US 3625221 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Joseph II. Corbett Fort Edward, N.Y.
July 29, 1969 Dec. 7, 1971 Sherwood Medical Industries Inc.
[ 72] Inventor [21 Appl. No.  Filed [45 Patented  Assignee FLAP-TROL SUCTION CATHETER 4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
11.8. CI 128/351, 128/276, 251/145 ....A6lm 25/00 Int. Cl.
Field olSearch ..128/348-351, 276-278, 274, 228; 137/521;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 200,572 2/1878 Ruge 137/223 X 1,200,844 10/1916 Johnson 251/145 X 2,864,394 12/1958 Hempel 137/521 X 3,375,828 4/1968 Sheridan 128/351 Primary Examiner-Dalton L. Truluck Auorneys-Donald S. Olexa, Jerome M. Teplitz and John G.
Heimovics ABSTRACT: An airway suction catheter for use in aspirating applications. The catheter tube is provided adjacent a distal end thereof with an aperture for varying the suction. A manually operable valve is carried on the catheter adjacent the aperture for adjustably closing the aperture and correspondingly adjusting the suction.
FLAlP-TROL SUCTION CATHETER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention relates to control valves such as for use in suction catheters and the like.
2. Description of the Prior Art In one conventional form of suction catheter such as used for medical aspiration, an aperture is provided at the outer erid of the catheter permitting the attendant to control the suction pressure by adjustably closing the aperture as by placing any one of his fingers thereover. A problem arises, however, in such suction control in that the attendants finger may contaminate the fluid being withdrawn by the suction action.
In one improved form of suction catheter shown in US. Pat. No. 3,375,828, issued to David S. Sheridan on Apr. 2, 1968, and owned by the assignee hereof, an improved control means is provided comprising a rolled sleeve which may be unrolled to different positions on the tube thereby to cover different areas of the aperture. The present invention comprehends means providing improved noncontaminating control of the catheter aperture in such a suction catheter.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprehends an improved means for adjustably controlling the suction in a catheter having an elongated suction tube provided with a portion defining an aperture for admitting air to the tube to vary the suction action. The suction control comprises an aperture closing means herein defined by a resilient member having a first portion carried on the tube adjacent the aperture and a second portion yieldingly spaced adjacent the aperture and resiliently manually deflectable progressively across the aperture. The deflectable portion provides an infinite adjustment of the closure of the aperture while permitting the manipulation thereof without engagement of any surface portion thereof confronting the interior of the catheter tube when the second portion is in the aperture closing position, from being contaminated by contact with the users fingers. I
The deflectable portion of the closure is biased to return to the spaced relationship upon release thereof, whereby the normal condition of the catheter is one wherein the control aperture is fully open.
The control closure member is extremely simple and economical of construction and may comprise a strip of plastic material having the second portion permanently arranged to define a turned end. The turned end portion is adapted to be progressively urged across the aperture by the users finger, such as the users thumb, sliding along the outer surface of the closure member to bring an inner surface portion thereof progressively across the aperture. The turned portion may be arcuatel y turned whereby the closing action comprises an uncoiling action.
The invention comprehends the provision of the second portion of the closure member as a relatively thin member, permitting the user to sense the amount of suction pressure being applied through the catheter thereby to provide improved facility of control. The closure member may be adjusted by manipulatiori thereof by a single one of the user's fingers providing further" improved facility in the control operation.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. I is a plan View of a suction catheter having a suction control embodying thei nvention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged side elevation with portions broken away illustrating a first step in the manipulation of the closure member for controlling the suction pressure therein;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2 illustrating the arrangement upon a full closure of the control aperture;
FIG. 41 is an enlarged top plan view of the suction control means;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of a modified form of a suction control member; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of another modified form of a suction control member.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the embodiment of the invention as disclosed in FIGS. 1-4 of the drawing, an airway suction catheter generally designated 10 is shown to comprise an elongated tubular member 11 formed of a suitable material such as flexible plastic. At one end 12, the tube is provided with a pair of conventional apertures 13 and 14. At the opposite distal end IS, the tube is provided with a suction control aperture 16. The end 15 may be connected to a suitable tubular extension 17 through which suction pressure is applied for withdrawing fluids through the catheter.
Illustratively, the catheter may be utilized for aspirating mucus from body cavities, such asthe nose, mouth, pharynx, trachea, and bronchii. In withdrawing such fluids, it is desirable to maintain the fluids against contamination as by the attendant, who may be a doctor or a nurse. Thus, it is desirable to provide means for selectively closing aperture 16 to control a suction action while yet precluding contamination of the fluids by such closure means.
As indicated briefly above, the present invention comprehends the provision of an improved closure means 18 carried on the distal end 15 of the catheter tube I1 adjacent aperture 16 and arranged to be adjustably positioned by the user to adjustably close the aperture I6 and thereby vary the suction pressure. As best seen in FIGS. 2-4, the closure means 18 comprises a resilient member having a first portion I9 secured to the tube end 15 adjacent aperture 16. Illustratively, the closure member may comprise a strip formed of a suitable plastic which may comprise a thermoplastic thermally bonded to the tube end 15. Alternatively, the closure member portion 19 may be secured to the tube end 15 by suitable adhesive means as desired.
