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Publication numberUS3343534 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 26, 1967
Filing dateJul 25, 1966
Priority dateJul 25, 1966
Publication numberUS 3343534 A, US 3343534A, US-A-3343534, US3343534 A, US3343534A
InventorsJr Sidney F Keoughan, Henrietta K Krzewinski
Original AssigneeJohnson & Johnson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Surgical drape
US 3343534 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

SCP- 25, 1967 s. F. KEOUGHAN, JR., :TAL 3,343,534

SURGICAL DRAPE Fild July 25, 1966 4 sheets-sheet 1 BY fYuLliog/JL LLv L ATTORNEY Sept 26, 1957 s. F. KEOUGHAN, JR., ETAL 3,343,534

SURGICAL DRAPE Filed July 25, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 TWC/QAM@ Cl. "Pil-1MLv j ATTORNEY Sept. 26, 1967 s. F. KEOUGHAN, JR., ET AL 3,343,534

SURGI CAL DRAPE Filed July 25, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet Z5 Sept. 26, 1967 S. F. KEOUGHAN, JR., ET AL SURG I CAL DRAIE 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 25, 1966 ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,343,534 SURGICAL DRAPE Sidney F. Keoughan, Jr., Fanwood, and Henrietta K.

Krzewinski, Gld Bridge, NJ., assignors to Johnson 8c lohnson, a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 25, 1966, Ser. No. 567,467 16 Claims. (Cl. 12S-132) This invention relates to surgical drapes and more particularly to surgical drapes designed to cover the body torso and folded so as to minimize the danger of contamination of the drape, patient, or operating room personnel during the draping procedure.

The draping of a patient is an important step in any surgical or obstetrical procedure. The surgical drape not only protects surgically prepared `areas of the skin from bacteria contamination but in addition protects the gowns of the surgeons and nurses against bacteria contamination through contact with unprepared or -bacteria contaminated areas of the skin which may be a source of infection.

The drapes must be carefully arranged not only to prevent their becoming disarranged during the operation but to avoid contamination of the hands or gown of the nurse or doctor or of the drape itself during its application. When positioning a surgical drape on a patient, the gloved hands of the nurse or doctor should not come in Contact with the skin of the patient. In addition, contact between the hands of the nurse or doctor and portions of the surgical drape which will be in contact with the skin of the patient or which may come in contact with the gowns of the surgical team should be minimized -as should Contact between the skin of the patient and portions of the drape which will be exposed and will be Within the central operative field, ie., lie near the incision, during the operation. This practice is followed even if both of the contacting surfaces are thought to be sterile since Well trained hospital personnel assume that one of these surfaces is in fact contaminated with bacteria.

Only the central front area of a persons gown is considered sterile; and, therefore, the drape, especially portions of the same which will lie within the central oper-ative field, should not come in Contact with the lower half of the nurses or doctors gown during the draping procedure. The drape should also not be held so high as to touch the lights or so low as to touch the floor. Preferably no part of the drape should fall below the level of the operating table if that portion of the drape will eventually lie Iabove the level of the table, since the sterility of all space below this level is always in doubt. For this same reason, the arms of the draping nurse should not be brought below the level of the operating table.

In applying a main torso drape or a half sheet, such as ya lower abdominal drape, to the body, it is very difficult to follow these preferred aseptic techniques. Main drapes and half sheets are relatively long, the former extending from the neck of the patient down to or beyond the pubic area. The same are additionally quite wide so that they not only cover the entire width of the body but also extend down past the edges of the operating table. Thus, in order to provide a compact drape for ease of storage and handling, the same must be folded a multiplicity of times in both the longitudinal and transverse directions.

Surgical drapes of this type have generally been folded in -a haphazard fashion, unrelated to adaptability to approved aseptic procedures. For example, generally no means have been provided for a sterile nurse, i.e., one who has scrubbed with the surgical team, to lift the drape in a completely folded condition from the Mayo stand or instrument table without touching the Mayo stand or table, or in other Words, without the nurse inserting -at least one hand under the drape or grasping its outward edges to prevent its unfolding. Even though the lCC stand or table is considered sterile, contact between the nurse and the stand or table should be avoided for the reasons previously pointed out. When the folded drape is thereafter positioned on the abdomen of the patient prior to unfolding, the hands of the sterile nurse often touch the skin of the patient, again producing danger of bacteria contamination of the nurse.

When these conventionally folded drapes are subsequently unfolded in the longitudinal direction, it has been necessary for the draping nurses or doctors to search through the folded unit for the proper hand grasping positions, and in doing so, the nurses or doctors have often brushed their hands or gown sleeves across the skin of the patient. In addition, of course, this excessive handling of the drape is undesirable. During the actual unfolding, especially where the surgical procedures are such that a portion of the body, such as the head or legs, is suspended above the level of the remainder of the body, the danger of nurse or drape contamination through contact with the skin of the patient is serious. For example, it is particularly difficult to apply lower abdominal drapes or half sheets, folded in the conventional manner, to a patient if the patients legs -are raised, it having been found that the hands of the nurse and the sleeves of the nurses gown often touch the patients legs when it is attempted to position the abdominal drape between the legs. In an attempt to partially reduce this danger of contamination, and because of the haphazard design of the fold itself, two nurses and/or doctors have usually been assigned the task of carrying out the draping procedure. Since central exposed areas of the haphazardly folded drape are handled during the unfolding, both nurses and/or doctors must, of course, be sterile.

