located apertured latching structure integral with the distal end of the posterior blade which constitutes a rigid handle.

A still further object resides in the provision of a novel speculum incorporating both proximal and distal blade adjustments wherein the distal end of the anterior blade, when the distal ends of the blades are closed, remains at the same distance from the end of the posterior blade regardless of the proximal end adjustment.

In conjunction with any and all of the foregoing objects, it is a further object of the present invention to provide a vaginal speculum having the distal end of the anterior blade constructed with a specific configuration to eliminate the imposition of painful pressure upon the cervical os during opening of the distal ends of the blades of the speculum after insertion.

Further novel features and other objects of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, discussion and the appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing a preferred structure and embodiment, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a two piece, molded vaginal speculum made in accord with the present invention, the arrangement illustrating an intermediate condition subsequent to insertion and after the proximal end adjustment has been made;

FIGURES 2-5 are side views of the speculum shown in FIGURE 1 illustrating a few of the various adjustment conditions which an operator can accomplish, FIGURE 2 illustrating the collapsed condition for insertion and removal and FIGURES 3-5 showing, respectively, small, medium and large adjustments at both the proximal and distal ends of the speculum;

FIGURE 6 is a larger scale side view of one of the speculum pieces, the posterior blade which includes the handle;

FIGURE 7 is a partially broken away elevation view looking in a direction normal to the handle structure of the piece shown in FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 8 is a partially broken away plan view looking in a direction normal to the trough of the posterior blade;

FIGURES 9 and 10 are section views taken respectively on lines 99 and 10-10 of FIGURE 7, showing handle and handle latch bar details;

FIGURES 11, 12 and 13 are section views taken respectively on lines 11-41, 12-12 and 13-13 of FIG- URE 8, showing molded contours of the posterior blade;

FIGURE 14 is a detail section viwe taken on line 14- 14 of FIGURE 7 and illustrated latch bar aperture construction in the handle;

FIGURE 15 is a large scale side view of the second speculum piece, the anterior blade with proximal access opening and latch member;

FIGURE 16 is a partially broken away view looking in a direction normal to the plane of the proximal opening of the blade in FIGURE 15;

FIGURE 17 is a plan view, from below, of the anterior blade looking normal into the trough of the blade; and

FIGURES l8, l9 and are sections views across the anterior blade taken respectively on lines 1818, 1919 and 2020 of FIGURE 15, showing molded contours of that piece.

FIGURES 6-20 are scale drawings, the original patent drawings depicting the parts in their full size with specific contours finally arrived at to accomplish satisfactory and economically feasible, injection molded fabrication of an actual operable speculum. The full scale can be determined by using 8.5 inches as the maximum dimension from blade tip to the end corner of the handle in FIG- URE 6.

Referring generally to FIGURES 1, 6 and 14, the exemplary bivalve speculum is a vaginal speculum and is made of two separable parts or members 20 and 22. Each part is a single structurally integral piece. Member 20 includes the anterior blade 24, the proximal access opening or throat 26, integral pivot studs or journals 28 and 30, one on each side of the throat 26. The throat 26 is defined by the upwardly flared and faired proximal end 32 of the anterior blade which passes into two side plates 34 and 36 projecting slightly down and away from the studs 28 and to a curved joinder portion or bight 38, which is a thumb rest and is made thicker than the vertical side plates for strength, and constitutes the bottom of the proximal throat 26.

The side plates and their joinder bight 38 provide an operating lever which is used for accomplishing both the proximal and distal adjustment of the speculum as will be described. Several short lateral ridges 40, four being illustrated, extend up from the wide top surface of the bight 38 and provide a high frictional surface at the thumb rest of the operating lever. Depending from the bottom of bight 3 8 is a rigid latching lug 42 with plural inclined teeth 44 extending rearwardly from an arcuate back face 46 of the latch lug. The face 46 of the latch lug is arcuate about the axis of the pivot studs 28 and 30, the top, latching faces of teeth '44 are preferably inclined to the rear face of lug 42 to form a slight acute angle (several degrees less than 90) while the lower faces of the teeth are substantially inclined, e.g., 135 degrees or more to the arcuate lug face, enabling ratcheting of the teeth into desired adjusted positions past a selected latch bar on the posterior blade piece, as will be hereinafter described.

