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Publication numberUS3522806 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 4, 1970
Filing dateAug 7, 1968
Priority dateAug 7, 1968
Publication numberUS 3522806 A, US 3522806A, US-A-3522806, US3522806 A, US3522806A
InventorsSzekely George
Original AssigneeG S Intern Lab Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aerosol apparatus for inhalation therapy
US 3522806 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [54] AEROSOL APPARATUS FOR INHALATION THERAPY 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

511 1m. (:1. A61m 11 00 A6lm11/02, 11/06 50 FieldofSearch 128/194,

[56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 2,906,463 9/1959 Curry 128/186 Primary Examiner- Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner- John B. Mitchell Att0rney M. D. Nissenbaum ABSTRACT: A baffle-containing casing has an inlet nipple into which a nozzle discharges a liquid spray to be nebulized into a dry aerosol which is directed from the casing through an outlet nipple to the patient's mouth. The spray may be made by use of a power unit which is a spray maker operated by a compressed gas actuating an atomizer, all of which is a unitary structure whose operating member of its valve control is also the member which is the spray nozzle. The position of the nozzle is such when operating, that the particles of liquid issuing therefrom will impinge all around the inner surface of the intake nipple before entering the baffle chamber. This causes an automatic inrush of air through the intake nipple and into the baffle chamber, which crashes the larger particles of the spray against a relatively small semi-spherical baffle, causing nebulization thereof into an aerosol which is driven to the patient. Large spray particles remaining or caused into existence by bunching, are intercepted and drained back into the liquid supply which is being acted on by said spray-making gaspowered unit. The automatic inrush of air through the intake nipple which is caused by jet action, is strong enough to create proper dry aerosol though the spray flow is weak, is attainable because of the provision of a plurality of spaced, inward, radially extending fins in the intake nipple; such fins giving the nipple which may be of the venturi type, a shape which is sort of like an internal gear, whose teeth are of various shapes. Flow of air into the nipple at intake, is in straight lines and unbent from the free atmosphere.

Patented Aug. 4, 1970 FIG.5 FIG.4

I II mm W U.S. PATENT 3,522,806 AEROSOL APPARATUS FOR INHALATION THERAPY The present invention relates to aerosol apparatus for inhalation therapy, which are devices utilizing teachings set forth in my Patent No. 3,302,374 and in my allowed patent application, Serial No. 610,967 filed January 23, 1967, which automatically produces a pressurized air flow by jet action, to act on an atomized liquid spray, and cause its propulsion and nebulization, that is, liquid in motion in a special way through a nipple intake, automatically creates an air gust through the nipple into an enlarged baffle chamber, affording a jet action which causes nebulization yielding proper aerosol generation and its propulsion to the patient.

My said prior devices contemplated that the supply of liquid in motion shall flow with appreciable force into the jet tube as a spray, in order to attain automatically a sufficiently pressurized air supply to accomplish proper propulsion and nebulization.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved nebuiizer apparatus of the class mentioned, which will operate properly, though the force of the liquid flow is relatively weak, and also for use in my prior devices to improve their performance. In fact, my new construction is adapted for use with well known cartridge form gas-powered atomizer units, which essentially are spray makers operated by a push button valve. With such combination as afforded by my new nebulizer, an aerosol apparatus for general home use for short-duration treatments becomes very practical, and will be shown and explained. The said power unit, is a replaceable and reasonably cheap item. The whole apparatus is a one hand instrument, compact and portable. It is furthermore easy to clean and keep sterilized. The liquid spray issuing from a nozzle discharging into the nipple intake, is a conical beam comprising fine spray particles on the periphery, which may be proper aerosol but needs propulsion to reach the patient. The main body of the spray beam is composed of coarse particles to be acted on to make thereof proper aerosol suitable for inhalation therapy. It might be mentioned that entry of coarse particles into the respiratory tract may be harmful.

It is therefore another object of this invention that the intake nipple construction shall afford the creation of a stronger wind gust than was heretofore obtainable by any given liquid flow therethrough, and that the baffle structure shall specifcally and effectively act on the coarse particles of the spray beam, to break them up into fine aerosol.

A further object thereof, is to provide that if any coarse particles are propelled through the device, or come into being in the baffle chamber because of bunching, that they shall be entrapped within the baffle chamber and thus be prevented from reaching the patient. Further provision is made that if any coarse particles are not broken up, that they shall be intercepted and drip down in the baffle chamber, to be drained off before they could reach the outlet,'so the supply propelled to the patient, will be a continuous stream of dry aerosol.

A further object is to arrange that in the use of a gaspowered atomizer unit herein, of the type in which the nozzle is provided in the valve operating member which is a finger push button to be pressed down to open the valve, that at the operating position of said push button, the nozzle shall be in the most effective position in relation to the intake nipple.