After the drape is unfolded lengthwise of the patient, it must still be unfolded in the crosswise direction, again raising the diiiiculties pointed out in the preceding paragraph. In addition, as previously mentioned, main torso drapes or half sheets are quite wide. Thus, it has often been undesirably necessary for the draping nurses, who have had to be sterile for the reasons stated above, to bring their arms down below the level of the operating table to completely open the drape. In opening the drape, rst to one side and then to the other, two nurses, again both sterile, have been required, one on each side of the patient, so that the central position of the drape on the abdomen of the patient is not disturbed.

It is the primary object of this invention to provide a folded surgical drape designed to be applied to a patient according to approved and improved sterile techniques.

In accordance with this primary object, it is an object of this invention to provide a drape which may be applied to the patient by one 'sterile nurse assisted intermittently by a circulating nurse, thus eliminating the necessity for assigning a second sterile nurse to assist in the draping procedure.

It is another object of this invention to provide a compactly folded surgical drape which is susceptible to being applied to a patient through use of a number of alternate aseptic techniques.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a folded surgical drape which may be lifted from its supporting surface in an unfolded condition without the nurse or doctor grasping its exterior edges or inserting a hand between the drape and the supporting surface, and which may be easily carried to the operating table by one nurse or doctor without the nurse or doctor brushing the same against his or her gown.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a folded drape which may be positioned on the abdomen of the patient and simultaneously and/or subsequently unfolded with a minimum danger of the hands or gown sleeve of the nurse or doctor or of outer surfaces of the drape touching the skin of the patient, and without the nurse or doctor bringing his or her hands below the level of the operating table.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a folded drape which may be opened with a minimum of handling of portions of the drape which may lie within the central operative field or which may touch the patient, and which may be opened by the nurse or doctor grasping clearly defined hand grasping areas and.` thereafter performing simple body motions.

According to this invention, uniquely folded surgical drapes are provided which may be easily and rapidly applied to the patient by a variety of aseptic techniques by one sterile nurse assisted intermittently by a circulating nurse and with a minimum risk of bacteria contamination of the patient, nurse, or drape. In general, the drapes comprise a main panel having a top surface and a bottom surface and having essentially opposing first side edge and second side edge, and first end edge and second end edge, and having a portion adjacent the first side edge and a remainder portion. The portion of the main panel adjacent the first side edge is fan-folded to form a rst plurality of stacked folds overlying the top surface of the main panel and to form a first folded unit of generally elongated rectangular shape having opposing exterior side edges, each of the stacked folds overlying at least a portion of each of the underlying of the stacked folds, the innermost of the first plurality of stacked folds overlying only a portion of the remainder portion ofV the main sheet to form a hand receiving flap. A portion of the remainder portion adjacent the second side edge of the main sheet is folded to form a second outermost fold overlying the top surface of the main sheet. The combined width of the two folded portions is no less than 1/2 and preferably /4 of the Width of the main sheet of the drape and thus a drape compactly folded in one direction is provided.

Preferably, the terminal edge of the outermost of the first plurality of stacked folds and the terminal edge of the outermost -second fold lie somewhat inward of the exterior side edges of the first folded unit and the outermost of the first plurality of stacked folds overlies only a portion of the next innermost exposable fold.

In order to provide a drape compactly folded in both major directions, the first folded unit of generally elongated rectangular shape is preferably folded in its lengthwise direction in the above described manner to provide an additional hand receiving ap to aid in the eventual unfolding of the drape. Several specic embodiments of the folded drapes of this invention and procedures of applying the same to a patient according to aseptic techniques will now be described with reference to the drawings in order to point out the advantages of the basic fold and of the preferred variations thereof. In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a View in perspective of a fully open main sheet of a surgical drape and indicates the lines upon which the main sheet may be folded in one direction according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows the drape of FIG. 1 subsequent to the first two steps in the folding of the main sheet and additionally indicates the final step in the folding procedure;

FIG. 3 illustrates the main sheet of the surgical drape of FIGS. 1 and 2 after the folding of the same in one direction is completed;

FIG. 4 illustrates a first step in the unfolding of the folded drape of FIG. 3 after the same has been positioned lengthwise of the patient;

FIG. 5 illustrates a second step in the draping procedure begun in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 illustrates -a final step in the application of the drape of FIG. 3 to a patient;

FIG. 7 illustrates a second drape folded in one direction according to this invention and indicates the manner in which the drape may be folded in the second direction;

FIG. 8 is a cross-section of the drape of FIG. 7 taken along line 8 8; i

FIG. 9 again illustrates the elongated rectangular folded drape of FIG. 3 and additionally indicates the lines upon which the same may be folded in the second, or lengthwise, direction;

FIG. 10 illustrates the drape of FIG. 3 after folding has been completed in the second direction, as indicated in FIG. 9; Y

FIG. 11 shows the drape of FIGS. 7 and 8 after the same has been folded in the second, or lengthwise, direction;

FIG. 12 illustrates an aseptic technique for lifting the folded drape illustrated in FIG. l0 from a supporting surface; Y

FIG. 13 is an illustration of a step of a suitable aseptic technique for the sterile application of the folded drape of FIG. 10 to a patient;

FIG. 14 illustrates a first step in another suitable draping technique utilizing the drape of FIG. 10;

FIG. 15 illustrates a later step in the draping procedure beginning as shown in FIG. 14.

