US 3572334 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Mardi 23, 197 DE WITT R. PETTERSON 3,572,334
INTRAVENOUS CATHETER PLACEMENT UNIT Filed NOV. 27, 1968 mw .rdrklfww Mal'Ch 23u-w71 DE WITT R. PETTERsoN 3,572,334
INTRAVENOUS CATHETER PLACEMENT UNIT 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 27, 1968 INVENTOR f/Wrr Parri/@50N ATTORNEY Malh 23, 1971 DE WITT R. PETTERsoN 3,572,334
INTRAVENOUS CTHETER PLACEMENT UNIT Filed Nov. 27, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet :5
FHNW @m @m Q ww Malh 23, 1971 DE wlTT R. PETTERSON 3,572,334
INTRAVENOUS CATHETER PLACEMENT UNIT 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov.v 27, 196s MQ .d d
United States Patent O 3,572,334 INTRAVENOUS CATHETER PLACEMENT UNIT DeWitt R. Petterson, North Brunswick, NJ., assigner to Johnson & Johnson Filed Nov. 27, 1968, Ser. No. 779,340 Int. Cl. A61m 5/00 U.S. Cl. 12S- 214.4 5 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE An intravenous catheter placement unit wherein the catheter passes through a hollow pointed needle which is fully retractable into a housing which holds the needle and the needle point rmly in position longitudinally and laterally with respect to the catheter so that the catheter cannot move into injurious contact with the sharp edges of the needle point. The needle is inserted into the vein or other body cavity and retracted into the housing under the direct control of the same needle control means held by the operator. In its preferred form, the catheter is connected to catheter control means comprising an elongated catheter protector mounted to slide axially in the housing to control the advancement of the catheter through the needle. When the catheter is fully advanced and the needle is fully retracted, the catheter, needle and protector all are telescoped, one inside the other, within the housing and locked in position to provide a stable unit. No parts are removed and no extra parts are needed to operate and use the unit of this invention.
The present invention relates to intravenous catheter placement units, more particularly to such units wherein the catheter passes internally through a sharpened needle and the needle normally remains on the unit during use.
Various attempts have been made to provide satisfactory units of this type. U.S. Letters Pat. No. 3,055,361 discloses a unit wherein the catheter is enclosed within a bag attached to the rear of the needle and the bag is removed after the needle is advanced. A special needle protector also is suggested in this unit for protecting the catheter from being cut by the point of the needle when the unit is in use. However, the needle is otherwise exposed. U.S. Letters Pat. No. 3,185,152 discloses a similar device wherein a sleeve or sheath which initially houses the catheter is removed after the catheter is advanced. However, the needle remains exposed during use and it is necessary to provide a special device to mount the catheter at an angle to the axis of the needle in order to allow the sheath to be used and removed. While U.S. Letters Pat. No. 3,262,449 discloses the broad idea of retracting a needle into its hub in a catheter placement unit having removable parts and similar to that just described, this disclosure does not provide for protecting the catheter from the sharp edges of the needle point during use.
All the prior art devices involve removable parts and necessitate the use of some kind of additional device to protect the catheter from the sharp edges of the needle point where such protection is even possible. In fact, all such devices which currently are being used leave the needle exposed on the catheter after the catheter has been fully inserted for use. Furthermore, many of these devices ar quite complicated and diiiicult to operate.
I have invented an intravenous catheter placement unit which has no removable parts except for those used in packaging the unit, provides for complete retraction of the needle and automatic protection of the catheter from injury by the sharp edges of the needle point as well as for sterile protection of the inserted catheter, and is designed for an extremely simple twoor three-step operation.
In the unit of my invention the needle is under precise control at all times and the needle point, when retracted, is held firmly in a iixed position with respect to the catheter tubing. This avoids any possibility that the sharp edges of the needle point Will cut the catheter due to relative movement between them. The needle point is automatically fixed in this position upon retraction without the need for special adjustment or the use of any additional parts to protect the catheter.
