US 3559646 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent [1113,559,646
 Inventor Joseph Mullan 2,566,190 8/ 1951 Greiner et al 19/ 144.5 217 Northway, Baltimore, Md. 21218 2,629,381 2/1953 Brown 128/290  Appl. No. 763,046 2,687,729 8/1954 Slavin.... 128/270  Filed Aug.w1 6, 1968 3,054,403 9/ 1962 Baker 128/232  Patented Feb. 2, 1971 3,393,678 7/1968 Pacini 128/270 Primary Examiner-Adele M. Eager  TAMPON Attorneys -J. Wesley Everett and George L. Brehm 8 Claims, 14 Drawing Figs. p  US. Cl 128/270, ABSTRACT; A device in the nature f a tampon particularly 128/271, suited for vaginal and rectal use, having a body of compressi-  Int. Cl. A611 13/20 ble spongy adsorptive and/o1- absorbem material, the body  Field of Search 128/270, b i hollow, dosed at one end and tapered inwardly toward  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 812,770 2/1906 Pond... 128/270 1,603,767 10/1926 Harris the closed end. The compressible body is held in radially compressed condition in a telescoping tubular applicator or inserting device. One method of making the device comprises the forming of the hollow compressible body by stamping the tampon from suitable stock and later closing one end thereof. Another method is by molding a hollow tampon in which the hollow body is closed and tapers inwardly at one end thereof.
TAMPON This invention relates in general to a tampon device for use by both humans and animals, and particularly to human vaginal and rectal tampons and to a method of producing the same.
It is one object of my invention to product a self-aligning nontoxic, nonirritating form fitting tampon which has high adsorptive and/or absorbency characteristics and superior capacity to retain moisture and which has all the qualities of easy insertion and ready disposal.
It is another object of ma my invention to produce a tampon which will reduce the possibility of leakage when in use and one which may be readily impregnated with a medicant and/or adsorb or absorb the same, or one that may carry a medicinal capsule which may evenly distribute the medication through the walls of the tampon or direct the medication from the capsule in a predetermined direction.
A further object of the invention, because of the materials from which the present tampon is fabricated, is that, they may be cleaned, sterilized and re-used in emergencies.
There are numerous tampons now available but many have certain disadvantages, for example, many are made of absorbent cottonlike material which have limited capacity to absorb and to hold moisture and which expand longitudinally but have very little transverse expansion which, in some instances, have a disturbing effect upon the user. Many of these tampons cause irritation and deposit lint within'the body cavity causing more irritation and possibly creating an inflamed surface susceptible to disease. Another characteristic of these tampons is the longitudinal expansion which sometimes influences the function of the.Sphincter muscle, which plays an important part in bowel movement. Because of the nonlongitudinal expansion of my tampon, the tampon is more comfortable and may be made initially longer and therefore will be eapable of greater moisture adsorption and absorption when used in this capacity.
The above are but a few samples of the advantages of my improved tampon. Other advantages will become apparent as the description proceeds and reference is had ,to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, and in which: I
FIG. 1 is a side elevation partly sectionalized, of a die machine for cutting the hollow compressible bodies for tampons according to my invention.
FIG. 2 shows an enlarged detailed sectional view of one the die members of the machine, shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows a modified form of a die member for forming a large and small tampon in the same operation.
FIG. 4 is an inverted plan view of the modified die shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is an inverted plan view showing one arrangement of the die head.
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view taken through one of the tampon bodies.
FIG. 7 is a view in elevation partly in section of a tampon body having one end securely closed.
FIG. 8 is a section taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 7 showing the closed end secured by cross ties.
FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 7 showing an area adjacent the closed end moisture proofed.
FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 7 of a modified form of tampon.
FIG. 12 is a sectional view of an applicator containing a compressed tampon in position to be inserted into the cavity.
FIG. 13 and FIG. 14 show a tampon of smaller size formed from the center of the removed portion of the material of the large size tampon shown and described in FIGS. 6 -l0.