(A) DRAPES FOLDED IN ONE DIRECTION (l) Crosswse of the patient Referring specifically now to FIGS. 1-3, there is illustrated a 5-foot long by 4-foot Wide lower abdominal surgical drape 1 folded in the direction which will be crosswise of the patient according to this invention.

The drape 1 comprises a main panel 2 having a top surface 3 and a bottom surface 4, having a first side edge 6 and a second side edge 5 and a rst end edge 7 and a second end edge 8 and having a portion 9, 25 inches wide, adjacent the first side edge 6 and a remainder portion 17, 23 inches wide. The portion 9 of the main panel 2 adjacent the first side edge 6 is fan-folded along a plurality of essentially longitudinally extending fold lines, F1, F2 and F3, to form an elongated rectangular first folded unit 10 having exterior side edges 11 and 12 and two stacked folds, 15 and 18, overlying the top surface 3 of the main sheet 2. A IO-inch wide portion 13 of the remainder portion 17 of the main panel 2 and adjacent the second side edge 5 of the main panel 2 is folded outward Valong the essentially longitudinally extending fold line F., to overlie a portion 14 of the top surface 3 of the main panel 2. to form an outermost second fold 16.

The innermost fold 1S rof this first plurality, A, of

stacked folds, 15 and 18, overlies only a portion of remainder portion 17 of the main sheet 2 and of outermost second fold 13 to act as a hand receiving ap. Outermost fold 15 of the first plurality, A, of stacked folds overlies only a portion of next innermostexposa-ble fold 18 and of outermost second fold 13 to act as a second hand receiving flap. Thus, a generallyV elongated rectangular first folded unit 10, 13 inches in width, is provided in which the terminal edge 6 of most outward fold 15 of the first plurality, A, of stacked folds and terminal edge 5 of outermost second fold 16 lie inward of exterior side edges 11 and 12 of the first folded unit 10 and in which two offset hand receiving flaps, 15 and 18, opening in the direction toward edge 11 are provided to aid in the opening of the drape.

Although in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 there are two hand receiving aps, 15 and 18, the portion 9 of the main sheet 2 may -be folded inward and outward a plurality of times to provide any number of hand receiving flaps. The number of flaps desired depends essentially on the width of the drape, it being desirable despite the width of the drape to fold the same into a fairly narrow elongated rectangular unit to facilitate the carrying of the unit from the equipment stand to the operative area by one nurse or doctor Without worrying about brushing the same against his or her gown or other objects in the operating room. For this same reason, in

this particular embodiment it is desirable that, as illustrated, a major portion, and preferably substantially all, of each stacked fold in the rst plurality, A, of stacked folds 15 and 18, overlie outermost second fold 13.

It should also be apparent that the various folds of the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 3 may be of any size as long as their relative size is such that the odset hand receiving iiaps, 15 and 18, are provided. However, since it is desirable that the unit 1li be centrally placed on the body and be entirely contained on the body and that the same be thereafter openable in the direction crosswise of the patient Without substantially shifting the position of the drape, it is preferred that the width of remainder portion 17 be between about and about SA; of the total width of the main sheet 2 and that the total width of first folded unit be no greater than about 16 inches.

Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, when applying the folded drape 10 of FIG. 3 to a patient, the same is iirst positioned cnetrally on the patients body, P, with the length of the drape running lengthwise of the patient. Sterile nurse, S, may slip her hands under hand receiving flap and lift the same so that .a portion of the outer surface 19 of the ap 15, which is the bottom surface 4 of the main sheet, may be grasped by the unsterile circulating nurse, U, in the manner illustrated. Since the terminal edge 6 of the outermost fold 15 lies inward of the exterior edges, 11 and 12, of the folded unit 10, there is little or no danger that the sterile nurse, S, will touch the abdomen of the patient, P, and thus contaminate her hands or gown. Since the outermost fold, 15, overlies only a portion of the next innermost exposable fold, 1S, the sterile nurse, S, may quickly place her hands under the ap 15 as shown without searching through the drape for the proper hand insertion position. This eliminates any unnecessary handling of the drape. Since area 26 of the flap 15 grasped by the unsterile nurse, U, is a portion of the inner surface 4 of the drape which will lie down past the edges of the operating table when the drape is open, the area, 20, contaminated by the circulating nurse cannot contact the patient or the gowns of the surgical team.