In the normally preferred form of this invention, the unit comprises a hollow needle secured to needle control means, a ilexible hollow catheter passing through the needle and secured to catheter control means which includes an elongated hollow catheter protector, and a housing for the needle and the catheter protector. The catheter control means also is attached, or adapted to be attached, to connecting tubing in communication with the catheter. The catheter and the catheter protector are advanced together through and into the housing and the needle is retracted into the housing, Where the needle and the catheter protector are retained in telescoped relation to one another. The needle is automatically positioned in the housing upon retraction as described above, and the catheter protector also is automatically locked in position in the housing when the catheter is fully advanced, thereby providing an integral unit with the catheter extending from the front end and connecting tubing extending from the rear end. This unit then may be taped in position in the usual manner to allow subsequent use of the catheter Without any danger of injuring the patient, the nurse or doctor, or the catheter itself.
In one form of this invention where the catheter is short and attached to the rear of the housing and the catheter protector is not needed, the unit is readied for use by a simple two step operation wherein the needle containing the catheter is first inserted into the vein or other body cavity and then retracted into the housing of the unit and retained in position therein, thereby leaving the catheter in the desired position. In the more normal or usual operation wherein a longer catheter is needed, the unit including the catheter protector is positioned for use in a simple three-step operation wherein the needle is first inserted as described above, the catheter control means including the catheter and the protector is advanced through and into the housing and locked in position thereon, and the needle is then retracted into the housing and held in position therein with the needle and the catheter protector retained in telescoped relation as described hereinbefore. During these operations the unit is completely self-contained and it is not necessary to add or remove any additional parts or devices to or from the unit.
In a preferred form of this invention the housing is formed or molded in longitudinal halves which are adapted to be superimposed and secured together after the associated parts of the unit are properly positioned between them. In one embodiment of the invention, the housing is molded in one piece and the halves are hinged to one another and molded with parts which are adapted to be fitted together to form the housing.
'Other and further advantages of this invention will appear to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims taken together with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan View of an intravenous catheter placement unit according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 2 2 of FIG. 1 showing the middle section of the housing and the front portion of the needle and catheter partially broken away to conserve space, and showing the needle in its extended position.
FIG. 2a is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing only portions of the housing, needle, and needle control mean-s, with the needle in its retracted position, and the parts broken away in two places to conserve space.
FIG. 3 is a similarly enlarged plan view of the connecting fitting at the rear of the lhousing of the embodiment of the foregoing figures.
FIG. 4 is a view partly in section and partly in end elevation taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 partly in section and partly in plan taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a more greatly enlarged sectional view taken along the line `6 6y of FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a similarly enlarged sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 8 also is a similarly enlarged sectional view taken along the line 8 8 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 9 is a view in perspective of the intravenous catheter placement unit of the foregoing figures showing the needle in its extended position .'being inserted through the skin into a vein with the needle under control of the flag-like finger grip extending from the needle control means.
FIG. 10 is a view in perspective similar to FIG. 9 and showing the unit after the point of the needle has been positioned in the vein and the catheter control means is being advanced into the housing to advance the catheter through the needle further into the vein.
FIG. 11 is a View in perspective similar to the foregoing figures showing the unit when the catheter has been fully :advanced through the needle and the catheter connector is being locked on the rear end of the -housing before the needle is retracted.
FIG. 12 is a view in perspective of the :same unit showing the needle fully retracted in the housing and 'with one thumb placed on the skin over 'the vein for holding the leading end of the catheter in position.
FIG. 13 is a very greatly enlarged View partly in section and partly in elevation showing a portion of the catheter and the catheter protector and the relationship between these two parts as the catheter is being advanced.
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of an intravenous catheter placement unit according to a somewhat dierent elmbodiment of the invention, illustrating the needle in its extended position and partially broken away at the rear to show the relationship between the parts and broken away at the front and the rear of the unit to conserve space.
FIG. l5 is a side elevational view of the unit of FIG. 14 also broken away at the front and the rear to conserve space and partially fbroken away intermediate the ends of the housing to show the means for positioning the needle in its retracted position.
FIG. 16 is a View similar to that of FIG. 15 partly in broken away section and partly in side elevation showing the needle in its retracted position and the catheter in its fully advanced position.
FIG. 17 is a plan view of the housing of the units of FIG. 14-16 showing the hinged halves of the housing before they have been folded together.
FIG. 18 is an enlarged view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 18--18 of FIG. 17.
