US 3464415 A
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2 Sheets-Sheet l W. G. BROWNLEE WDA@ Sept. Z, 1969 SURGICAL SPONGE AND METHOD OF PRODUCING SAME Filed om.. 25. 1967 mmplm SPt 2, 1969 w. G. BRowNLr-:E 3,464,415
SURGICAL SPONGE AND METHOD 0F` PRODUCING SAME Filed Oct. 25, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ECT .5. 6
- INVENTOR William 6l'. raawzife z ATTORNEY 3,464,415 SURGICAL SPONGE AND METHOD F PRODUCING SAME William G. Brownlee, 1795 Westhaven Road,
San Marino, Calif. 91108 Filed Oct. 25, 1967, Ser. No. 677,922 Int. Cl. A61f 13/00; B32b 7/08; C09j 5/00 U.S. Cl. 128-296 6 Clalms ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLSURE The invention pertains to surgical sponges of the type commonly known as neuro Sponges, brain pattys and neurological sponges which are particularly applicable for use in surgical operations on the human brain and which embodies a thin narrow strip of cotton felt material commonly referred to as spongue to which is initially attached by conventional stitching a radiopaquethermoplastic cord extending longitudinally of the strip on one side and centrally thereof; the invention residing in the mode of permanently bonding the cord to said strip and to said stitching under the combined action of heat and pressure whereby the cord will be securely held against detachment from the strip.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In carrying out the present invention the radiopaque cord is permanently aliixed to the supporting strip by the combined action of heat and pressure whereby the cord will be sufficiently amalgamated with the strip as to insure against separation of the cord and strip when eifecting removal of the strip from its planted position in a wound o and thereby accidently leaving the cord in the Wound and as a consequence possibly necessitating hazardous surgery in effecting its subsequent removal. This anchoring of the cord in the strip under the combined action of heat and pressure is rendered possible by reason of the material of the material of the radiopaque cord being inherently subject to partial liquification or softening under the action of heat so that when in such state it may be readily impressed into the loose fibrous structures of the strip and its anchoring thread and whereby on cooling of the semimolten cord it will become solidified and thereby thoroughly anchored in engagement with the structures of the strip and thread and to all intents and purposes will constitute an integral part thereof.
THE ART The use of a radiopaque element in surgical sponges as an X-ray detectable element s quite general. As most commonly used the element is made of rubber with a barium sulphate constituent and the element placed on a fabric backing.
United States Patent No. 3,133,538 of May 19, 1964 in Class 12S-296 discloses a radiopaque thread placed upon an open piece of gauze in a particular pattern. While this patent refers to bonding the X-ray responsive thread to the surface of the gauze by means of heat or merely pressing it into place, maintenance of the thread firmly in position is effected when the gauze is folded into a multi-layer pad in overlying relation to the thread.
States Patent O ICC There is no showing in this patent of how or when heat and pressure are applied, nor is there any showing as to the employment of the combined action of heat and pressure as contemplated by the applicant and as hereinafter set forth.
Patent No. 3,234,061 of Feb. 8, 1966, Class 156-93 on a method of sewing textile webs together, is predicated on sewing the ends of textile webs together in butt relation to each other to provide a butt seam with a level surface, wherein the raised portions of the threads joining the webs are pressed tightly into the faces of the webs and heat applied thereto while under pressure at the flow temperature of a thermoplastic non-fibrous component of the thread to cause it to iiow, followed by cooling the seam and releasing the pressure.
Patent No. 2,640,796 of Iune 2, 1953, Class 154-90 discloses the application of heat and pressure at spaced proximate points in the length of an elongate tilament of dielectric material, followed by transfer of the heat to' superimposed layers of thermoplastic sheet material under pressure to bond such sheets together by impressing the filament onto the uppermost sheet under the pressure of a roller. In this instance the heat is applied to the filament as it is fed from a supply roller, by means of a high frequency electrostatic or electromagnetic field through which the filament is passed immediately before it is combined with the layers of thermoplastic material.