The lateral cross section shape of the latch lug 42 is channel shaped, the two side flanges of which provide a high degree of rigidity resisting flexure of the lug.

Both blades are specifically contoured to provide an interrelated configuration which will be described following a description of the posterior blade piece.

Posterior member 22 includes the posterior blade 50, two side journal arms 52 and 54 and a handle portion 56. The major extent of the posterior blade is trough like with changing cross section, the upper side edges of the blade lying in a common plane from adjacent the distal end to a point where the journal arms project upward. Starting a short distance ahead of and progressing to a location behind the journal ears, the proximal end of the posterior blade flares at 58 in a smoothly faired configuration matching the flared proximal end 32 of the anterior blade. At the termination 60 of the posterior blade flare, an integral portion of the posterior member 22 continues, at about a 45-degree inclination to the blade, into the rigid contoured handle 56 which terminates in a finger stop 62 on the underside of the handle.

Journal arms 52 and 54 are pierced with similar undulated slot-like apertures 64 and 66, are substantially parallel, and provide a yoke, the apertured arms of which receive the pivot studs 28 and 30 of the anterior member with the sides of the proximal end of the anterior blade embraced between the arms.

The forward edge of each undulated slot consists of a plurality (three being illustrated) of journal sockets 68, 70 and 72 formed on a larger radius of curvature than the pivot studs 28 and 30 to permit a slight free play, for reasons to become apparent later in this description. The side projections of the center socket curves into the adjacent sockets and the width of the undulated slots 64 and 66 permit the two pivot studs to be shifted from one set of sockets to another set of sockets, as long as the speculum is not latched.

Looking at FIGURE 6, it will be seen that the center points of the circular bottoms of sockets 68, 70 and 72 he on a common are swung about a point on the upper edge of the posterior blade 50 near its distal end 76. With such construction, the distal end 78 of the anterior blade will remain at substantially the same location relative to the distal end 76 of the posterior blade regardless of the proximal end adjustment setting, in other words the blade end relationship is the same when the pivot studs are placed in any of the three sets of journal sockets.

Referring to FIGURES 7 and 14, a wide upper section 80 of handle 56 has an open center grid with three spaced apart, laterally extended cross bars 82, 84 and 86 each of which has a sharply formed lower forward edge. The openings 88, 90 and 92 adjacent the forward edge of each cross bar are accurately shaped to receive and permit close but free passage of the arcuate latch lug 42 of the anterior member 20 when the pivot studs 28 and 30 are fully seated in a related set of the journal ear sockets 68, 70 or 72. When studs 28 and 30 are located m lower sockets 68 (see FIGURE 3) and the anterior member operating lever is depressed by pressure on thumb rest 38, the arcuate latch lug 42 can move down through the lower handle opening 92; with the studs in middle sockets 70 (see FIGURE 4) the lug 42 can move down through the middle handle opening 90; and with the studs in upper sockets 72 (see FIGURE 5) the lug 42 can move down through the upper handle opening 88.

The two parts 20 and 22 slightly flexing the yoke arms anterior member 20 into place 30 disposed in the socket slots 64 and 66. Both parts are preferably, but not necessarily, molded from clear, nontoxic polystyrene plastic having high strength and high rigidity characteristics. The configuration of the two pieces 20 and 22, as accurately depicted in the drawings is capable of and has actually been molded in automatic molding machines.

Any of the three adjustment positions of the proximal ends of the blades, can be set while the distal ends are closed. Thereafter, depression of the lever structure, which varies the proximal opening 26, pivots the anterior blade about the specific socket in which the studs are disposed and spreads the blades, at the same time causing the arcuate latch lug 42 to descend into an associated one of the latch bar openings in the handle. As soon as the lug 42 projects into a handle opening 88, 90 or 92, the pivot studs 28 and 30 will be locked in their set socket position, i.e., they can not shift to another set of sockets as long as the lug 42 cooperates with a handle hole.

