US 3683928 A
An improved urethral catheter applicator includes a catheter storage cartridge, means for lubricating and unidirectionally advancing a tubular urethral catheter through and from the device while the device is held and manipulated in one hand, and a specially shaped nose portion for accurately positioning the device adjacent the urethra.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kuntz  URETHRAL CATHETER APPLICATOR  lnventor: David H. Kuntz, 6027 Halm St., Los
Angeles, Calif. 90056  Filed: March 25, 1970 211 App]. No.2 22,550
 US. Cl. ..l28/349 R, 206/632 R  Int. Cl. ..A61m 25/00  Field ofSearch 128/348, 349 R, 349 B,
349 BV,128/35()R. 351.276, 214.4; 206/632 R. 63.2 A
 v References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,120,549 12/1914 Schellberg 128/349 R 3,154,080 10/1964 Rowan et a1. 128/349 R 1151 3,683,928 [451 Aug. 15,1972
3,556,294 1/1971 Walck et al. ..206/63.2 R 2,009,825 7/1935 Wappler 128/349 R 2,71 1,734 6/1955 M06 ..128/276 3,444,860 5/1969 Harrell 128/349 R 3,185,151 5/1965 Czomy ..128/214.4 3,561,445 2/1971 Earl et a1. ..128/2l4.4
Primary Examiner--Dalton L. Truluck Atturney-Henry M. Bissell ABSTRACT An improved urethral catheter applicator includes a catheter storage cartridge, means for lubricating and unidirectionally advancing a tubular urethral catheter through and from the device while the device is held and manipulated in one hand, and a specially shaped nose portion for accurately positioning the device adjacent the urethra.
13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures COLLECTION BAG Patented Aug. 15, 1972 3,683,928
3 Sheets-Sheet 1 COLLECHON BAG:
INVENTOR. DA W0 H. Ku/vrz A FOP/V15 Y Patented Aug. 15, 1972 3,683,928
S Sheets-Sheet a INVESTOR DA V/D H. KUNTZ f/sm w.
Patented Aug. 15, 1972 3,683,928
3 Sheets-Sheet 5 I NVENTOR.
DAV/D H. KUNTZ 11' 6 URETHRAL CATHETER APPLICATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to medical devices, specifically urethral catheter applicators.
2. Description of the Prior Art Urethral catheters frequently are inserted without the use of an applicator. Problems arise with respect to keeping the field aseptic and with respect to manipulation of the catheter during insertion. Such applicators as are in use generally require the operator to use both hands, one to hold the device and the other to feed the catheter through the device. Inasmuch as it is also necessary to position accurately the catheter with respect to the urethra and to hold the labia apart or to manipulate the penis to clearly expose the urethra, the aid of an assistant sometimes also is required. Problems of maintaining a sterile field and of maintaining a clear view of the procedure in order to facilitate catheter insertion are also encountered. Lubrication of the catheter is desired for ease of insertion and care must be taken to lubricate the catheter in a sterile manner. Accordingly, there is a need for a simple, effective catheter applicator capable of facilitating sterile catheter insertion, providing convenient catheter lubrication and permitting one hand operation of the device, including advancement of the catheter, so that the other hand of the operator is free to assist in positioning and exposing the urethra for rapid and easy catheter insertion.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention generally is as described in the Abstract. The catheter-advancing means includes a hollow container generally circular in cross-section and having an open rearward end and a front end having catheter control means defining an opening and adapted to permit forward movement while inhibiting rearward movement of an urethral catheter tube therethrough, catheter control means spaced rearwardly of that front end and defining an opening, and resilient means interconnecting the rearwardly positioned catheter control means and the. container for mutual reciprocation between two spaced positions. This arrangement functions to unidirectionally advance the catheter through the applicator.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A better understanding of the invention may be had from a consideration of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a first embodiment of the applicator of the invention depicting the applicator connected to a collection bag;
FIG. 2 is an exploded schematic perspective view of the applicator of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of a second embodiment of the applicator of the invention;
FIG. 4 is an exploded schematic perspective view of the applicator of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view of a third embodiment of the applicator of the invention;
FIG. 6 is an exploded schematic perspective view of the applicator of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a view showing the manner of manipulation of arrangements in accordance with the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Embodiment of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2
A preferred embodiment of the present urethral catheter applicator is schematically set forth in FIGS. 1
and 2 in perspective. Referring to those figures, an urethral catheter applicator 10 is shown comprising a catheter storage cartridge 12, a first container 14 disposed over and forward of cartridge 12, a coiled spring 16 disposed over and forward of container 14, a second container 18 disposed over and forward of spring 16 and container 14 a nose portion 20 connected to the front end of container 18 and a catheter 22 disposed within applicator 10. As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, applicator 10, except for spring 16 (which may be spring steel or the like) preferably is formed of clear transparent, smooth self-supporting material, such as an acetate or other thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic of suitable gauge. The catheter 22 may be of plastic, rubber or the like, generally circular in crosssection. Obviously, applicator 10 can, if desired, be
fabricated of any one or more other suitable materials, including rubber, fiberboard, or the like.