There is no showing, suggestion nor teaching in either of the foregoing patents of a surgical sponge embodying a radiopaque filament bonded in a fibrous backingsheet and with a criss-cross or zig-zag anchoring stitch, by the combined semi-melting action of heat and the bonding action of pressure as herein shown, described and claimed.
The primary object and purpose of the invention is t0 provide a construction in a surgical sponge of the character described in which a radiopaqueicord is bonded therein in such integral relation thereto as to preclude accidental detachment of the cord from the sponge when removing the sponge from a surgical wound to which it has been applied.
With the foregoing object and advantage in View, the invention is hereinafter fully described and claimed and illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the sponge as initially assembled;
FIG. 2 is a view in cross section as seen on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing a modification of the invention wherein a multiple of radiopaque cords are initially employed in lieu of a single cord;
FIG. 4 is a diagram in section and side elevation depicting the manner of finishing the product following assemblage of the structure shown in FIGS. 1-2; the view depicting the manner of subjecting the assemblage to the action of heat to effect partial liquification or softening of the cord, and showing a mode of impressing the stitch into the softened cord and simultaneously impressing the cord into imbedded relation to the fibers of the strip;
FIG. 5 is a view in cross section and elevation seen on the line 5 5 of FIG. 4 depicting the manner of imbedding the stitch in the cord and impressing the semimolten cord into the fibrous structure of the supporting Strip;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 6 6 of FIG. 5 showing the manner of impressing the zigzag stitch into the partially liquied radiopaque cord and coincidently pressing the fibrous strip and the softened cord into inter-engagement with each other;
FIG. 7 is an isometric view of an enlarged fragmentary portion of the finished product;
FIG. 8 is a detail in section and elevation taken on the line 8 8 of FIG. 7 showing the assemblage on a greatly exaggerated scale; and
FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 8 showing the structure as embodying a multiple of the radiopaque cords merged into one.
Referring to the drawings more specifically, A indicates generally a thin narrow strip or ribbon of matted cotton fibers, commonly designated as felt or spongue; the strip having at top and bottom surfaces a-b as employed in the present invention usually having a width of from approximately one-fourth inch to two inches or thereabouts, with a thickness of one-eighth inch or approximate thereto. The strip is produced in any desired lengths as occasion may require and has mounted on its upper surface a and extending longitudinally thereof one or more lengths of radiopaque thermoplastic cord B arranged centrally of the strip or contiguous the longitudinal center thereof. The number of lengths of the cord B employed on a single strip A is varied according to requirements.
The cord B is initially fastened in place on the surface of the strip A by a pair of threads C applied in overlying relation to the cord by criss-cross or zig-zag stitching in a usual manner, as illustrated in FIG. 1 Iand associated FIGS. 2 and 3. Where a plurality of the cords B is employed they may be collectively secured in place by a single row of the threads as shown in FIG. 3, but manifestly each of a plurality of cords B may be individually engaged by independent rows of threads in an obvious fashion.
The cord B is characterized by the embodiment therein of X-ray responsive barium sulphate together with an elastic heat responsive substance, such as rubber or synthetic rubber, capable of being rendered plastic, semifluid, soft or tacky when subjected to the action of heat at requisite temperature for a brief period.
Such a product, currently on the market is manufactured by 3.M Mfg. Co., and is identified by the mark #7434 Monolament, but any other radiopaque cord with the same or similar chemical and thermoplastic characteristics can be used herein.
The essence of the present invention resides in subjecting the applied cord or cords B to the action of heat and pressure preferably applied independently in their order but which in some instances may be applied coincidently or substantially so whereby a heat responsive element embodied in cord, such as rubber or synthetic rubber, is softened or semi-melted so that on then subjecting the applied cord to pressure, as by means of a roller or rollers, the semi-molten cord will be impressed into imbedded relation to the fibrous structure of both the sheet A and the overlying portions of the threads C.