FIG. 19 is a similarly enlarged view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 19-19 of FIG. 16.
FIG. 20 is a similarly enlarged view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 20--20 of FIG. 15.
FIG. 21 also is a similarly enlarged view partly in section and partly in elevation talen along the line 21- 21 of FIG. 14.
FIG. 22 is a top plan View of an intravenous catheter placement unit according to still a different embodiment of this invention showing the needle in its extended position.
FIG. 23 is a side view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 23-23 of FIG. 22.
FIG. 24 is a view similar to that of FIG. 23 but showing the needle in its retracted position.
FIG. 25 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 25-25 of FIG. 24 with the flag or finger grip broken away to conserve space.
Referring to FIGS. 1-12 of the drawings, there is shown an intravenous catheter placement unit according to a preferred embodiment of the invention which comprises an elongated hollow bore needle 30 having a beveled point 31 at its front end and needle control means 32 at its rear end, a flexible hollow catheter 33 passing through the bore 30a of the needle and secured to catheter control means 34 at its rear end, and an elongated housing 35 having a front hub portion 36, a rear connecting portion 37, and an intermediate hollow barrel portion 38 defining an elongated passageway 39 between the hub portion 36 and the rear of the housing. The internal diameter of the bore 40 of the hub portion 36 of the housing is only slightly greater than the external diameter of the needle 30 so that the needle is mounted snugly in the bore 40 and is prevented from lateral movement with respect to the front of the housing or the catheter 33. The needle control means 32 comprises an enlarged mounting portion 41 surrounding and secured to the rear of the needle 30, a finger grip 42 extending outside the housing, and a rib 43 connecting the finger grip 42 and the mounting portion 41. In this embodiment of the invention, the mounting portion 41, the finger grip 42 and the rib `43 are integral and formed from a single strip of relatively rigid plastic material, such as a vinyl sheet, which is wrapped around the needle to form the mounting portion 41 and has its ends superimposed and adhered together to form a flag which includes the rib `43 and the finger grip 42, as best shown in FIG. 8. The catheter control means 34 comprises a hub-like catheter connector 44 having a central bore y45 in which the rear end of the catheter 33y is mounted and held securely by a suitable adhesive, and an elongated tubular catheter protector 46. The catheter connector 44 denes a rearwardly facing enlarged opening 47 in cornmunication with the central bore `45 and which is adapted to receive the end of suitable tubing `48 for connecting the unit to other equipment. The catheter connector 44 also comprises a split cylindrical rim y49 adapted to fit over the rear end of the housing and defining an internal annular groove 51 for receiving locking means on the housing. The tubular catheter protector 46 is secured to a tubular extension 52 on the connector and extends through a longitudinal opening 53 in the rear connecting portion 37 of the housing into the rear end of the passageway 39. The protector 46 has an outwardly extending annular flange 54 at its front end for preventing rearward removal of the protector from the housing.
The hollow barrel portion 38 of the housing is in the form of a cylindrical tube which is split at the top to provide a longitudinal groove 55 for receiving and guiding the rib 43 of the needle control means. The front end of the barrel is mounted on and secured to a relieved cylindrical extension S6 of the hub portion 36 of the housing, and the rear end of the barrel is mounted on and secured to a similar relieved cylindrical extension 57 of the rear connecting portion of the barrel. The rear connecting portion 37 of the barrel defines a locking slot 58 for positioning the needle 30 in its retracted position. This locking slot is adapted to receive the rib 43 or flag of the needle control means and hold it in position as the needle is retracted by virtue of opposed detents 59 at the front end of the locking slot. The space between these detents 59 normally is less than the width of the rib portion 43 of the flag, but the detents are adapted to be;
spread apart when the tiag is pressed into contact with the tapered leading edges to allow the flag to enter the locking slot 58. Of course, the rear connecting portion 37 of the housing is formed from a material which is sufficiently resilient to allow this to occur. The internal diameters of the longitudinal opening 53 of the connecting portion 3-7 of the housing and the passageway 39 in the housing are such that the longitudinal opening 53 snugly receives the tubing of the catheter protector 46 and the passageway 39 snugly receives the iiange 54 at the front end of the protector `46 to positively guide the protector as the protector is advanced into the housing. The connecting portion 37 of the housing is tapered slightly at its rear end and terminates in an outwardly extending annular locking ange 61 which is adapted to cooperate with the annu lar locking groove 51 in the catheter connector 44 to lock the catheter connector on the housing when these parts are brought together and the catheter 33 and catheter protector 46 are fully advanced through and into the housing.