A further object is to provide an aerosol apparatus of the character described to utilize a gas-powered spray maker of cartridge form to serve as the handle therefor besides its operating function to issue a spray into the intake nipple of the device; the nebuiizer being of extremely simple construction and reasonably cheap to manufacture, and efficient in carrying out the purposes for which it is designed.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent as this disclosure proceeds.

For the practice of this invention, the aerosol apparatus consists of a casing serving as a baffle chamber; said casing having an inlet nipple into which a nozzle discharges a liquid spray, and an opposite outlet from which the aerosol supply is directed to the patients mouth. The spray may be supplied by a cartridge form gas-powered atomizer whose discharge nozzle is on the push-button valve operating member which brings the atomizer into play. The position of the nozzle is such that particles of liquid issuing therefrom will impinge all around the inner surface of said nipple before entering the casing, where the inner part of the spray beam impinges a semi-spherical baffle to the diametrical plane of such baffle member, where the spray is met by a much larger spherical baffle, which either further breaks up any remaining large spray particles, or serves to collect them to drip off into the casing and is drained therefrom, back into the liquid supply. The liquid supply may be acted on by a cartridge form gas powered atomizing spray maker, which if used, also serves as the handle of the aerosol generating device. Entrance into the intake nipple of air from the free atmosphere is arranged that the air intake shall be straight into the nipple and not in any bent path to get thereinto. The nipple has a series of inward radial vanes free of the core of the spray beam, making canals or passages along the interior of the nipple, making the nipple somewhat in the form of an internal gear. The teeth" of such gear form, meaning the vane shape may be of different construction, and may offer Venturi action. The spray flow into the nipple may be offered by pump or pressure flow action as explained in my prior inventions, to get the advantage of the present invention. The use of the gas-powered spray maker, is one of convenience and economy in this invention, and for other advantages it offers in the combination.

In the accompanying drawing forming part of this specification, similar characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in all the views.

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view partly in section, showing an aerosol apparatus embodying teachings of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary elevational view partly in section, of an aerosol apparatus of modified construction.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary perspective view as seen looking at an end of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary end view of another modified construction.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary section taken at line 5-5 in FIGURE 4.

In the drawing, the numeral designates generally a heldin-hand aerosol apparatus, which is a preferred embodiment of this invention. It consists of a baffle chamber 16, having an inlet tubular nipple l7, and an outlet tubular nipple 118, one at one end and one at the other end of said chamber. There is a spraying nozzle 19 having a minute discharge aperture 20, so positioned that when this nozzle receives liquid under pressure, it discharges same as an atomized spray 21 of conical form, into the intake nipple l7, and thence into the baffle chamber. The nozzle may be positioned that the discharge therefrom is at nipple entrance as shown in FIGURE 1 or the nozzle may extend a bit into the nipple as shown in FIGURE 2, where the entrance nipple is denoted by the numeral 17' the discharge nozzle is indicated as 19' and its discharge aperture is shown at 20. The aerosol supply generated, passes from the outlet nipple l8, whence it is directed to the patients mouth either directly by setting the outlet nipple at the lips, or thereto by means of a flexible hose 22, or to a mask not shown, as is well known. The liquid flow may be brought on by a pump or other means as set forth in my said prior disclosures, or as specifically illustrated herein, such flow may be supplied by a gas-powered spray-making cartridge 23, as will be explained. It is important to note, as taught by my said prior devices, that while a spray is issuing from the nozzle, a supply of air automatically forces itself from the atmosphere, into the intake nipple l7, and rushes through the baffle chamber 16, causing nebulization of the coarse particles of the spray 21, by crashing them against the relatively small semi-spherical baffle 24, and then propelling the aerosol formed, through the chamber 16, to the output nipple 18. Much of the very fine spray particles of the sprays periphery, which is an extremely small part of the content of the spray 21, is of course, also propelled to output by said automatically created wind caused by jet action. Whatever portion of the spray particles remain too large to constitute dry aerosol, collect on the inside surfaces of the walls of the baffle chamber 16, and on the larger spherical baffle 25, and on the baffle 26 which guards the entrance of the output nipple, from all of which such larger particles drip down and are drained off through a tube 27. It is to be specially noted, that any run-off along the interior surface of the end wall 28, is intercepted by the inwardly projecting end 18' of the outlet nipple l8, and thus prevented from entering same, and hence is kept from the patient. The mouth ofthe dished baffle 26, faces and is close to the entrance of the output nipple 18, but its convex surface is spaced from the spherical baffle member 25, to which it is attached by an element 29. The small semi-spherical baffle 24 is carried on said baffle 25. All of said baffles and the input and output nipples are in axial alignment, and in the embodiment illustrated, such axis line is horizontal. The nozzle 19 is in such position that when it discharges, its discharge aperture 20 shall be in such line, and the mass of the inner content of the conical spray 21, shall impinge against the small baffle 24, whose size is chosen so as not to interfere with the peripheral spray particles of 21, to avoid bunching them. However, the spray shall contact all around the interior of the intake nipple 17, near the exit end thereof, as around the region A, in order to assure jet action. Such wetting of the inner wall of the intake nipple will be sinuous because of the series of inner vanes provided the intake nipple, to provide a series of longitudinal channels C, whose presence intensify the jet action, and so a spray 21 of weaker flow can be used through the nozzle and yet get proper jet action to accomplish nebulization and propulsion. Hence it is practical to use the commercially known gas-pressured spray maker cartridge 23 to provide the liquid flow. Also to be specially noted is thatjet intensity is increased in the construction shown, because air from the free atmosphere to enter into the intake nipple 17, can enter by a straight line movement, and need not bend its course to make such entrance which would deprive it of some energy, as was the case in my former devices. Here, the intake nipple 17 extends into the free atmosphere and is not confined by any structure.

