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Publication numberUS3694845 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1972
Filing dateOct 14, 1970
Priority dateOct 14, 1970
Publication numberUS 3694845 A, US 3694845A, US-A-3694845, US3694845 A, US3694845A
InventorsEngelsher Harvey J
Original AssigneeHorizon Ind Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cleansing device for surgical scrubs
US 3694845 A
A cleansing device for performing surgical scrubs and having a plurality of apertured foamed polyurethane members stacked and bonded together to form a resilient, composite tubular structure into which is inserted a body member to be cleansed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1151 3,694,845 Engelsher 1 Oct. 3, 1972 [54] CLEANSING DEVICE FOR SURGICAL 2,030,91 l 2/ 1936 Borden ..15/244 R X SCRUBS 3,317,944 5/1967 Napier et a]. ..l5/223 X 2,961,682 11/1960 Wurmbock et a1... 1 5/244 B X [72] invent Harvey "f' 3,301,254 1/1967 Schickedanz ..128/153 Assigneer Horizon Industries, Bronx, 3,396,419 8/1968 Richter et al. ..l5/ 104.93 N.Y. 3,570,036 3/1971 Gillchrist et al. ..15/223 X 2 841 811 7/1958 Carroll ..15/244 R 1970 [22] Oct 3,253,591 5/1966 Scholl 128/153 [21] Appl. No.: 80,530

Primary Examiner-Daniel Blum [S2] U.S. Cl. ..15/244 C, 15/223 n y-Irving Seidman [51] Int. Cl. ..A47k 7/02 [58] Field of Search ..l5/l04.92, 104.93, 210 B, 223, [57] ABSTRACT 15/244; 4/158 184; 29/125; R; A cleansing device for performing surgical scrubs and 132/75; 138/}18 having a plurality of apertured foamed polyurethane d members stacked and bonded together to form a References Cm resilient, composite tubular structure into which is in- UNITED STATES PATENTS serted a body member to be cleansed.

1,943,365 l/ 1934 Borden 15/244 C 2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDncI 3 1972 IIF IIE



CLEANSING DEVICE FOR SURGICAL SCRUBS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention The present invention relates, in general, to cleansing devices of the type useful for performing surgical scrub procedures, and more particularly, to a disposable cleansing device made of plastic foam parts.

2. Description of the Prior Art The necessity for thorough scrubbing of a surgeons hands until they are in a highly aseptic condition before operating upon a patient is well known. Heretofore, various cleansing devices, such as brushes and sponges have been used for pre-operative scrubbing, as exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 3,066,346 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,396,419.

Although bristled scrub brushes are still useful for surgical scrubs, it has been found that some bristles are too abrasive and actually churn up more debris and bacteria from the skin. For example, it has been found that conventional bristle scrub brushes may irritate sensitive skin and be too abrasive causing erythema and dilation of the pores and hair follicles, which may stimulate excessive migration of bacteria to the skin surface.

Furthermore, if a bristle brush is drawn over skin in one direction, all the bristles tend to bend in the reverse direction resulting in a gliding effect with minimal abrasive action. Only when the brush direction is reversed will the bristles change their orientation and induce sufficient abrasive action to remove such debris and bacteria as might have been missed because of such gliding action.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To avoid such disadvantage, the invention proposes a cleansing device having a plurality of apertured cellular members stacked and bonded together to form a resilient composite and generally tubular structure into which is inserted the body member to be cleansed. The cellular members are preferably made of foamed polyurethane, natural or synthetic rubber sponge or cellulose sponge, and are similar in shape but of different cellular densities. The aperture of each cellular member extends completely through it and is bordered by exposed cells. The cellular members are arranged such that their apertures are positioned in tandem alignment to define an extended passage sized to receive the body member, as for example a finger, and which is lined with exposed cells that contact the body member to aid the cleansing thereof.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the cleansing device is made up from a plurality of polyurethane foam rings bonded together in an order of alternating cellular density and stiffness among consecutive adjoining rings. It has been found that by such alternation of cellular density, or coarseness, there is realized a certain undulation of the abrasive contact surfaces of the cleansing device that occurs when it is drawn in either direction, thereby allowing the cleansing device of the invention to accomplish a more efficient scrubbing job in less time than required using conventional polyurethane scrub brushes.