' Referring to the drawing, the large tampon is shown particularly in FIGS. 6-11 and consists of the main body portion 10 initially of tubular form, as shown in FIG. 6, made of highly adsorptive and/or absorbent compressible material such as foamed polyurethane or other suitable natural or synthetic l I l t materials of spongy consistency with one end portion of the tube closed. The closing and tapering of the one end of the tampon may be accomplished in a number of ways. One manner of forming the closed end is shown in FIGS. 7, 9 and 10 in which the end of the tampon is stitched diametrically through one end of the tubular body in two directions at right angles to each other, preferably with a plastic or silk cord, or thread, drawing the end of the tampon together and securing the same. Another method of closing the end of the tubular member may be by wrapping circumferentially the end of the tampon with cord or thread of suitable material as shown at 13 in FIG. 11. While two specific ways of closing the end have been specifically shown, other suitable means may be employed.
For withdrawing the tampon from the cavity there is provided a withdrawal cord or thread of any suitable material secured to the tapered closed end which extends outside the cavity and may be engaged to remove the tampon.
To assure the tampon against leakage and control of the medicant, portions of the tampon may be moisture proofed by a film of coating 14 as shown in FIG. 10, of impervious material applied either to the surface of the outer wall or to the wall of the opening, by spraying the same thereon or by dipping the area in a liquid bath of suitable material. The moisture proofing may be also carried out in various other ways, such as by closing the cells of the area by heat sealing, whether the tampon is formed by stamping or by molding, wherein the pores or voids in the material preferably adjacent the outer surface are closed. If the tapered portion is molded separately from the cylindrical portion, the tapered and cylindrical portions would then be united in some suitable manner. A further way for making the tapered end portion impervious to fluids is, by placing thereover a polyvinyl chloride film and attaching the same by a suitable nontoxic adhesive; or by covering the tapered portion with a thermoplastic or thermosetting urethane coating. Regardless of the method and manner used in moisture proofing the area, it must remain flexible and readily compressible.
The smaller tampons shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 are made particularly for smaller cavities, such as for use in the nostrils, small vagina channels and for treating rectal disorders, disease, etc. in which a smaller cross section area is more desirable.
The tampon is made ready for use by radially compressing the same and closing it in a two-part tubular telescoping container, applicator l5 and 16, the tampon proper occupying the outer tubular part 15 and part 16, forming a plunger for expelling the tampon in the vaginal, rectal or other cavity.
The container applicator may be constructed of any suitable material such as polyethelene, paper, cardboard, rubber and other suitable nonirritating material and is provided with a rounded inwardly curved portion 15' at one end of part 15 to facilitate insertiondnto the vaginal or other cavity and a flared outwardly diverging portion 17 at the opposite end thereof while part 16 has a similarly outwardly flared portion 18 at its free end, the flared ends forming finger grips to facilitate the use of the device. Both flared ends 17 and 18 may be suitably provided with serrations 19 and 19' if desired to give a better grip on the device.
To hold the tubular members 15 and 16 together and yet provide for easy assembly the inner circumference of one end of the member 15 is provided with a rib 20, while member 16 is provided with a ridge of other suitable means 21 which will readily snap over the rib 20 when the members 15 and 16 are telescoped.
The tubular portion 15 of the applicator may have either or both longitudinal and lateral markings of any convenient type or style, a form of which is shown in FIG 12. The longitudinal markings are designated by letters and the lateral markings are designated by numerals. The lettered lines (as shown) are spaced longitudinally around the tubular portion 15 and are for directionally positioning a particular area of the applicator relative to a particular location on the inner wall of the cavity area into which the applicator is inserted. The laterally numbered markings are for gauging the depth the applicator is inserted within the cavity, which is generally predetermined prior to the insertion.
