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Publication numberUS3757782 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1973
Filing dateJun 5, 1972
Priority dateJun 5, 1972
Publication numberUS 3757782 A, US 3757782A, US-A-3757782, US3757782 A, US3757782A
InventorsAiken W
Original AssigneeVivian C Aiken
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid pressurizable swab applicator for medicament, antiseptic or the like
US 3757782 A
Abstract
A swab-type applicator for a treatment liquid, such as a medicament or antiseptic solution, includes an elongated tubular member of relatively small diameter fabricated of a transversely flexible, preferably transparent, synthetic plastic material chemically inert to the solution, as encapsulated in said member. The latter is provided at both ends with a rupturable sealing element in the form of a thin closure disc or membrane; this confines within the applicator tube a charge of the liquid treatment medium or solution until manual squeezing pressure on the tube between the temporarily sealed ends causes the medium to rupture one or both of the sealing elements. The tube ends are completely embedded axially in cotton or equivalent applicator swabs which are saturated upon rupture of the tube end seals. Two versions of the device are disclosed, in one of which the rupturable seal elements alone confine the charge of solution in a full tube bore length between its ends, and in another of which a small separating and sealing plug is permanently seated within the wall of the tube at its mid-point. This permits a selective squeezing and end-rupturing compression of the tube at sub-lengths at either side of said separator element, temporarily leaving intact the rupturable sealing element for the opposite tube sub-length.
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United States Patent 11 1 Aiken Sept. 11, 1973 1 FLUID PRESSURIZABLE SWAB APPLICATOR FOR MEDICAMENT, ANTISEPTIC OR THE LIKE [75] Inventor: Winthrop J. Aiken, St. Petersburg,

Fla.

[73] Assignee: Vivian C. Aiken, St. Petersburg, Fla.

; a part interest [22] Filed: June 5, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 259,919

Primary Examiner-Aldrich F. Medbery AttorneyFranklin E. Quale [57] ABSTRACT A swab-type applicator for a treatment liquid, such as a medicament or antiseptic solution, includes an elongated tubular member of relatively small diameter fabricated of a transversely flexible, preferably transparent, synthetic plastic material chemically inert to the solution, as encapsulated in said member. The latter is provided at both ends with a rupturable sealing element in the form of a thin closure disc or membrane; this confines within the applicator tube a charge of the liquid treatment medium or solution until manual squeezing pressure on the tube between the temporarily sealed ends causes the medium to rupture one or both of the sealing elements. The tube ends are completely embedded axially in cotton or equivalent applicator swabs which are saturated upon rupture of the tube end seals. Two versions of the device are disclosed, in one of which the rupturable seal elements alone confine the charge of solution in a full tube bore length between its ends, and in another of which a small separating and sealing plug is permanently seated within the wall of the tube at its mid-point. This permits a selective squeezing and end-rupturing compression of the tube at sublengths at either side of said separator element, temporarily leaving intact the rupturable sealing element for the opposite tube sub-length.

6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED SEPI I I973 F'IG.3

FLUID PRESSURIZABLE SWAB APPLICATOR FOR MEDICAMENT, ANTISEPTIC OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The double ended swab applicator is intended for large scale sale to and use in hospitals, clinics, physician and surgeon offices and the home, through sales and distribution arrangements of the sort presently supplying such users, i.e., manufacturers and/or outlets for related medical items and supplies, and the like.

2. Description of the Prior Art A search reveals the following patents:

Schulz 1,221,227

Apr. 3, 1917 Cochran 2,401,617 June 4, 1946 Smith 2,682,974 July 6, I954 I-Ieimlich 3,324,855 June 13, 1967 Ronco 3,369,543 Feb. 20, 1968 Of these, the Heimlich patent is most pertinent in its disclosure of several versions of a surgical sponge stick, in all of which an applicator pad of gauze or other material surrounds an open end of a compressible handle, the opposite end of the latter being closed. According to one embodiment, the gauze-encased handle end is perforated (i.e., unsealed) for a direct discharge of liquid to saturate the gauze; and in two other versions the liquid is contained in a separate compartment, frangible or otherwise, located in itsentirety in the tubular handle well inwardly of the gauze-equipped end.

Schulz also discloses an applicator including a frangible or friable glass liquid container encased in its entirety within a wrapper which at one end affords an applicator brush. The three other citations are even less pertinent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention affords a double swab-ended applica- 'tor for medicament, antiseptic or like solutions enabling the latter, in saturating one or both of the swab ends, to be applied directly to a desired spot or area of a patient, without the necessity of dipping the swab into a vial or bottle of the solution. There is, accordingly, no possibility of contaminating a bottled solution by re peated dippings of a swab therein.

The encapsulated charge of solution is wholly conlined and temporarily sealed between the extreme ends of a flexible plastic tubular applicator rod, which ends are embedded and wholly encased within the applicator material, the material being preferably a quantity of cotton wound on the tube end in the manner of a type of wooden or dense fiber applicator stick familiar to the market. In other respects the improved applicator presents all of the advantages of convenience in use, low cost, etc., of the last-named conventional double-ended swab item.

