US 3570495 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Frank 0. Wright 46 Belleair Drive, Memphis, Tenn. 38105 21 Appl. No. 543,564  Filed Apr. 19, 1966  Patented Mar. 16, 1971  PNEUMATIC TOURNIQUET 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. (I 128/327  Int. Cl A6lb 17/12  Field of Search 128/325, 327, 38-40, 64, 2.05, 299
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,120,846 2/ 1964 Fletcher 128/327 3,171,410 3/1965 Towleetal. 3,279,459 10/1966 Schenker Primary Examiner- L.W. Trapp Attorney-Scrivener, Parker, Scrivener and Clarke l28/327UX 128/2.05
ABSTRACT: A tourniquet for constricting a persons limb bladder inserted therein and the exterior surfaces of the member has means for releasably securing them together. The
tourniquet is wrapped about the limb and pressure thereto is controlled by inflating the bladder.
Patented March 16, 1971 I 3,570,495
I N VENT OR FRANK O. WRIGHT m m fl w/L v Zia/214w ATTORNEYS PNEUMATIC TOURNIQUET This invention relates broadly to devices for use in medicine and surgery and, more particularly to a device for shutting off or controlling to a desired degree the flow of blood to a limb or other part of the human body.
Devices of the type to which the invention relates are known as inflatable or pneumatic tourniquets and, in general, such devices comprise an elongated hollow member which in use is wrapped one or more times about a part of the body such as a leg or arm and which, after being fastened in such wrapped around condition, is inflated in order to exert inward radial pressure on the limb, thus controlling the flow of blood to that part of the limb which is exterior to the location of the tourniquet. In the use of such devices it is necessary for the well-being of the patient that the pressure be applied over a relatively wide area longitudinally of the limb rather than over only a localized area, which would be the case if a rope or other narrow member were used. In order to provide such a wide area of application of pressure, tourniquets of known construction prior to this invention have been of substantial width and have incorporated an internal stiffening member extending longitudinally of the tourniquet and being of substantially the same width. Known tourniquet constructions also incorporate an inflatable bladder which is positioned entirely within the closed external body of the tourniquet and which cannot be removed therefrom without substantial dismemberment of the tourniquet, this being a material disadvantage because of the frequent necessity to remove the bladder in order to repair or replace it.
My invention has had for its principal object the provision of a tourniquet which is not subject to the disadvantages of known devices and which is of sub novel and unobvious construction and operation that new results and advantages, not available in prior art tourniquets, are provided. Thus, tourniquets according to my invention are so constructed that no stiffening member is required as the structure of the tourniquet itself provides the required wide area of contact with the limb, whereby the function of the stiffening member is provided by the tourniquet itself. In addition, the tourniquet provided by this invention is so constructed that the bladder is normally sealed in a closed compartment for use, but is also so constructed that the bladder may be easily and quickly removed for .repair or replacement without in any way dismembering or disrupting the body of the tourniquet, after which repair or replacement the body of the tourniquet with the bladder therein may be easily and quickly sealed into its normal condition ready for use.
it is often necessary in medical or surgical uses and operations to control the flow of blood to more than one limb of the body and this necessity has presented considerable pratical difficulties with the use of tourniquets and associated devices known to the prior art. it has accordingly been a further object of the invention to provide a tourniquet which, after being applied to a limb and inflated to a desired pressure, may be disconnected from the supply of air or other fluid under pressure without losing its pressure, after which the source of fluid under pressure may be connected to another tourniquet constructed in accordance with this invention which may itself be then disconnected from the source of pressure, which may then be applied to inflate one or more tourniquets. Be reason of this feature of the invention a number of tourniquets may be applied to an equal number of limbs of the body and each will retain a desired pressure after disconnection from the source of pressure, and each will be maintained at the pressure which is required for medical reasons by the limb to Which it is applied.
Other objects and features of novelty of the invention will be made apparent by the following specification and the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. l is a front elevational view of the tourniquet according to the invention;
MG. 2 is a rear view;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the compartment part of the tourniquet, with parts removed to show the interior thereof;
H6. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2, and
FIG. 5 shows the application of the tourniquet about a limb of the human body.