It can be readily seen that the main body portion with its opening 22 form a closed end pocket, which not only greatly increases the adsorptive and/or absorbent surface area of the device, but also forms a reservoir for collecting secretions, clots or other foreign substances from the vaginal or other cavity into which the tampon is placed. The pocket also provides a well into which medication and/or medical instruments may be retained for treatment.
The opening 22 may not necessarily be round in cross section but may be formed with a plurality of sides or an oval cross-sectional form is desired.
The tampon may be used for collecting bacteria to be tested for disease and other body disorders. The smaller tampon, which may be made of any size, may also be used in medicating deep wounds (such as bullet wounds) and for insertions into openings purposely left in the flesh after surgery. The medication may be of any desirable substance, among which may be an antiseptic or blood clotting compound which may be deposited within the opening 22, or the body portion 10 of the tampon may be impregnated with suitable medications and/or deodorizing compounds prior to being compressed into the applicator.
In the modification shown in FIG. 11 the compressible body of the device is provided with a plurality of openings 22 instead of the single opening of the first described form, otherwise the device is similar to the first form and like reference characters have been employed.
In FIGS. 7 and 8 there is shown in the opening 22 of the tampon a medicated capsule C which may be inserted within the opening 22 prior to placing the tampon into the applicator. In order to keep the capsule in relative position with the main portion 10 of the tampon prior to placing the tampon into the applicator and for retaining the capsule in the same relative position within the main portion 10 when released within the body cavity, there is provided a positioning means P constructed preferably of a flexible spongy material similar to the material used in the main body portion 10. While a particular form of positioning means is shown in FIG. 7, any suitable means may be employed. However, the main body 10 may be constructed with an opening 22 of substantially the same diameter as the capsule, in which case the capsule is made to fit snugly into the opening to insure its relative position with the portion 10 and therefore may be positioned relative to the body cavity when injected therein. This particular feature is illustrated in FIG. 14.
There may also be placed about the capsule either adjacent, or between the capsule and the interior wall of the central opening a shield S to direct the medication toward a certain area in the cavity. For example, the capsule may contain a medication to be applied to a certain area only and in this case the medication could be directed toward this particular area. Another example would be that the capsule may contain a certain degree of radiation and that the shield may be of a certain character as to direct the rays toward a specific area. Still another example may be that the capsule may be in the form of a heating or X-ray tube with extended wires to the outside to be connected to an outside source of supply for carrying out treatments in the area without requiring the removal and insertion of the apparatus every time the treatment is made. These wires may also be utilized as withdrawal cords for the tampon.
In order that a particular side of the capsule is to be placed adjacent a particular side of the tampon opening 22 the capsule and its positioning means are inserted into the opening 22 by the stem C attached to one end of the capsule C. The stem is provided with a weakened area C". Extending outwardly above the opening 22 as shown in FIG. 7 there is an angled handle portion C'. When the capsule is located in the desired position within the opening 22 the tampon is compressed between the fingers to hold it in position and from turning and the handle C" is rotated, whereby the rotation of the handle portion will cause the stem C to break at its weakened portion C. The remainder of the stem left adjacent the capsule will not interfere with the operation of the device. However, the stem may be separated adjacent the end of the capsule if desired.
The wall of the tampon being preferable of uniform thickness, an applied medication is normally easily applied uniformly throughout the cavity area, or the niedication may be directed in any desired direction by blocking off the pores of the tampon by any of the methods mentioned herein.
