US 3734154 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 ?olk 1 1 Ma 22 1973 s4 DISPOSABLE BAG WITH SELF- 3,473,532 10/1969 Eisenberg ..1s0 9 x CLOSING VALVE 3,387,624 6/1968 SOucyi 1 1,993,377 3/1935 McNu ty Inventori a Polk, Fords, 2,568,976 9/1951 Andrews ..229/62.5 x
73 Assi Pack '11 Associates Inc. I 1 gnee g Primary Examiner-Samuel B. Rothberg Assistant Examiner-Stephen P. Garbe Flledi P 1971 Attorney-Lewis 1'1. Eslinger, Alvin Sinderbrand and  Appl No: 136,978 Curtis, Morris & Safford  ABSTRACT  U.S. Cl ..150/9, 128/D1G. 24, 128/275,
137/525l 251/4 229/625 A cl1sposable enema bag has an extension for use 1n  Int Cl 33/16 filling the bag and a self-closing valve therefor. The  Fieid 137/525 valve includes a tube and a semi-rigid panel attached 4 229/62' at diametrically opposed portions of the tube with a flexible band secured at its opposite ends to the panel for bowing the panel and urging it into engagement  References cued with the tube to hold the opposed interior surfaces of UNITED ST S A S the tube in fluid tight engagement.
1,809,259 6/1931 Williams ..229/62.5 13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED MAY 2 2 I975 DISPOSABLE BAG WITH SELF-CLOSING VALVE This invention relates to disposable bags for containing liquids and, more particularly, to a disposable enema bag having an integral valve structure for filling and sealing the bag.
In many fields there is a need for low-cost disposable containers or bags which are adopted to hold and dis pense liquids and/or ice, such as ice or hot water bags. This is particularly true in the medical field wherein the requirements for sterile and sanitary conditions are so essential and stringent that repetitive use of a container is often impossible and always undesirable.
One medical procedure which clearlyrequires sanitary conditions is that of giving an individual in the home or a patient in the hospital an enema. This procedure requires that a cleaning solution be placed in a container or bag and be directed through a properly inserted tube in a body cavity or orifice, such as the recturn, for flushing the adjacent internal organs of the body. AFter use, both the container or bag and enema tube require thorough washing before they can be reused. Such cleaning procedures are difficult, if not impossible, in the home, and even in hospitals, cleaning of the bag and tube is difficult. Not only is cleaning often incomplete, leaving possibly dangerous bacteria in the crevices of the bag or tube, but the cleaning procedures themselves are time consuming and expensive so that these procedures are also undesirable from the economic point of view.
It has previously been proposed, in numerous instances, to use disposable containers in order to eliminate the washing and resterilization operations. The use of disposable containers has been found to be economically feasible since the cost per container is substantially minimized by modern vinyl plastics technology which offers relatively simple methods of fabricating disposable containers at relatively lowcost. However, while the bags themselves have been available, a problem has always been encountered, heretofore, in providing the bags with an adequate yet inexpensive closure device or valve for the filling opening of the bag.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to contain fluids in relatively inexpensive disposable containers.
Another object of the invention is to provide relatively simple and inexpensive closure devices for disposable and permanent containers.
In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, the above-mentioned closure problem is solved by providing a disposable vinyl enema bag with valve and closure means for filling a tube that is operatively connected in fluid tight relation to the bag for providing communication to the interior thereof. The valve and closure means includes a semi-rigid panel secured to diametrically opposite portions of the tube and along the outside thereof with means secured to the panel for bowing the panel and urging it into engagement with the tube in order to hold the opposed interior surfaces thereof, adjacent the panel, in fluid tight engagement to thus prevent escape of any enclosed liquid in the bag. The valve and closure means, preferably constructed totally from plastics, is easily flexible by hand, for opening, to allow the bag to be filled.
