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Publication numberUS3469750 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 30, 1969
Filing dateMar 24, 1967
Priority dateMar 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3469750 A, US 3469750A, US-A-3469750, US3469750 A, US3469750A
InventorsRussell C Vanderbeck
Original AssigneeBecton Dickinson Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic syringe disposal device
US 3469750 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

SePt- 30, 1969 R. c. VANDERBECK AUTOMATIC SYRINGE DISPOSAL DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed March 24, 1967 40 I mg,

2 SheetsSheet 2 Sept. 30, 1969 n. c. vANDERaEcK AUTOMATIC SYRINGE DISPOSAL DEVICE Filed March 24, 1967 United States Patent O 3,469,750 AUTOMATIC SYRINGE DISPOSAL DEVICE Russell C. Vanderbeck, Saddle River, NJ., assignor to Becton, Dickinson and Company, Rutherford, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Mar. 24, 1967, Ser. No. 625,697 Int. Cl. B26f 3/00; A61m 5/18 U.S. Cl. 22S-94 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a shearing device. More particularly it relates to an electro-mechanical apparatus which is suitably adapted for shearing the metal cannula portion of a hypodermic syringe from its supporting hub at a point near the hub thereby to render the syringe non-reusable. The apparatus also functions to snap the hub support from the syringe.

Many types of hypodermic syringes and needle combinations that are being presently marketed or which have been marketed in the past may be sterilized after use, such as by exposing the unit to vsterilizing temperatures of the range present in an autoclave or the equivalent. In this instance the unit is suitably sterilized for reuse at a later time. Therefore, the profession has developed sterilizers and containers for storing, under sterilized conditions, large quantities of syringes and/or needles for indeterminate periods of time thereby to have available sterile parts when required.

It may be apparent that if these parts are to be later reused extreme caution must be exercised to segregate the sterile components from the unsterile components. Under situations where mass injections are performed this necessary control may break down and a contaminated needle may be inadvertently employed causing possible infection in a second or subsequent patient. Even if controls do not break down there is always the possibility that the needle being reused has not been properly sterilized and therefore, remains contaminated.

In order to obviate the necessity of controllably segregating once used needles during periods of great activity and thereafter subjecting these needles to sterilization the industry has developed needles and hypodermic syringes that are designed for a single usage. Thus, the cost factors involved in the requirement to maintain rather expensive sterilizing equipment and containers for maintaining the needles sterile once sterilized is obviated. Further, the time consuming process of sterilization is eliminated as is the chance that an unsterile needle will be reused, whether this needle is inadvertently reused prior to sterilization or whether the needle is not properly sterilized. Additionally, there is no chance of the needles becoming dull thereby causing undue trauma for the patient on repeated usage. These factors, among others, dictate that the better procedure costwise, timewise and patientwise is to destroy or render the hypodermic syringe and/ or needle inoperative after an initial use rather than subject the components to sterilization procedures prior to any reuse.

Patented Sept. 30, 1969 ICC At this time no suitable destruction apparatus has been developed that has met with widespread acceptance. A proposal, to name one of many, has been advanced along the lines of a unit capable of crushing the hypodermic syringe and needle component, thereby rendering it unusable after an initial use. This proposal is not particularly suitable since a crushing apparatus is envisioned by a relatively large, heavy and stationary structure that does not lend itself to portability thereby necessitating many units throughout a hospital or clinic. In view of these considerations the widely practiced method is merely that of breaking the cannula from its supporting hub, once the unit has been used, by hand. Obviously, there is always the chance that this procedure might precipitate injury or cause infection, as discussed. Injury may be incurred since the cannula tends to fly in random directions upon breaking and its sharply pointed tip may lodge itself Within sensitive parts of the body. Further, chance injury to janitors and similar personnel should be avoided by indiscriminate discard of needles.