The inwardly directed radial vanes 30, 30' and 30" in the interior of the intake nipples 17, 17', 17" respectively, make the nipple structures in a form akin an internal gear; said vanes being the teeth thereof, running along the axis of the nipple. The tooth form 30' in FIGURE 2 is substantially rectangular. The tooth form 30 in FIGURE l, is the shape of the segment ofa circle. The intake nipple 17" in FIGURE is of the Venturi type to gain its advantage, and the tooth form of 30" is crescent-shape. Of course, the shape ofthe teeth, meaning the vanes, in each of the intake nipples shown, are identical respectively. The rounded rear end 31 of the vanes 30, provide a sort of flared exit from the intake nipple 17', which eases the flow into the baffle chamber. The double-curved ends of the vanes 30 and 30", similarly provide flared entrances and exits for the flow into and out of the nipples l7 and 17" respectively. The vanes 30 and 30" also offer some Venturi action.

This jet action creates the aerosol, since the gas which emerges from the nozzle is immediately expanded and has little energy left in itself to act as propellent for the liquid particles ofthe spray.

The cartridge 23, one suitable kind of which is the spray maker marketed as Preval" power unit, consists of a container 33 filled with a gas under pressure, to operate an atomizer part whose suck-up tube 34 extends into the container 35 for holding the liquid 36 to be made into a spray which will issue forth from the discharge aperture of a spray nozzle 19 which has been adopted for the embodiment of my invention shown in FIGURE 1. The operation of the atomizer of said power unit being controlled by a valve which is operated to open by pushing down the spray nozzle which also serves as the operating member of the valve. To mount the cartridge 23, the baffle chamber 16 carries a ferrule 37 which fits onto the container 33; the spray nozzle, extending through the hole 38 in the ferrule. Of importance is, that for efficient operation of the aerosol apparatus 15, the spray nozzle 19 shall be so positioned that when pressed down to operate, the discharge orifice 20 will be on the axis line of the nipple 17 and the baffle assembly; said assembly of baffles being supported by the post element 39 in coaxial relation with said intake nipple. The numeral 40 denotes a weighted stand into which the container 35 securely fits. This stand serves as a base for the apparatus, as is obvious. The numeral 41 is a screw-on cap for the liquid supply container 35; the power unit 23 being secured onto said cap. The drain tube 27 is preferably communicatively connected to the baffle-containing chamber 16, and to the liquid supply container 35, so all liquid not nebulized into aerosol, is returned for reworking; and often being expensive medication, is not wasted. The numeral 42 denotes a strainer means at the intake end of the atomizers suction tube 34.

Explanation already given herein, is believed sufficient as relates to the mode of operation of the apparatus, and I may further indicate that the apparatus can be held in hand, and when the finger 44 pushes the operating member 19 downwards, it will stop where the spray orifice 20 is in the axial line ofthe intake nipple 17, and the spray 21 will be continuous, and so will the generated aerosol be a continuous flow to the patient, until the finger releases the member 19, to rise, whereupon the power unit 23 is deactivated, and so the aerosol stops. The power unit being short-lived, its use with this apparatus is suitable for short treatments. When the unit 23 is spent, it is replaced. its cost is relatively cheap.

The baffle system, its container 16 and the attaching ferrule 37, may be of plastic. The container 35 is preferrably a glass bottle with a threaded neck for the screw cap 41; the bottle being transparent so its contents are viewable. The manufacturer of the power unit 23, would furnish the attached cap 41, with a drain intake tube 45, for connection to the flexible drain tube 27.

A power unit of the kind mentioned, gives a continuous spray lasting about twenty minutes, which equals a bit more than 1000 individual briefinhalations. The nebulizer as shown in FIGURE 1, has a performance of 1 1.5 cu.cm. liquid per minute, and a dry aerosol ofa finess of 01-005 microns. Supplementary air for breathing, is freely available through the inlet nipple 17.