This is accomplished as shown in FIGS. 4 to 6 inclusive wherein FIG. 4 depicts a length of the assembled product depicted in FIG. l being subjected to the action of a heater D While being advanced through an oven E; the assemblage being thus subjected to a temperature of 375 F. or thereabouts for a period of from fortyfive to fifty seconds; heat being here shown as directed downward from a heating element D onto the assembled strip A, cord B, and threads C. The surface of radiopaque cord B is thus caused to become soft and tacky, that is semi-molten, and while in such state the assemblage is passed between a pair of driven rollers G-G as shown in FIGS. 4-5 where the assemblage is subjected to a pressure of from forty-five to fifty-five pounds per square inch while being advanced to discharge and then subjected to a cooling action.
The rollers G-G are here shown as acting to advance the strip A through the oven E and are depicted in FIG. 5 as being powered by mechanism comprising intermeshed spur gears H-H on the rollers G-G driven by a pinion I in a usual manner, from any suitable source of power. As indicated in FIG. 5, a plurality of the strips A may be delivered through the heater at a time. The cord B being in a plastic state when passed between the rollers G--G is molded to have a desired transverse arcuate upper portion Which is attained by forming the upper roller G with a peripheral channel J of arcuate cross section into which the soft cord is pressed to give it the desired contour which operation is concurrent with impression of the thread C into the softened cord B.
The above recited heating and pressing operations are preferably conducted within -an oven heated to the requisite temperature either by gas or electrical heating units.
The period of time to which the assemblage is subjected to the stated temperature of 375 F. with the par. ticular materials herein specified is limited since the strip or sponge material A and the radiopaque element B must not be exposed to such temperature for more than fifty seconds to avoid degrading the sponge material A .and attain the correct degree of fluidity or tackiness of the element B.
As soon as the assemblage passes from between the rollers G-G it is subjected to a cooling action which may be effected by surrounding atmosphere, or may be effected by means of a fan or blower, or by a refrigerant.
In the resultant product, shown in FIGS. 7-8-9 the radiopaque element B will be solidified in incorporation with the threads C which are anchored in the fabric strip A, and at the same time will be incorporated in the fibrous structure of the backing strip A, as shown in FIG. 8, whereby the element B is permanently secured in place in the strip against accidental disengagement therefrom thereby insuring against the element B and its supporting strip being inadvertently separated at any time under forces to which the parts are normally subjected.
1. A surgical sponge comprising the combination of:
(a) an elongate strip of fibrous material;
(b) a radiopaque cord imposed on said strip extending throughout the length thereof; and
(c) a thread engaging said strip and overlying said cord at intervals throughout the length thereof in imbedded relation thereto whereby said cord is anchored relative to said strip.
2. The combination called for in claim 1 wherein fibers of said strip have imbedded relation to said radiopaque cord to effect further anchorage of the cord relative to said strip.
3. In a surgical sponge:
(a) an elongate backing strip of fibrous material;
(b) a length of radiopaque cord imposed on a surface of said strip and extending lengthwise thereof having fibers of said backing strip imbedded therein throughout the length 0f said cord; and
(c) a thread inter-engaging said backing strip and cord at intervals along the length of said strip and cord.
4. The structure called for in claim 3 wherein said thread is engaged with said strip with la zig-zag stitch with portions thereof overlying the upper surface of said strip :and imbedded in said cord at intervals throughout the length thereof.
5. The method of producing a surgical sponge consisting in (a) assembling a heat responsive radiopaque cord lengthwise of an elongate strip of fibrous material;
(b) securing the cord in place on said strip by threads overlying the cord and engaging the strip by stitching;
5 6 (c) subjecting the assemblage to the combined action p References Cited of heat and pressure to render said cord semi-uid in UNITED STATES PATENTS part and to impress portions of said threads and fibers of said strip into imbedded engagement with said 2698270 12/1954 Mesek' semi-fluid cord, whereby on cooling said cord will 5 grrtst/ eta'l be permanently anchored in engagement with said threads and SU1P- CHARLES F. ROSENBAUM, Primary Examiner 6. The method recited 1n claim 5 1n whlch Sald cord while semi-uid is molded to have an arcuate contour in U.S. C1. X.R.
cross section. 10 156-306, 93