In addition to possible infection or injury caused by reuse of contaminated needles or hand breaking of needles it should be pointed out that precautions should be taken to prevent salvage and reuse of discarded needles by addicts or other unauthorized persons.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing and in a broad sense the invention is directed to an automatic shearing device of the type adapted to shear by mechanical structure a metal cannula portion from a supporting hub of a hypodermic syringe. The device includes a housing having an opening for receipt of a syringe. A iirst shearing member is stationarily mounted in said housing and is provided with an opening in alignment with said housing opening so that the `syringe cannula projects therethrough. A solenoid is mounted within the housing and includes an armature capable of reciprocating along the axis of the first shearing member. A second shearing member is mounted coaxially with respect to the first shearing member, both of which members being provided with interacting shearing surfaces. The `second shearing member is connected to the armature thereby, upon energization of the solenoid, being rapidly movable past the axis of the cannula to shear the same by coaction of the shearing surfaces and, upon deenergization of the solenoid, being resiliently biased in the return direction for repeat action.

In view of the foregoing the invention uniquely overcomes the problems and disadvantages brought out above and has for a principal object, the provision of a device which is of relatively uncomplex construction, one that may be conveniently and easily moved from one location to another and a device in which the operation is uncomplicated and effective whereby the cannula or needle portion of a syringe may be sheared from its supporting hub structure to render the syringe non-reusable.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will readily come to mind during the course of the following discussion taken in conjunction with the drawings which illustrate the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the shearing device;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view in side elevation of the shearing structure as seen along the line 2-2 of FIG. l;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional View in end elevation of the shearing structure as seen along the line 3 3 `in FIG. 2;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged view in side elevation of the shearing structure as shown in FIG. 2; and

FIGURE 5 is an elevational view partially in section as seen along the line S-S in FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The shearing device, generally represented Iby the numeral 10, is of an electro-mechanical type. The device is preferably of a size that may conveniently be supported on an appropriate surface, such as a table (not shown) by feet 11 as well as readily movable to desired locations within a hospital or clinic. The device mounts the shearing mechanism (FIGS. 2-5) within an outer casing or housing 12 that is preferably in the form of a rectangular cylinder but obviously the device may take any particular configuration which is aesthetically pleasing. The housing ends are closed by a pair of removable rectangular end caps 14 and 16. Further, but not by way of limitation, the casing may be formed of either a structural plastic or metal, such as aluminum. The end caps .may be similarly formed but are preferably formed of a hard plastic material as, for example, Delrin a product of Du Pont. As shown in the ligures the end caps are generally planar so that they may conveniently be used as a display area for suitable printed indicia.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3 it will be apparent that the housing 12 is formed with a central longitudinal opening 13 between the housing base portions 15. A mounting channel 17, of a U-shaped configuration (FIG. 3), is positioned within the housing to not only provide additional structural strength lbut also to define a supporting surface upon which certain structure, to be discussed, may be mounted. Both the channel and base portions are provided with a plurality of aligned and rectangularly oriented holes thereby to be connected together when positioning and mounting the feet 11 by screws (not shown).

A funnel 18 is supported with an opening 20 formed in the top surface of both the housing and mounting channel. Funnel 18 carries external threads and therefore the opening is of a diameter slightly in excess of the funnel diameter. As may be seen in the gures a hypodermic syringe 22 is received by the funnel and supported within the same by the shouldered surface 25 juxtaposed to opening 24. In this manner the cannula 26 is located in the path of the shearing structure and, as discussed below, will be sheared from the syringe at its junction with the hub portion 28.

To accommodate syringe assemblies of differing sizes and types the funnel is adjustably mounted on the casing in a manner to be discussed. For ease in gripping and adjustment of the funnel the circumferential surface, at 30 in FIG. l, is knurled. The knurled surface may be provided in accordance with known techniques.

A switch operator button 32 for micro switch 334 is conveniently located within a cut-out in the upper surface portion of housing 12. The switch, of a momentary contact type, is mounted within the housing by a switch bracket 31 and is electrically connected to the electrical power operator for the device. Referring to FIG. 2 the bracket 31 is generally of an I -shaped configuration and supports the switch in an opening within one leg. The other leg 33 is, by conventional means, connected to partition 35. The partition is mounted at 37, to the mounting channel 17 and generally divides the housing chamber into an electrical region (right side in FIG. 2) and a mechanical region (left side in FIG. 2).