As the circulating nurse, U, pulls on the flap 15 as shown in FIG. 5, the sterile nurse, S, slips her hands under hand receiving flap 18 an gently presses downward to prevent the drape from shifting from its central position on the abdomen of the patient while the same is being pulled open. Since ap 1S is inset from exterior edges, 11 and 12, of the unit, there is again little or no danger of the sterile nurses hands becoming contaminated through contact with the skin of the patient, and the sterile nurse may quickly locate the proper hand insertion position.

As soon as the drape is fully extended on one side as illustrated in FlG. 6, the `circulating nurse may go about other duties leaving the sterile nurse to finish the draping procedure. This is done by grasping the interior lying edge, 5, of fold 16, lifting fold 16, and allowing that portion of the drape to drop down to the side of the table.

VDuring the entire draping procedure, no portion of the top surface, 3, of the drape touches the patients body. At no point is it necessary for any nurse to reach across to the opposite side of the patient to position the drape, thus the possibility of the nurses gown brushing across the exposed top surface of the drape is eliminated. Further, it is unnecessary to transversely reposition the drape on the patients body at any point in the draping procedure. Since an unsterile circulating nurse may assist in the draping procedure in this manner described, the other sterile nurse previously required is free to participate in other procedures where her time may be more effectively spent.

In FIGS. 7 and 8, there is illustrated another surgical drape, 1a, folded in the direction crosswise of the patient in which both the portion, 9a, of the main sheet, 2a, adjacent rst side edge, 6a, of the main sheet, 2a, and portion, 13a, of remainder portion, 17a, adjacent the second side d edge, 5a, are folded to form two sets of stacked fan-folds, first plurality of stacked folds A and second plurality of stack folds, B. The outermost fold, 15a, of each stack of folds has a terminal edge, 5a and 6a, lying somewhat inward of the exterior edges, 11a and 12a, of the rst folded unit, Titia, and overlies only a portion of the next innermost exposable fold, 15a', to provide two inward opening hand receiving folds. These hand receiving folds, 15a, may be outward opening if desired as in the case of the fold 15 of the earlier described embodiment shown in FG. 3.

In its preferred form, the innermost fold, 18a, in each stack of folds is overlain only partially by each of the more outward lying folds, 15a", 15a, 15a', and 15a, and there is a gap 21 between the two stacks, A' and B, of folds to thus deiine two hand grasping flaps, 5t), in addition to the two hand receiving aps, 15a.

The drape shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is essentially symmetrically folded so that it may be positioned `centrally on the patient prior to unfolding. By symmetrically folded, it is meant that the width of any one of the folded portions, S-a or 17a, is no more than 1.25 times the width of the other folded portion. In addition, to provide a compact drape, the combined width of the folded portions should be no less than about 5A of the Width of the main sheet.

In aseptically unfolding the folded drape 10a shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 in the transverse direction after it has been positioned centrally on a patient, two alternate procedures may suitably be followed. First, the sterile nurse may stand on one side of the patient and reach across and lift flap 15u of stack A of folds so that the unsterile nurse may grasp the underside of flap 15a, the underside of aps v15a being the underside, 4a, of the drape. The sterile nurse then may press gently downward on the main sheet 2a in the area defined by gap 21 or on the second stack,

B, of folds while the unsterile nurse pulls open her stack,

A, of folds in the manner previously described. The sterile nurse may then grasp the flap 15a of the second stack, B, of folds and pull the second stack of folds open to complete the draping procedure.

Alternatively, the sterile nurse may eiciently and effectively open the drape, 16a, unaided by reaching over from one side of the drape to grasp hand grasping flap 59 of stack A of folds and lift the same in a manner similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 14 and l5 to cause the overlying folds, 15a, 15a', 15a, and 15a", to fall down over the edge of the table. T he sterile nurse may then reverse sides and repeat the procedure to open the second stack, B, of folds. While this draping procedure may be followed in the absence of clearly defined hand grasping flaps, 18a, which are clearly defined by virtue of the gap, 21, and inset overlying folds, 15a, 15a', 15a", and 15a, these features materially facilitate the use of this procedure.

(2) Longz'tudinally of the patient The preceding discussion has described with particularity the folding of surgical drapes crosswise of the patient. These same folded drapes may also be used as surgical drapes folded longitudinally of the patient. In so using a drape of the type illustrated in FIG. 3 and FIG. 7 and 8, the drape is rst positioned on the abdomen of the patient with its length in the crosswise direction and either the procedures of FIGS. 4-6 or the other procedures previously described essentially followed with each nurse standing somewhat away from one side of the operating table and reaching inward with one hand to perform the draping procedure. The .drapes should be positioned initially so that when fully opened, the portion touched by the circulating nurse, U, lies inward toward the patient well outward of the central operative field.