The present applicator is, of course, intended for one-time disposable use; and in one version or form herein illustrated and described, the tube construction is such that a single manual pinching compression of the tube medially of its length will rupture temporary seal elements at both of the tube ends, thereby affording a doubled availability of the saturating'solution for any given use. Another adaptation according to the invention features an internal sealing plug permanently mounted between the applicator tube ends, thus subdividing the tube interior into two equal chambers containing sub-charges of treatment solution. A squeeze of I the applicator is characterized by great simplicity in BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a somewhat enlarged scale view of one adaptation of the fluid pressurizable swab applicator prior to use of the latter, being in longitudinal section in a plane including the axis of the tubular handle member;

FIG. 2 is a similar view illustrating the action upon a finger-squeezing of the tube member;

FIG. 3 is another view in similar longitudinal section of an alternative form of applicator, in which the tube is internally subdivided at its center by a permanently applied sealing plug; and

FIG. 4 is a view in transverse section in a plane diametral of the tube component of either FIG. 1 or FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A first version of the applicator, generally designated by the reference numeral 10, is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and comprising an axially elongated tubular applicator handle rod 12 of relatively small diameter, for example, three-sixteenths inch to one-fourth inch o.d., which is an extrusion of an appropriate, flexibly compressible plastic material. Of course, as is the case with synthetics now plentifully available, the material must be chemically inert to the treatment liquid, represented by a charge 14 of antiseptic or medicament contained in tube member 12. The charge substantially fills the interior of said member between extreme opposite ends spaced a distance of, say, three or four inches from one another. However, in this respect both the axial and the diametral dimensions of the device 10 are subject to variation.

Tube member 12 is temporarily sealed at each of its said opposite axial ends by a rupturable element 16, which is in the form of a small and thin circular membrane or disc. Element 16 preferably has an integral, adhesive or fused connection to the tube end, or may be otherwise temporarily sealed across the latter in one way or another. It is essential that disc or membrane 16 be readily rupturable under internal liquid pressure set up in the solution charge 14.

It is also of much significance, pursuant to the invention, that the elements 16 be entirely encased well within the interior of cotton or equivalent swab members 18 which are wound or appropriately secured to the tube ends; this permits a copious and substantially uniform saturation of such swab components, simply and solely as the result of a manual pinching compression of the tubular handle member 12 centrally of the tube ends.

Such result is depicted in FIG. 2, in which both sealing discs or membranes I6 are shown as ruptured by the increased hydraulic force on the charge 14 treatment solution being forceably ejected diffusively well into the interior of both swabs 18 to saturate the latter, as appears at 14 in FIG. 2. These are then successively employed as needed in the application of the saturant to the patient, insuring that a copious amount of the latter is at hand for the purpose, after which application the device is discarded. No manipulation of fracturing an ampule-like part, or specific removal of another type of sealing element is entailed.

In the embodiment of the invention, generally designated 20, which is shown in FIG. 3, the construction is essentially the same, so that corresponding reference numerals are employed to designate corresponding parts and further description in detail is dispensed with.

FIG. 3 presents a refinement in which the tubular handle member 12 has its interior centrally subdivided in the axial sense by an internal sealing plug 22 which is permanently fused or otherwise set in place. Similar sub-chambers or compartments 24 thus defined on opposite axial sides of plug 22 are filled with sub-charges of treatment liquid, and these are successively discharged as desired or required upon manual squeezing of the adjacent surrounding tube wall to one or the other side of plug 22 rupturing the corresponding temporary sealing membrane or disc 16. Thus, the device 20 is one which may be twice used at considerably varying time intervals, or in quick succession, depending upon need.

Moreover, while the sub-compartments 24 may be charged with the same treatment liquid, such as alcohol, another antiseptic liquid, or a curative or alleviative solution, the possibility is also afforded that said compartments 24 may be charged with different liquids, such as an antiseptic in one and a medicament in the other.

What is claimed is:

1. An applicator comprising a length of tubular material of relatively small diameter which is readily compressible by squeezing transversely in a diametral plane, said length containing a charge of treating liquid and having rupturable elements at opposite ends thereof displaced by an internal pressure in said tubular material and confining and temporarily sealing said charge within said length, and a pair of absorbent swab members in each of which one end of said length and the sealing element of that end are wholly embedded, constituting a dispensing means when a rupture of an end element under pressure on the liquid charge, as attending a transverse compression of said length between said ends, results in a saturating discharge of said treating liquid to and within the swab member encasing the ruptured element.

2. The applicator of claim 1, in which said rupturable elements alone confine between them said treating liquid until rupture of one thereof.

3. The applicator of claim 1, in which said rupturable elements alone confine between them said treating liquid until rupture of both thereof.

4. The applicator of claim 1, and further comprising a sealing member fixed within said tubular length between said rupturable elements, said member subdividing the length into portions containing relatively small liquid charges end-confined respectively by said rupturable elements.

5. The applicator of claim 4, in-which said charges contained in the respective portions of the length are of the same treating liquid.

6. The applicator of claim 4, in which said charges contained in the respective portions of the length are

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Classifications
U.S. Classification604/3, 222/107, 401/132, 401/34, 222/541.3, 401/196
International ClassificationA61F13/38, A61F13/40
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/38, A61M35/006
European ClassificationA61F13/38, A61M35/00B2