In addition to the cleansing surface provided along its internal passage, which is particularly useful for cleaning individual digits, the external surface of this device is also useable for cleaning other parts of the hands and/or arms. The cleansing device of the invention is sufficiently resilient and pliable that it can be easily squeezed to fit between the fingers for cleaning the interdigital spaces of the hand.

For a better understanding of the invention and its various features and advantages, reference should be had to the following detailed description and accompanying drawing which together exemplify in detail certain preferred embodiments of the invention.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cleansing device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section view of the cleansing device shown in FIG. 1 as taken along line 2-2 therein;

' FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the cleansing device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrating the manner in which the device is normally used to clean fingers;

FIG. 4 is a further pictorial view of the cleansing device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrating how such device can be used to clean the spaces between fingers;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a cleansing device according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an endwise pictorial view of the cleansing device shown in FIG. 5 illustrating how such device can be squeezed into a configuration useful for cleaning the spaces between fingers; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cleansing device according to a further embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION In FIGS. 1 4 there is exemplified a cleansing device 10 that is made up from a plurality of resilient cellular ring members 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E and 11F that are connected, as by an adhesive or fusion bonding, in endwise adjoining relation to one another to form a composite structure.

The rings 1 lA-F are substantially similar in shape insofar as their radial dimensions are concerned but can differ in axial length as desired. Each ring llA-F has a central aperture 12 that extends completely through it and the material surface bordering aperture 12, has exposed cells, just as do the other boundary surfaces of such rings llA-F.

The rings llA-F are arranged such that their apertures 12 are positioned in tandem alignment to define an extended passage lined with exposed cells and sized to allow the insertion therein of a finger or other body member to be cleansed, as illustrated in FIG. 3.

The rings llA-F are preferably made of foamed polyurethane, or a similar resilient cellular material, and are of different cellular densities, i.e. pores per cubic inch, so that a variation of the directional scrubbing characteristics is achieved in the device 10.

By way of example, the cleansing device 10 has six rings llA-F approximately each one-half inch in axial length so as to give cleansing device 10 an overall length of about 3 inches. There are preferably three different cellular density selections among the rings llA-F, namely high, intermediate and low. Rings 11C and 11F are of the high density type and have small cell pores and are stiffer than any of the other rings 11A, 11B, 11D, 11E. Rings 1 1A and 1 ID are of the low density type having big cell pores and being more soft and pliant than the other rings. Rings 11B and 11B are intermediate in cell pore size and stiffness as compared to the other two groupings. Thus, in the tubular cleansing device 10, adjoining rings 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E and 11F have different densities and abrasive characteristics such that a digit inserted into either end of device will encounter progressively alternate scrubbing action. The same alternate scrubbing action is provided along the external surface of cleansing device 10 since the outer cylindrical surface 13 of each ring llA-llF will have the same cellular characteristics as its aperture 12 border surface.

By combining rings 11A-11F of different cellular densities as in the alternating stacking arrangement shown in FIGS. l-3, it is possible to obtain a more beneficial scrubbing action from the softer rings 11A and 11D that would not be obtainable without the reinforcement provided by the stiffer rings 11B, 11E and 11C, 11F. If all of the rings llA-llF were of the soft, low cell density type the exposed cells that contact the part of the body to be cleaned would deflect excessive ly and tend to glide over the skin surface without abrading therefrom any significant amount of dirt particles, dead epithelial tissue and other virulent debris. The bonding of rings 11A and 11D to the somewhat stiffer rings 11B and 11E respectively gives reinforcement that prevents such excessive deflection of rings llA, 11D. Likewise, the bonding of rings 11B and 11E to the even stiffer rings 11C and l 1F respectively provides additional reinforcement in the composite cleansing device 10 allowing it to have sufficient pliability and resilience that it can easily be squeezed for scrubbing the interdigital spaces as shown in FIG. 4.

The concept of the invention is not limited in embodiment to a cleansing device 10 made up from circular annular rings 1 lA-l 1F but can be applied to make cleansing devices of other geometrical configurations as for example the ovoidal shaped cleansing device 20 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 or the four-sided prismatic cleansing device 30 shown in FIG. 7.

The ovoidal cleansing device 20 is made up from a plurality of ovoidal shaped cellular members 21A-21F, each having a central aperture 22 extending through it, and a pair of oppositely disposed corner portions 23. Except for geometrical configuration, the cellular members 21A-21F are similar to the ring cellular members llA-llF and are bonded together in a similar manner with their apertures 22 positioned in tandem alignment and corresponding corner portions 23 of adjoining cellular members 2lA-21F being also positioned in tandem alignment so as to define upon the exterior of the cleansing device 20 a pair of opposite ridges extending the length thereof.

