US 3727614 A
An inoculator having a muzzle surrounding the needle and a vacuum source to urge a piston forward and to draw the skin of the patient into the muzzle thereby impaling the skin of the patient upon the needle, automatically effecting the inoculation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
 Filed:  AppLNo; 142,957
1 United States Patent 1191 Kniazuk MULTIPLE DOSAGE INOCULATOR  Inventor: Michael Kniazuk, Mountainside,
 Assignee: Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ.
May 13, 1971  US. Cl. ..128/218 A, 128/218 G, 128/302 51 1111. c1..,., ..A6l1'n 5/18, A61m 1/00  Field of Search ..128/2l8 A, 218 0, 08/27 ,215, 2'18 R,218 F,2F, 173 H, 223, 315, 297, 302, 278
[ 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS KWM/M Jae/ea:
1451 Apr. 17,1973
3,474,787 10/1969 Grant 128/218 R 1,880,354 10/1932 Mueller ..128/216 ux FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 315,583 2/1934 Italy 128/302 120,379 5/1927 Switzerland ....128/302 155,380 8/1938 Austria; 128/297 1,048,558 9/1963 Great Britain. 128/302 Great Britain .1 ..128/218 F Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. C. McGowan Attorney-Martin L. Katz, Harry E. Westlake, Jr. and 1. Louis Wolk  ABSTRACT An inoculator having a muzzle surrounding the needle and a vacuum source to urge a piston forward and to draw the skin of the patient into the muzzle thereby impaling the 'skin of the patient upon the needle, automatically effecting the inoculation.
PATEFHEDAPR 1 Y W 31727, 614
ATTORNEY MULTIPLE DOSAGE INOCULATOR This invention relates to a new multiple dosage inoculator which can be used to administer vaccines'and other injectable pharmaceutical or nutritional preparations to patients (human and animal).
More particularly, this invention relates to a device which permits the rapid and efficient administration of injectable preparationsby using a vacuum to draw the skin of the patient onto the needle;
This invention also relates to a device which eliminates the hazard of the accidental inoculation of the one administering the injectable preparation.
In the medical and veterinary profession, it is frequently necessary to administer accurate doses of therapeutic or nutritional compositions to large groups V The handle portion 2 includes a handle 5, trigger 6, and
of patients. Many of these compositions must be parenterally administered. Single dosage injection devices are not satisfactory for this purpose due to the time and expense involved and also because of the variations in the doseswhich may be required by different patients as 'may be determined upon examination.
Accordingly, it is thegeneral object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved multiple dosage inoculator;
- Another object is to provide a multiple dosage inoculator which does not require refilling between injections. Q
A further objectis to provide a novel multiple dosage from the following detailed description and accom' partying drawings in which:
-FlG.'l'is a longitudinal sectional view of an inoculator embodying the features of the present invention; FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the. barrel trigger guard 7. The handle 5 is connected to a vacuum source (not shown) by fitting 8 and flexible tubing 9. The handle has a cavity which contains an air filter 10 which may be removed so that it can be cleaned or changed by rotating the thumb screw 11. The filter 10 communicates with hollow channels 12 and 13. Channel'l2 can communicate with the atmosphere by means of channel 14. The access of channel l4to the atmosphere is controlled by trigger 6, which reciprocates between the portion shown in FIG. 1 and one in which the channel 14 in the handle is in communication with the channel 15 and aperture 16 in the trigger 6. A spring 17 mounted on. elbow 18 and recess 19 exerts pressure on the trigger 6 to keep it in the position shown in FIG. 1. Channel 12 also communicates with the muzzle 20 of the delivery portion 3 of the inocula- The delivery portion 3 of the inoculator includesan I adjustable thumb screw- 24, which controls thestroke portion of this inoculator embodying the'features of the I present invention;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of an inocula tor embodying the features of the present invention in which the operative parts. of the inoculator are shown in a first operating position;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view of an inocula- -tor embodying the features of the present invention in which the operative parts of the inoculator are shown in a second operating position;
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional view of a modification of an inoculator embodying the features of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view of an alternative trigger means in a first operating position for an inoculator embodying the features of the present invention;
of the syringe piston 25, and a locking nut 26 which are both mounted on the rear facing; 27 of the jacket 28. The jacket also has a vent 29 and a front collar30 which seals the bellows 22 and supports the syringe housing tube 31. A set screw 32 locks the syringe housing tube 31 tothe front collar 30 in a. fairly air-tight fit. The syringe is a conventional syringeas, for example, a Becton & Dickinson Luer-Lok. The syringe comprises a barrel 33 that is fixed, and a piston 25, which is driven by the bellows 22 via a Teflon bumper 34 mounted on the stem 35 that is'part of the bellows end cover 36.