The catheter protector 46, like the barrel 38 of the housing, is in the form of a split tube defining a longitudinal groove 62 which is aligned with the longitudinal groove 55 in the barrel and the iiag or rib 43 of the needle control means by a longitudinal key 60 extending inwardly from the connecting portion 37 of the housing into the groove 62 of the protector 46. The internal diameter of the catheter protector 46 is such as to snugly receive the cylindrical mounting portion `4I of the needle control means at the rear of the needle and, when the catheter protector y46 is fully advanced into the housing, the leading end of the protector -46 will embrace the mounting portion 41 of the needle control means, as best illustrated in FIG. 2A. As the catheter protector 46 is advanced into contact with the flag-like rib 43 of the needle control means the slit portion or groove 62 in the protector also receives and embraces the rib 43 of the needle control means. At this point, the flag of the needle control means is positioned in a double slot outwardly defined by the barrel 38 and inwardly defined by the catheter protector 46l telescoped within the barrel. Thus, the needle control means is adapted to be guided during withdrawal to its retracted position by the positioning of its mounting portion 41 within the bore of the catheter protector 46 and its flag within the dual slot defined by the catheter protector and the barrel of the housing.
The normal operation of this embodiment of the invention is best described with reference to FIGS. 9-13 as well as the foregoing figures. The unit with the needle 30 fully extended and the catheter 33 fully retracted, as shown in FIGS. 1-3 and 9, is operated as follows. The point 31 of the needle 30 is inserted through the skin and into a vein 63 or other body cavity with the needle 30 under direct control of the ngers of the nurse or doctor holding the finger grip 42 of the flag, as shown in FIG. 9. After the point 31 of the needle is positioned in the vein 63, the operator holds the barrel 35 of the unit with one hand and grips the catheter connector 44 with the other, as shown in FIG. l0. Then the catheter connector y44 may be gently advanced toward the housing 35, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. l0, to advance the catheter 33 through the needle 30 and further into the vein 63. If the needle 30 is not properly positioned in the vein for this purpose, this will be indicated to the operator by resistance to advancement of the catheter 33 and its control means. Any resistance to advancement of the catheter 33 will be directly conveyed to the hand holding the catheter connector 44 by virtue of the fact that the catheter is confined within the tubular catheter protector 46. The internal diameter of the catheter protector 46 is no more than a few, preferably no more than 5, times the outer diameter of the catheter 33, with the result that the catheter 33 cannot be caused to buckle substan tially within the unit when it meets resistance because even the slightest bending of the catheter will be pre- Vented by the inside Wall of the catheter protector, as illustrated in FIG. 13. Therefore, resistance to catheter advancement can only be conveyed directly to the hand of the operator through the catheter connector 44.
