US 3794042 A
A portable catheter unit particularly suited for use by a paraplegic patient in performing self-catheterization. The unit is characterized by a catheter, of a type having a tubular body terminated in a ported head, and a fluid discharge port communicating with the head, through the tubular body, for discharging a flow of fluid conducted from a penetrated collection of the fluid; a manipulatable valve for controlling the flow of fluid conducted through the catheter's discharge port; a coupling for uniting the catheter with a bag receiver; and a portable sterilizer, including a confined fluid sterilant, for simultaneously receiving, supporting and sterilizing the catheter during intervals occurring between periods of catheterization, and an audible timer for alerting the paraplegic at the termination of each interval, whereby self-catheterization of the paraplegic is facilitated.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States De Klotz et a1.
ate  [4 1 Feb. 26, 1974 PORTABLE CATHETER UNIT  Filed: Apr. 27, 1972  Appl. No.: 248,088
 US. Cl 128/349 R, 21/87, 21/90, 128/275, 206/166, 206/632  Int. Cl. A611 3/00, A61m 25/02  Field of Search... 128/348, 349 R, 350 R, 295, 128/275, 247, 276; 206/166, 63.2; 21/87,
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 837,009 4/1952 Germany 128/349 R 91,611 10/1896 Germany 128/349 R Primary Examiner-Dalton L. Truluck Attorney, Agent, or FirmI-luebner & Worrel  ABSTRACT A portable catheter unit particularly suited for use by a paraplegic patient in performing self-catheterization. The unit is characterized by a catheter, of a type having a tubular body terminated in a ported head, and a fluid discharge port communicating with the head, through the tubular body, for discharging a flow of fluid conductedfrom a penetrated collection of the fluid; a manipulatable valve for controlling the flow of fluid conducted through the catheters discharge port; a coupling for uniting the catheter with a bag receiver; and a portable sterilizer, including a confined fluid sterilant, for simultaneously receiving, supporting and sterilizing the catheter during intervals occurring between periods of catheterization, and an audible timer for alerting the paraplegic at the termination of each interval, whereby self-catheterization of the paraplegic is facilitated.
1 Claim, 9 Drawing Figures IPATENTEUFEBZBIQH $794,042
SHEEI 1 BF 2 Iiii ll Iiiiill l l\l W AWW v 5 m1 W A s a 0 MW V v I u w PATENTED FEB 2- I974 SHEET 2 OF 2 PORTABLE CATHETER UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to catheters, and more particularly to a portable catheter unit including a catheter adapted to be periodically inserted and extracted by a paraplegic in performing self-catheterization, whereby the paraplegic is safely afforded a high degree of independence from a confining facility.
As is well understood by those familiar with the various difficulties encountered by paraplegics in performing the so-called normal body functions, it often is quite difficult for a paraplegic to eliminate fluid from the urinary tract when relying solely upon the associated sensory mechanisms. As a consequence of such conditions, paraplegics frequently suffer direct and ancillary damage to body tissue.
The use of catheters for extracting collections of fluid from the body is well known and is widely practiced. In employing a catheter, for extracting fluid from the urinary tract, the catheter in a properly lubricated condition is inserted in the urinary tract a depth sufficient to initiate flow of fluid coursing from the bladder through the catheter. Normally, such a technique is performed by highly skilled, medical personnel within clinics, hospitals and similar facilities.
' In view of a lack of out-patient facilities and the attendant inconvenience, patients in need of catheterization frequently are continuously subjected to confinement in order to afford periodic catheterization by skilled personnel. Of course, this technique results in a loss of the patients capacity to perform useful functions and pursue desired avocations.
An alternate and frequently employed technique requires that a catheter be inserted and permitted to remain in place, in order to afford a patient a greater degree of independence from a confining facility. While this technique tends to afford the patient a degree of independence from confinement, and often facilitates limited mobility, the incident rate of severe infection and atrophy is substantially significant.
Accordingly, there currently exists a need for a portable unit including a sterile, easily employed catheter which readily can be transported in the constant custody of a patient, periodically inserted and thereafter extracted by the patient, for thus performing self-catheterization, whereby the patient thus is safely afforded a high degree of independence from confinement, continuous observation and attendant care so that a pursuit of substantially normal and useful endeavors is accommodated.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is another object to provide a portable catheter unit particularly suited for use by paraplegics in periodically performing self-catheterization in a substantially non-sterile environment.