The bumper 34 contacts the syringe piston 25 atthe' thumb screw 24, the other end of which is set against a sleeve spacer 39. .An O'ring 40 cushions the sleeve spacer 39 against the top .of the syringe barrel flange 41. A Teflon'washer 42 cushions and air seals a second sleeve spacer 43 against the bottom of the syringe barrel flange 41. A housing 44 surrounds the syringe barrel 33 and the other working parts of the syringeoThe housing 44 is partially capped at the one end to retain the sleeve spacers, and has a threaded cap 45 with a hole for the syringe barrel at the other. The cap 45 serves to'clamp the sleeve spacers and syringe barrel in the housing. The barrel 33 is terminated in a standard male syringefitting 46 to which is coupled a checkvalve fitting 47. The check-valve fitting 47 is connected to the medicament reservoir 4 and the other end terminates in a standard male taper fitting 48 for a hypodermic needle. In theernbodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the reservoir 4 is a bottle which contains either 100 or 250 doses of medicament. The bottle is connected by a screw fitting 49 to the inlet seat portion 50 of the checkwalve fitting 47. -Washers 51 and 52 are used to seal the bottle 4, the fitting 49 and the inlet seat 50. An inlet check valve 53 and spring 54 are mounted in the inlet seat 50. A washer 55 seals the inlet seat housing 50 to the check-valve body 47. The outlet check valve 56 and spring 57 serve to prevent backflow. The inlet valve 53 controls the entrance of the medicament to the metering chamber 58 and the outlet valve 56 controls the flow of medicament to the hypodermic needle 59. The hypodermic needle 59 is mounted by its metal hub 60 to the needle fitting 48 on the check-valve body. A muzzle is attached by threads to the check valve body. It surrounds the fitting 48, the needle 59, hub 60, and a collar 61 which slips onto the needle 59. The collar limits the depth and penetration of the needle. The lip 62 of the muzzle contacts the skin during use.
FIG. 3 shows the device of FIGS. 1 and 2 in a first operating position. In this view the inoculator 1 is brought into contact with the skin 63 of a patient. The inoculator is connected to a vacuum source (not shown) and suction is applied continuously to the muzzle portion 20 of the inoculator through channel 12 and tubing 21, drawing the skin 63 of the patient into the muzzle cavity 64, where it is impaled upon the needle 59. The depth of the penetration of the needle 59 into the skin 63 of the patient is limited by the diameter of the muzzle cavity 64 and the length of the collar 61, both of which may be varied depending upon the desired depth of the penetration of the needle as, for example, in subcutaneous inoculations the depth will be less than for intramuscular inoculations. Also, in veterinary applications, the depth of penetration must be varied according to the site of the inoculation, the looseness of the skin or the thickness ofthe skin of the particular animal to which the pharmaceutical or nutritional preparation is being administered. For example, when a, young, i.e., 1-5 day old chick is being inoculated, arlonger collar and smaller diameter muzzle will be u'sed than when a full grown chicken is being inoculated; and an even larger diameter muzzle and shorter collar will be used when a larger animal, as, for example, a cow or sheep, is being inoculated.
Another way of varying the penetration of the needle is to vary the initial tension of the return spring 38. If
the tension is increased, a greater vacuum is needed to depress the syringe barrel and, consequently, there is a greater vacuum in the muzzle cavity 64. One may vary the angle at which the point of the needle 59 is sharpened to control the depth of penetration of the needle.
Air is withdrawn from the bellows 22 through tubing 23 and channel 13 while air enters the area between the jacket 28 and the bellows 22 through vent 29. This difference in air pressure between the interior of the be]- lows and the exterior of the bellows causes the collapse of the bellows and the forward stroke of the stem and the syringe piston 25 against the pressure of the return spring (not shown in FIG. 3). At this stage check valve 53, which leads from the'fluid reservoir 4 to the metering chamber (58), is closed, and the check valve 56, which leads from the metering chamber 58 to the needle 59 is open. Accordingly, as the syringe piston 25 is moving forward, a metered dose of the pharmaceutiea] or nutritional preparation is administered to the patient through the needle 59. One skilled in the art will readily see that when the muzzle 20 is brought into contact with the skin 63 of the patient, the vacuum system is closed. The system is evacuated very quickly (less than one second), but not instantaneously. At the onset of evacuation, the skin is sucked into the muzzle and impaled upon the needle. As the evacuation continues, the bellows overcomes the initial spring tension and starts to collapse, thereby administering the injectable preparation to the patient.