When the operators thumb is pressed down with a concurrent forward urge, on the lever assemble thumb are readily assembled by 52 and 54 and slipping the with its pivot studs 28 and rest 38, the ridges 40 create a frictional resistance against the thumb slipping forward and the resultant reaction force urges the anterior member 20 in a direction keeping the pivot studs 28 and 30, bottomed in whichever set of sockets they are disposed. During depressing movement of the lever and its arcuate lug 42, the anterior member being forward as far as bottoming of the pivot studs permit, the opening 88, '90 and 92 will permit the lug latch teeth 44 to pass just clear of the rearwardly disposed latch bar 82, 84 or 86 associated with the specific opening into which the lug 42 moves. When the blades are open to the desired amount, forward thumb pressure can be eased to permit the entire anterior member 20 to shift backwards a slight increment relative to the posterior member 22 permitting the closest latch tooth 44 below the associated latch bar 82, 84 or 86 to move rearwardly, under the latch bar.

The force urging the rearward shift of the anterior member occurs, after the speculum has been inserted in the vagina, due to the elastic constricting action of the vulva and the vaginal s against the flared proximal ends 32 and 58 of the two blades. At the same time, the elastic constricting action of the distended vagina is urging the blades 24 and 50 toward a closed condition. The first described action against the flared ends urges the appropriate latch tooth 44 to a rear position under the associated latch bar 82, 84 or 86 whereas the second described force urging the blades to closed condition tends to raise the arcuate lug 42 and will cause the nearest latch tooth under the associated latch bar to abut fiat against and latched under the bar. Any one of the four teeth in the illustrated embodiment can be latched under any of the three bars in the illustrated embodiment, providing in that embodiment four distal blade spreads for each of three proximal blade spreads.

In FIGURE 3, the proximal spread is set at the small size and the second one of the latch teeth 44 is latched under the latch bar 86 providing a rather small distal spread. FIGURE 4 illustrates a medium setting for the proximal spread and the third of the latch teeth is latched under the associated latch bar for a wide spread of the distal ends of the blades. FIGURE 5 illustrates the large size proximal setting and the largest distal spread realized by latching the number four tooth under the associated bar. Note, in each of FIGURES 3, 4 and 5 the visible pivot stud 28 (and also the opposite stud 30) has shifted slightly rearwardly out of bottoming position in the respective sockets, nevertheless the elastic action of the vaginal os on the blades keeps the studs snug against the edge of the lower shoulders of the respective sockets. In FIGURES 4 and 5, the studs cannot move over and past the shoulders to reach the next socket, and in FIGURE 3 the studs cannot move beyond the lower end of the undulated slot because the extent of rearward movement of the anterior member relative to the posterior member is prohibited by the fit of the arcuate lug 42 into the handle hole and back into its abutting, latched condition.

As shown in FIGURE 2, when the speculum is in its fully closed condition the lower side edges of the anterior blade 24 rest on the side edges of the posterior blade 22, all edges being smoothly rounded and disposed in a common plane. Because there is some resilience in the journal yoke arms 52 and 54 and because of the deliberate, slight free play of the pivot studs 28 and 30 in the undulated journal slots 64 and 66, the distal end 78 of the anterior blade is somewhat free to shift sideways. Such distal end side play is not desirable for proper and satisfactory insertion techniques, and to eliminate the sideways play, small blunt teeth 94 and 96 are formed integral with the lower surface and adjacent each side of the anterior blades distal end 78, the teeth depending into the trough of the posterior blade 50 and being laterally spaced a very small distance from the inner surface of the posterior blade side edges. The teeth 94 and 96 effectively interlock the abutting distal ends of the blades to prevent undesirable side play while the speculum is closed.

Clearly apparent in FIGURE 2 and also in FIGURE 6, the distal end 76 of the posterior blade 50 is inclined upward to a terminal lip 97 with curved corners and all edges smoothly rounded. The terminal distal lip 97 of the posterior blade projects a small distance above the plane of the blade side edges to provide an entrance barrier with smooth rounded surface and narrow terminal profile, spaced ahead of the distal end 78 of the anterior blade 24 and facilitating ease of initial insertion with minimum discomfort.