These and other objects and advantages are achieved through the use of a portable catheter unit which includes a catheter of known design having means for coupling the catheter with a bag-type receptacle, a valve interposed between the receptacle and the head of the catheter for controlling the discharge of fluid from the catheter, and a portable sterilizer including a fluid sterilant for simultaneously receiving, supporting, and sterilizing the catheter during intervals occurring between periods of catheterization, and an audible timer for alerting a patient of the termination of each interval, whereby self-catheterization of the patient is facilitated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wheel chair having supported from one arm thereof a portable catheter unit embodying the principles of the instant invention.
FIG. 2 is a partially sectioned view of the catheter unit shown in FIG. 1, illustrating a preferred position assumed by a catheter confined within a sterilizer provided within the unit shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view of the catheter of FIG. I coupled in an operative configuration, with a bag-type receptacle, through a manipulatable valve employed in controlling the flow of fluid from the catheter to the receptacle.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional, enlarged view of the valve shown in FIG. 3, illustrating the valve in its OFP condition and a preferred manner in which the valve is coupled with a flapper valve disposed within the receptacle.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the unit shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 66 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of the receptacle shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the valve shown in FIG. 4, but in its ON condition.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown in FIG. 1 a portable catheter unit, generally designated 10, mounted on a wheel chair, depicted in phantom lines.
It is to be understood that while the unit 10 preferably is configured to be received and supported on the arm of the wheel chair and thus remain in the constant custody of a mobilized paraplegic, it is entirely possible and often desirable to employ the unit 10 in a totally different environment. The environment, of course, is dictated by the condition of a patient, as well as the mode of transportation provided for the patient, equipped with the unit 110. For example, the unit 10 can be transported in automobiles, motorized carts and even attached to crutches and the like, if so desired. It is to be understood that the portability of the unit 10 is of particular significance, since portability permits the unit to accompany the patient at all times and remain in his personal custody.
The catheter unit includes a sterilizer 12 having a body 13 of a cylindrical configuration. Surmounting the body 13 is a cup-shaped retainer 14. While not shown, the retainer serves to confine therein sterile supplies including a lubricant and the like, not shown. The retainer 14 is defined by an annular wall 16, terminating in a disk-shaped base wall 18, and having provided therein a separator wall 20. This wall serves as a convenient separator for lubricants and the like in a segregated condition.
The base wall 18 includes an integral collar 22 concentrically receiving therein the body 13 of the sterilizer 12. Of course, the body 13 and the walls of the retainer 14 are fabricated from any suitable material, such as a commercially available synthetic resin, including polyethylene, acrylics and the like. The particular manner in which the retainer 14 and the body 13 of the sterilizer 12 are united is dictated by the material employed in fabricating the body 13 and the collar 22. Therefore, where synthetic resins are employed, suitable commercially available adhesives are used in integrating the retainer 14 with the body 13 of the sterilizer 12.
The lowermost end of the body 13 of the sterilizer 12 is sealed by a closure cap 24 screw-threadably received about the lowermost end of the body. As a practical matter, it will be appreciated that the particular manner in which the lowermost end of the body 13 is sealed is a matter of convenience only, and that a disk-shaped closure welded or adhesively secured in place can be employed equally as well. In any event, it is to be understood that the body 13 of the sterilizer 12 is of a fluid-tight construction, and that a sterilant 26, preferably a liquid, is confined therewithin. The sterilant 26 serves to sterilize a catheter 30 supported within the sterilizer l2 preparatory to catheterization.
The catheter 30 is of a known design, therefore a detailed description is omitted. It is to be understood, however, that the catheter includes a tubular body 32 having a ported, soft, pliable head 34 which is sufficiently rigid to accommodate a penetration of the urinary tract but sufficiently soft and pliable to accommodate insertion and penetration of the urinary tract without injuring the patient. As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the head 34 is provided with multiple ports 36 and these ports communicate with an internal bore 37, FIG. 4, extending axially through the body 32. At the base of the body 32 there is provided a flow control valve 38. This valve is employed by a patient in controlling the flow of fluid from the bore 37 of the body 32 of the catheter 30.
