US 3572337 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 23, 1971 G. J.'SCHUNK I 3,572,337
SYRINGE FOR ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE Filed Dec. 26, 1968 Mum me 650245 J .OZk/UA/K l /d'c v/rzw United States Patent 3,572,337 SYRINGE FOR ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE George J. Schunk, 3265 Azalea Drive 5., Salem, Oreg. 97302 Filed Dec. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 786,923 Int. Cl. A61j 7/00 US. Cl. 128-222 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A syringe for the oral administration of medicine for infants and children including an elongated hollow barrel terminating at one end in a flexible tip for insertion into the mouth. A lip abutment skirt projecting radially from the barrel is adapted to fit against the childs lips and prevent them from passing over the barrel with the syringe in place. The tip, with the syringe in place, projects within the buccal pouch. Fexibility in the tip permits it to conform to the curvature of the inside of the cheek. The tip is not so long as to reach the trachea should the tip be improperly positioned over the tongue. A removable cap fits over the flexible tip, and the syringe when rested on a horizontal surface assumes a position inclining upwardly toward the tip.
This invention relates to a special form of syringe constructed to permit the safe administration through the mouth of medicinal dosages.
Liquid medicines are traditionally administered to children using a spoon. This requires that the amount to be given the child be measured into the spoon, and that the medicine then be transferred with the spoon into the childs mouth. Administering medicine in this fashion has .many disadvantages, as any parent knows, since inadvertent spillage is frequent, and the child, particularly if sleepy or if not feeling well, may refuse willingly to accept the spoon. Further, an exact measurement of a particular amount of medicine into a spoon is difficult, particularly if the hour is late and the mind is not as alert as it is during normal daytime hours. Also important to realize is the extreme range of sizes commonly found in teaspoons with such having liquid capacities ranging from 2.5 to 7.0 cc. (5.0 cc. is the standard teaspoon capacity when completely filled).
Bottoming this invention is the concept that a particular type of syringe may be used quite advantageously in dispensing medicine, where the syringe is constructed to deposit the medicine into the buccal pouch on the inside of the cheek. Further, the invention appreciates that a safeguard must be provided against the syringe being used to eject the medicine directly into the trachea, which could cause serious difliculty. As will be hereinafter dmcribed, the syringe contemplated includes a short flexible tip, which is adapted to pass into the mouth and to conform to the profile of the inside of the cheek forming the buccal pouch. A lip abutment skirt in the syringe prevents too great a penetration into the mouth, to guard against a childs taking medicine into his lungs.
Further features of the invention include a cap for mounting on the end of the flexible tip, to close it off and prevent leakage therefrom. In this way, dosages to be administered by a parent after the normal time that he retires can be withdrawn into the syringe before retiring to bed, to be in readiness for administration later. Further, the lip abutment skirt discussed is shaped so that it operates to hold the syringe with it inclining upwardly to the end including the tip. The tip in the syringe in this way may be easily kept clean, since it is carried in a position well above any table surface supporting the syringe.
Patented Mar. 23, 1971 The inclined position of the syringe also contributes to inhibiting leakage from the tip.
A clearer understanding of the invention and the various objects and advantages attained thereby will become more fully apparent from reading the following description to be taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side view illustrating a syringe according to an embodiment of the invention and showing how it rests on a table surface;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, somewhat enlarged, taken generally along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 illustrates how the flexible tip of the syringe performs in conjunction with the lip abutment flange during the oral administration of medicine; and
FIG. 4 shows a modified form of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings, and first of all to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the syringe shown in these figures comprises an elongated body 9 including a hollow barrel shown at 10. The barrel of the syringe may be made of a relatively rigid plastic material, whereby it retains its shape during handling, including during times when liquid is drawn into the barrel by suction. The barrel is transparent or translucent, and includes calibrations as an aid to measuring amounts drawn into the barrel.
Formed as an integral part of the barrel, adjacent its left end in FIG. 1, is a lip abutment skirt 12. The skirt extends both radially inwardly and outwardly of barrel 10. Joined to the skirt, and projecting outwardly from the axis of the barrel, is a hollow nipple 14 including a passage 15 communicating with the interior of the barrel. The skirt closes off all of the left end of the barrel save for the opening provided by passage 15.
The outer diameter of the barrel should not exceed about A of an inch, in order that it may be fitted comfortably between the index and middle finger during operation of the syringe, and it is preferred that a diameter of about /2 inch or less be selected. The lip abutment skirt, which has peripheral portions extending radially outwardly from the barrel, and a circular outline in the particular embodiment of the invention being discussed, should preferably have a diameter of one inch or more. It has been noted that the usual child will not accept an element of this size into the mouth without appreciable mouth distortion. In this way, the lip abutment skirt serves as an effective deterrent to the syringe penetrating the mouth farther than the location of the skirt.
