US 3363751 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 16, 1968 w S AVE ETAL 3,363,751
NEEDLE SUTURE PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 6, 1966 LEONARD D. KURTZ wlLp m H. SHAVE' BY 2.5 (Da /91 ATTORNEYS v Jan. 16, 1968 w. H. SHAVE ET AL NEEDLE SUTURE PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2- Filed Oct. 6, 1966 v INVENTORS v LEONARD KURTZ WILLIAM H. SHAVE BY ()q/Mf ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,363,751 NEEDLE SUTURE PACKAGE William H. Shave, Roosevelt, and Leonard D. Kurtz, Woodmere, N.Y., assignors to Deknatel Hnc. Filed Oct. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 584,731 6 Claims. (Cl. 206-4533) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A needle suture package wherein the main portion of the suture is disposed in a zig-zag pattern between two layers of packaging film with an end portion of the suture being trained over an edge of one of the packaging layers so that the suture needle is separated from the suture by a layer of packaging material.
This invention relates to surgical packages, and in particular it relates to an improved needle suture package and an improved method for packaging needle sutures.
A needle suture is generally employed in the intense environment of an operating room or at least under conditions where the person, for example, a surgeon, applying the suture must concentrate on the condition of a patient. In this situation, unnecessary handling of the suture, such as for removal of would divert the attention of the surgeon from his main area of concern. Moreover, in an operating room, even the efforts of attendants such as nurses should not be Wasted in performing unnecessary tasks. With this in mind, it has been recognized heretofore that the suture package should be designed in such manner as to -facilitate handling of the suture. However, previous suture packages have not been entirely satisfactory in maximizing expeditious handling of the needle suture.
The purpose of the present invention is to provide a needle suture package and a method for packaging a needle suture wherein the needle suture may be handled in the most expeditious and efficient manner possible.
To fully understand the problems encountered in designing a suture package, the environment in which the suture is used must be considered in greater detail. As noted above, the surgeon will normally rely upon other personnel, for example a nurse, to remove the suture from the package and hand it to him for use at the precise moment when needed. Generally, the nurse must remove the suture from the package and lay it out uncoiled and straight on a suture towel so that it can be reached quickly when needed. Then, when the surgeon calls for the suture the nurse will reach the needle suture and remove it from the suture towel and deliver it to the surgeons hand. It can be seen that with this procedure much of the nurses time and effort is required to handle the suture. This is an extremely inefiicient arrangement when it is realized that the time and effort of a nurse in an operating room must be spent in the most expeditious and efficient manner possible.
With the suture package of the present invention, unlike any suture package known heretofore, ideal condi tions are obtained, and handling of the suture is reduced to an obsolute minimum. With the present invention the preliminary step of removing the needle suture from the package and placing it on the suture towel is completely eliminated. Rather, with the present invention Where the nurse previously placed the uncoiled suture, she can now place the suture package of the present invention with the suture still contained therein. This new and unobvious result is obtained with the needle suture package of the present invention because the package is so designed that one may pull the suture directly out of the package with practically the same ease and speed previously rea suture from a package,
quired to remove the suture from the suture towel. That is, the suture can be pulled directly out of the package in condition for immediate use without any unwinding or other manipulation of the suture. Moreover, the suture, so removed from the suture package is obsolutely free of tangles. Any previously known suture package which Was not adapted for direct pulling of the suture could not be handled in the same manner since tangling would inevitably occur.
Thus, one purpose of this invention is to provide a new and improved suture package which maximizes expeditious handling of the suture.
Briefly, the package of the present invention comprises three layers of packaging material with the main portion of the suture placed in a linear zigzag arrangement between the bottom and middle layers, and the needle end between the middle and top layers.
According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the suture package includes a rectangular sheet of packaging material divided by two transverse fold lines into a main section, and first and second panels. The suture is placed onto the main section with a linear zigzag back and forth motion by first placing that end of the suture opposite from the needle end at a point on the main section, and then progressing from that point to one edge of the rectangular sheet and then back across the sheet to the other edge, laying each new line of the suture parallel to, and next to the previous line of the suture until a relatively small leftover portion, including the needle, remains. At this point the first panel is folded over the linearly arranged portion of the suture to imprison the same between the main section and the first panel. The leftover portion of the suture containing the needle is then placed on top of the first panel, and the second panel is placed over the needle thereby imprisoning the same between the first and second panels. Suitable labeling may be provided on the outside of the second panel.