Cartridge 12 is generally circular in transverse crosssection and preferably is generally frusto-conical, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, with a broad rear storage portion 24 and a narrow necked down front portion 26 defining a central opening (catheter passageway) 28. The rear end 30 of cartridge 12 is closed except for an opening 32 and may be provided with a finger-gripping rim 34 extending outwardly from cartridge 12 along the periphery thereof. In the assembled applicator 10 before use a substantial portion 36 of catheter 22 lies in a compact spirally coiled position in portion 24, while a portion 38 thereof extends laterally tangentially through opening 32 for connection with suitable urine collecting means (not a part of this invention), such as the collection bag 40, shown in phantom outline. A portion 42 of catheter 22 extends longitudinally forward through opening 28 and the remainder of applicator 10 for withdrawal of catheter 22 by operation of catheter-advancing means more particularly described hereinafter. The shape of cartridge 12 is important in that the cross-sectional configuration plus the wall shape of the necked-down portion 26 permitcatheter 22 to uncoil and straighten as it is forwardly withdrawn therefrom, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, by the catheteradvancing means. As assembled, the container 14 is nested over and forward of cartridge 12 with the rearward portion thereof in contact with the exterior surface of portion 24. Container 14 is hollow and generally circular in transverse crosssection and preferably is of frusto-conical configuration as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, with an open rear end 46 bounded by an outwardly extending peripheral rim 48 (which serves as a finger grip) and a front end 52 closed except for a central catheter passageway 50. That passageway is bounded by forwardly and inwardly extending flaps 54 which grip catheter 22, permitting forward movement of catheter 22 while inhibiting rearward movement thereof through applicator 10. Rims 34 and 48 abut while the front end 52 of the container 14 is spaced forwardly of the front portion 26 of the cartridge 24.
Spring 16 is helically coiled and of sufficient diameter to seat'around flaps 54 and abut the inner surface of the front end 56 of container 18 which may be of the same general frusto-conical configuration, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, as container 14 and has a rear portion 58, an open rear end 60, and an outwardly extending peripheral rim 62. In the front end 56 a central catheter passageway 64 is provided, bounded by four forwardly and inwardly extending flaps 66 comparable in function to flaps 54. Container 18 is slightly larger than container 14 and is nested over and spaced from container 14 by the spring 16, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The nose portion is hollow, generally circular in transverse cross-section, and preferably generally frusto-conical in configuration, with the rear portion 68 thereof secured to container 18 adjacent front end 56 of that container, as by adhesive, glue, etc. Alternatively, it may be formed integrally therewith. This arrangement provides a space 70 between front end 56 of the container 18 and the front end 72 of nose portion 20 which serves as a lubricant well 74. Front end 72 is dimensioned, smoothly rounded and contoured, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, with a recessed central portion 76 surrounding a central catheter passageway 78, so as to facilitate catheter insertion into the urethra. Thus, its configuration is such that the labia of the female can be easily and smoothly separated without discomfort by pressing the nose portion 20 towards the urethra, thereby exposing the urethra (preferably to view through the transparent wall of nose 20) and permitting easy positioning of passageway 78 adjacent thereto so as to facilitate catheter insertion.
The assembled applicator 10 is shown in FIG. 1, with cartridge 12 slidably received in container 14, catheter 22 coiled therein and extending tangentially outwardly for connection with the collection bag 40 (of plastic, rubber, etc.) and longitudinally forwardly through passageways 28, 52, 64 and 78 and to the front of the applicator. For purposes of illustration the catheter 22 is shown as extending slightly from the applicator device 10, although it should be understood that in the pre-packaged state it will be wholly enclosed in the device. This facilitates packaging and also insures lubrication of the tip of the catheter when lubrication is provided by the device. Also the rearward end 38 may extend downwardly through an opening in the bottom of the storage container 12, although it preferably exits tangentially thereto, leaving the base unencumbered so the device may be set down on a table in a stable upright position. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, catheter 22 may be provided with a rounded and tapered front end 80 containing an opening 82 in communication with a central passageway 84 therethrough for urine collection. Well 74 may be partially or wholly filled with a suitable lubricant (not shown) before use to lubricate the exterior of catheter 22 as it passes therethrough. Applicator 10 can be fabricated in any suitable conventional manner, as by extrusion, hot forming and the like, depending on the particular materials of construction.