(B) DRAPES FOLDED IN TWO DIRECTIONS As previously stated, in order to provide a compact drape for easy handling and storage, the same must generally be folded along both major axis. Referring again to FIG. 3, once the main sheet, 2, is folded in one direction according to this invention to form the generally elongated rectangular first folded unit, 10, the drape is suitably folded in the second direction in a number of ways. The folds previously described in conjunction with the folding of the drape in one direction to form the generally elongated rectangular first folded unit 10 may also be used to fold the elongated rectangular unit in its lengthwise direction to thus provide a compactly folded drape and one which may be unfolded in both the lengthwise and crosswise direction in the advantageous manner described earlier. Even if the elongated rectangular unit is folded in a manner not within the present inventive concept, the same may be folded in its lengthwise direction according to this invention to obtain the advantages previously pointed out in the unfolding in that one direction.

It has been surprisingly found that if the elongated rectangular first folded unit, no matter how formed, is folded in its lengthwise direction utilizing certain of the folds previously described, the folded drape provided affords advantages in the draping procedure above and beyond those already described.

Referring specifically to FIG. 9, the -foot long, 14- inch wide, generally elongated rectangular first folded unit has first end edge 51 and second end edge 52, a portion 169 adjacent first end edge 51 and a remainder portion 117. The portion 109 adjacent first end edge 51 and a portion 113 of remainder portion 117 adjacent second end edge 52 are fan-folded along a plurality of essentially longitudinally extending fold lines, F5, F6, and Ff, to form a compact second folded unit, 160, having two stacks, C and D, of folds. The terminal edges, 22, of each outermost fold, 115, lie inward of the exterior end edges, 24 and 25, of the second folded unit, 100. Outermost folds 11S overlie only a portion of innermost folds 118 which in turn together overlie only a portion of the central portion, 23, of the first folded unit and thus define a gap, 121, between the stacks, C and D, of folds.

The innermost folds 118 may together overlie the entire central portion 23, thus eliminating the gap, 121, however, it is preferable that a gap, 121, exist to facilitate the grasping of the edges, 26, of the folds 118 in the manner both previously and hereinafter described. For this same reason, it is preferred that the outermost fold 115 overlie only a portion of the innermost fold 118 to further facilitate grasping of edges, 26, of folds 118 and to define hand grasping flaps 150. This is accomplished in the embodiment illustrated by underfolding marginal end portions 27 of the first folded unit 1f) along fold lines F8.

Referring now to FIG. 11, the elongated rectangular first folded unit 10a of FIG. 7 is folded in a manner similar to that just described to form second folded unit 100g except that the stacks E and F of folds contain many more folds and the inner edges of the folds are essentially congruent so as to eliminate the hand grasping fiaps, and the stacks are close enough together to essentially eliminate the gap, 121:1. When applying this embodiment to a patient as hereinafter described, the draping nurse or doctor will have to search somewhat for the edge 126:1 of innermost fold 118e.

The drapes illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 are compact and may be lifted from the Mayo stand or utility table and carried to the operative area with a minimum danger of contamination of the nurse or drape. Referring again to FIGS. 10 and 12, the sterile nurse or doctor should lift the drape, 100, from the Mayo stand or table by first grasping innermost folds 118 between the first and second fingers, placing the remaining fingers across outermost folds 115. The nurse or doctor then presses his or her hands toward each other, i.e., toward the center of the second folded unit 1G41, while pinching areas 2S in the central portion 23 between the thumb and first finger and lifts the folded drape to the position shown in FIG.

12. The folded drape, g, shown in FIG. 11- may be lifted from the table and carried in this same manner.

The drape is thus lifted from the supported surface without any incident unfolding and with a minimum danger of the draping nurse 4or doctor touching the surface of the Mayo stand or utility table lying outward of the exterior end edges, 24 and 25, of the second folded unit, 160. The folded drape 100 is compact enough to be carried in the position illustrated in FIG. 12 from the Mayo stand or utility table to the operative area, there being little chance that the same will brush against either the nurses gown or other objects situated in the operating room.

In the next step in the draping procedure, the drape must be positioned on the patients body. This may suitably be done by simply lowering the unit to the abdomen carefully so as to allow the folded drape to flatten out and again take a position, now on the patients body, similar to that illustrated in FIG. 10. However. when using certain of the novel drapes of this invention, another a'septic technique is available for applying the drape to the patient which eliminates completely any danger of the nurse becoming contaminated through contact with the skin of the patient, this danger though small because of the design of these folded drapes nevertheless still being existent when the nurse directly placesv the folded unit on the abdomen of the patient. By using this procedure, the drape is positioned on the patient and unfolded in one direction simultaneously through the efforts of only one nurse or doctor.

Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13 and utilizing the lower abdominal half sheet illustrated in FIG. 10, the nurse, S, after lifting the drape as previously described may hold the folded drape 100 as shown in FIG. 12 so as to be first -openable lengthwise of the patient. As shown in FIG. 13, the nurse, S, then releases the outermost folds, 115, while bringing the hands apart, and releasing her grip at points 28 in the central area 23 of the drape, the drape assuming the double inverted V configuration shown.