The forward motion of the catheter 33 and the catheter control means is continued until the catheter reaches its fully advanced position illustrated in FIG. ll. During this movement of the catheter 33 and the catheter protector 46, the catheter protector advances within the housing until its forward end reaches the needle control means. Then the protector 46 embraces the mounting portion 41 of the needle control means and the rib 43 or flag thereof enters the slot l6.2` in the protector `46 as the forward motion of the protector continues to the point shown in FIG. 2a where the catheter 33 is fully advanced. Similarly, the tapered inside surface of the slit rim 49 of the catheter connector 44 comes into contact with the locking iiange 61 at the rear end of the barrel and spreads over the flange 61 until flange 61 snaps into the annular groove 51 in the connector to lock the connector 44, the catheter protector 46 and the cannula 33` in their fully advanced positions. The fact that the rim 49 on the catheter connector 44 is slit, assures that the associated parts of the housing and the connector will be suiciently resilient to allow them to be snapped together for this purpose. After the catheter connector 44 is locked in position at the rear of the housing, as shown in FIGS. 11 and l2, the operator presses down on the leading end of the catheter 33 through the skin of the patient, as shown in FIG. 12, and the needle 30 is retracted into the housing merely by moving the ffag or finger grip 42 to the rear, as shown in FIG. 12. The movement of the flag is continued until it enters the locking slot 58 in the rear connecting portion 37 of the housing, at which point the needle 30 is retained in position fully retracted within the housing, and the needle point 31 is automatically positioned intermediate the ends of the longitudinal bore 40 of the hub portion of the housing with the needle point spaced substantially from the front end of this bore, as shown most clearly in FIG. 2a. Since the needle 30 fits snugly within the longitudinal bore 40 of the hub 36, the needle point 3.1 is now fixed in position and cannot move longitudinally or axially. Similarly, the catheter '33 cannot move longitudinally or axially with respect to the sharp edges of the needle point 31, because it is locked in position at the rear end of the housing and because it cannot move laterally with respect to the needle since it is conlined within the small diameter longitudinal bore 40 of the hub in front of the needle point 3l. Thus, the catheter is automatically protected from injury by the sharp edges of the needle point when the catheter 33 is fully advanced and the needle 30 is locked in its retracted position. If it is desired to place the maximum length of catheter in the Vein, the whole unit merely is advanced t0 the left in FIG.l2 until the housing approaches the skin opening. Atthis point, or prior thereto, the unit may be taped or otherwise retained in position on the body where it may stay for any length of time for continued use of the catheter 33 without danger of injuring the patient, the nurse or doctor, or the catheter itself.
IFIGS. 14-21 illustrate an intravenous catheter placement unit according to another embodiment of this invention wherein the housing 65 is molded in one piece from a suitable moldable material, such as polypropylene. The housing 65 is molded in almost identical longitudinal half sections 66 and 67, which are held together by an integrally molded longitudinal hinge 68, as best Y illustrated in FIGS. 17, 18, and 19. The hinge 68 is in the form of a relatively thin longitudinal web molded between the halves and the web defines a pivoting section 69 of reduced diameter between the two halves. These halves 66 and 67 are adapted to be superimposed by folding them together about the hinge 68, after the needle control means of the unit is properly positioned between them. The halves 66 and 67 are positioned for this purpose by inserting a set of pegs 71 molded adjacent the top of one half into a set of corresponding cylindrical holes 72 molded adjacent the top of the other half and the halves are firmly secured together by a suitable adhesive or cement Which previously has been placed between the contacting surfaces. If desired, the pegs 71 and holes 72 may be so shaped that the pegs may be snapped into the holes to provide mechanical engagement between the halves 66 and 67 and lock them together in this manner. Correspondingly, if desired the hinge 68 may be eliminated and the halves 66 and 67 may merely be superimposed and secured together, as described above, to form the housing.
The unit of FIGS. 14-21 comprises a sharpened needle 73 and needle control means essentially the same as those shown and described in connection with the foregoing embodiment, although the integral iiag 74 and the mounting portion 75 of the needle control means may Ibe molded in one piece in its final shape and then inserted over the rear end of the needle 73 instead of forming it from a sheet which is folded over the needle, as described hereinbefore. The catheter control means also is similar to that of the foregoing figures, but comprises a catheter protector 76 which is molded with vertical flanges 77 on each side of the longitudinal slot 78 at the top of the protector. These vertical flanges 77 fit into a corresponding rectangular recess 79 in the housing and thereby assure that the protector 76 is properly positioned angularly in the housing 65 with its slot 78 aligned with the ag or rib 74 of the needle control means, as ybest shown in FIG. 19. The catheter control means also comprises a somewhat different catheter connector 81 which is shown in mostdetail in FIGS. 20 and 21. The catheter protector 76 is received internally in a front opening 82 of the connector and secured thereto by a suitable adhesive or cement. As in the foregoing embodiment, the connector 81 also presents an annular rim `83 facing the housing 65 which is adapted to lock on to the rear end of the housing. Top and bottom ridges 84 facing inwardly toward the catheter protector 76 are presented by the rim for this purpose for cooperating with corresponding top and bottom grooves 85 presented by the housing. The catheter 86 itself is cemented into a small longitudinally extending bore 86a in the connector 81 which places the catheter 86 in communication with a tapered or Luer type socket 87 for receiving a tapered fitting attached to the end of tubing, both not shown, to be used with the unit.