Mode of Operation It will be understood that the well 74 preferably is at least partly filled with a suitable lubricant immediately before use of applicator 10 so that lubrication of catheter 22 automatically occurs as it passes through well 74. The applicator 10 is used by first grasping it in one hand with the thumb against the rearward end 30 and theforefinger and middle finger abutting opposite sides of the front surface of rim 62', as indicated in FIG. 7, and then guiding the nose portion 20 to a position adjacent the urethra, as described above. The other hand of the operator, if desired, can be used to aid in separating the labia or in holding the penis to facilitate proximation of nose portion 20 and the urethra. A hollow flexible tubular sleeve extension (such as is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6) can be connected to the nose portion 20 for sterile reception of the penis and alignment thereof while handling for catheter insertion. Such a sleeve preferably is clear transparent material.
The operator can insert the front end of catheter 22 into the urethra manually or solely by means of applicator 10, preferably the latter, and alternately moves container 14 and container 18 toward each other against the actionof spring 16, compressing it, by pushing forward against end 30 and rearward against rim 62, and then allows them to move away from each other by easing up the compressing finger force and allowing spring 16 to return to its uncompressed state. This reciprocating action has the effect of progressively drawing catheter 22 from its coiled position in cartridge 12, straightening it and intermittently moving it forward and out passageway 78 and into and through the urethra. Flaps 54 and 66 prevent catheter 22 thus advanced by each compressing movement from retreating each time spring 16 is allowed to return to its uncompressed state. This arrangement permits complete control by the operator of the rate of advance of the catheter through the urethra with only one hand needed to manipulate the catheter and applicator (FIG. 7).
When catheter 22 has been fully advanced to the desired anatomical location, applicator 10 can be stripped away by holding the catheter in position relative to the patient and rearwardly pulling the applicator 10 therefrom. If necessary, bag 40, if connected to catheter 22, can be disconnected therefrom to facilitate removal of applicator 10 and then can be reconnected to catheter 22 while a clamp (not shown) maintains the catheter passage 84 closed. The desired urine can then be collected in bag 40 or other receptacle and catheter 22 thereafter can be removed in the usual manner.
Applicator 10 preferably is dimensioned to fit the hand easily, a typical embodiment being, for example, about 2 inches in diameter at the rearward end and slightly less than 1 inch in diameter at the front end, and having an overall length of about 3 inches, with rims 48 and 62 spaced about 1 inch apart when spring 16 is in uncompressed state and about one-half to three-fourths inch apart when normally compressed during use. Catheter 22 may be about one-eighth inch in diameter and can be advanced intermittently about, for example, one-fourth to one-half inch during the compression portion of each catheter-advancing cycle.
Applicator 10 can be made conveniently small and simple, yet provides adequate storage for the catheter, can be easily sterilized and kept sterile in use, is inexpensive and disposable, is preferably transparent for ease of viewing during catheter insertion and can be easily packaged in a sterile state ready for use.
A further embodiment of the applicator of the invention is depicted schematically in FIGS. 3 and 4. Components thereof which are substantially identical to those of FIGS. 1 and 2 bear primed reference numerals corresponding to those of FIGS. 1 and 2. In this regard, FIGS. 3 and 4 depict an applicator containing a cartridge 12, first container 14, second container 18', nose portion 20' and catheter 22, all generally similar in configuration, construction and function to the comparable components of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2. However, in place of coiled spring 16, a pair of resilient strips 86 attached to rims 48' and 62' interconnect containers 14' and 18'. Strips 86 may be fabricated of relatively stiff but still flexible plastic, rubber or the like, normally biasing containers 14 and 18' apart but capable of flexing during the previously described compression and then of returning those containers to their initial position on removal of compressive force.