The direct and tangle free removal of the suture is made possible by the linear, or zig-zag arrangement of the main portion of the suture. Between packaging and removal the rows forming the zigzag arrangement will move laterally and tend to overlap each other. This movement does not render the package inoperative. However it is important that the rows remain approximately parallel to each other and have no tendency to unbend at the ends where successive rows join. Because of this requirement it can be seen that the invention is particularly suit-able for use with a suture made of a relatively flaccid material rather than one of a highly resilient material having much inherent spring-back.
To remove the suture from the package it is necessary only to separate the second panel slightly from the first panel with one hand and tilt the package slightly downward so that the needle falls free. The needle w ll thus be presented to the other hand of the operator in such a position that it may be readily grasped to pull the suture from the package while holding the package with the first hand. A straight uncoiled needle suture, completely untangled, is thus presented, when needed, to be taken directly and immediately from the package. It should also be noted that when the needle falls downwardly, the neck behind the needle proper is presented to the hand of the operator so that there is no need to unnecessarily contaminate the needle point. Also the chances of the operator inadvertently sticking himself with the tip of the needle are reduced.
An extra advantage provided by the present invention is that more efficient and more useful labeling of the suture is made possible. Previously, the suture was removed completely, from its package and laid out on the suture towel. Consequently, accurate identification of the suture at that point was severely hampered. On the other hand, since the present invention allows the suture to remain in its package until the moment it is delivered to the hand of the surgeon for use, it is manifest that the suture will be properly identified and labeled at all times, thereby avoiding confusion and possible use of the wrong type of suture.
Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved needle suture package from which a suture may be removed directly, immediately, and completely tangle free.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a suture package having three layers with the main portion of the suture arranged in a linear zig-zag pattern between the bottom and middle layers and with the needle end of the suture arranged between the middle and top layers.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a method for packaging a suture needle which will provide immediate and tangle free removal of the suture from the package.
Other objects and the attendant advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the detailed description to follow of a prefered embodiment of the invention, together with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURES 1-3 illustrate three steps to be followed in placing the suture within the package and in forming the closed package.
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a needle suture package according to the present invention, and partially cut away to show the needle.
FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrate two steps required to open the package and remove the needle suture therefrom.
FIGURES 7-9 illustrate another embodiment of the invention.
FIGURES 10-12 illustrate still another embodiment of the invention.
FIGURES l3 illustrate the procedure for arranging the needle suture within a suture package. First a rectangular sheet of material 10 is formed with the first fold line 11 and a second fold line 12 thereby dividing the sheet into three portions, a first panel A, a main section B and a second panel C. The sheet 10 is bounded by a first side edge 13 and a second side edge 14 and by a first end 15 and a second end 16. The needle suture having a first end 22 and a needle end 21 is placed on the main section of the sheet Ill between fold lines 11 and 12 starting from the end 22 and continuing in a zig-zag manner so that each line is parallel to, and next to the previous line. This zig-zag placement is continued until a small portion including the needle 21 remains. This leftover portion extends outwardly beyond the side edge 14- shown in FIGURE 1. Next, the first panel A is folded about fold line 12 to cover and imprison the linear zig-zag arrangement of suture 20.
Next, the leftover portion including needle 21 is folded about the side of panel A on edge M as shown in FIG- URE 2 so that it lies above the panel A after that panel has been folded over to cover the linear arrangement of suture 20.
Finally, the second panel C is folded over the top of panel A thereby enclosing the needle 21 between the panels A and C. FIGURES 3 illustrates this final step of folding the panel C over the panel A to imprison the needle 21 as shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 4 illustrates the final package with a portion of the panel C cut away to show the needle end 21. The linearly arranged suture 20 is held beneath the panel A above the main section B, the leftover portion including the needle 21 is held firmly between panels A and C, and the proper label is placed on the outside of panel C.
FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrate the procedural steps required to remove the needle suture from the package.
The panel C is lifted with the left hand while the thumb of the left hand exerts a slight pressure on the panel A thereby holding the suture in place. However, this thumb is placed on the panel A at a point remote from the needle 21. The package is then tilted slightly so that the leftover portion of the suture containing the needle 21 falls freely as shown in FIGURE 5. As also shown in FIGURE 5, with this arrangement the neck of the suture, that is, the portion immediately behind the actual needle, is presented so that it may be easily grasped by the right hand.
The ease of operating the present invention is shown in FIGURE 6. Now the right hand has pulled the suture directly and immediately from the package and it is important to note that with the present invention, there are no tangles in the removed suture.
FIGURES 5 and 6 also show how handling of the suture may be reduced to an absolute minimum. The left hand may be that of a nurse presenting the package to the surgeon; and the right hand may be that of the surgeon removing the suture directly from the package for immediately use.