It has been found that the oval configuration of the cleansing device 20 gives a somewhat better cleansing surface presentation, as compared to the circular tube configuration of cleansing device 10, when cleaning large areas of the back of the hands and forearms. The opposite ridges formed by the stacking effect of corner portions 23 tend to strengthen the cleansing device 20 from bending excessively, and affords a better grip to prevent slippage of the device 20 when held in a wet, soapy hand.

When cleaning the interdigital spaces, these ridges are gently squeezed inwardly to effect a generally symmetrical deformation of the device 20 into an elongated and pointed cross-sectional configuration that is better adapted for such body areas, as illustrated in FIG. 6.

Cleansing device 30 is made up of a plurality of rectangular block shaped cellular members 3lA-31F that, except for geometrical configuration are similar to cellular members llA-l 1F, and 21A-1F. Each cellular member 31A-31F has a central aperture 32 extending through it and four corner portions 33. In the assembled cleansing device 30, the corresponding corner portions 33 of the cellular members 31A-31F are positioned in tandem alignment so that cleansing device 30 has four continuous ridges extending along its length. These four ridges provide for easier gripping of the cleansing device 30.

In support of applicants contribution to the state of the art and in support of the advantages thereof, a study was carried out to determine the degree of asepsis developed on the hands of two surgeons employing replicate operational procedures on routine bases for a period of 12 days alternating between the prescribed regimen with a conventional polyurethane sponge brush and the procedure of scrubbing using the cleansing device of the present invention. A consistent stroke and motion pattern was used in each of the scrubbings lasting for a period of six minutes. lmmediately following each scrubbing operation, the hands up to the wrist were inserted in a beaker of sterile, distilled water specially formulated with a surface active agent of non-germicidal activity supplemented with a 0.5 percent of agar-agar for nutrient purposes and 0.5 percent polyvinyl alcohol to increase the viscosity of the immersion solution. After withdrawing of the scrubbed hands from this special solution, the contents were closed by means of a light parchment cap and allowed to incubate at 37 C for 96 hours. A bacterial and debridal count was made microscopically in order to compare the effectiveness of the two regimens or the two procedures involving the conventional polyurethane sponge brush and the cleansing device of the present invention. The count for each of these two procedures was made for each of the scrubbings and averaged with an appropriate calculated standard of deviation as shown in the following table:

Number per 100 ml. (now standard test) seen on microscopic slide. Number per I00 ml. on micropore filter SD: Standard Deviation This table illustrates the significant decrease in bacterial and debris count attained by the use of the more efficient cleansing device of the present invention.

The following table illustrates the efficiency of the scrubbing operation employing this particular cleansing device as a valuable feature of time saving. In this comparative experiment, the scrubbing operations were terminated after each one minute period. As in the previous experiment, the hands were immersed up to the wrists in the special solution described above for the bacterial and debridal count following the scrubbing operation.

The above data illustrates the rapid time-wise removal of the bacteria and debris attained by the cleaning device of the present invention.

As will become apparent to the artisan from the foregoing, the cleansing device invention disclosed herein is adaptable to numerous variations and modifications to suit the needs of the particular user; and that other embodiments of the invention will become obvious from the disclosure herein.


l. A cleansing device which comprises a plurality of resilient foamed polyurethane cellular annular members substantially similar in shape and each having a central aperture bordered by exposed cells, said cellular members being connected in adjoining relation to one another to form a composite resilient structure elongated axially of the apertures, the apertures of said cellular members being positioned in tandem alignment along a central axis to define a passage extending completely through said structure and open at both ends thereof and allowing the insertion therein of a body member to be cleansed, adjoining cellular mem bers of said structure having different stiffnesses and cellular densities for contacting and scrubbing said body member upon relative movement of said device and body member, and said structure being generally symmetrical about said axis.

2. A cleansing device according to claim 1 wherein said cellular members have opposing external corner portions aligned to define corresponding edges extending the length of said structure.

Patent Citations
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U.S. Classification15/244.4, 401/7, 15/223
International ClassificationA47K7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47K7/02
European ClassificationA47K7/02