US 3756239 A
An inflatable tourniquet including an elongated flexible tube which encircles a limb of a patient and which has an inlet opening therein for the introduction of fluid into the tube to cause its inflation. The inlet opening in the tube is defined by a fitting which protrudes radially outwardly from the limb-encircling tube. A flexible retaining strap having a plurality of longitudinally spaced holes therethrough is provided. The strap extends around the limb, overlapping the limb-encircling tube, and is secured about the tube by having the fitting projecting through selected holes in the strap so that upon inflation of the tube the strap will remain securely wrapped about the limb.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[451 Sept. 4, 1973 INFLATABLE TOURNIQUET  Inventor: Walter J. Smythe, Mentone, Ind.
 Assignee: Orthopedic Equipment Company,
' lnc., Bourbon, Ind.
 Filed: Apr. 20, 1971  Appl. No.: 135,583
 US. Cl. 128/327, 128/2.05 C  Int. Cl A61b 17/12  Field of Search 128/87, 155, 157,
128/165, 169, 325, 327, DIG. 20, 2.05 C, 2.05 R, 2.05 V, 2.05 G
3,153,414 10/1964 Beall et al 128/327 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 496,590 10/1953 Canada 128/327 Primary Examiner-l(yle L. Howell Att0rneyOltsch & Knoblock  ABSTRACT An inflatable tourniquet including an elongated flexible tube which encircles a limb of a patient and which has an inlet opening therein for the introduction of fluid into the tube to cause its inflation. The inlet opening in the tube is defined by a fitting which protrudes radially outwardly from the limb-encircling tube. A flexible retaining strap having a plurality of longitudinally spaced holes therethrough is provided. The strap extends around the limb, overlapping the limb-encircling tube, and is secured about the tube by having the fitting projecting through selected holes in the strap so that upon inflation of the tube the strap will remain securely wrapped about the limb.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP 44m INVENTOR. c] WALTER SMYTHE ATTORNEYS SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a tourniquet and has specific application to an inflatable tourniquet which is of simple and reliable operation.
The inflatable tourniquet of this invention includes an elongated flexible tube having the ends thereof closed. The tube encircles a limb of the patient and has an inlet opening therein through which fluid can be introduced into the tube to inflate the same. The inlet opening of the tube is defined by a fitting which protrudes radially outwardly from the limb-encircling tube. A flexible retaining strap having a plurality of longitudinally spaced holes encircles the patient's limb and overlaps the limb-encircling tube. The fitting projects through selected holes in the strap and serves to secure the strap about the limb so that, as the tube is inflated and expands against the strap, the strap will restrict outward expansion of the tube.
The tourniquet of this invention may be formed of flexible thermoplastic material which enables the tourniquet to be sterilized and to be placed as close to the surgical area as desired without the need for the usual drapings and other protective sheet material. Once the tourniquet has been used it may be re-sterilized, if desired, or disposed of. The tourniquet, by being securable about the limb of a patient through the use of a single strap, can be quickly applied to the limb of the patient. The single retaining strap so securely positions the inflatable tube about the patient's limb that tiedown strings and similar auxiliary tourniquet securement means need not be used to ensure that the strap will not become unwrapped during use of the toumiquet.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an inflatable tourniquet which is of economical construction and which can be quickly applied in an operative position about the limb of a patient.
Another object of this invention is to provide an inflatable tourniquet which can be quickly applied to a limb of a patient and which is of reliable, safe operation.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an inflatable tourniquet which can be applied to a limb of a patient to provide controlled constriction of the blood vessels and artery of the limb without the necessity of utilizing tie-down strings to prevent the tourniquet from becoming unwrapped from about the limb.
Other objects of this invention will become apparent upon a reading of the invention 's description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of this invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tourniquet of this invention shown applied to the leg of a patient.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the tourniquet of FIG. 1 shown in its extended form.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged detailed view of that portion of the tourniquet encircled by broken line 3 in FIG. 2, with portions thereof broken away to better illustrate the construction of the tourniquet.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FlG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the tourniquet in its wrapped form.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The preferred embodiment illustrated is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. It is chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its application and practical use to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention.
The tourniquet of this invention includes an elongated flexible tube 10 having side walls 12 and 14. Tube 10 is closed at the ends so as to be of a fluid-tight construction and may be formed in one integral piece or of two confronting pieces which are bonded together along their circumferential margins. A tubular fitting 16, which is fully described in commonly owned application Ser. No. 787,123, filed Dec. 26, 1968, now US. Pat. No. 3,587,584, is secured to side wall 12 of the tube and defines a fluid inlet opening 18 into the tube. Fitting 16 is adapted to releasably receive a suitable complementary fitting 19 which is connected to a conduit 20 through which a pressurized fluid, such as freon or air, can be introduced into tube 10 to cause its expansion. Fitting 16 is located adjacent one end 21 of tube 10 and is preferably centered between the side edges of side wall 12.
