US 3661153 A
A drainage bag including a limp fluid receptacle portion and a stiffer header secured to the upper edge of the receptacle portion. The header is integrally formed with a drip chamber, and may also be formed with an air vent, a carrying and suspension hole, and stiffener ridges.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I United States Patent 1151 3,661,153
Polk et al. 1 May 9, 1972 541 BODY FLUID DRAINAGE BAG 3,343,542 9/ 1967 Ericson ..12s 275 3,253,593 5/1966 Cronin, Jr 128/275  Inventors: Edgwin R. Polk, Fords, N.J.; Sidney Polan- 3 537 109 1 1 1970 -i et L 2 275 X y Great qk, N- Louis Mirando, 3,537,455 11/1970 Skyles et a]. 128 275 pp Saddle Rlver. 3,568,965 3 1971 Clark 128/275 x  Asslgnee: Packagmg Assoclmes Primary Examiner-Charles F. Rosenbaum  Filed: Mar. 27, 1970 Attorney-Ralph T. Lilore A drainage bag including a limp fluid receptacle portion and a U.S. tiffer header ecured to the upper edge of the receptacle p01. [5 l Int. Cl. "A6" 5/44 Th h ad r is i t rally formed with a drip chamber, and Field of Search-N l 1310- 24 may also be formed with an air vent, a carrying and suspension hole, and stiffener ridges.
 References Cited 7 Cla1ms, 3 Drawing Frgures UNITED STATES PATENTS Folkman et al 128/275 PATENTEDMAY 9 I972 3,661,153
INVENTORS: Eoewm R. POLK S\DNEY POLANSKY LQUPS NHRAMDO ATTO R N EYS BODY FLUID DRAINAGE BAG This invention relates to a body fluid drainage apparatus, such as is used to accumulate fluids drained from a patient after a surgical operation.
At the present time, such apparatus constitutes an assembly of many individual parts, namely a receptacle, a drip chamber through which the fluid enters the receptacle from a drainage tube connected to the patients body, an anti-bacterial air vent, a carrying handle, a means for rigidly suspending the apparatus, and means for attaching all these elements together. Such conventional apparatus is time consuming and expensive to assemble, and is subject to coming apart, with attendant inconvenience and even danger to the patient. Another problem which arises is that the drip chamber, connected to the receptacle by a flexible tube sometimes turns over so that its upper end connected to the drainage tubing falls below its lower end connected to the receptacle.
It is an object of the present invention to overcome these problems by providing a body fluid drainage bag incorporating some or all the above elements of a drainage apparatus into a single unit. As a result, a bag can be provided which need only be assembled with a length of drainage tubing to complete the drainage system. Furthermore, the bag of this invention can readily be manufactured in quantity at low cost, and avoids all danger of parts coming apart, or becoming disoriented, during use.
Additional objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the accompanying drawings.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a body fluid drainage bag according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is a horizontal cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on line 22 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a generally vertical cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on line 3--3 of FIG. 1.
The drainage bag chosen to illustrate the present invention comprises a receptacle portion and a header 11 joined to the upper end of the receptacle portion. Receptacle portion 10 comprises two plies of sheet material preferably a suitable plastic, constituting opposed walls 12 and 13 of the receptacle. The walls are joined together along their side and bottom edges, such as by heat sealing. The material of the walls 12 and 13 is suitably limp so that they can spread to accommodate the fluid which accumulates in the receptacle portion 10. Near one of its lower corners, wall 12 is provided with an outlet opening communicating with an outlet tube 14 through which the bag may be emptied. During periods when the bag is not being emptied, its free end 15 is inserted into an inverted cuplike holder 16 carried on the exterior of wall 12.
Header 11, in the present example, comprises two pieces of sheet material 20 and 21, preferably a suitable plastic, joined together, as by heat sealing, in face-to-face relation. I-Ieader elements 20 and 21 are stiffer than receptacle walls 12 and 13 so that they form a self-supporting, relatively rigid upper region of the bag. Header elements 20 and 21 are furnished, as by vacuum forming, with portions of components of the drainage system, these components thereby being integral wit the header 11. The header elements 20 and 21 constitute two matching halves of the header, each half being the mirror image of the other.
Each header half 20 and 21 is formed with a relatively large generally semi-cylindrical portion 22 joined at its upper and lower ends by smaller semi-cylindrical portions 23 and 24.
