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Publication numberUS3602229 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 31, 1971
Filing dateAug 26, 1968
Priority dateSep 8, 1967
Publication numberUS 3602229 A, US 3602229A, US-A-3602229, US3602229 A, US3602229A
InventorsGous Johannes Petrus, Jaros George Gustav, Loubser Johan Samuel, Spuy Johannes Christiaan Van D
Original AssigneeJaros George Gustav, Loubser Johan Samuel, Johannes Christiaan Van Der Sp, Gous Johannes Petrus
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
A method of fibrillating a heart and apparatus therefor
US 3602229 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United "States Patent [72] lnventors George Gustav Jaros 401 Jakaranda, Beckett Street, Transvaal Province, Arcadia; 7 Johannes Petr-us Gous, 107 Kronendal, 32 Troye Street, Transvaal Province, Sunnyslde; Johan Samuel Loubser, 690 Stuart Street, Transvaal Province, Deerness; Johannes Christiaan Van Der Spuy, Waterklool Ridge, all of Pretoria, South Africa 211 App]. No. 755,041

[22] Filed Aug. 26, 1968 [45] Patented Aug. 31, 1971 [32] Priority Sept. 8, 1967, Jan. 15, 1968 [3 3 1 South Africa [3 l 67/5376 and 68/0275 [54] A METHOD OF FIBRILLATING A HEART AND APPARATUS THEREFOR 2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.

[52] 11.8. C1 128/421, 128/419 D [51] Int. Cl. A6ln 1/38 [50] Field ofSearch 128/419 R, 418, 421, 206, 422, 423, 419 D, 419 P, 407, 405, 303.1, 303.13

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,057,356 10/ 1962 Greatbatch 128/422 ATTITUDE SENSITIVE SWITC H 3,083,712 4/1963 Keegan, Jr 128/423 3,212,496 10/1965 Preston 128/2.06

3,241,557 3/1966 Masaki 128/422 3,403,684 10/1968 Stiebel et a1. 128/407 2,985,172 5/1961 Jones 128/419 (D) OTHER REFERENCES Cammilli et al., Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111. Art. 3 pp. 1007 1029 June 11, 1964 Conly pp. 1007 10l3 relied on (copy in 128 419 P) Levy et al. American Journal of Medical Electronics," Oct. Dee, 1964 pp. 242- 248 (copy in 128-419D) Primary Examiner-William E. Kamm Atlomeyl(arl W. Flocks ABSTRACT: Fibrillation of a heart by inducing arrhythmias in the heart muscle fibers separately and successively in small groups by the application of a multiple of low voltage electrical pulses across the surface of the heart. The flow of electrical current is concentrated along the outer surface of the heart. A fibrillator comprising pulsegenerating means housed within a small casing having a pair of electrodes on the outer surface of the casing and connected'operatively to the pulsegenerating means, the fibrillator being in the form of a single self-contained unit and being sterilizable as a whole by introduction into a sterilizing zone.

PATENTED AUGSI l97| 3602.229

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PM 3 0- 41 M MW WvVm/DW in. Q tor/Vs SAY A METHOD OF FIBRILLATING A HEART AND APPARATUS THEREFOR This invention relates to the stimulation of tissues, such as nerves and muscle fibers in human beings and in animals.

It is sometimes desirable to bring a heart into a state of fibrillation for surgery to take place. Also, it may be desirable to stimulate a bowel or bladder muscle, or a nerve.

According to the invention, a method of stimulating tissues includes the step of applying a multiple of electrical pulses to a number of different tissue fibers.

The electrical pulses may be of a low voltage, of the order of l to 10 volts. The pulses may last for periods of about 1 to 10 milliseconds. The pulses may be applied at intervals of about 10 to 50 milliseconds, and the energy input per pulse may be about 80 microwatt seconds.

In the following paragraphs the description will be directed specifically to the stimulation of hearts. It must be understood, however, that the method and the apparatus described may be employed also for stimulating fibers such as nerves and other muscles, e.g. smooth and skeletal muscles. The apparatus must therefore not be understood as being limited to use in the fibrillation of hearts.

Still according to the invention, a method of fibrillating a heart muscle includes the step of applying a plurality of electrical pulses to a number of different fibers of the heart.

The fibers may be disposed along the outer surfaces of the heart. The current path through the heart muscle may be short relative to the heart itself.

Further according to the invention, a method of fibrillating a heart muscle includes the steps of wiping a pair of electrodes across the surface of the heart and of applying successive electrical pulses to the electrodes.

