US 3625205 A
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United States Patent  Inventors John J. Madden Kearny; Martin P. Galen, Livingston, both of N .J  Appl. No. 35,848  Filed May 8, 1970  Patented Dec. 7, 1971 v  Assignee Becton, Dickinson 8: Company East Rutherford, NJ.
 DISPOSABLE SURGICAL TOWEL 5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 128/132, 128/296  Int. Cl A611 13/00, A611 l5/00  Field of Search 128/132, 296, 292
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,037,507 6/1962 Mecges 128/132 D X 3,335,719 8/1967 Boucher 128/132 D 3,540,441 11/1970 Collins 3,424,153 1/1969 Lewis l28/132D 128/132D ABSTRACT: A surgical repair drape or towel is provided comprising a generally rectangular sheet of nonwoven material provided with a strip of double-faced adhesive on one surface. The drape is folded over on its outer surface from one longitudinal edge to form a cuff and thereafter folded inwardly from both transverse edges forming end sections. Each end section overlies adjacent portions of the center section thereby completely covering the inner surface of the drape and dividing the cuff into pockets. The adhesive extends adjacent the top margin of the cuff on the inner surface of the drape. The drape is so folded that a technician may unfold and apply the drape to a patient by handling only the outer surface and without necessitating any contact with the inner surface.
PATENTED HEB new 3525; 205
Z INVENTOQS k JOHN I MADO N B/ARTl/V I. GALE/V nrsPosABLE SURGICAL TOWEL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Prior to most surgical procedures, the area of concern is blocked out with surgical towels or drapes. That is, towels are clipped directly to the patient or to the dressing covering the patient surrounding the area where the incision is to be made. These towels serve to provide a relatively sterile environment surrounding the operative area. Heretofore, such towels were commonly attached directly to the patients body or to the surgical covering over the patient utilizing stainless steel or other metal clips to prevent slippage during surgery. The drapes utilized were conventional hospital towels or drapes formed of linen or other suitable material and require washing and sterilization prior to each use.
In a similar fashion, it is common for obstetricians to utilize repair drapes immediately following delivery as part of the afterbirth repair procedure. Such obstetrical repair drapes serve a similar function to the surgical towels described above and repair drapes heretofore available have the same shortcomings. Another shortcoming common to both surgical towels and repair drapes is that they must be fully opened in the operating room prior to application, thereby destroying, somewhat, the sterile field surrounding the incision.
In view of the above, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide a disposable surgical repair drape or towel adapted to be readily applied to a patient as part of a surgical or obstetrical procedure which does not require the utilization of auxiliary dips or other attachment means.
A further object of the present invention is to provide such a drape or towel which is prefolded in a manner designed to enable the unfolding thereof without necessitating that the technician unfolding the drape contact the surface of the drape to be brought in contact with the patient.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above and other beneficial objects and advantages are attained in accordance with the present invention by providing a surgical repair drape or towel initially comprising a generally rectangular sheet of nonwoven, fiber material having top, bottom and opposed side edges and inner and outer surfaces. A minor portion of the sheet is first folded over the outer surface of the major portion from the bottom edge along a longitudinal line parallel to the bottom edge. The bottom edge of the drape is then brought into substantial alignment with the longitudinal fold and a second longitudinal fold is formed at the approximate midpoint of the minor portion whereby the inner surface of the minor portion is entirely covered. That is, the inner surfaces of both halves of the minor portion are brought against each other leaving only the outer surface exposed. A double-faced adhesive is applied to the inner surface of the major portion of the drape extending adjacent the longitudinal fold line. The slides of the thus-folded drape are then folded over the inner surface of the'major portion of the drape along transverse fold lines and the side edges of the major portion are brought into substantially abutting relationship with each other whereby the entire inner surface of the folded drape is covered. The area between each transverse fold line and side edge of the folded over minor portion of the drape defines a hand-receiving pocket wherein every surface of the drape accessible through the pocket comprises the outer surface of the rectangular sheet.
In use, a technician slips one hand into each pocket and snaps open the folded drape exposing but not touching the inner surface of the drape and the double-faced adhesive. The inner surface of the drape and exposed adhesive is then posi tioned and secured on the patient as required. The cuff may be opened if necessary to accommodate larger patients.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings: FIG. I is a perspective view of a repair drape or surgical towel folded in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the unfolded sheet from which the drape of FIG. 1 is formed;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the sheet of FIG. 2 partially folded in accordance with the present invention indicating the transverse and longitudinal folds;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating the final folding of the partially folded drape of FIG. 3 and also illustrating the method of handling the folded drape to enable its opening for application; and,
FIG. 5 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 2 wherein the position of the adhesive and adhesiverepellent zones of the sheet of FIG. 2 have been interchanged.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Reference is now made to the drawings wherein similar components bear the same reference numerals throughout the several views. The surgical repair drape or towel 10 of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 in the prefolded condition in which it is supplied to hospitals and laboratories for use. The drape is formed of a nonwoven, fiber paper which is sufficiently inexpensive to render the drape disposable after each use. The drape may be formed of a moisture absorbent or repellent material as required by the particular end application. The drape is sterilized prior to shipment to the hospital and suitably packaged to maintain sterility until use.