It has been found that when such a drape, if less than about 7 feet and preferably less than about 5 feet in length when fully opened, is then dropped `as shown to the abdomen of the patient, P, the 'same will open longitudinally of the patient. The center area, 23, of the folded unit tends to contact the abdomen first since the abdomen is generally the highest point on the reclined body, and because air trapped in each V, 39, of the falling drape Vtends to cause the portions 31 of the sheet to billow outward and upward. These portions, 31, lying outward of the inner edge 26 of fold V118 and hand grasping fiap 15G, have a further tendency to billow outward due to the creases of the outward folds along fold lines F7 and F8. When marginal end portions 27 strike the body, the drape tends also to slide open because of the usually downward slope of the body from the abdomen to the feet and to the chest.

In drapes which are to be applied using this aseptic technique, the marginal end edge portions, 27, of the first folded unit should be folded under outermost fold 115, and outermost fold should be outward opening as shown so that the final two folds in the drape, on fold line F7 and fold line F8, will be outward bending folds which aid in the longitudinal opening of the drape as previously described. For this same reason, these outward folds should be well creased. This may usually be accomplished inherently during the sterilization of the folded drape. It has also been found that this technique of draping the patient is most successful if the length of each portion 31 of the drape is between about 3A to about 11/4 times the length of the portion 32 lying between the portions 31.

A similar technique may be used if the drape is to be opened first crosswise of the patient. The nurse may hold the drape over the patient in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. l2, however, in the crosswise direction. The nurse may release the folds as shown in FIG. 13 and drop or lower the drape crosswise on the patient. When the drape is to be applied thereby, the dimensions previously said to be limiting are not limiting and the drape may be of any size. Also, the structural limitations previously stated to be important in the preceding paragraph are of little importance and a drape of the type illustrated in FIG. l1 will function equally as well as one of the type illustrated in FIG. l0.

If this technique of simultaneously lowering and opening the drape is not used and the drape is lowered onto the body in the folded state, the same must, of course, then be subsequently unfolded. As mentioned previously, during the unfolding, there is always some danger that the nurse may drag her sleeve across portions of the body which are to be protected and, especially in certain procedures, it is quite possible that she may touch the raised legs of the patient, thus contaminating her hands or grown. Referring once more to the drape illustrated in FIG. 10, it has been found that such a drape, less than 7 feet and preferably less than 5 feet in length, once positioned in a folded condition on the patient may be unfolded lengthwise by a sterile nurse unaided according to a special aseptic technique. This technique is illustrated in FlGS. 14 and 15. The folded drape, 100, is placed on the abdomen of the patient by the sterile nurse or doctor who then grasps the interior edge, 26, of each of innermost folds, 118, in turn and lifts the same upward. This lifting vcauses the folds, 115, overying the innermost fold, 118, to he forced open. Due to the natural downward curvatures of the body and the outward bearing folds along fold line F7 and Fs, the drape opens essentially completely in the longitudinal direction. By opening the drape in this manner, there is no danger of the sterile nurse brushing her sleeve or hand across the skin of the patient or against the legs or neck of the patient.

When the drape, 169, is opened according to this technique, the top surface, 33, of outermost fold, 11S, contacts the skin of the patient. Thus, the top surface of this fold, 115, must be the bottom surface of the drape. if the marginal end edge portion, 27, of the main sheet is not underfolded, when the drape is opened there would be a possibility of fold 115 turning over so that the underside, 34, of the fold, which is a portion of the top surface, 4, of the drape, would touch the skin of the patient. When end portion 2'7 is underfolded, fold 115 is essentially prevented from turning over.

Specific embodiments of the inventive concept have been described, however, the same should not be construed to limit the invention which is limited only by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A folded surgical drape comprising a main sheet having a top surface and a bottom surface and having essentially opposing rst side edge and second side edge and first end edge and second end edge and having a portion adjacent the first side edge and a remainder portion,

the portion of the main sheet adjacent said first side edge being fan-folded to form a first plurality of stacked folds overlying said top surface of said main sheet and a first folded unit having opposing exterior side edges, each of said stacked folds overlying at least a portion of each of the underlying of said stacked folds and of said remainder portion and said first plurality of stacked folds having an outermost fold, a next innermost exposable fold, and an innermost fold,

the innermost fold of the first plurality of stacked folds overlying only a portion of the remainder portion of the main sheet to form a hand receiving iiap, the outermost fold of said first plurality of stacked folds having a terminal edge which lies if? somewhat inward of said exterior side edges of said first folded unit, and overlying only a portion of the next innermost exposable fold to form a second hand receiving iiap,

a portion of said remainder portion adjacent said second side edge of said main sheet being folded to form an outermost second fold overlying said top surface of said main sheet, and said second outermost fold having a terminal edge which lies somewhat inward of said interior side edges of said first folded unit, and said innermost fold of said first plurality of stacked folds overlying only a portion of said second outermost fold.

the combined width of said portion adjacent said first side edge of said main sheet and said portion of said remainder portion adjacent said second side edge of said main sheet being no less than 1/2 of the width of said main sheet, to provide a drape compactly folded in at least one direction.

2. The surgical drape of claim 1 in which at least a major portion of each of said first plurality of stacked folds overlies at least a portion of said outermost second fold.