The housing 65, when its halves 66 and 67 are secured together, comprises a front hub section 88 and an elongated barrel 89 extending rearwardly thereof. The barrel 89, in turn, has an elongated passageway 90 extending throughout its length which is adapted to receive and slideably support the catheter protector 76, as shown most clearly in FIGS. 16 and 19, and a slot 91 at the top of the housing for receiving and guiding the flag 74. As compared with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-13, the passageway 39 and the longitudinal opening `53 at the rear of the housing of the foregoing embodiment are merged into the single passageway 90 of the unit of this embodiment. As in the foregoing embodiment, the cylindrical mounting portion 75 of the needle control means is adapted to t closely Within the bore of the catheter protector 76 when the catheter protector is advanced, such as shown in FIGS. 16 and 19, and to be firmly supported and slideably mounted Within the protector for movement of the needle from its extended position, shown in FIG. l5, to its retracted position, shown in FIGS. 16 and 19.
The unit of FIGS. 14-21 is operated in the same manner as that of FIGS. 1-13. First, of course, the conventional needle protector 92, shown in phantom in FIG. 14, is removed from the needle (as it also normally would be from the unit of FIGS. 1-13, since a needle protector 4generally is necessary to properly protect and confine the needle prior to use). Then the unit of FIGS. 14-21 is operated as described in conjunction with FIGS. 9-13.
However, it should be pointed out that the needle 73 and needle control means of this embodiment is positioned or retained in the extended position of the needle by opposed detents 93 extending from the sides of the slot 91 in the housing just rearwardly of the flag 74. However, the flag 74 may be easily dislodged from the detents 93 when it is desired to retract the needle 73. Similar detents 94 are provided at the rear of the slot 91 to retain the needle 73 in its retracted position in the housing 65. Of course, these detents 94 will assume a position in front of the flag 74 when the needle is fully retracted, as shown in FIG. 16. When the catheter 86 and the catheter protector 76 are fully advanced, as shown in FIG. 16, the catheter and the protector are locked in position with respect to the housing 65. This is accomplished when the ridges 84 presented by the rim of the catheter connector snap into the corresponding top and bottom grooves at the rear of the housing. The catheter protector 76 is restrained from rearward removal from the housing 65 by a pair of opposed detents 95 which extend inwardly from the wall of the barrel and snap into corresponding recesses 96 in the sides of the protector 76 when the protector is in its initial position, shown in FIGS. 14 and 15.
As in the foregoing embodiment, when the needle 73 is fully retracted and the catheter `86 is fully advanced, the catheter 86 is automatically protected from the sharp edges of the needle point 96 because the needle point is locked in position longitudinally and cannot move radially because it lits snugly within the longitudinal bore 97 of the hub section of the housing. Furthermore, the point 96 of the needle is positioned between the ends of the longitudinal bore 97 of the hub and spaced substantially from the front end of the bore. Thus, as described in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-13, the catheter 86 is restrained against lateral or radial motion with respect to the sharp edges of the needle point, with the result that the needle and the catheter are prevented from moving relative to one another.
A somewhat different embodiment of the invention, wherein a relatively short catheter 101 is employed and a catheter protector is not necessary, is shown in FIGS. 22-25. This unit is similar in construction to that of FIGS. 14-21 in that its housing 102 is molded in one piece in the form of opposed halves 103 and 104 which are hinged together and adapted to be secured or adhered to one another as described in connection with the housing of FIGS. 14-21. The hub portion 88 of the housing 102 and the control means for the needle 73 is the same as that of the foregoing embodiment. The housing 102 defines a slot 105 and detents 106 and 107 which are similar to those of the foregoing embodiment for positioning the needle control means in the extended and retracted positions of the needle 73 with respect to the housing 102.