The tourniquet provided by the invention comprises, first, an elongated, normally flat compartment part 2 which is open along one longitudinal edge 4 and is closed along its other longitudinal edge 6 and at both ends 8, 10. This compartment part of the tourniquet may be formed by two superposed elongated substantially rectangular pieces of flexible fabric material 12, 14 arranged in superposed face-to-face relation andhaving their edges in registration and connected as by a line of stitching 16. Alternatively this compartment part of the device may be formed from a rectangular piece of flexible fabric folded along its longitudinal center line and having its register-. ing end edges connected as by stitching to form the open com-.-
partment. In either case, the exterior surface of each of the two superposed fabric members forming the compartment part is substantially entirely covered edge-to-edge by a surface material which, when engaged in surface-to-surface relation under pressure with the exterior surface material of the other fabric member causes the two surfaces to be firmly but releaseably attached. in accordance with the invention I prefer to form these two exterior surfaces, respectively, with the hook surface 18 and the loop surface 20 of a velcro closure; which fastener surfaces may be attached to the outer surfaces of the sides of the compartment part by any suitable means such as stitching or an adhesive. Within the openable compartment part there is positioned an elongated inflatable bladder 22 which extends substantially from end-to-end and edge-to-edge of the interior of the compartment part and which is provided, preferably adjacent and slightly spaced from one end of the compartment part, with an inlet tube 24 through which fluid under pressure, such as air, may be forced in order to inflate the bladder.
Means are provided by the invention for firmly but releaseably closing the openable longitudinal edge 4 of the compartment part in order to seal the bladder therein, while at the same time permitting easy and quick separation of the edge parts in order to permit access to the bladder. In a preferred form of the invention such means comprise elongated fabric strips 26, 28 which are attached, respectively, to the inner surfaces of the side members adjacent the unconnected longitudinal edge 4 thereof and which preferably extend substantially from end-to-end thereof. The facing surfaces of these strips are respectively formed with the loop surface 30 and the hook surface 32 of a velcro fastener. These strips may be narrow and may extend substantially throughout the lengths of the side members, one on each side member, and it will be apparent that they may be attached together merely by running the fingers along the exterior surfaces of the side members over the strips to attach the strips and close the openable edge of the compartment.
While I prefer to use a velcro fastener to releaseably connect the longitudinal edges of the compartment part in order to close the openable edge 4, any other suitable fastening means for performing this function may be provided within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the closure may be effected by a zipper extending along the openable edges, or snap fasteners may be positioned at spaced points along the inner surfaces of the parts.
in the preferred form of the invention which is disclosed in this specification an elongated flap is provided interiorly of the compartment and extends substantially throughout the length thereof for the dual purposes of overlying and protecting the bladder and providing additional transverse rigidity to the tourniquet. This flap is shown at 40 in the drawings and is formed of a flexible fabric and is preferably somewhat narrower than the side members. This flap is connected along its outer longitudinal edge 42 to the longitudinal edge of side member 12 as by any suitable means such as a line of stitching 44 or an adhesive, while the other longitudinal edge of the flap is free and may be pulled away from the bladder after the compartment part has been opened. ln the preferred form of the invention one of the strips 26, 28 forming the velcro closure is connected to the exposed surface of the flap along the longitudinal outer edge thereof so that the connecting surface 32 of this closure strip may be engaged in surface-to-surface pressure relation with the connecting surface of the other strip 30 of the velcro fastener to connect the side members and close the compartment part. It will be obvious that if some means other than velcro fastener strips, such as a zipper or snap fasteners, is used to connect the longitudinal separable edges of the compartment part one of the elements of such fastening means will be mounted on the inner surface of the flap 40 so that the fastener means may operate in their normal and intended manner.
Means are provided by the invention for permitting the tourniquet to be placed in surrounding relation to the larger part of a limb, and such means comprise an elongated strip 50 which is formed of flexible fabric material-of substantially the same width as the compartment part 2 of the tourniquet and which is connected to such compartment part in end-to-end relation and preferably at the opposite end thereof from the end adjacent which the inlet tube is positioned. This extension part 50 is substantially entirely covered on one of its exterior surfaces with the same surface of a velcro closure as that on the same side of the compartment part 2, as shown in FIG. 1, which in the embodiment disclosed is the loop surface. The other surface of the extension part 50 need not be provided with either of the connecting surfaces of a velcro closure as this is not required in the use and operation of the device.
Means are provided by the invention for maintaining pressure within the bladder 22 after the same has been inflated to a desired degree and the source of fluid pressure has been removed from connection to the inlet tube. Such means comprise a spring pressed check valve 60 which is at the outer end of the inlet tube and which is provided with a member 62 which is formed for connection to the outlet of a pump or the like. Such a check valve is an article of commerce and its internal structure need not be described in detail here, it being sufficient to say that the valve opens to permit air to be forced into the bladder, is closed by air pressure within the bladder when the pump is disconnected from the valve, and may be operated to release air from the bladder'to atmoshpere when desired, by depressing the member 62 manually.