The two portions 22 together form a drip chamber which communicates, through the tube formed by portions 23, with the interior of receptacle 12, and through the tube, formed by portions 24, with a length of drainage tubing (not shown). The tube formed by portions 24 terminates in a standard shape (not shown) suitable for connection to a length of drainage tubing. The header halves, or at least the drip chamber portions thereof. are preferably formed of transparent material so that the flow within the drip chamber can be viewed.
Each header half 20 and 21 is also formed with a semi-circular or semi-rectangular channel 25 serving as an air vent for the interior of the receptacle 12. The lower end 26 of the air vent communicates with the interior of receptacle 12, the vent follows the tortuous path shown, and terminates at its other end in a chamber 27 open to the atmosphere through hole 28. The header halves 20 and 21 are also provided with registering elongated holes 31 which serve as a hand hole in the header through which the fingers can pass when carrying the drainage bag, and by means of which the bag can be suspended from some support when in use.
The drip chamber, tube, and air vent portions 22, 23, 24, and 25 add stiffness to the header 11 since they project out of the planes of header halves 20 and 21. Additional stiffness may be provided by furnishing stiffener ridges, such as ridges 32 along the borders of the header, ridges 33 around holes 31, and ridges 34 between holes 31 and the drip chamber 22, 22. The rectangular area defined by ridges 34 is a convenient location to place a trademark of the bag manufacturer.
To give the header added stiffness, one or both of the side walls 12 and 13 of the receptacle may extend between the header halves 20 and 21. In the illustrated example, the upper end of wall 12 extends upwardly beyond the upper edge of wall 13, and between the header halves. The portions of wall 12 which register with holes 31, drip chamber and tube portions 22 and 24, and chamber portions 27 are removed prior to assembly of the parts, so that the wall does not interfere with the operation of these parts. All the flat areas of each header half, i.e., those areas not extending out of the plane of the header half, are heat sealed to the upper portion of wall 12. In addition, the upper edge of wall 13 is heat sealed to the lower edge of the header half21 (see FIG. 3), as well as to the wall 12. Furthermore, the interiors of the header portions 23 and 26 are heat sealed to their respective receptacle walls 12 and 13.
It will be appreciated that the drainage bag of the present invention can readily be produced by vacuum forming, die cutting, and heat sealing operations, all of which can be carried out on a mass production basis. Furthermore, each bag constitutes a complete unitary drainage system, except for the drainage tubing, and since the drip chamber 22, 22 forms an integral part of the stiflheader, it cannot become disoriented.
Although it is preferred that the header be formed with all the features described above, since in that way the low manufacturing and assembly cost benefit of the invention is most pronounced as compared with conventional systems, under some circumstances it may be desirable to form only the drip chamber in the header, and provide the other features separately, or to 'form the drip chamber and certain of the features mentioned above in the header, and the remaining features separately.
The invention has been shown and described in preferred form only, and by way of example, and many variations may be made in the invention which will still be comprised within its spirit. It is understood, therefore, that the invention is not limited to any specific form or embodiment except insofar as such limitations are included in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A body fluid drainage bag, comprising a receptacle, formed of two sheets of limp material sealed along their edges, within which body fluid is accumulated, and a header formed of two sheets of stiffer material sealed together and secured to one side of said receptacle with the adjacent edge of said receptacle sandwiched between the two header sheets, said header sheets being two matching halves of said header with each half being the mirror image of the other and having at least one depression formed therein, said depressions being complementary to each other and defining an integral drip chamber in said header for communicating at one end with the interior of said receptacle and attachable at its other end to a length of drainage tubing.
2. A body fluid drainage bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said header is also formed integrally with a through hole adapted to receive the fingers of a hand for carrying the bag and to receive hanger means for suspending the bag when in use.
3. A body fluid drainage bag as defined in claim 2 wherein said header includes integrally formed stifiner ridges thereon.
4. A body fluid drainage bag as defined in claim 1 wherein at least the drip chamber portion of said header is formed of transparent material.
5. A body fluid drainage bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said receptacle portion and header are formed of plastic and joined together by a heat seal.
6. A body fluid drainage bag as defined in claim 5 wherein the end of one of said receptacle sheets sandwiched between said header sheets extends beyond the edge of the other of said receptacle sheets and is heat sealed between said header valves, thereby giving the header added stiffness, with the edge of the other of said receptacle sheet heat sealed between said header sheets at the edge thereof adjacent said receptacle.
7. A body fluid drainage bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said header sheets include complementary channels extending along a tortuous path in said header, said channels cooperating to define an air vent passage therebetween communicating at one end with the interior of said receptacle and at its other end with the atmosphere through an aperture in one of said header sheets.