The shape of the blades has been scientifically devised to provide an initial rounded but flattened contour (see FIGURES 12, 13 and 20) of small cross sectional area at the distal end for ease of introduction and continued insertion with the handle initially disposed to one side. The contour progressively changes to a more rounded cross-section of slightly increased area (see FIGURES l1 and 19) to an almost round contour at flared ends 32 and 58, thus assisting in a gradual dilatation with minimum pain and/ or discomfort as insertion progresses with gradual rotation until the handle is in the usual depending examination disposition. From the distal ends to section 11--11 of the posterior blade 50 and section 1919 of the anterior blade 24, the trough deepens but the width of the blades becomes progressively narrower. This contour change provides a more comfortable dilatation because progressive distension of the vagina along the length of the blades is minimized due to the very slight increase in cross sectional area of the portions of the combined blades designed for disposition within the vagina. The relatively wide distal ends of both blades maintain a substantially wider cavity within the dilatated vagina adjacent the cervix than is obtained with specula having circular distal ends.

With the closed speculum properly inserted for vaginal examination, the posterior blades wide rdistal lip 94 is placed under the posterior cervical lip and the distal end of the anterior blade is then elevated until the cervix is visible. Quite often when the distal ends of a conventional vaginal speculum are spread, the distal end of the anterior blade usually scrapes and traumatizes the cervical 0s which occasionally is pressed or deflected upward and back with the anterior blade and additional manipulation of the speculum becomes necessary to bring the cervix into view.

The present invention prevents discomfort of such engagement by providing a concave recess 98, see FIGURE 1 7, in the distal end 78 of the anterior blade 24, permitting the opening movement of the anterior blade to be made without appreciable contact and pressure against the cervix. The relief has been accomplished without sacrificing anterior blade length which is necessary to carry vaginal folds away from the cervix, inasmuch as the wide flat distal end provides full blade length on either side of the recess 98. Those previously known vaginal specula in which the anterior blade relationship becomes shorter as the opening increases, allow vaginal folds to fall back in front of the cervix and obscure it from view.

INSTRUMENT OPERATION With the blades 24 and 50 fully closed as shown in FIGURE 2, insertion is made in the usual manner or as noted in the preceding paragraphs. The thumb is then placed against the rear face of lug 42 below the thumb rest 38 and pressure is applied forcing the blade proximal adjustment, if required, to one of two positions providing a larger proximal opening than the normal position, by means of shifting the pivot studs 28 and 30 to alternate sockets in yoke arms 52 and 54. The thumb rest 38 is then depressed and the ratchet lug 42 locates in one of the three corresponding openings 88, 99 or 92 in the wide part of the handle 56. Ratchet lug 42 may then be secured in any one of four latching positions by easing the forward pressure on the thumb rest 38 and permitting locking contact of a tooth 44 under the rear shoulder or latching bar 82, 84 or 86. This action will result in any one of four open positions on the distal end of the blades. The slight elastic pressure of the labia, vaginal s and vaginal walls assures that these positions will be held until the operator wishes to remove the instrument.

Removal is accomplished by pressing forward on thumb rest 38, overcoming the pressure exerted by the patient and allowing the ratchet lug teeth -44 to disengage the latch bar and for the lug to retract and to clear the associated opening 88, 90 or 92, closing the distal ends. Pivot studs 28 and 30 will now be free to drop to the lowest position, sockets 68 in yoke arms 52 and 54, moving the proximal ends of the blades to closed position for removal.

Handle 56 is constructed at a substantial obtuse angle to the posterior blade to assure clearance of the operators hand from other body areas, The toe 62 of handle 56 gives the operator a shoulder to pull down while preventing his hand slipping from the instrument. (It is occasionally necessary to pull down on the instrument during insertion for proper dilatation.)

The ends of anterior blade 24 and posterior blade 50 are shaped designed to interlock in a quasi-nested position when the speculum is fully closed (end 78 of the anterior blade is nested below end 76 of the postieror blade due to the inclined lip 97 at end '76) thus, assuring a smooth rounded surface for ease of insertion. The blades 24 and 50 are also constructed to stay in this nested position at the distal ends while the pivot studs 28 and 30 are being shifted to the proximal end adjustment position selected by the operator. At this stage, before the blades are spread, the operator is able to see into the cavity between the blades through the proximal throat or opening 26. Blade 24 may then be elevated at the distal end by pressure on thumb rest 38 as has been described. Lower blade 50 is 14 mm. longer than upper blade 24. This relationship is maintained in each of the proximal end pivot positions. Upper blade 24 has a distal end cut out 98 that is shaped to aid in clearing the patients cervical os when the distal end of lower blade 50 and lip 97 is placed under the cervix and the upper blade 24 is raised to any of the four adjustment positions.