Since in the embodiment of FIGS. 22-25 no catheter protector is required, the rear of the catheter 101 is mounted in a small longitudinal bore 108 in the housing itself, which bore is in communication with a suitable tapered socket 109 for receiving a tapered fitting, not shown, to be used to connect suitable tubing, also not shown, to the rear of the unit. The barrel portion 111 of the housing between the front hub portion 88 and the rear connecting portion 112 thereof defines an elongated passageway 113 of smaller diameter to receive the mounting portion 75 of the needle control means directly and guide it positively during movement of the needle 73v from its extended to its retracted position. As in the foregoing embodiments, the longitudinal groove 105 at the top of the passageway 113 receives the rib or flag 74 of the needle control means and guides it during retraction of the needle.
This unit is adapted to be operated in two simple steps, as described hereinbefore i.e., first, by inserting the needle 73 into the vein under the control of the Hag 74 and then by retracting the needle fully into the housing 102 while advancing the whole unit forward slightly to allow the short catheter 101 to achieve maximum penetration. When the needle 73 is fully retracted, it is locked in position longitudinally behind the detents 107 and held against any kind of lateral or radial movement by the close lit between the needle point 73 and the longitudinal bore 97 of the hub section of the housing and the close fit between the mounting portion 75 of the needle control means and the passageway 113 at the rear of the housing. Again, the needle point 96 is positioned intermediate the ends of the longitudinal bore 97 of the hub and spaced substantially from the front end of the bore 97 to assure that the catheter 101 is protected against any kind of injury from the sharp edges of the needle point, as described hereinbefore in connection with the foregoing embodiments of the invention.
The various parts of the units of this invention may be formed of any suitable materials which may be shaped or molded into the desired forms and which may be sterilized and still possess the necessary physical properties to assure that the unit will function properly as described hereinbefore.
Having now described the invention in specific detail and exemplied the manner in which it may be carried into practice, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that innumerable variations, applications, modications, and extensions of the basic principles involved may be made without departing from its spirit or scope.
What is claimed is:
1. A catheter placement unit which comprises; an elongated hollow bore needle having a pointed front end and needle control means at its rear end; a flexible hollow catheter passing through the bore of said needle, said catheter being mounted at its rear end in catheter control means; and an elongated housing presenting a front hub portion having a longitudinal bore through which the needle passes, and a barrel portion extending rearwardly thereof; said needle control means comprising a mounting portion attached to the needle inside the barrel, a finger grip outside the barrel, and a rib connecting said finger grip with said mounting portion; said barrel deiining an elongated passageway for allowing said mounting portion to move longitudinally in said barrel and a corresponding longitudinal slot for receiving said rib, said slot extending between said passageway and the exterior of said barrel; said catheter control means comprising a relatively rigid and elongated catheter protector in the form of a hollow tube disposed around said catheter and mounted through an opening in the rear of said barrel for relative axial telescoping movement within said passageway; said catheter control means being adapted to be advanced with respect to said housing in such a way as to advance said catheter through said needle and said protector into telescoping relation with said barrel; said needle having an extended position wherein said needle control means is positioned at or adjacent the front end of said passageway with the remainder of the needle extending through the longitudinal bore of said hub, and a retracted position wherein said needle control means is positioned rearwardly in said passageway with the needle retracted in the housing; said protector having a longitudinal slot in axial alignment with the slot in said barrel to receive said rib during the movement of said needle from its extended to its retracted position and having an internal diameter suiiiciently large to receive said mounting portion.
2. A catheter placement unit according to claim 1, wherein said catheter control means comprises a catheter connector and locking means is provided at the rear of said housing for engaging said catheter connector when said catheter is fully advanced through said housing.
3. A catheter placement unit according to claim 1, wherein said catheter protector comprises means adjacent its front end for preventing its rearward withdrawal from said housing.
4. A catheter placement unit according to claim 1, wherein said housing is formed in longitudinal halves which are adapted to be superimposed and secured t0- gether after the needle control means of said unit is properly positioned between them.
5. A catheter placement unit according to claim 4, wherein said housing is formed in one piece and said halves are hinged together.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,157,524 lO/19l5 Furness 128--215 3,262,449 7/ 1966 Pannier et al 12S-214.4
3,324,853 6/1967 Czorny et al. 12S- 214.4
3,438,373 4/1969 Pannier 12S-214.4
3,463,152 8/1969 Sorenson 12S-214.4
FOREIGN PATENTS 864,007 3/1961 Great Britain 128-221 DALTON L. TRULUCK, Primary Examiner