FIGS. 1-5 of the drawings shown an apparatus for forming the tubular tampon bodies. A die head 23 is attached to any suitable supporting means 24 which may be either manually, or power actuated forcibly presses the same toward the base plate 25. The die head 23 is preferably provided with a plurality of cutting dies 26. One form of the die is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 for forming the large size tampon and consists of two concentric tubular members 27 and 28 attached to each other by a screw thread or equivalent means 29. The die 26 is secured to the die head 23 by a bolt 30 or other suitable means. The members 27 and 28 are sharpened to form cutting edges 31 and 32 at their lower ends. While the forming of the tampon is illustrated and described as a stamping, the tampon may be formed by molding as a single unit, or the tapered and cylindrical portion may be molded separately and later united in some suitable manner, such as, by a suitable adhesive or heat sealed, or a molded tapered portion may be united with a stamped portion or vice versa. It is also intended that the invention shall include a tampon regardless of the manner in which it is made or its form including being tapered throughout its entire length to a small cross-sectional area adjacent one end thereof and that the area adjacent the small cross-sectional area may be sealed to make it impervious to fluids similarly to that described hereinbefore for the tapered portion.
As may be seen, a sheet of sponge material 33 is placed on the base plate 25 and the die plate depressed, which will result in cutting a number of main tubular bodies 10 in a single operation after which the bodies may be removed from the dies by any conventional manner.
A modified form of die is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 for forming both the large and small size tampon. In this die the outer section 27 and the interior section 28 are substantially the same as those shown and described for FIG. 2. However, in this die there are provided a small center cutter 30', which forms a second tampon 10", shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, from the center pieces taken from the larger tampon body 10. This smaller size, as mentioned before, is preferably for use in smaller cavities, particularly by young females with small vaginal cavity and for small rectal channels for treatment of hemorrhoids, etc. These smaller tampons may be used, as mentioned before, for treatment and medication after nose operations.
The length of the tampon may be readily shortened by snipping off the open end if a shorter length would be required or desirable to make the tampon function more properly.
Referring again to the molded type tampon, the tampon may be molded in one piece or in sections which may be later united. Also the opening may be molded to any predetermined depth at the time of the molding of the tampon and may also include, if desirable, the inwardly tapered end.
Both the large and smaller size tamponsare inserted in substantially the same type of apparatus as described for the larger size, except the inserters for the smaller size are reduced in size, preferably the diameter of these small size inserters are substantially in the same proportions as the respective sizes of tampons themselves.
Having thus described my invention I wish it understood that I do not intend to be limited strictly to all the details set forth but only to such extend as required by the prior art and as defined by the appended claims.
l. A tampon comprising:
a. a cylindrical body of highly compressible and absorptive material;
b. said body having an opening extending thereinto from one end to near the other end thereof, said other end being closed;
c. the cylindrical outer surface of said body tapering inwardly at said closed end; and
d. a flexible cordlike with drawing means of substantial length attached to said body at said closed end and extending without said body from said closed end.
2. The structure defined in claim 1 in which the cylindrical body is compressed at said closed end with means provided to retain the same in compressed condition to form the inward taper at said closed end.
3. The structure defined in claim 2 in which said opening in said body is provided with means for therapeutically treating a body cavity into which the tampon is inserted.
4. The structure defined in claim 2 in which said cylindricalbody is composed of polyurethane sponge.
5. The structure defined in claim 2 in combination with an applicator, said applicator comprising a tubular element having an inner diameter substantially less than the uncompressed diameter of the cylindrical body and accommodating the same in compressed condition therein, and an ejector slidable in said tubular element for ejecting the cylindrical body therefrom and into a body cavity.
6. The method of making tampons which comprises the following steps,
a. die-cutting an elongated tubular member of elastic compressible and absorbtive material from a sheet of such material;
b. drawing together and compressing one end of said tubular said tubular member to close the opening at said end and form a taper on the exterior of said member at said end,
c. securing said drawn together and compressed end to retain the same in said condition; and
d. attaching a withdrawal cord to said compressed end.
7. The steps of the method for main making tampons as defined in claim 6 with the additional step of treating the tapered and compressed end of said tubular member to render it impervious to moisture.
8. The steps of the method of making tampons as defined in claim 6 in which the step of drawing together and compressing one end of the tubular member comprises stitching through one end of the tubular body in two directions at right angles to each other with threads, forming loops in said threads, drawing said loops to tighten the same and securing said thread loops in tightened condition.