A better understanding of these and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be had by referring to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a disposable enema bag constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view, with parts broken away, of the valve and closure means utilized in the bag of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 illustrating the valve in its closed position; and
FIG. 4 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but illustrating the valve in its open position.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, and initially to FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that an enema bag 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention, as shown therein, is formed of two substantially coextensive plastic sheets, 12 and 14 formed of vinyl, polyethylene or the like, fused together along three of their peripheral edges, for example by heat scaling, to provide a water-tight seam 16 at these edges. The top of bag 10 is provided with a triangular handle 18 formed by heat sealing sheets 12 and 14 together along lines 19, and having an opening 21 therebetween by which the bag may be either held by hand or hung from a stand during use. The remainder of the top portion of bag 10 defines an extension 23 in each of the sheets 12 and 14, which sheets are not sealed together at the top edges thereof so that they define a passageway 25 therebetween for filling the bag 10, as is more fully described hereinafter.
The lower end of bag 10 is provided with an extension 22 in which the end of an enema tube 20 is secured by heat sealing to provide for discharge of fluid from the bag. Holes 24 and 24' in the free end of tube 20 permit flow of the enema solution into the selected body cavity in which it is inserted. The flow rate of the enema solution to the patient may be controlled in either of two conventional ways; i.e., either the height of bag 10 may be varied or a suitable clamp (not shown) may be applied to tube 20 to vary the diameter of the tube opening and thus the flow rate therethrough.
Extension 23 and passageway 25 in the top of bag 10 contain a flutter valve26 which selectively seals the opening defined by extension 23 to prevent fluid from escaping through the filling passageway 25 (see FIG. 2). The valve is located at the entrance to bag 10, i.e. at the top of extension 23, at which an opening 28 is formed between two flexible vinyl flaps 30 and 32. Flap 30 is simply a portion of the extension 23 of sheet 14 which is folded inwardly of passageway 28 and out along the curved lines 36 and 38 to fit between seams l6 and 19. Flap 32 is a separate piece of flexible vinyl which is heat sealed along seam section 34 to the upper edge of the extension 23 of sheet 12. Both sides of flaps 30 and 32 are also fused, i.e. heat sealed, together along lines or seams 36 and 38 and thereby create a tube which defines the entrance channel or passageway 28 through which fluid is supplied to the inside of bag 10. A panel 40 of semi-rigid plastic, having substantially the same shape as flap 32, is located between flap 32 and sheet 12 and is secured to both flap 32 and sheet 12 along seam 34 and to flap 32 along seams 36 and 38. By this arrangement panel 40 is maintained closely contiguous to flap 32 and the latter moves to whatever position or configuration panel 40 occupies.
Passageway 28 is sealed by maintaining flaps 32 and 30 in fluid tight engagement with each other. This is done by maintaining panel 40 in a bowed configuration thereby urging flap 32 into engagement with flap 30. This is achieved by initially heat sealing a flexible band 42 (i.e. during assembly of the bag) at its opposed ends 41 and 43 to seams 38 and 36, respectively, with the band located on the side of flap 32 remote from panel 40, i.e. side 47. Since the length of band 42 is substantially the same as the width of the flaps 30 and 32 between seams 36 and 38, at this point in the assembly process, band 42 applies no pressure to panel 40 and the latter is not bowed. However, after band 42 is secured to flaps 30 and 32, the band is flipped over the inner edge 49 of flap 32 and the inner edge 49' of panel 40 to a position between panel 40 and sheet 14, i.e. adjacent side 51 of the panel. The flipping operation causes the end portions of band 42 to fold over seams 36 and 38 thereby shortening the effective length of the band so that the length of the band between these seams in this position is less than the width of panel 40. In this manner band 42 forces panel 40 to bend away from the band causing panel 40 to assume the bowed configuration thereof shown in FIG. 3. As a result, flap 32 is pressed against flap 30 is fluid tight engagement to prevent liquid from flowing out of the bag. Since flaps 30, 32 and panel 40 all have the same dimensions, the opposed surfaces of the flaps will be fully engaged so that no openings will exist therebetween and a substantially water impervious seal will be provided.
To open valve 26, it is first necessary to apply pressure, shown as P to reverse the bend in panel 40 from that shown in FIG. 3 to that shown in FIG. 4 thereby relieving the pressure of panel 40 against the flaps. By then applying a pair of forces F at seams 36 and 38, to hold panel 40 in this configuration against the bias of band 42, panels 30 and 32 will partly separate and may be readily opened to their fullest extent to create opening 28.