3. The surgical drape of claim 1 in which the width of said remainder portion of said main sheet is between about and about 5/s of the width of the main sheet and in which said first folded unit is no greater than about 16 inches in width and in which the exterior side edges of each of said plurality of stacked folds are essentially in registry with the exterior side edges of said folded unit.

4. The surgical drape of claim 1 in which said portion of said remainder portion of said main sheet adjacent said second side edge is fan-folded to form a second and independent plurality of stacked folds overlying a portion of said top surface of said main sheet to define a second hand receiving flap, each of said folds in said second plurality of stacked folds overlying at least a portion of each underlying one of said second plurality of stacked folds, said second plurality of stacked folds having an innermost fold, an outermost fold, and a next innermost exposable fold and the outermost fold of said second plurality of stacked folds overlying a portion of the next innermost exposable fold.

5. The surgical drape of claim 4 in which said innermost fold of each of said stacks of folds is overlain only partially by each more outward lying fold in its stack to thus deiine two hand grasping flaps.

6. The surgical drape of claim 4 in which said portion of said main sheet adjacent said first side edge of said main sheet and said portion of said remainder portion adjacent said second side edge of said main sheet have a combined width which is at least about 3%4 of the width of said main sheet and in which each of said side edge adjacent portions is no greater than about 1.25 times the width of the other of said side edge adjacent portions and in which the exterior side edges of each of said plurality of stacked folds are essentially in registry with the exterior side edges of said folded unit.

7. A folded survical drape comprising a main sheet having a top surface and a bottom surface and having essentially opposing first side edge and second side edge and first end edge and second end edge and having a portion adjacent the first side edge and a remainder portion, said main sheet being of generally elongated rectangular shape, the distance from said first side edge of said main sheet to said second side edge of said main sheet being substantially greater than the distance from said rst end edge of said main sheet to said second end edge of said main sheet,

the portion of the main sheet adjacent said rst side edge being fan-folded to form a rst plurality of stacked folds overlying said top surface of said main sheet and a first folded unit having opposing exterior side edges, each of said stacked folds overi i lying at least a portion of each of the underlying of said stacked folds and of said remainder portion and said first plurality of stacked folds having an outermost fold, a next innermost exposable fold, and an innermost fold, the innermost fold of the first plurality of stacked folds overlying only a portion of the remainder portion of the main sheet to form a hand receiving ap,

a portion of said remainder portion of said main sheet adjacent said second side edge being fan-folded to form a second and independent plurality of stacked folds overlying a portion of said top surface of said main sheet to define a second hand receiving fiap, each of said folds in said second plurality of stacked folds overlying at least a portion of each underlying one of said second plurality of stacked folds, said second plurality of stacked folds having an innermost fold, an outermost fold, and a next innermost exposable fold.

the combined width of said portion adjacent said first side edge of said main sheet and said portion of said remainder portion adjacent said second side edge of said main sheet being no less than 1/2 of the width of said main sheet, to provide a drape compactly folded in that direction, said first plurality of stacked folds and said second plurality of stacked folds being relatively thin and generally capable of being grasped between the first and second fingers of the human hand, whereby a compactly folded surgical drape is provided which may be lifted from a supporting surface and carried about the operating room with a minimum danger of contamination of the nurse or drape.

8. The surgical drape of claim 7 in which the distance from said first side edge to said second side edge of said main sheet is no greater than about 7 feet and in which said innermost fold of each of said first plurality of folds and said second plurality of folds is overlain only partially by each more outward lying fold in its stack to thus define a pair of hand grasping flaps designed to facilitate the opening of the drape.

9. The surgical drape of claim 8 in which said two stacks of folds define a gap -separating said stacks and in which each of said outermost folds of said stacks of folds has a terminal edge lying inward of said exterior side edges of said first folded unit and defines an outward opening fiap, and in which a marginal side edge portion of said main sheet is folded under each of said outermost folds, said main sheet being well creased along the edges of said outermost folds. Y

10. The surgical drape of claim 9 in which each of said innermost folds has an interior edge and in which the length of each of the portions of said main sheet lying between said interior edges of said innermost folds and said side edges of said main sheet is between about 0.75 to about 1.25 times the length of that portion of said main sheet lying between the interior edges of said innermost folds.

11. T he surgical drape of claim 7 in which the distance from said first side edge to said second side edge of said main sheet is no greater than about 7 feet and in which the top surface of each of said outermost folds is the bottom surface of said main sheet.

12. The surgical drape of claim 11 in which each of said innermost folds of said stacks of folds is overlain only partially by the more outward lying folds in its stack to define a pair of hand grasping flaps and in which a marginal side edge portion of said main sheet is folded under each of said outermost folds, said main sheet being well creased along the edges of said outermost folds.