An unfolded sheet 12 from which the drape is formed is illustrated in FIG. 2. The unfolded drape 12 includes a bottom edge 14, a top edge 16 and side edges 18 and 20. The sheet further includes an inner surface 22 which eventually will be brought into contact with a patient and an outer surface 24. The sheet I2 is further divided into a major portion 26 and a minor portion 28 along fold line 30 which extends longitudinally across the sheet between side edges 18 and 20 parallel to the top and bottom edges.
A strip of tape extends along the inner surface of major portion 26 adjacent fold line 30. A zone 34 of double-faced contact adhesive comprises the center section of the strip. The contact adhesive zone 34 extends from the middle of the sheet toward both side edges 18 and 20 for approximately a quarter of the length of the drape in each direction so that the total length of the adhesive zone is equal to approximately one-half the total length of the drape. Adhesive-resistant zones 32 and 320 are provided on the ends of the strip in line with the adhesive zone 34. Each of zones 32 and 320 comprises a strip of wax-coated material which may readily be separated from contact with the adhesive of zone 34 without adversely affecting the tackiness of the adhesive. A tab 33 (and 33a) comprising an extension of the strip extends beyond the edge of the sheet.
The unfolded sheet 12 is initially folded longitudinally along fold line 30 so that the outer surface of minor portions 28 is brought into contact with portions of the outer surface of major portion 26. Thereafter, the minor portion 28 is folded longitudinally in half bringing the inner surfaces 38 and 40 of each half of the minor portion in surface to surface contact as illustrated in FIG. 3. The thus partially folded drape is then further divided into a center zone 44 and end zones 46 and 48 by transverse fold lines 50 and 52. Center zone 44 is coextensive with the adhesive strip 34 and end zones 46 and 48 are each coextensive with the adhesive-repellent strips 32 and 320 respectively. Referring now to FIG. 4 it is noted that the final folding steps of the drape comprise folding side edge 20 inwardly over the inner surface of the drape along transverse fold line 50 and similarly folding side edge 18 inwardly along transverse fold line 52 bringing the inner surface of end sections 46 and 48 in surface-to-surface contact with the inner surface of center section 44 and thereby totally covering the inner surface drape. At the same time, the adhesive-repellent strips 32 and 320 are brought to overlie portions of the adhesive zone 34 thereby forming the completely folded drape 10 of FIG. 1. It should be noted that all the exposed surfaces of the folded drape of FIG. 1 comprise the outer surface of the unfolded sheet 12.
FIG. 4 illustrates the method of unfolding the surgical drape of the present invention. Accordingly. the technician places his hands within the pockets 54 and 56 formed from portions of the cuff defined by minor portion 28 by folding end sections 46 and 48 over onto center section 44. It should be appreciated that all the surfaces of both pockets 54 and 56 comprise the outer surface 24 of the unfolded drape 12. The technician then opens the folded drape as shown in FIG. 4 by separating his hands while in the pockets. To do this. it may be necessary for him to grasp the outer surface of the drape between thumb and index finger while separating. When the end portions of the drape have thus been unfolded, the inner surface and adhesive are exposed for application to the patient. Altemately, with the primary embodiment drape. the technician may grasp tabs 33 and 33a and use these tabs to snap the drape open The tabs 33 and 33a are then folded back as illustrated in FIG. 1.
In FIG. 5. an alternative embodiment of the unfolded sheet 12 is illustrated wherein two adhesive zones 58 and 58a are provided on the inner surface of the drape adjacent longitudinal fold line 30 and a single adhesive-repellent zone 60 is provided. In this alternate embodiment, the adhesive zones are along the outer quarters of longitudinal line 30 and the adhesive-repellent zone comprises the outer half. The tabs 33 and 33a of the primary embodiment are not provided. The folding of this drape is identical to that of the drape of the primary embodiment. This alternate embodiment finds particular use as an obstetrical repair drape whereas the primary embodiment is more particularly well suited as a surgical towel.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
l. A folded disposable surgical towel or repair drape comprising a generally rectangular sheet of nonwoven fiber material having inner and outer surfaces; top. bottom and opposed side edges; a longitudinal fold line parallel to the bottom edge dividing the sheet into major and minor portions. said minor portion defining a cuff on the outer surface of said major portion; a strip extending along the inner surface of said major portion from side to side said strip being divided into a center section comprising approximately one-half its length and end sections. each end section comprising approximately one-quarter the length of said strip; a double-faced contact adhesive and adhesive-repellent material disposed on adjacent sections of said strip, a pair of transverse fold lines parallel to said opposed sides. each transverse fold line extending through the border of the center section and an end section of said strip whereby the area coextensive with each of the end sections is folded on the inner surface of the area coextensive with the center section so as to completely cover the inner surface of the major portion of the folded drape.
2. The towel or drape of claim 1 wherein said strip is disposed adjacent said longitudinal fold line.
3. The towel or drape of claim 1 wherein said double-faced adhesive is disposed on the center section of said strip, said adhesive-repellent material is disposed on each of said end sections. and further comprising extensions of said strip extending beyond the side edges of said sheet.
4. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein said double-faced adhesive is disposed on each of said end sections and said adhesive-repellent material is disposed on said center section.
5. The invention in accordance with claim I further comprising a second longitudinal fold line extending across said minor portion and said minor portion is folded in half along said line with the inner surface of each half in surface-to-surface contact.