The foregoing description fully discloses a speculum specifically adapted for use as a vaginal speculum with the following desirable features, it being understood that similar structure can be used in specula for other body orifices. Insertion, rear or proximal opening adjustment, made after insertion, the distal blade opening and complete clamping, all can be readily accomplished by using only one hand. Also, by use of but a single hand, convenient distal blade end closure under control of thumb with continuous subsequent complete closure and removal by the same single hand is easily accomplished. Novel adjustment construction is accomplished in but two compact pieces, The single coordinating proximal and distal end lock is central to provide distributed stresses to the hinges and at the same time the handle portion is provided with sufiicient angularity from the blade sections to assure clearance of operators hand from the posterior labial and other regions. Distance of nested tip of anterior blade from tip of posterior blade remains constant regardless of location of proximal adjustment. A cutout in the end of the anterior blade enables operative clearance of the cervical os. Finally, and not the least important, the instrument is conceived and constructed to provide a practical vaginal speculum, capable of being molded from plastic and ofierin'g many advantages over metal specula and further permitting manufacture at a price enabling the speculum to be thrown away after a single use.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A two piece speculum with a dilatory blade on each piece, comprising: cooperating shiftable hinge means on one adjacent set of ends of said blades enabling separate separation adjustment of both the proximal and distal ends of said blades; and a positive locking means comprising portions of both of said two pieces structurally spaced away from said hinge means, and each said portion of said locking means comprising a plurality of latch abut-ments, selected different pairs of which on each of said two portions cooperate in latched abutment for every different adjustment of said speculum; said locking means, upon effective distal end opening adjustment, enabling locked retention of the proximal end opening adjustment and preventing further adjustment of the proximal ends as long as said distal ends are effectively separated and also enabling latched retention of the distal opening adjustment of said selectively adjusted blades in selected positions of adjustment.

2. A speculum comprising: a first dilator blade with distal and proximal ends; a second dilator blade with distal and proximal ends; pivotable means interconnecting said proximal ends enabling sepanate separation of both said proximal ends and said distal ends; handle means on said second blade; lever means on said first blade enabling manipulation of said pivotable interconnecting means for a plurality of independent opening adjustments of both the proximal and distal ends of said blades in a selective manner; and a positive locking means comprising portions of both said handle means and said lever means structurally spaced away from said pivotable means, and each said portion of said locking means comprising a plurality of latch abutments, selected ditterent pairs of which on each of said two portions cooperate in latched abutment for every dilterent adjustment of said speculum; said locking means, upon effective distal end opening adjustment, enabling locked retention of the proximal end opening adjustment and preventing further adjustment of the proximal ends as long as said distal ends are effectively separated and also enabling latched retention of the distal opening adjustment of said selectively adjusted blades in selected positions of adjustment.

3. A speculum as defined in claim 2, wherein said means interconnecting said first and said second blades comprise: a bifurcated portion integral with the proximal end of one of said blades providing substantially parallel, elongate and spaced apart side ears, each ear including a plurality of bearing means disposed at different positions along said ears, each bearing means in one ear having an associated similarly disposed bearing means in the other ear; said proximal end of said other blade includes journal means on opposite sides thereof adapted to be selectively shifted between and into bearing engagement with associated pairs of said similarly disposed bearing means; and said common locking means, when activated, blocks said journal means from full removal away from the selected bearing means.

4. A speculum as defined in claim 3, wherein each of said bearing means is a socket, and the side walls of adjacent sockets merge to provide a curved abutment.

5. A speculum as defined in claim 4, wherein said journal means are pivot studs; each of said plurality of bearing means in each ear constitutes a closed end slot, at least one edge of which is undulated, the bottom of the undulations in said one edge of said slot constituting said sockets and the rises of the undulations in said one edge constituting said merged curved abutments.

6. A speculum as defined in claim 5, wherein the other edge of said slot is contoured to provide a closed undulated track within which the associated journal stud is guided generally into a socket as it is shifted, upon proximal end adjustment, away from an adjacent socket.