The complete absence of tangles is derived from the overall arrangement of the suture within the package and particularly the linear zig-zag arrangement of the main portion of the suture. Tests have shown that the tangling effect is zero. Recently tests were conducted and sutures were pulled out of packages 1,000 times and not a single tangle occurred.
FIGURES 79 illustrate a modified package construction which differs from the embodiment of FIGURES l6 in that the panel A is located on a fold line 12, adjacent to, rather than across from, the panel C. The procedures for placing the suture in and removing it from this package are exactly the same as in the embodiment of FIGURES l6 except that the panel A is folded over the suture 2% in a direction perpendicular to rather than parallel to the direction in which the panel C is folded.
FIGURES 1012 illustrate still another embodiment of the invention. This embodiment differs from that of FIGURES 16 in that the panel C is attached to the panel A rather than directly to the main section B. In other respects the construction and operation of this embodiment is the same as the previous embodiments.
Of course the present suture package is an open package. Thus to provide proper sterilization the package of the present invention will be enclosed within a sealed outer envelope. The sheet material 16 should of course be stiff enough to hold the zig-zag suture layers in place. However, aside from this basic functional requirement, any material may be used to form the package.
Also since the surgeon may pull the needle from the suture package it is possible to provide proper identification of the suture not only up until the last minute, but also to provide this identification to the surgeon as he uses the package, without in any way reducing the surgeons operating efficiency.
While the invention has been described in considerable detail with respect to certain preferred embodiments thereof, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the two side panels may be provided at locations other than those shown so long as the one edge of the main section over which the leftover portion of the needle suture extends is left free for pulling the suture from the package.
If desired three side panels could be employed rather than tWo-for example, to provide greater strength or to hold the package suture in place more firmly.
In some circumstances, for example where it is contemplated that the package will undergo little or no handling prior to use, it would be possible to eliminate the second panel completely, either allowing the needle end to remain free or attaching the needle end directly to the top of the first panel in any convenient manner.
1. A package containing a suture having a needle attached thereto comprising: a flexible package material folded to form at least a bottom and a second layer, the suture being imprisoned between the bottom and the second layer of the packaging material with the main portion of the suture, except for the needle, being disposed in a zig-zag pattern, and retained in the zigzag pattern by engagement of the suture with the bottom and the second layers, the suture being trained over an edge of the second layer so that the suture needle is disposed against that side of the second layer opposite the side of the second layer against which the main portion of the suture is disposed, whereby by pulling the suture needle, the attached suture may be removed from between the second and bottom layers of the packaging material.
2. A package containing a suture having a needle attached thereto comprising: a flexible packaging material folded to form at least bottom, middle and top layers, the suture being imprisoned between the bottom and middle layers of the packaging material with the main portion of the suture except for the needle being disposed in a zig-zag pattern, and retained in the zig-zag pattern by engagement of the suture with the bottom and the second layers, the suture being trained over an edge of the middle layer with the suture needle being disposed between the middle and top layers of the packaging material whereby by separating the top layer of packaging material from the middle layer the suture needle is exposed and by pulling the suture needle the attached suture may be removed from between the middle and bottom layers of the packaging material.
3. A package for a suture having a needle attached thereto, comprising: a flexible package having at least three layers, the bottom layer being a main section and the middle and top layers being first and second panels, respectively, at least the first panel being connected to the main section along an edge of said main section, the
main section having at least one free edge, the main portion of the needle suture, except for the needle attached thereto, being arranged in a zig-zag pattern as a plurality of generally parallel lines between the main section and first panel, and retained in the zigzag pattern by engagement of the suture with the main section and first panel, the suture being trained over an edge of the first panel With the said needle being located between the first and second panels, whereby by separating the second panel from the first panel the suture needle is exposed, and by pulling the suture needle the attached suture may be removed from between the main section and first panel.
4. A package as claimed in claim 3 wherein the said second panel is connected to the main section along an edge of said main section opposite from and generally parallel to the edge connection of the first panel to the main section.
5. A package as claimed in claim 3 wherein the second panel is connected to the main section along an edge thereof at an angle to the connection of said main section with the first panel.
6. A package as claimed in claim 3 wherein the second panel is connected directly to the first panel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,317,200 4/ 1943 Kinney 206-64 X 2,689,644 9/ 1954 Buddecke 206-64 2,804,973 9/ 1957 Buddecke 206-64 3,136,418 6 /1964 Stacy et al. 20 663.3
FOREIGN PATENTS 3,345 9/ 1936 Great Britain.
DONALD F. NORTON, Primary Examiner.
THERON CONDON, I. M. CASKIE, Examiners,