Snugly fitted over nipple 14 is one end of a short section of flexible tubing 16, which constitutes a tip in the syringe.
With the syringe used to dispense medicine orally, flexibility in the tip is an important requirement if the tip is to be easily fitted into the buccal pouch, which is the region located on the inside of the cheek and outwardly of the gum. This is because for comfortable movement into this pouch the tip must curve slightly to conform to the curvature of the inside of the cheek. Flexibility also assures that there is not an abrading of tissue during insertion of the tip. In this connection, it should be remembered that a child when taking medicine might move his head abruptly, and a rigid tip in this eventuality could cause serious discomfort. In general, the tip should have a flexibility to permit 45 bending thereof with a lateral force exerted on the extremity thereof of no greater than about ten ounces.
The introduction of a liquid medicine directly into the trachea of the child constitutes a danger which must be effectively guarded against if oral administration as contemplated is to be widely practiced. It has been determined from measurements of different children that the maximum penetration permissible to insure the administration to the buccal pouch region is two inches, and
preferably the penetration should be maintained below about one and a half inches. Thus, the length of the tube section is selected so that the distance in an axial direction from the remote or free end of the tube section to the outer margin of the lip abutment skirt is two inches or less. In order that there be sufiicient penetration to reach side regions of the mouth on the inside of the cheek, this distance should be at least about three quarters of an inch.
The side 12w of the abutment skirt 12 which faces axially outwardly has the shape of a cone with concave sides. With the concavity described, the side profile of the outwardly facing side of the skirt includes adjacent concave regions conforming to the double convex curvature seen in the side profile of a childs lips. In this way, the skirt fits comfortably against the childs lips, and the child will tend to draw his lips together in a sucking action over the tip of the syringe where it joins with the lip abutment skirt.
Syringe body 9 also includes at the right end of the barrel in FIG. 1 a pair of opposed finger grips 18', which are joined to and project out from opposite sides of the barrel and lie along a common axis which extends transversely of the longitudinal axis of the barrel. With the barrel between the index and forefinger, the fingers come up against the under sides of the grips to permit digital pressure to be applied to the plunger in the syringe using the thumb.
A plunger for the syringe is indicated in the drawings at 20, such being reciprocable with respect to the syringe body and including a piston 22 which is slidably reoeived within the barrel of the syringe, and a shank 24 which projects out from ends b of the barrel. The shank may take the form of elongated ribs 24a which slide on the inner surface of the barrel and are joined together on the axis of the syringe body. A thumb rest 26 is joined to the shank at its outer extremity. A ring 27 joined to the thumb rest preferably also is included to permit withdrawing of the plunger while holding onto the syringe with the same hand. By facilitating singlehand filling of the syringe, the other hand may be used in tipping any jar or bottle containing medicine.
To seal off the flexible tip in the syringe a removable cap 30 is included. This cap fits snugly over the extremity of the flexible tip and is removed during filling and application of medicine.
FIG. 3 illustrates how the syringe of the invention may be employed in dispensing medicine. The syringe first of all is filled with the liquid to be administered through retracting the plunger. The calibrations permit an accurate measurement of the dosage withdrawn into the syringe and later to be administered. In dispensing the contents orally, the flexible tip is inserted into the mouth along the side of the gum, and into the base of the buccal pouch. During this placement the tip conforms readily to the contours of the gum. and the inside of the cheek. With the lip abutment skirt against the lips of the child, the plunger is depressed to eject the contents into the mouth. There is no spillage, and the child has a comfortable feeling of sucking on a pacifying object during the intake.
In the event that the syringe is filled for the administration of medicine to be performed at a considerably later time, after filling the removable cap is placed back on the tip, and the syringe may be rested on a table, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. It will be noted that with the plunger retracted, the lip abutment skirt is effective to hold the barrel inclined with the opposite end of the syringe deriving its support through thumb rest 26. This is effective to keep the tip pointing in the air, which inhibits leakage and also is important in that the tip is held off the supporting surface, i.e., the table, and in this way maintained clean. With the syringe resting on a table, the finger grips position themselves as shown in 4 FIG. 2, which is in a position extending in a horizontal sense to either side of the barrel.