Moreover, catheter 22' is bifurcated (of a retention type catheter configuration) to permit injection of air to inflate an air bag at the forward end of the catheter, as is known. To facilitate stripping of the applicator 10' therefrom, each component thereof, except catheter 22' and strips 86, is provided with a tear strip. Thus, tear strips 88, 88a, 88b and 886 are provided, as well as a tear strip 88d for a separately formed lubricant well 90 which is of generally frusto-conical configuration and is secured at its open bottom (rear) end 92 to front end 56' of container 18. The tear strips in each instance may comprise, for example, a pair of parallel weakened or scored lines 94 and 96, with or without a tear tab 98 connected to oneend thereof. Well 90 is provided with a necked-down front portion 100 definend are provided for cartridge 12". Container 18" is a cylinder with an open rear end 60", a closed front end 50", except for opening 64" bounded by flaps 66' and a rim 62". Nose portion 20' is a cylinder having an open rear end 68" and a front end 72" closed except for opening 78". End 68" is secured to end 56" so as to provide a lubricant well 74" therebetween.
Spring 16" is disposed around the exterior of cartridge 12", as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, and is secured to the front surface of rim 34" and the rear surface of rim 62" by staples or the like. in this embodiment cartridge 12" not only has the functions of cartridge 12 but also those of container 14. Accordingly, this embodiment is even more simplified and less expensive in construction while still providing the advantages of the invention, such as one-hand operation of the applicator, including unidirectional intemiittent forward movement of the catheter 22" for most efficient urethral insertion without contamination, coiled storage of catheter 22" in cartridge 12" and lubrication of catheter 22" during passage through well 74".
This embodiment is also shown with a sleeve 110 of flexible, transparent, generally tubular configuration attached to the nose portion 20" and extending forwardly therefrom. It is for encompassing the penis of a male patient for permitting manipulation thereof during use of the applicator 10" and insertion of the catheter'22" without contamination of the previously sterilized field. The sleeve 110 is. attached to the nose portion 20 in a manner which permits ready removal if the applicator is to be used with a female patient.
ing a central opening 102 through which catheter 22'.
passes. The configuration of well 90 is such that during intermittent advancement of catheter 22' therethrough, lubricant which may be disposed in well 90 tends to be pumped to the front portion 100 to effectively coat catheter 22' as it emerges from applicator 10'. There is a diaphragm action from the motion of catheter 22' intermittently moving through opening 64' of container 18' which tends to effect the described lubricant pumping. Opening 64' is defined by a forwardly and inwardly sloped portion 104 which substitutes for and is similar in function to flaps 66 of the first embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2. A similar sloped portion 106 is used in place of flap 54. Applicator 10' functions similarly to applicator 10 and has the advantages described for applicator 10.
Embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 A third embodiment of the applicator of the invention is depicted schematically in FIGS. 5 and 6 and is of further simplified construction. Components similar in appearance to those of the first two embodiments described above, function similarly thereto and bear corresponding double-primed reference numerals. In this regard, an applicator 10" is provided with a cartridge 12", spring 16", a catheter 22", a container 18" and nose portion 20". Cartridge 12" is identical in configuration to cartridge 12 except that the opening 28" is bounded by four flaps 108, which function similarly to flaps 54 and 66. Rim 34" and closed rear Accordingly, an improved urethral catheter applicator is provided which can be fabricated inexpensively but which provides a number of advancements over the usual types of catheter applicators. Thus, the applicator facilitates easier and less uncomfortable catheter insertion by one operator while aiding in preserving the sterile field so as to minimize dangers of infection. Other advantages are as set forth in the foregoing description.
Various changes, modifications, substitutions and the like can be made in the improved applicator of the invention and the components thereof. All such changes, modifications and substitutions as are within the scope of the appended claims form a part of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A urethral catheter applicator device comprising:
a container for storing a catheter in preparation for use having an exit opening at one end thereof;
a pair of relatively reciprocal one-way-motion-permitting members, one of which is connected to and in axial alignment with said container, said members located adjacent to said opening but distinct from the container for ultimately withdrawing the catheter from the container through said opening and extending it forwardly for application to a pa tient, said reciprocal members including one member of said pair being in axial spaced alignment with respect to the other member permitting axial reciprocation between both of said members; and
guide means connected forward of the reciprocal members for contacting and depressing the area of the patient immediately surrounding the urethra opening to facilitate the progressive insertion of the catheter into the urethra.