All of the fabric parts of the tourniquet provided by the invention are formed of a material which is autoclavable to permit the entire device to be sterilized, and which is conductive to static electricity so that it cannot produce sparks which would be dangerous in an atmosphere laden with flammable gas, and which is impervious to alcohol, either and various detergents. There are numerous materials which fulfill these specifications and it will be understood that the invention is not limited to manufacture from any particular material or a material fulfilling any or all of these requirements.
The application of the invention to a human limb is illustrated in FIG. 5 and it will be seen that in such use the elongated compartment part of the tourniquet, after being closed along its openable edge 4, as by attachment of the interior velcro strips 30, 32 is wound about the limb in spiral form. Unless the limb is very small in circumference the tourniquet is applied with the continuing velcro surface thereof adjacent the surface of the limb so that the velcro surface ofthe end extension part will engage the cooperating surface of the velcro fastener surface of the compartment part. However, if the limb is very small either surface of the compartment part may be placed in contact with it as the end extension part of the tourniquet will not be needed. When the tourniquet is placed in such spiral position about the limb the contacting surfaces of the tourniquet will be firmly but releaseably connected by the cooperating velcro hook and loop fastener surfaces. A source of fluid under pressure, for example a hand-operated air pump, is now connected to the intake tube 24 and fluid under pressure is supplied to the interior of the bladder through check valve 60, inflating the bladder. When the bladder has been inflated to a desired pressure the source is disconnected from the intake tube, causing the check valve to be moved to closed position by compressed air within the bladder, thereby retaining the air under pressure within the bladder. When it is desired to deflate the bladder the movable member 62 ofthe valve may be depressed, opening the valve.
As described above, both of the hook and loop velcro closure surfaces 18, 20 on the outsides of the compartment part 2 and the end extension part 50 extend substantially transversely entirely across both outer surfaces ofthe compartment part and one surface of the end extension part. There is thereby provided a firm but releaseable connection between the entire exterior surfaces, from edge-to-edge, of the contacting parts ofthe wound tourniquet. Because ofthis engagement between the entire exterior surfaces a sufficiently stiff wrapping is provided, which is reinforced by the interior flap. and therefore no separate stiffening member is required as is required in prior art devices. Further, the absence of an interior stiffener, which must of necessity be narrower than the overall width of the tourniquet, eliminates the tendency of prior art tourniquets to turn about an edge part outside the stiffener. In use it has been found that when the tourniquet according to the invention is inflated it provides flat edge-to-edge pressure without any tendency to turn about an edge.
Certain features of the invention permit the tourniquet which I have provided to be used on limbs of all sizes, thus reducing to a minimum the number oftourniquets which a user must keep in stock, this being an advantage not provided by known devices. One of these features is the lack of a stiffener which, in prior art devices is positioned within the tourniquet and extends longitudinally thereof and which, because of its required partial rigidity, cannot be coiled down in a sufficiently small spiral to permit a tourniquet designed for one size of limb to be used on a smaller limb. Another feature is the positioning of the inlet tube adjacent (for example 2% inches from) the end of the tourniquet remote from the end extension part 50. It will be obvious that the tourniquet may be applied to a large limb, particularly with the use of the end extension part, but it will also be seen that it may also be applied to a very small limb, or even to a finger, by wrapping the limb or finger beginning with the end of the tourniquet adjacent the inlet tube. The tourniquet, having no internal stiffener, and needing none, may be easily wrapped down to a very small size and the positioning of the air inlet tube adjacent the tourniquet permits immediate air supply to the bladder without requiring the tourniquet to be wrapped until the air inlet tube is reached.
The bladder is normally sealed within'the compartment part ofthe tourniquet and is therefore'protected from injury by exterior devices. However, if the bladder should be injured in any way the compartment part may be easily opened with the fingers, the flap pulled back, and the bladder easily and quickly removed for replacement or repair, after which the opened longitudinal edge of the compartment part may be easily and quickly rescaled by connecting the interior velcro fastener strips, or the zipper, snap fasteners or other means providing the same function.
While the invention is not limited in any way to use with such a device, it is preferred that it be used in connection with the air supply device described and claimed in my copending application Ser. No. 547,645, filed May 4, l966, for Air Control Unit.
The check valve forming part of the air inlet tube, as described above, permits the use of a single source of air or other fluid under pressure to be used to supply a number of tourniquets applied to an equal number of limbs of the body. It will be apparent that when the flow of blood must be controlled in more than one such limb a tourniquet according to the invention, each having a check valve, may be applied to each limb and the bladder therein inflated to any desired pressure. When each of the tourniquets has been sufficiently inflated the air supply source may be disconnected from it and moved to the next tourniquet and the check valve of each disconnected tourniquet will maintain the pressure therein.