Yet further according to the invention, a method of fibrillating a heart muscle includes the step of inducing arrhythmias in a number of different fibers of the heart. The fibers may be disposed along the heart surface.

Still further according to the invention, a tissue stimulator has a plurality of electrodes, and means for applying a number of electrical pulses to the electrodes.

The invention includes also a portable self-contained fibrillator, powered by dry cell batteries.

The pulses may be provided by electronic circuitry, such as a multivibrator, suitably energized. The circuitry may be energized by a battery, and the battery and circuitry may be sealed in a casing, thus providing a completely sealed unit independent of power leads. It may be in the shape of a small pear, the electrodes being provided at the small end. Alternatively, it may be of rod or wand or probe shape. The battery may be housed in one end constituting a handle.

The device may be provided with an automatic or attitudesensitive switch, e.g. by a mercury or gravity switch which switches off automatically when the device is at rest or in a predetermined attitude, but is energized immediately as its attitude changes. Alternatively, the circuitry may be energized as soon as the resistance across the electrodes falls below a predetermined value.

The electrodes may be in the form of horseshoe formations disposed in closely spaced parallel planes. The spacing between electrodes may be of the order of 3 to 10 millimeters.

In applying electrical pulses to the heart muscle, current flow is restricted substantially to the heart muscle only.

For the hearts of human beings, it has been found that the duration of the electrical pulses advantageously are about 3 milliseconds. The time interval between pulses conveniently matches the speed at which wiping takes place so that successive pulses will be applied to the adjacent zones of the heart muscle. Thus if the time intervals between pulses are relatively short, the wiping rate may be high. And if the time intervals between pulses are relatively long, the wiping rate should be low.

The invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

' invention having one type of pulse generator;

FIG. 2 shows a three-dimensional view of a fibrillator embodying the circuitry of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a side elevation of another embodiment of rod or wand shape;

FIG. 4 shows a section at IV-IV of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 shows a circuit diagram of the electrical circuitry of the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4. 2

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, reference numeral 10 refers generally to circuitry for a fibrillator according to the invention. It comprises a power supply 12 which is fixed or removable, an attitude-sensitive switch 14, a pulse generator 16, and electrodes 18, which may be extendable or fixed as desired. The electrodes 18 are generally of horseshoe shape.

FIG. 2 shows one embodiment of fibrillator according to the invention. It comprises an outer case 11 of synthetic plastic material, in pear-shaped form. The various integers are indicated diagrammatically and in block diagram form inside. The power supply comprises batteries in a cavity which may be sealed by epoxy resin. This seal may be translucent and may be broken to replace batteries, whereafter rescaling may take place again with epoxy resin or some other suitable sealing agent.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 to 5 of the drawings, reference numeral refers generally to a fibrillator according to another embodiment of the invention. This fibrillator has a casing 111 of substantially rod shape having a handle portion 112 and a curved front portion 114 provided with a pair of electrodes 1 16 at its end.

In the handle portion of the casing there is a cavity 118 for housing a battery 120. The casing further has another cavity 122 for housing a multivibrator 124. This multivibrator is operatively connected to the battery 120 and to the electrodes 1 16.

The casing is made of nylon and the battery and multivibrator aresealed in. If the battery runs'down, the seal may be broken and the battery replaced and the casing rescaled. Alternatively, the battery may be rechargeable, connections being provided outside the casing for connection to a suitable charger.

In use, the fibrillator will be sterilized as a whole before. use. Whenthe electrodes are not connected via a patients heart, the circuit has only a very small battery drain. However, as soon as the electrodes 116 are bridged by contacting a patients heart or by any other suitable fashion, transistor T1 switches on the multivibrator T3T3-and successive 3 millisecond 20 Hz. pulses appear across the electrodes 1 16.

In order to induce fibrillation in a heart, the contacts are placed in contact with the surface of the heart. Thereupon the electrodes are displaced or wiped across the surface of the heart at a steady rate. As soon as contact is made, the multivibrator generates the voltage pulses. These pulses, because of the wiping action, are applied to successive zones of the heart. These zones then go into excitation which results in fibrillation of the heart.

In the second embodiment of the invention described, the casing is stated to be of nylon. It will be understood, however, that the casing may be made of any suitable material which can be sterilized. This material may conveniently be a synthetic plastic material. Another example of a synthetic plastic material which is suitable, is polyvinylchloride.