7. A speculum as defined in claim 4, wherein journal means are coaxial pivot studs which coact with associated pairs of said sockets to enable proximal end adjustment opening of the speculum, at least the portions of said studs which engage said sockets and the bottoms of said sockets constituting portions of cylindrical surfaces to enable relative pivoting of said two blades about the axis of said pivot studs, regardless of the sockets which selectively seat said pivot studs, for distal end adjustment of said speculum.

8. A speculum as defined in claim 4, wherein the bottoms of said sockets in each ear are disposed on a common circular arc, the center of which is located adjacent the distal end of said one blade, whereby the distal ends of both blades in closed condition have the same relative disposition regardless of proximal end adjustment.

9. A speculum as defined in claim 4, wherein the bifurcated portion is integral with said second blade and said sockets are located with their bottoms directed toward the distal end of said second blade and the socket openings and said merged curved abutments face proximally.

10. A speculum as defined in claim 2, wherein two cars comprise a part of said interconnecting means and provide a bifurcated yoke integral with the proximal end of said second blade, and multiple bearing means are included in both ears of said bifurcated yoke; said lever means is integral with said first blade and with the prox imal end of said first blade defines a proximal inspection access throat; and journal means fixed integral with and extending outwardly on opposite sides of said throat comprise another part of said interconnecting means and are pivotally disposed within and adjustable relative to said multiple bearing means in said bifurcated yoke to enable selective proximal blade opening adjustment while. said blades remain assembled by shifting of said throat and fixed journal means between bearing means and selective distal blade opening adjustment by pivoting of said journal means in selected bearing means.

11. A speculum as defined in claim 2, said second blade having a trough shape with side edges and said first blade having an approximately matching inverted trough shape with side edges, separate short depending projections on at least one of said blades, at least one of said projections being located adjacent each of the side edges of the distal end of said one blade and adapted to be disposed immediately adjacent .and inside of the side edges of the other of said blades when said distal ends are closed to provide an interlock between said closed distal ends and inhibit relative lateral shifting of said blades.

12. A speculum as defined in claim 11, wherein said projections are integral with said first blade, and said first blade is slightly shorter than said second blade.

13. A speculum as defined in claim 2, for use as a vaginal speculum, said first blade being the anterior blade and having a wide generally flattened distal end, the terminal edge of said wide end being provided with a concave recess to enable bypassing of the cervix upon elevating of the distal end of said anterior blade, after insertion, into examination position.

14. A speculum as defined in claim.2, for use as a vaginal speculum, wherein said first blade is the anterior blade and said second blade is the posterior blade, said anterior blade is shorter than said posterior blade, and said means enabling relative separation of said proximal ends of said blades, and thereby enabling a plurality of proximal blade opening adjustments while the distal blade ends remain closed, are geometrically arranged relative to a location adjacent the distal end of said posterior blade 10 r so that the spacing between the closed distal ends of said two blades is maintained substantially equal for every proximal end adjustment position.

15. A speculum as defined in claim 2, wherein said handle portion is made structurally integral with said second blade and extends outwardly and rearwardly from said second blade at an obtuse angle.

16. A speculum as defined in claim 2, consisting solely of two pieces, each of which is a structurally integral piece of injection molded non-toxic, high strength, hard plastic, and each piece comprising one of said blades, a portion of said interconnecting means and a portion of said locking means.

17. A speculum as defined in claim 2, for vaginal examination wherein one of said blades is a posteror blade and the other of said blades is a solid anterior blade provided at its distal end with a concave, smoothly contoured recess having a shape and size substantially that of the exterior cross-sectional contour of a cervix whereby said recess is adapted to pass the cervix upon opening adjustment of the distal ends of said speculum for preventing scraping or traumatizing the cervical 0s.

18. A speculum as defined in claim 10, for use as a vaginal speculum, wherein: each multiple bearing means constitutes a closed undulated slot; said journal means are oppositely projecting coaxial journal studs disposed for selectively adjustable, pivotal cooperation in matched pairs of depressions in the undulated slots in said two ears; said first blade being the anterior blade with the terminal edge of its distal end being provided with a concave recess to enable bypassing of the cervix upon elevating of the distal end of said anterior blade, after insertion, into examination position; said posterior blade has a trough shape with side edges; said anterior blade has an approximately matching but shorter inverted trough shape with side edges; and a short depending projection is located adjacent each of the side edges of the distal end of one of said blades and is adapted to be disposed immediately adjacent and inside of the side edges of the other of said blades when said distal ends are closed to provide an interlock between closed distal ends to inhibit relative lateral shifting of said blades.