To prevent accidental operation of the switch 34 the button 32 is recessed within an open cap member 36. The cap is mounted in and supported by the circular cut-outs in both the housing 12 and mounting channel 17.

Due to the aligned circular cut-outs in both the housing and mounting channel which are adapted to receive, respectively, the funnel 18 and cap member 36 the mounting channel top portion is supported by the housing. By means of this support together with the connecting structure provided by the feet 11 the mounting channel is relatively immovably located within the housing.

FIGS. 2-5 show the electro-mechanical shearing structure by which the cannula 26 may be sheared from the supporting unit so as to render the hypodermic syringe non-reusable. This structure includes the female shearing die 38, the male shearing die 40 and solenoid operator 42. While the preferred apparatus employs a solenoid, which may be of any suitable commercially obtainable variety it is to be appreciated that other types of devices, such as a pneumatic operator, may be used to give motive shearing force to the male die 40.

The male shearing die 40 as Viewed in FIG. 4 is elongated in length, circular and both captively located and both reciprocally movable Within the female die 38. As may be apparent from FIG. 2 the'male die is generally movable between limits, from a relaxed position (FIG. 2) to a position such that its shearing edge 44 has moved to the right, past the longitudinal axis of funnel 18 and past the point of interaction with the shearing edge 46 on female die 38. If, as in the iigures, this movement takes place when a cannula 26 is properly positioned it will be sheared from the hub and the sheared cannula portion will fall into a receptacle 48 mounted within the housing. After numerous shearing operations the receptacle may be emptied.

The limits in reciprocal motion of the male die 40, as indicated by the directional arrow 50, are, in the relaxed position, determined by the compressive limit of resilient spring 52, connected to the male die at 51, which acts against the stationary spring retaining bracket 53 and O-ring 54 that interacts with end 56 of female die 38. As shown, retaining bracket 53 is mounted at end 55 of female die 3S. The movable limit of male die 40 is determined primarily by the path of movement undertaken by armature 56 and the coaction with abutment 58, in the form of a cushioning member, located within the bore of winding 60. Additionally, the tensile limit of spring 52 will tend to limit motion but it primarly functions to decelerate the male die 40 and break its motion once having passed through the axis of funnel 18 and sheared the cannula 26.

Generally, and as shown in the figures, the dies are circular in cross-section. Both dies are of suicient length so that the male die 40 'is properly supported for longitudinal movement within the stationary female die 38. Additionally, this type of support insures that a minimum or zero torque about a point transverse to the axis of the male die is applied during its motion so that a minimum of frictional binding within the female die will obtain allowing freedom of relative motion.

Both the male and female dies are to be preferably made of a hard material which is capable of being provided with a smooth surface to reduce frictional forces. In the preferred embodiment both dies are formed of carbon steel and provided with a hard chrome plate finish. Desirably the carbon steel-chrome plated dies, by any suitable method, are provided with an additional coating. This coating may be a parting agent, such as a non-toxic silicon, having a 200 centistoke viscosity. The chrome coating, aside from forming a barrier between the steel and corrosive biological iuids which may drain from the syringe, provides a relatively frictionless surface. The silicone parting agent acts to further reduce the possibility of a chemical interaction with the carbon steel. Further still, and of possibly greater importance, the silicone forms a bearing film surface thereby to signiiicantly reduce frictional forces that develop during movement of the male die 49.

An additional remark relative to the shearing dies is that the shearing surface 44 and 46 on the male and female dies, respectively, are treated so that the surfaces have, for example, a hardness of 50-60 Rockwell gauge` This hardness will be maintained for a signicant period to permit repeated use of the device.