13. The surgical drape of claim l in which said first folded unit has a first end edge and a second end edge, a top surface and a bottom surface, a portion adjacent said first end edge, a portion adjacent said second end edge, and a central portion, and said'first folded unit being of generally elongated rectangular shape the distance from said first end edge of said main sheet to said second end edge of said first folded unit being substantially greater than the distance from said first side edge of said first folded unit to said second side edge of said first folded unit,

the portions of said rst folded unit adjacent said first end edge and said second end edge being folded to form a first and second plurality of stacked folds, respectively, overlying the top surface of said first folded unit to form a second folded unit having essentially opposing exterior end edges, each of said stacks of folds having an outermost fold, a next innermost exposable fold, and an innermost fold, said two stacks of folds defining a gap separating the same,

each of said folds in each of said stacks of folds overlying at least a portion of each underlying fold in its stack, said innermost fold of each of said first plurality of folds and said second plurality of folds being overlain only partially by each more outward lying fold in its stack to thus define a pair of hand grasping aps designed to facilitate the opening of the drape, said outermost fold of each of said stacks of folds having a terminal edge lying inward of said exterior end edges of said first folded unit and delining an outward opening flap, and marginal end portions of said first folded unit being folded Linder each of said outermost folds,

the combined width of said portions of said first folded unit folded to form said second folded unit being no less than about 1/2 of the length of said first folded unit, the distance from said first end edge to said second end edge of said first folded unit being no greater than about 7 feet, said first plurality of stacked folds and said second plurality of stacked folds being relatively thin and generally capable of being grasped between the first and second fingers of the human hand.

i4. A surgical drape of claim 16 in which the distance from said first side edge and second side edge of said main sheet is no greater than about 5 feet, and in which the exterior side edges of each of said plurality of stacked folds are essentially in registry with the exterior side edges of said folded unit.

15. The surgical drape of claim 13 in which the innermost fold of the first plurality of stacked folds and the second plurality of stacked folds of said second folded unit has an interior edge and in which the length of each of the portions of said first folded unit lying between said interior edges of said innermost folds of said second folded unit and said end edges of said first folded unit is between about 0.75 to about 1.25 times the length of that portion of said first folded unit lying between the interior edges of said innermost folds of said second folded unit.

16. The surgical drape of claim 1 in which said first folded unit has a first end edge and a second end edge, a top surface and a bottom surface, a portion adjacent said first end edge, a portion adjacent said second end edge and a central portion, Y

the portion of said first folded unit adjacent said first end edge being fan folded to form a plurality of stacked folds overlying the top surface of said first folded unit to form a second folded unit having essentially opposing exterior end edges, said stack of folds having an outermost fold, a next innermost exposable fold and an innermost fold,

the innermost fold of the first plurality of stacked folds overlying only a portion of the central portion of the first folded unit to form a hand receiving flap, the outermost fold of said first plurality of stacked folds having a terminal edge which lies somewhat inward of said exterior end edges of said second folded unit, and overlying only a portion of the next innermost exposable fold,

a portion of said rst folded unit adjacent said second end edge being folded inward to form a second outermost fold overlying the top surface of said first folded unit, said second outermost fold having a terminal edge which lies somewhat inward of said exterior end edges of said second folded unit, and said innermost fold of said rst plurality of stacked folds overlying only a portion of said second outermost fold,

the combined width of said portion adjacent said iirst side edge and said portion adjacent said second side edge being no less than 1/z of the width of said iirst folded unit to provide a drape compactly folded in two directions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Hunt 206-57 Campbell 206-57 Cofrin 206-57 Winter et al. 206-57 Steenberger 12S-156 X Burns 206-57 Pereny et al. 206-632 Lambert 2-174 ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3613676 *Aug 15, 1969Oct 19, 1971Kimberly Clark CoGeneral purpose disposable obstetrical and surgical leggings
US3653502 *May 11, 1970Apr 4, 1972Pratt Mfg CorpPackaged surgical pad having protected wound-contacting surface and method of packaging same
US3750663 *Nov 24, 1971Aug 7, 1973Kendall & CoLithotomy drape
US3783862 *Jul 7, 1971Jan 8, 1974Kimberly Clark CoSurgical towel
US3791381 *Sep 29, 1971Feb 12, 1974Johnson & JohnsonUniversal surgical drape
US3795309 *Oct 20, 1972Mar 5, 1974Johnson & JohnsonSkin prepping set for surgical procedures
US4166461 *Feb 10, 1978Sep 4, 1979The Buckeye Cellulose CorporationSurgical drape
US4479492 *Dec 13, 1982Oct 30, 1984Kimberly-Clark CorporationBilateral split surgical drape
US5921242 *May 6, 1997Jul 13, 19993M Innovative Properties CompanyDrape sheets for use in surgical procedures
US6196287 *Aug 12, 1996Mar 6, 2001Robert W. HaberkornCourier expressable cargo quilt and method therefor
US6478061 *Dec 11, 2000Nov 12, 2002Robert W. HaberkornCourier expressable cargo quilt and method therefor
WO1998049965A1Apr 9, 1998Nov 12, 1998Minnesota Mining & MfgSurgical drape
Classifications
U.S. Classification128/855, 2/457, 2/901, 206/440, 206/494
International ClassificationA61B19/08
Cooperative ClassificationY10S2/901, A61B19/08, A47K2010/428
European ClassificationA61B19/08