The closure member strip 18 includes a second portion 20 which is turned (as shown in FIG. 2) to be spaced from the aperture 16 in the normal arrangement of the closure member. Strip I8 is preferably fonned of a resilient material with the end portion 20 being normally biased to the arcuate turned arrangement of FIG. 2.
When it is desired to adjustably close aperture I6, the user merely engages a finger F with the outer surface 21 of the strip 18 and upon adjustably sliding the finger toward aperture 16, deflects the turned portion 20 downwardly into bridging association with the aperture 16, thereby adjustably progressively closing the aperture. The aperture may be fully closed, as shown in FIG. 3, by a movement of the user's finger F to fully cover the aperture I6 whereupon the closure member portion 20 effectively sealingly closes the aperture to provide maximum suction action through the catheter. The closure member strip may be formed of a thin material permitting ready sensing of the suction pressure in the catheter through the users finger and, thus, facilitates accurate control of the suction pressure by the user.
The inner surface 22 of the turned portion 20 is opposite a portion engaged by the user's finger F, and, thus, may remain uncontaminated by the users finger, thereby to prevent contamination of the fluids being aspirated through the catheter when surface portion 22 is disposed across the aperture 16.
As shown in FIG. 2, the turned end 20 may comprise a generally cylindrically turned strip portion. As indicated above, the turned end returns to the arcuate configuration by virtue of the memory characteristics of the strip material. Where the strip material is a thermoplastic material, the arcuate configuration may be set therein by a suitable thermal forming operation.
In FIG. 5, a modified form of closure or control means 24 is shown, the closure means 24 is of a plastic material which is folded back upon itself as at hinge 26 with an attaching portion 27 lying generally parallel to the body of the control means 24. A dimple is formed on the catheter side of the end of the control means 24 which dimple is adapted to engage the catheter to space the body of the control means from the catheter. The control means 24 has the hinge 26 set therein in such a way that when the attaching portion 27 is fastened to the catheter the body of the means 24 will lie parallel to the catheter as illustrated with the dimple 25 engaging the wall of the catheter.
In use, a doctor slides his thumb or finger under the control means from the dimple end and pivots the control means into flow control relation over the opening 16 in the catheter. The resilience of the control means 24 is such that it urges away from the opening 16. In the control position the control means 24 will overlap the opening 16 in a manner similar to the illustration in FIG. 3.
The modification shown in FIG. 6, has a closure or control means 30 shaped either as a flared tube, as shown, or as a cylindrical tube. The mounting end of the control means 30 is secured to the catheter as at 31 by the use of any of the wellknown methods such as solvents, cements, electric heat weld and the like. The control means 30 overlaps the opening 16 in the catheter 15 as at 32 so that the front edge of the control means 30 lies forward of said opening.
The control means 30 is operated by the physician placing a thumb on the tube at 32 over the opening 16 and by applying pressure toward the opening, the closure means closes off the opening to the desired degree to control the suction flow in the tube 15. Release of the thumb pressure on the area 32 over the opening will permit the closure means to gradually or suddenly uncover the opening 16, as the case may be. The tube attempts to maintain a cylindrical shape and its attachment to the catheter at 31 is such that the cylindrical restoring face is accentuated thereby providing a high degree of control.
As the control of the closure member is controlled by using only one of the users fingers, facilitated control of the suction pressure is obtained. As the strips 18, 24 or 30 are formed of relatively flexible material, aperture 16 may be effectively sealingly closed with minimum pressure. Thus, the control valve defined by the closure members 18, 24 or 30 are extremely simple of operation as well as being extremely simple and economical of construction. The closure member may be rapidly adjusted by a simple sliding movement of the users finger, thereby permitting rapid adjustment of the suction pressure as desired. Further, the control member provides a highly sensitive control permitting the user to adjust the suction pressure accurately as a result of the pressure directly sensed through the closure portion.
The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiment is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.
1. In a suction catheter having an elongated suction tube provided with a portion defining an aperture for admitting air into said tube to vary the suction effect of the catheter, means for adjustably closing said aperture comprising a resilient member having a first portion carried on said tube adjacent said aperture and a second portion yieldingly spaced adjacent said aperture and resiliently manually deflectable progressively across the aperture to provide an infinite adjustment of the closure of said aperture, said second portion having means for returning said second portion to the spaced relationship upon release thereof said means for returning said second portion comprising an arcuately turned end portion arranged to be progressively straightened into closing relationship to said aperture.
2. The suction catheter means of claim 1 wherein said second portion is adapted to be adjustably positioned by engagement therewith as by a single one of the user's finger.
3. The suction catheter means of claim 1 wherein said second portion is arranged to permit adjustable positioning thereof without engagement by the users finger with any surface portion thereof confronting the aperture in the aperture closing position.
4. The suction catheter means of claim 1 wherein the surface of said second portion extending across the aperture in the aperture closing arrangement defines a sterile surface.