The male and female shearing structure is removably mounted within the casing 12 and may be readily removed forthe purpose of sterilization. Thus, shearing die bracket 62 (FIG. 2), of an L-shaped configuration, carries a first circular opening 64 within one leg and a second opening 66 within the lateral leg. The second bracket opening is internally threaded to cooperate with the external threaded surface on funnel 18. By threadedly receiving the funnel within bracket 62 it will be releasably secured to housing 12. As is shown in the figures the first opening 64 is of sufiicient size to allow a significant length of the female die to pass therethrough. In this manner the bracket supports one end of the shearing structure by a medium force fit at the shoulder 68 on die 38. Armature 56 supports the other end of the shearing structure. By means of this arrangement the shearing structure and bracket, after removing end cap 16 and unthreading the funnel 18, may be removed from the housing as a unit.

As previously indicated, for safety precautions, the switch button is recessed within the cap 36 to prevent accidental operation of the device. Additional safety precautions might indicate that suitable printed matter (not shown), such as a warning that all power should be off before removal of the funnel, be imprinted on the upper anged funnel face. This will lessen the chance that the funnel will be removed when power is on whereby an accidental depression of switch button 32 will cause the male die to rapidly undergo movement resulting in possible injury to the hand or fingers.

The end caps 14 and 16 are generally similarly constructed and similarly mounted on the housing 12. Thus, each cap carries in quadrature a plurality of posts 70 with a hole (not shown) for receipt of a self tapping screw. An end bracket 72 of L-shaped construction is mounted on each cap 14 and 16 by means of screws 74. Both caps are slidably received on housing 12. In both instances the bracket 72 is supported by the mounting channel 17 and the bifurcated areas 76 in caps 14 and 16 receive a portion of the housing therebetween for added stability. As shown in FIG. 2, cap 16 may be slidably removed to empty the receptacle 48 or for the sterilization of the shearing structure. Cap 14 is generally stationarily received on the housing by means of screws 78.

Although the end cap 16 is readily removable from its housing closing position it may be considered to be locked in the closing position.

The locking structure includes a retaining clip 80, shown in phantom in FIG. 1, which cooperates with the housing 12. The clip 80 is generally configured to be complementary to the housing configuration. The clip is preferably formed of a spring metal and includes a base and a pair of laterally extending leg portions.

Although not shown in great detail, the clip base is mounted on a second pair of posts 82 on the inner cap face in a manner such that the legs are directed toward the cap 14. The legs are both normally biased in an outward direction and, at an end, carry a button 84 (FIG. 1). Each button cooperates with an opening 86 (only one shown) in the housing side wall thereby to releasably lock the end cap 16 in the housing closing position.

Armature 56 is generally of elongated construction and is mounted for reciprocal movement within the bore of solenoid core 60. As may be apparent from the figures the armature passes through the opening 88 in partition 35 and is connected to the male die 40 in any convenient manner. Therefore, upon energization of the solenoid the male die is rapidly and with sufficient force drawn to the right to shear the cannula 26. In this regard the opening 88 is of a size to allow free movement of the male die 40. As shown in the figures, end 90 of the male die is bifurcated and the armature 56 is received within the slot. The male die and armature are preferably releasably connected by suitable means, such as a pin 92.

The shearing device, as discussed, is connected to standard line voltage by conductor 94. The electrical circuitry is conventional. For example, the solenoid 42 may be located in a series circuit which is opened and closed by 6 micro switch 34. In FIG. 2 the circuit is depicted by several conductors joined by wire nuts, all generally indicated by the numeral 96. The circuit is connected to conductor 94. To relieve any possible strain by accidental pulling on conductor 94 the conductor is fed to the housing interior by way of a yieldable bushing 98.

From the foregoing discussion the shearing operation of the apparatus should be apparent. Thus, a syringe 22 when received within the funnel 18 is positioned so that the cannula 26 to be sheared lies in the plane between shearing surfaces 44 and 46'. With power connected the button 32 of micro switch 34 is momentarily depressed thereby to energize the solenoid 42. Upon energization of the solenoid the armature '56 is rapidly drawn within the Winding `60. The male shearing die 40 is likewise rapidly drawn to the right and upon coaction of shearing surfaces 44 and 46 the cannula 26 is Sheared from hub 28. Sheared cannulas may be collected within the receptacle 48 for disposal.