When the preparation has been administered to the patient and it is desired to remove the inoculator from the patient and inoculate another patient, the device is in the position shown in FIG. 4. In this view, the person using the inoculator depresses the trigger 6, thereby aligning channel 15 in the trigger with channel 14in the handle. At this point, channel 12 and channel 14 may communicate with the atmosphere by means of channel 15 and aperture 16 in the trigger. When this takes place, air flows through channel 12 to muzzle 20 and breaks the suction between the muzzle 20 and the skin 63 of the patient. Air simultaneously flows through channel 13 into the bellows 22, thereby in conjunction with the return spring causing the bellows to expand until the stem 35 is brought into contact with locking nut 26. This causes the syringe piston 25 to move rearwardly. At this time, check valve 53 opens and check valve 56 closes, thereby refilling the metering chamber 58. The inoculator is then ready to be used again.
The device shown in FIG. 5 is an alternative embodiment of an inoculator embodying the features of the present invention in which the trigger is activated by means of the movement of a finger 71 which is pivotably mounted by means of a pin 72 on an arm 73. The movement of this arm may be activated by several means (not shown), including mechanical means, such as a foot pedal or other switch device, or by electrical switching means, such as a solenoid. When the trigger is activated by means ofa device as shown in FIG. 5, its primary utility is in veterinary applications wherein the inoculator may be mounted on a fixed support 74 and the animal is brought to the inoculator by the operator. The inoculator is connected to a source for the pharmaceutical or nutritional preparation by tube 75. For example, in commercial hatchery operations, it may be convenient to use a fixedly mounted inoculator as shown in FIG. 5 in conjunction with other equipment as, for example, debeaking machines, which are normally used in the processing of animals.
The device shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative trigger assembly in which the trigger as it is depressed moves a cap 81 away from an aperture 82, thereby opening the path for the channel and enabling air to flow to the muzzle to break the-suction and enable the animal to be readily removed from the inoculator.
One skilled in the art will readily realize that many other means may be used to break the suction between the patient and the muzzle and to recycle the syringe. In many situations it is not necessary to use a trigger mechanism to break the suction, but the inoculator may be pulled from the patient, thereby breaking the suction, without injuring the patient in any way.
If it is desired to count the patients being inoculated, it is possible to attach a cumulative counter to a vacuum operated switch which is connected to the tubing 9 which connects the inoculator to the vacuum source. One may also use a dye in the injectable preparation to indicate whether or not the inoculation has actually occurred. Other suitable means may also be used to perform this function.
As a possible alternative to the use of bellows to cause the syringe piston 26 to reciprocate, one may also utilize a piston which is connected to the syringe piston and in an air-tight relationship with the jacket 28. By evacuating the area below the piston, this piston will move and cause the syringe piston 25 to be driven forward and release the injectable preparation. By releasing the vacuum, this piston will move rearward and cause the syringe piston 25 to recycle.
What is claimed is:
1. An inoculator for administering metered doses of injectable preparations to patients comprising:
a source of supply for the injectable preparation to be administered;
a metering chamber in communication with said source of supply;
a hollow needle in communication with said metering chamber;
a cylindrical muzzle spaced from and surrounding said needle, said cylindrical muzzle extending at least as far as the tip of said needle and having an essentially flat edgeat the end thereof;
a vacuum source connected to said muzzle in order to impale the skin of the patient being inoculated on said'needle;
a piston mounted for reciprocal forward and rearward movement in said bellows, the rearward end of said piston being in communication with the rearward wall of said bellows, and the front end of said piston extending beyond the front edge of said bellows and being slidingly engaged with the interior wall of the metering chamber; and
a hollow tube one end of which is connected to the vacuum source, and the other end being connected to the interior of said bellows in order to cyclicly collapse and expand said bellows, thereby causing said piston to move forward and rearward in said metering chamber, whereby the piston only moves to inject the metered dose of injectable preparation when the muzzle is sealed against the skin of the patient.
2. A device as in claim 1 further including means to break the vacuum, thereby facilitating the removal of the needle from the piston.
3. A device as in claim 1 further including means to vary the volume of the injectable preparation being administered to the patient.
4. A device as in claim 3 wherein the means to vary the volume of the injectable preparation comprises an adjustable screw which controls the rearward position of the piston, thereby regulating the maximum volume of the metering chamber.