It is an advantage of this invention that fibrillation can be induced in a heart muscle with very low power inputs. This is possible because the heart muscle fibers are fibrillated separately in small groups. This is in contradistinction to conventional fibrillation apparatus in which a massive pulse is administered to electrodes placed at opposite ends of the heart, for fibrillating all muscle fibers simultaneously.

The method according to the invention has the advantage that damage to the heart is less than with conventional apparatus because of the lower voltage used. Furthermore, the fibrillation induced in accordance with the invention is smoother than that obtained in conventional fashion.

The voltage pulses for inducing fibrillation into the hearts of human beings, conveniently have the following characteristics:

We claim:

1. A method of fibrillating a heart which comprises the steps of generating a multiple of low voltage electrical pulses, applying the pulses to a pair of closely spaced electrodes and moving the electrodes over the surface of the heart inducing arrhythmias successively to a number of different fibers across the heart.

2. A method as claimed in claim 1 in which the pulses have a potential of the order of 1 to 10 volts, last for periods of from I to 10 milliseconds, and are applied at intervals of about I l to 50 milliseconds.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,602,229 Dated August 31, 1971 Inventor(s) George Gustav JAROS et' a1 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In column 1, after line 13, the following should appear:

[73] Assignee South African Inventions Development Corporation.

Signed and sealed this 7th day of March 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD MJLETCHER, JR. ROBERT GOT'ISCHALK Attestinv, Officer Commissioner of Patents DRM PO105O (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-F'fi9 9 U 5 GOVERNMENT HUNTING OFFICE $969 O365-334

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2985172 *Aug 31, 1959May 23, 1961Jones William CTissue contact electrode
US3057356 *Jul 22, 1960Oct 9, 1962Wilson Greatbatch IncMedical cardiac pacemaker
US3083712 *Nov 29, 1961Apr 2, 1963Heinicke Instr Co IncDevice for producing electrical muscle trerapy
US3212496 *Aug 21, 1962Oct 19, 1965United Aircraft CorpMolecular physiological monitoring system
US3241557 *Sep 11, 1962Mar 22, 1966Sutetaro YamashikiLow frequency therapeutic equipment
US3403684 *Nov 23, 1964Oct 1, 1968Ariel I. StiebelElectrical stimulator
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Cammilli et al., Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. III. Art. 3 , pp. 1007 1029 , June 11, 1964 Conly pp. 1007 1013 relied on (copy in 128 419 P)
2 *Levy et al. American Journal of Medical Electronics, Oct. - Dec., 1964 pp. 242 248 (copy in 128-419D)
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4499907 *Nov 15, 1982Feb 19, 1985Medtronic, Inc.Energy limiting cardioversion lead
US4532938 *May 4, 1983Aug 6, 1985Theratronics, Inc.Electrotherapy apparatus
US4774952 *Oct 30, 1986Oct 4, 1988Medtronic, Inc.Cardioversion and defibrillation lead
US5133353 *Apr 25, 1990Jul 28, 1992Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.Implantable intravenous cardiac stimulation system with pulse generator housing serving as optional additional electrode
US5279293 *Mar 31, 1992Jan 18, 1994Siemens AktiengesellschaftImplantable defibrillator with fibrillation-inducing capability and method for inducing fibrillation
US5385574 *Jul 24, 1992Jan 31, 1995Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.Implantable intravenous cardiac stimulation system with pulse generator housing serving as optional additional electrode
US5609618 *Dec 6, 1995Mar 11, 1997Ventritex, Inc.Apparatus and method for inducing fibrillation
US5643323 *Jun 7, 1995Jul 1, 1997Angeion CorporationSystem and method inducing fibrillation using an implantable defibrillator
US5649971 *Dec 6, 1995Jul 22, 1997Ventritex, Inc.Apparatus and method for inducing fibrillation
US6999814Jun 19, 2001Feb 14, 2006Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.Implantable intravenous cardiac stimulation system with pulse generator housing serving as optional additional electrode
US7522959Dec 30, 2004Apr 21, 2009Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.Subcutaneous cardiac rhythm management
US7684870 *Nov 18, 2005Mar 23, 2010Pacesetter, Inc.Direct current fibrillator
US20050119707 *Dec 30, 2004Jun 2, 2005Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.Subcutaneous cardiac rhythm management
EP0756507B1 *Mar 3, 1995May 12, 1999Medtronic, Inc.Treatment of atrial fibrillation
Classifications
U.S. Classification607/72
International ClassificationA61N1/362
Cooperative ClassificationA61N1/362
European ClassificationA61N1/362