According to this invention, it is the main advantage to use a gas power unit which creates a suction action whereby there occurs no mixture of gas and liquid. By this manner, only a very small portion of gas from the power unit ever reaches the patient.

This invention is capable of numerous forms and various applications without departing from the essential features herein disclosed. lt is therefore intended and desired that the embodiments shown herein shall be deemed merely illustrative and not restrictive and that the patent shall cover all patentable novelty herein set forth; reference being had to the following claims rather than to the specific showings and description herein, to indicate the scope of this invention.

lclaim:

1. In an aerosol apparatus for inhalation therapy, of the type in which a casing housing a baffle structure, has an inlet nipple communicative with the atmosphere, a nozzle connected to said casing and directed at said inlet nipple for discharging substantially a conical spray into said nipple whereby the interior of said nipple is contacted all around by the spray before it enters said casing, thus automatically creating by jet action, a forceful flow of air through the intake nipple to impinge the spray particles against the baffle structure, to be nebulized and propelled through the casing and through an outlet therefrom to be directed to the patient, the improvement being that the inlet nipple has a plurality of spaced longitudinally and radially inwardly directed vanes extending therealong within itsi ttet prmnzztr 2. An apparatus as defined in Claim 1, wherein the shape of each vane along the nipple is a segment of a circle.

3. An apparatus as defined in Claim 1 wherein said nipple is a Venturi structure and the shape of each vane 'therealong is a crescent.

4. An-apparatus as defined in Claim 1, wherein the intake end of the inlet nipple is exposed in the free atmosphere whereby the direction of air flowing from the free atmosphere into said inlet nipple, is unbent and in direct straight lines.

5. An apparatus as defined in Claim 1, wherein the inlet nipple extends horizontally, and the baffle structure includes a first baffle presenting a substantially semispherical surface positioned in said casing, very near the inlet nipple, to be impinged upon by the particles constituting the inner content of the conical spray entering the casing, and a substantially larger second baffle adjacent the first baffle, presenting substantially a semispherical surface to be impinged upon by the spray particles inward of those which are of the periphery of the spray, but unintercepted by the first baffle.

6. An apparatus as defined in Claim 5, wherein the outlet is a nipple whose intake end projects horizontally into the easing, and including a third baffle positioned spaced from and between said second baffle and the outlet nipple, across and overlapping the entrance end of the outlet nipple.

7. An apparatus as defined in Claim 6, including a drain pipe leading from substantially the lowest part of the casing.

8. An apparatus as defined in Claim 1, including a unitary cartridge of the type comprising a spray nozzle, a valve-con,- trolled pressurized gas supply arranged to operate an atomizer whose suck-up tube extends into a container for a liquid supply to be atomized and discharged from the spray nozzle of said cartridge; said apparatus also including mounting means to associate said cartridge thereonto whereby the discharge of the nozzle of said cartridge is directed into the inlet nipple; the spray nozzle of said cartridge constituting the spray nozzle of said apparatus.

9. An apparatus as defined in Claim 8, wherein the spray nozzle is movably mounted on said cartridge, to serve also as the valve-operating member; said nozzle being normally at a position where the valve is closed, and is movable to a second position to open the valve; at said second position, the discharge orifice of the spray nozzle being in the longitudinal axis line of the inlet nipple; all baffles and the inlet nipple being coaxial.

10. An apparatus as defined in Claim 8, including a drain pipe leading from substantially the lowest part of the casing and communicatively connected with the liquid supply container; such container being below said casing.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3652015 *May 11, 1970Mar 28, 1972Respiratory CareNebulizer
US3838686 *Oct 14, 1971Oct 1, 1974G SzekelyAerosol apparatus for inhalation therapy
US3903216 *Jun 4, 1973Sep 2, 1975Respiratory CareInhalation therapy apparatus
US4052985 *Jun 28, 1976Oct 11, 1977Coleman D JacksonApparatus for medicinally spraying an eyeball
US4054622 *Nov 3, 1970Oct 18, 1977Lester Victor ECombination nebulizer and humidifier
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US9114204 *Mar 14, 2013Aug 25, 2015Nathan Blake JeppsonApparatus and method for nasal rinsing
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US20030089366 *Feb 2, 2001May 15, 2003Erik SommerInhalation nebulizer
US20060081242 *Sep 15, 2004Apr 20, 2006Tai-Kang HanPortable air pre-treating device for medical treatment
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Classifications
U.S. Classification128/200.18, 239/338
International ClassificationA61M11/00, A61M16/08, A61M11/06, A61M16/12, A61M16/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61M2209/084, A61M11/06, A61M2011/002, A61M2016/127, A61M16/0808
European ClassificationA61M11/06