Covering the outer surface of side wall 12 is a wall part 22 which preferably extends the full length of tube 10 and which is bonded to side wall 12 along its side edges so as to define a slip or passage 24 extending the length of tube 10 between side wall. 12 and wall part 22. If desired, wall part 22 may also be bonded to side wall 12 across the opposite end 26 of the tube. As best illustrated in FIG. 4, fitting 16 projects outwardly from side wall 12 and protrudes through opening 23 in wall part 22. Tube 10 and wall part 22 are preferably formed of a thermoplastic synthetic resin material having a low gas permeability, such as polyethylene, polypropylene or nylon. Fitting 16 is preferably of a stiff construction and may be formed of a synthetic material such as polyethylene.
A retaining strap 28 is secured to tube 10. Strap 28, which may be formed of a thermoplastic synthetic resin material, possesses sufficient flexibility to enable the strap to be wrapped about a limb of the patient, as illustrated in FIG. 1, but is preferably otherwise unyielding, such as when placed in tension. A plurality of longitudinally spaced holes 30 are formed in. one end portion 32 of the strap. The opposite end portion 34 of the strap is inserted into passage 24 between side wall 12 and wall part 22 and preferably extends to end 26 of the tube. One of the longitudinally spaced holes 30 in the strap registers with opening 23 in wall part 22. Fitting l6 protrudes through registering hole 30 in the strap and opening 23 in the wall part and serves to connect strap 28 and tube 10.
To use this invention, the tourniquet is positioned at the desired location on a limb 29 of a patient with side wall 14 of tube 10 at end 26 thereof being placed against the limb. The tourniquet is then wrapped snugly about the limb, first with tube 10 encircling the limb and then with strap 28 encircling the limb and overlapping the tube. The width of strap 28 generally equals the width of the inflatable portions of tube side walls 12 and 14, as best shown in FIG. 4, so as to prevent the overlapped tube from expanding to any great extent around the side edges of the strap during its inflation. End portion 32 of the strap is of a sufficient length to extend around the limb and completely overlap limbencircling tube 10. Holes 30 in end portion 32 of the strap preferably are equally spaced apart and extend the full length of the strap end portion. After end portion 32 of the strap encircles the limb and is positioned so as to overlap limb-encircling tube 10, the free end part of strap end portion 32 is positioned against the adjacent underlying outer surface of wall part 22 with fitting 16 protruding through one of the holes 30, designated hole 30, in the free end part, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5. Holes 30 in strap end portion 32 are spaced sufficiently close together, such as '16 inch apart, so as to enable one such hole in the strap free end part to receive fitting 16 with the strap being held snugly wrapped about the limb. Conduit 20 is then connected to fitting l6 and pressurized fluid introduced into tube to cause its inflation.
As tube 10 is inflated, strap 28 is prevented from unwrapping by reason of having fitting 16 inserted through two of its holes 30 which are separated by a section of strap which encircles the limb. Fitting 16 is preferably of a sufficient length so as to ensure that the free end of the strap does not become disconnected from the fitting prior to and during the introduction of pressurized fluid into the tube. Once pressurized fluid is introduced into the tube, fitting l6 and the marginal portions of strap holes 30 through which the fitting projects firmly lock to prevent the strap from unwrapping. By designing the tourniquet with end portion 34 of the strap extending the full length and essentially across the width of tube side wall 14, the tube is provided with a rigid backing which causes the tube to expand inwardly against the limb and thus provide controlled constriction of the blood vessels and artery of the limb. To release the tourniquet from the limb, the pressure within tube 10 need only be relieved and conduit 20 disconnected from fitting 16. The user of the tourniquet can then disengage the free end of strap end portion 32 from fitting 16 and unwrap the tourniquet.
It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the details herein given but may be modified within the scope of the appended claims. Also it is to be understood that in the preferred embodiment above described strap 28 is not bonded to tube 10, fitting 16,
or wall part 22, but is connected to the tube by being inserted into passage 24 between the tube and wall part with the fitting projecting through a hole 30.
What I claim is:
1. In a tourniquet comprising an elongated flattened flexible tube having first and second opposed side walls each defined by longitudinal side and transverse end margins, said side walls being joined at the side and end margins thereof to define an inflatable fluid-retaining envelope between the side walls, said tube being of sufficient length to encircle a limb of a patient with said second tube side wall being adapted to be positioned against said limb, a fitting means carried by said first tube side wall between its side margins and projecting outwardly from the first side wall, said fitting means defining an inlet opening in said envelope for the introduction of fluid into the envelope to inflate the same, a flexible retaining strap having a plurality of spaced holes therein, said holes extending longitudinally along said strap, said strap overlying said second tube side wall with said fitting means projecting through a first of said holes in said strap, said strap including a section having a plurality of said holes therein, said strap section extending longitudinally from one end of said tube and overlapping said strap at said one hole with said fitting means interlockingly projecting through a second of said holes in said strap section, said strap being of sufficient length between said first and second strap holes to extend around said limb and overlap said tube when said tube is encircled about the limb.
2. The tourniquet of claim 1 wherein said fitting means is located adjacent one end margin of said first tube side wall, an exterior wall part secured to said tube and overlying said first tube side wall at said fitting means, said wall part extending from one side margin to the other side margin of said first tube side wall and being spaced from the first side wall between the side margins thereof to define a loop means in conjunction with the first side wall, said wall part having an opening therein, said fitting means projecting through said opening, said strap fitting slidably between said wall part and first tube side wall and within said loop means, said fitting means projecting through said first strap hole and side wall part hole to retain said strap within said loop means.
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