19. A vaginal speculum as defined in claim 18 wherein: said common locking means comprises a toothed substantially rigid tongue carried by said lever means and projecting toward said handle, and a multiplicity of latch abutment edges on said handle, separate ones of which are adapted to be individually engaged by all teeth on said tongue depending upon the pair of undulation depressions into which said journal studs are selectively placed and upon selective distal end adjustment movement; and said tongue and any selected latch abutment edge on said handle are adapted to coact and maintain said two blades in adjusted positions of proximal opening by abutment of said tongue against the selected latch bar and in adjusted positions of distal opening by latching engagement of a tooth on said tongue with an edge of the selected latch abutment edge on said handle.

20. A speculum comprising: the combination of two members; one member including a first dilator blade and a handle with opposed side ear pieces and multiple bearing means being formed in each ear piece, each multiple bearing means constituting a closed undulated slot; the second member includes a second dilator blade and a proximal lever member defining the proximal throat opening, side portions of said lever means having oppositely projecting coaxial journal studs for selectively adjustable, pivotal cooperation with matched pairs of undulated depressions in said two ears; a toothed substantially rigid tongue carried by said lever means and projecting toward said handle; and a multiplicity of latch abutment edges on said handle, separate ones of which are adapted to be individually engaged by all teeth on said tongue depending upon the pair of undulation depressions into which the journal studs are selectively placed and upon selective distal end adjustment movement; said tongue and any selected latch abutment edge on said handle being adapted to coact and maintain said two blades in adjusted positions of proximal opening by abutment of said tongue against the selected latch bar and in adjusted positions of distal opening by latching engagement of a tooth on said tongue with an edge of the selected latch abutment edge on said handle.

21. A speculum as defined in claim 20, wherein said tongue is centrally dis-posed at the bottom of said throat and the teeth are spaced along said tongue in a circular are about the axis of said journal studs; and separate apertures through said handle provides each of said latch abutment edges.

22. A speculum comprising: a first member with a posterior blade; a second member with an anterior blade; means connecting said members enabling relative opening movement of said blades; said posterior blade having a trough shape with side edges; said anterior blade having an approximately matching but shorter inverted trough shape With side edges; and a short depending projection located adjacent each of the side edges of the distal end of the 12 anterior blade and adapted to be disposed immediately adjacent and inside of the side edges of the posterior blade when said distal ends are closed to provide an interlock between closed distal ends and inhibit relative lateral shifting of said blades.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES John Reyners, Inc., catalogue, 1895, p. 321.

RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.

DALTON L. TRULUOK, Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3568665 *Oct 21, 1968Mar 9, 1971Littorin Ove GustavSpeculum for examination of cavity
US3575163 *Feb 12, 1968Apr 20, 1971Monarch Molding IncVaginal speculum
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US3702606 *Apr 22, 1971Nov 14, 1972Rancray LtdSpeculum
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US3815585 *Mar 12, 1973Jun 11, 1974Bio Analytical Labor IncDisposable vaginal speculum
US3847143 *May 1, 1973Nov 12, 1974Medspecs IncSpeculum
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US5174278 *Nov 26, 1990Dec 29, 1992Beth BabkowDownward rotating speculum with conical shaped blades
US5231973 *Dec 21, 1989Aug 3, 1993Advanced Medical Devices IncorporatedVaginal speculum
US5545122 *Oct 12, 1994Aug 13, 1996Spruill; TheresaInflatable speculum
US6740031Jan 22, 2003May 25, 2004Hier-Spec, Inc.Speculum
US7384393 *Apr 4, 2005Jun 10, 2008Guinan William PVaginal speculum
US8083673Jun 25, 2008Dec 27, 2011Howard Steven RosenExamination apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification600/222
International ClassificationA61B1/32, H04R17/02
Cooperative ClassificationH04R17/02, A61B1/32
European ClassificationA61B1/32, H04R17/02