As casually discussed above, the shearing device and particularly the male shearing die 40 also functions in a manner to render the syringe non-reusable. Thus, the male die is provided with a surface substantially diametrically removed from the shearing surface 44. Additionally, the surface 100 is longitudinally displaced, see FIG. 4, by an arcuate surface 102. As shown in the figure the syringe is constructed to provide a hub mounting neck portion 104 (shown in phantom) inward of shoulder 25. The neck is adapted to receive the hub by means of a friction fit.

As stated, the surface 100 is longitudinally removed from shear portion 44. Therefore, upon rapid motion of the male die 40 due to solenoid actuation there is a sequential operation, namely the cannula 26 is Sheared from hub 28 and then hub 28 together with neck 104 is snapped from the syringe.

The shearing device described above clearly carries out the described objects, which together with the advan tages should now be apparent. While the discussion has been directed to what may be considered as a preferred embodiment it should be understood, however, that this discussion has been for the purpose of example and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. An automatic shearing device of the type adapted to shear a metal cannula portion from a supporting hub of a hypodermic syringe comprising a casing of closed construction having an opening through one surface adapted to receive said syringe and cannula so that the axis of the latter is substantially normal to said surface, a first elongated, generally hollow shearing die stationarily mounted Within said casing so that its axis is substantially parallel to said surface and having an opening in alignment with said casing opening so that a portion of said syringe passes through the opening, said first die being provided with a first shearing surface at said opening, an elongated second shearing die coaxially mounted and relatively movable with respect to said first shearing die and provided with a second shearing surface adapted to lcoact with said first shearing surface along a shearing plane, means within said casing and connected at one end of said second die for initiating said relative movement, resilient means, said resilient means connecting the other end of said second die to said first die so that said second die is biased to a first limit position on one side of said opening, and means for actuating said movement initiating means so that said second die rapidly moves to a second limit position on the other side of said opening thereby to cause a coaction of said shearing surfaces as said second die moves through the opening whereby the cannula of said hypodermic syringe is Sheared from the supporting hub.

2. The shearing device of claim 1 wherein said movement initiating means is a solenoid, said solenoid including an armature connected to said second die and mounted for reciprocating movement along said axis.

`3. The shearing die of claim Z further comprising a momentary contact switch means, said switch being mounted in said casing, and means electrically connecting said switch and solenoid so that upon switch closure said second die will move relative to said rst die thereby to shear said hypodermic cannula.

4. The shearing device of claim 1 further comprising a funnel, said funnel being mounted for adjustable movement within said casing opening thereby to accommodate for shearing syringes of varying size.

5. T-he shearing device of claim 1 wherein said casing is generally of rectangular construction, a pair of removable caps covering the casing ends, a receptacle supported within the casing for collecting sheared cannulas, and means for releasably locking one of said end caps to said casing.

6. The shearing device of claim 5 wherein said locking means includes a generally U-shaped resilient member mounted by its base to said one end cap so that the legs extend toward the other cap, said casing having an aperture on respective sides adjacent said one end cap, and means cooperable with said apertures for locking said one end cap on said casing.

7. The shearing -device of claim 1 further comprising a surface on said second shearing die adapted to coact with said supporting hub so as to sequentially snap the hub from the hypodermic syringe after the cannula is sheared from the hub.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 319,456 6/1885 Collard 30 -113 2,140,214 12/19'38 Temple '83-580 X 2,971,418 2/196-1 Johnson et al 83-580 FRANK T. YOST, Primary Examiner U.S. C1. X.R.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3585835 *May 23, 1968Jun 22, 1971Clyde H ClementHypodermic syringe and needle destroyer
US3683733 *Nov 23, 1970Aug 15, 1972Mediplast AbApparatus for destroying hypodermic needles, needle-equipped ampules, hypodermic syringes and the like
US3736824 *Jul 12, 1971Jun 5, 1973Becton Dickinson CoHypodermic needle destruction device
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U.S. Classification225/94, 30/131, 241/99, 83/577, 241/606, 83/524, 83/198, 83/167, 83/467.1, 83/580
International ClassificationA61M5/32
Cooperative ClassificationY10S241/606, A61M2005/3282, A61M5/3278
European ClassificationA61M5/32C4