The vinyl plastic sheet material used to construct bag may have a smooth side and a rough side. In the preferred embodiment, the bag and valve are assembled so that the smooth portions of flaps 30 and 32 are facing each other in valve 26 to provide for maximum sealing contact. While the bag and valve herein described relate particularly to enema bags it will be clear to those skilled in the art that the valve and bag constructions of the present invention each have applications for other specific types of closures or containers. Further, although an illustrative embodiment of the present invention has been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to that precise embodiment, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A valve comprising, a flexible tube, a semi-rigid panel externally secured to diametrically opposite portions of said tube, and means secured to said panel for bowing the panel and urging it into engagement with the tube to hold the opposed interior surfaces of the tube, adjacent said panel, in fluid tight engagement with each other.
2. A valve as defined in claim 1 wherein said bowing means comprises a flexible band having opposite end portions respectively secured to opposite edges of said panel and located on the side thereof remote from said tube.
3. A valve as defined in claim 1 wherein said tube comprises a pair of relatively flat sheets of flexible material sealed together along a pair of spaced edges.
4. A valve as defined in claim 3 wherein said sheets are formed of a vinyl plastic material.
5. A device for containing liquid comprising a flexible bag member, means forming a tube operatively connected to said bag in fluid tight relation and providing communication to the interior thereof, a semi-rigid panel externally secured to diametrically opposite portions of said tube, and means secured to said panel for bowing the panel and urging it into engagement with the tube to hold the opposed interior surfaces thereof, adjacent said panel, in fluid tight engagement with each other, whereby passage of fluid through said tube from the interior of said bag is prevented.
6. A device as defined in claim 5 wherein said bowing means comprises a flexible band having opposite end portions respectively secured adjacent opposite edges of said panel and located on the side thereof remote from said tube, said band having an effective length between said panel edges that is less than the width of said panel between said edges, whereby said panel is bowed by said band and urged into engagement with said tube.
7. A device as defined in claim 6 wherein said bag comprises a pair of relatively flat and substantially coextensive sheets of flexible material joined along the adjacent peripheral edges thereof in fluidtight relation.
8. A device as defined in claim 7 wherein said tube forming means comprises substantially coextensive extensions of said sheets joined along a pair of adjacent edges, one of said extensions being longer than the other and folded inwardly of said bag to define a first flap, a second flap joined to said other extension along the free edge thereof and adjacent said first flap, said flaps being secured to each other along spaced lines to define said tube and fluid passageway therein.
9. A device as defined in claim 8 wherein said panel is secured to said tube adjacent said second flap and said band has substantially the same width as said panel and is secured to said panel at its edges on the side thereof adjacent said second flap and extends from its points of connection with said panel around the adjacent edges thereof and along the side of said panel remote from said second flap whereby the effective length of said band between said panel edges is less than the width of said panel.
10. An enema bag comprising, a pair of relatively flat, substantially coextensive sheets of flexible material having adjacent peripherial edge portions, said edge portions being joined in fluid tight relation to define a fluid receiving chamber, said sheets having substantially coextensive extensions joined along a pair of adjacent edges, to define a passageway therebetween, said extensions each having a free end portion with one of said extensions being longer than the other and folded inwardly of said passageway to define a first flap therein, a second flap in said passageway joined to said other extension along the free edge thereof and being located substantially contiguous to said first flap, said flaps being secured to each other in fluid tight relation along spaced lines to define a tube and fluid passageway providing communication with the interior of said bag, and valve means for closing said tube including a semi-rigid panel secured to one of said flaps exteriorly of said tube passageway, and means secured to said panel for bowing the panel and urging it into engagepanel is bowed by said band and urged into engagement with said tube.
12. An enema bag as defined in claim 11 including conduit means secured in internal communication with said bag for directing fluid in said bag to a selected point of application thereof.
13. An enema bag as defined in claim 11 wherein said flat sheet forming said bag comprises plastic sheets joined by heat sealing along said edges.