FIG. 4 illustrates a modified form of the invention. In this instance, the lip abutment skirt 40, instead of being circular when viewed along the axis of the syringe, has an ovate shape. Further, side 40a of the skirt which faces outwardly from the barrel conforms along both the minor and major axis of the skirt with the contour of the lips. With this form of the invention, the dimension along the minor axis of the skirt should be at least about the one inch indicated, to prevent insertion of the barrel between the lips. The axis of the finger grips when incorporated with such a skirt would parallel the minor axis of the skirt, since in administering medicine, the fingers usually are arranged substantially parallel to the lips and the fingers are disposed with respect to the syringe in a direction extending transversely of the axis of the finger grips.
The syringe contemplated has been demonstrated to have a number of worthwhile advantages which makes the syringe a useful tool in a household medicine cabinet. While several modifications of the invention have been disclosed, it should be obvious that other variations and modifications are possible without departing from the invention.
It is claimed and desired to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A syringe for the oral administration of medicine to children comprising an elongated hollow barrel adapted to fit comfortably between the index and forefinger for holding a medicinal dosage; a reciprocating plunger including a piston portion slidably received Within said barrel and a shank ring-tipped portion projecting out from one end of the barrel; an elongated plastic, hollow tip having a diameter which is a minor part of the diameter of the barrel and with an interior communicating with the inside of the barrel, said tip being disposed so that it projects outwardly along the axis of the barrel at the barrels opposite end; and a lip abutment skirt provided at said opposite end of the barrel which projects radially outwardly from the periphery of the barrel, the side of said skirt which faces axially outwardly from said opposite barrel end providing a barrier preventing a childs lips from moving over the barrel; said tip projecting from said opposite end a distance not greater than about two inches and having a flexibility sufiicient to permit 45 bending thereof with a lateral force exerted on its outer extremity of no greater than about ten ounces; said flexibility in the tip enabling the tip to conform easily to the curvature of the inner cheek when inserted into the buccal pouch of a child and the distance that the tip projects from said barrels opposite end being a distance which is less than one which would give rise to the outer extremity of the tip inadvertently reaching a childs trachea with said skirt against a childs lips.
2. The syringe of claim 1 which further comprises finger grips projecting out from opposite sides of the barrel adjacent its one end, such grips having a common axis extending transversely of the barrel, and wherein the barrel has an outer diameter not exceeding about of an inch and the dimension of the lip abutment skirt in a direction paralleling the axis of the finger grips is at least about one inch.
3. The syringe of claim 1 wherein the side profile of said side of said skirt includes adjacent concave regions adapted to conform to the double convex curvature seen in the side profile of a childs lips.
4. The syringe of claim 1 wherein said lip abutment skirt with said barrel plunger pulled outwardly into a fully retracted position has a size sufiicient to support the barrel on a horizontal surface with the axis of the barrel inclining upwardly progressing toward the flexible tip.
5. The syringe of claim 4 which further comprises finger grips projecting out from opposite sides of the barrel at said barrels one end, and said finger grips, with the barrel supported on a horizontal surface and with the axis of the barrel inclining upwardly progressing toward the tip, 'being located, in a horizontal sense, on opposite sides of the barrel.
6. A syringe for the oral administration of medicine to children comprising an elongated hollow barrel adapted to fit comfortably between the index and forefinger for holding a medicinal dosage, a reciprocal plunger including a piston portion slidably received within said barrel and a shank portion projecting out from one end of said barrel, an elongated hollow plastic tip having a diameter which is a minor part of the diameter of the barrel and with an interior communicating with the inside of the barrel projecting outwardly from the axis of the barrel at the barrels opposite end, a lip abutment skirt provided at said barrels opposite end which projects radially outwardly from the periphery of the barrel, the side of said skirt which faces outwardly from said barrels opposite end providing a barrier preventing a childs lips from moving over the barrel, the outer end of said tip being spaced with respect to said skirt a distance which is insuflicient to enable said tip to be inserted into the trachea of a child with the skirt abutting a childs lips, said lip abutment skirt with the plunger pulled outwardly from the 'barrel to a fully retracted position supporting the barrel on a horizontal surface with its axis inclining upwardly progressing toward said flexible tip.
7. The syringe of claim 6 which further comprises finger grips projecting out from opposite sides of said barrel at the barrels said one end, said finger grips, with the barrel supported on a horizontal surface and with the axis of the barrel inclining upwardly, projecting, in a horizontal sense, toward opposite sides of the barrel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,832,533 11/1931 Creasy 128234X 2,902,035 9/1959 Hartley 128234 3,326,215 6/1967 Sarnoif et al. 128272X 3,426,755 2/1969 Clegg 128222X WARNER H. CAMP, Primary Examiner U .8. Cl. X.R.