While I have described and illustrated certain forms which my invention may take, it will be apparent to those skilled in the arts to which it relates that other embodiments as well as those disclosed may be made and practed without departing in any way from the spirit or scope of the invention, for the limits of which reference must be made to the appended claims.
lclairn: j Y
1. A tourniquet for application to a limb of the body to control the flow of blood therethrough, comprising elongated substantially rectangular flexible fabric'side members arranged in superposed relation with registering longitudinal and end edges, and being connected along only one of its longitudinal edges and both of its end edges to form an open elongated compartment, the exterior surfaces of "said members being substantially entirely covered with cooperating surfaces which are releaseably attached to each other when engaged in surface-to-surface contact under pressure, an elongated inflatable bladder within said compartment which is accessible through the unconnected longitudinal edge thereof, and means for releaseably connecting the registering unconnected longitudinal edges of the side members to close the compartment. 1
2. A tourniquet according to claim 1, comprising in addition an elongated flap within the compartment and extending longitudinally thereof and connected along its one longitudinal edge to one of the registering unconnected longitudinal edges of the side members and overlying the bladder within the compartment.
3. A tourniquet according to claim 1, comprising in addition an elongated flap within the compartment and extending longitudinally thereof and connected along its one longitudinal edge to one of the registering unconnected longitudinal edges of the side members and overlying the bladder within the compartment, the flap being narrower than the internal width of the compartment. i
4. A tourniquet according to claim 1, comprising in addition an air inlet tube connected at its one end to the bladder and extending outside the compartment and being positioned longitudinally of the bladder and compartment closely adjacent one end thereof. 7
5. A tourniquet according to claim 1 comprising in addition an air inlet tube connected at its one'end to the bladder and extending outside the compartment and being positioned longitudinally of the bladder and compartment closely adjacent one end thereof and having a check valve at its end outside the compartment permitting air to be forced into the bladder by external means, to be retained within the bladder upon disconnection of the pumping means, and to be released from the bladder upon operation of the check valve.
6. A tourniquet for application to a limb of the body to control the flow of blood therethrough, comprising elongated substantially rectangular flexible fabric side'members arranged in superposed relation with registering longitudinal and end edges, and being connected along one of its longitudinal edges and both of its end edges to form an open elongated compartment, the exterior surfaces of said members being substantially entirely covered with cooperating surfaces which are releaseably attached to each other whenengaged in surfaceand an elongated flat end extension part connected to end-toend relation to the compartment and being of substantially the same width and being substantially entirely covered on one of its surfaces with the cooperative attaching surface which is also on the corresponding surface of the compartment.
7. A tourniquet for application to a limb of the body to control the flow of blood therethrough, comprising elongated substantially rectangular flexible fabric side members arranged in superposed relation with registering longitudinal and end edges, and being connected along one of its longitudinal edges an both of its end edges to form an open elongated compartment, the exterior surfaces of said members being substantially entirely covered with cooperating surfaces which are releaseably attached to each other when engaged in surfaceto-surface contact under pressure, an elongated inflatable bladder within said compartment which is accessible through the unconnected longitudinal edge thereof, and means for releaseably connecting the registering unconnected longitudinal edges of the side members to closethe compartment and an elongated flat end extension part connected in end-to-end relation to the compartment and being of substantially the same width and being substantiallyentirely covered on one of its surfaces with the cooperative attaching surface which is also on the corresponding surface of the compartment, the other surface of the end extension part being without a cooperative attaching surface.
8. A tourniquet for application to 'a limb of the body to control the flow of blood therethrough, comprising elongated substantially rectangular flexible fabric side members arranged in superposed relation with registering longitudinal and end edges, and being connected along one of its longitudinal edges and both of its end edges to form an elongated open compartment, the exterior surfaces of said members being substantially entirely covered with cooperating surface which are releaseably attached to each other when engaged in surfaceto-surface contact under pressure, an elongated inflatable bladder within said compartment which is accessible through the unconnected longitudinal edge thereof, longitudinally extending strips within the compartment and extending along the unconnected longitudinal edges thereof and having inwardly facing cooperating surface which releaseably attach to each other when engaged in surface-to-surface contact under pressure. I
9. A tourniquet for application to a limb of the body comprising elongated, flexible, side members arranged in superposed relation with registering longitudinal and end edges, and being connected along three of the edges to form an elongated compartment, the exterior surfaces of said members having means for releaseably securing the surfaces together, an inflatable bladder within said compartment, and means for releasably securing the unconnected edge to close the compartment.