2. An improved catheter applicator device capable of one-hand-operation comprising:
a. a self-supporting cartridge defining a cavity for storing a catheter;
b. a self-supporting hollow container disposed over and extending forward of said cartridge;
c. first and second unidirectional control means defining catheter passageways disposed within the area defined by said container forward of said cavity;
d. resilient means resiliently interconnecting said first and second unidirectional control means and biasing the same apart for reciprocation thereof between a mutually relatively closely spaced position and a mutually relatively distantly spaced position; and,
e. a flexible catheter stored in said cartridge and extending forward through said catheter passageways in engagement with said control means.
3. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 2 wherein said container is in slideable engagement with said cartridge and wherein spaced grip means are disposed'adjacent said control means for one-hand reciprocation of said control means, said grip means including a first finger grip secured to the outer surface of said container and a second finger grip secured to said cartridge rearward of said container.
4. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 2 wherein a hollow tapered nose portion is disposed adjacent to the front end of said container, extends forwardly of said container and defines a catheter passageway in the front end thereof, wherein said catheter is disposed in coiled array in said cartridge and wherein said cartridge includes a closed rear end wall defining a catheter passageway.
5. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 4 wherein said first unidirectional control means comprises a plurality of forwardly and inwardly directed flaps disposed in the front end of a second hollow container located between said nose portion and said first container and connected thereto, wherein said containers, cartridge and nose portions are transparent and wherein said second unidirectional control means comprises a plurality of forwardly and inwardly directed flaps disposed in the front end of said first hollow container.
6. An improved urethral catheter applicator comprising, in combination:
a. A hollow cartridge generally circular in transverse cross-section, including a rear storage compartment adapted to receive a catheter in coiled array, a substantially closed rear end and a necked-down open front portion;
b. means for advancing a tubular catheter unidirectionally through said applicator including: 1. first unidirectional control means defining a catheter passageway disposed forward of said rear storage area,
2. a hollow container generally circular in transverse cross-section and having an open rear end and a front end containing second unidirectional control means defining a catheter passageway 3. resilient means resiliently interconnecting said first and second unidirectional control means in spaced relation for reciprocation thereof between a mutually relatively closely spaced position and a mutually relatively distantly spaced position;
0. a hollow nose portion generally circular in transverse cross-section connected adjacent said front end of said container and extending forward therefrom and including a front end defining a catheter passageway; and,
d. a hollow flexible tubular catheter disposed in coiled array in said rear storage compartment and extending longitudinally forward through said catheter passageways.
7. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 6 wherein said applicator is dimensioned for use in one hand of an operator, wherein said first unidirectional control means is disposed in the front end of a second hollow container generally circular in transverse cross-section, wherein said front end of said nose portion is smoothly contoured and dimensioned for efficient approximation to an urethral opening and is spaced forwardly of said front end of said first container to define therewith a reservoir for reception of lubricant.
8. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 7 wherein said cartridge, said containers and said nose portion are of clear, transparent, smooth, self-supporting material and wherein said first container includes finger grip means to facilitate said reciprocation.
9; The improved catheter applicator of claim 7 wherein said second container has an open rear end, is disposed in nested abutting relation to said cartridge and extends forward thereof, and wherein said first container is disposed in nested spaced relation to said second container and extends forward thereof.
10. The improved catheter applicator of claim 9 wherein said cartridge, first and second containers and nose portion are of generally frusto-conical configuration, wherein said first and second unidirectional control means each comprise at least one forwardly and inwardly directed flap adapted to contact the exterior of said catheter, wherein said resilient means comprises a coiled spring extending between the outer surface of the front end of said second container and the inner surface of the front end of said first container, and wherein said first container includes finger grip means disposed adjacent the outer surface thereof.
11. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 9 wherein said first and second unidirectional control means each comprises a forwardly and inwardly sloped neck bounding said catheter passageway, wherein each of said first and second containers has a peripheral rim adjacent the rear end thereof, and wherein said resilient means comprises at least one flexible strip connected to both of said rims.
12. The improved urethral catheter applicator of claim 10 wherein said rear end of said cartridge defines an opening through which said catheter extends for connection to urine collection means, wherein said reservoir includes a third container having a neckeddown front portion defining an opening axially aligned container means comprises a coiled spring disposed over the exterior surface of said cartridge and secured to the front surface of saidcartridge rim and the rear surface of said rim, wherein said first and second unidirectional control means each comprise at least one forwardly and inwardly directed flap adapted to contact the exterior of said catheter, and wherein said 1 cartridge defines an opening through which the rearward portion of said catheter extends tangentially outward for connection to urine collection means.