As shown in FIG. 4, the valve 38 is a bi-stable valve and includes an orifice block 40 fitted within the body 32 of the catheter. Mated with the orifice block 40 is a closure block 42 supported for angular displacement employed in switching the valve to either of its bi-stable conditions. Preferably, the closure block 42 is provided with a base 43 seated within an axial cavity, not designated, provided in the orifice block 40. As a practical matter, the base 43 of the closure block 42 is provided with an annular groove 44 for receiving therewithin an annular lip 46 inwardly projected into the cavity of the orifice block 40. In order to fit the orifice block 40 within the body 32 of the catheter, there is provided a tapered protrusion 50. This protrusion is of a frustoconical configuration and is seated within a discharge port, generally designated 52, normally provided for the body 32 of the catheter 30.
Within the orifice block 40 there is provided a segmented bore 54 which accommodates a passage of fluid delivered to the discharge port 52 through the tubular body 32 of the catheter 30. In practice, the bore 54 includes a base segment 56 having an axis coincident with the axis of the discharge port 52 and a terminal segment 58, abaxially related to the axis of the discharge port, communicating with the base segment 56. Hence, fluid delivered through the discharge port 52 necessarily is coursed through the segmented bore 54.
The closure block 42 also is provided with a segmented bore 60, quite similar in form, size and function to the segmented bore 54. The bore 60 includes a terminal segment 62 coaxially related with the base segment 56 of the segmented bore 54, and an abaxially related base segment 64 which communicates with the terminal segment 62. Thus fluid received within the base segment 64 of the segmented bore 60 is coursed through the terminal segment 62 for discharge from the body 32 of the catheter 30.
It is important to note that the base 43 of the closure block 42 is mated with the orifice block 40 in a common transverse plane. In practice, the base 48 includes a face 66 within which the segment 64 terminates while the orifice block 40 includes a face 68 within which the terminal segment 58 of the segmented bore 54 terminates. Thus, between the planar faces 66 and 68 there is established a substantially fluid-tight seal.
It is important, however, to understand that the segments 58 and 64 of the segmented bores 54 and 60, respectively, terminate at points equidistant from a longitudinal axis of symmetry passing through the body 32 of the catheter 30. Consequently, the segments 58 and 64 can be brought into fluid communication simply by rotating the closure block 42 relative to the orifice block 40. Thus the flow control valve 38 is switched to opened condition, illustrated in FIG. 9. Similarly, the valve 38 can be switched to its closed condition simply by rotating the closure block 42 a distance sufficient for interrupting communication between the terminal segment 58 of the segmented bore 54, and the base segment 64 of the segmented bore 60, as illustrated in FIG. 4.
That the flow control valve 38 has particular utility during self-catheterizing operations can readily be appreciated when it is understood that the flow control valve 38 permits a patient to insert and seat the catheter before valve 38 is switched to its opened condition for accommodating a discharge of fluid from the segmented bore 60. As a practical matter, the closure block 42 is provided with a knurled surface 70 which aids a patient in switching the valve 38 to either of its bi-stable conditions.
In order to employ the catheter 30, a suitable supply of bag-like receptacles 72 is provided. Each of these bags is, in turn, employed for receiving fluid discharged from the segmented bore 60 of the closure block 42. Each of the receptacles 72 is formed of a suitable material such as polyethylene, Pliofilm and the like.
It is important to note that the receptacle 72, as shown in FIG. 4, includes therein a suitable fitting 74 sealed in place within a neck 75 formed at one end of the receptacle 72 and extended therethrough. In practice, the fitting 7 1 includes an internal bore 76 for receiving therewithin the distal end of the closure block 42 of the valve 38. In order to assure rapid disassociation of the catheter 30 from the receptacle 72, the bore 76 and the distal end of the closure block 42 are configured to establish mating surfaces of a frustoconical configuration. Hence, a fluid-tight engagement, as well as disengagement can be established between the closure block and the fitting 74, simply by imparting thereto axially directed, mutual displacement. Through the fitting 74 there is extended an axial conduit '78 disposed in coaxial alignment with the terminal segment 62 of the segmented bore 60, once the closure block 42 is seated within the fitting 741. Thus a flow of fluid established through the flow control valve 38 also is established through the bore 78 of the fitting 74.
Within the receptacle 72 and received about the distal end of the fitting 74, there is a skirt-like flapper valve 80. Such valves are of known construction, however, it is to be understood that the flapper valve 80 permits fluid to flow from the fitting 741 into the receptacle 72 but closes and thus precludes a reverse flow of fluid through the bore 70. Since flapper valves are of well-known construction, a detailed description of the flapper valve is omitted in the interest of brevity.
The catheter 30 is axially inserted into the body 13 and innundated in the sterilant 26 for stowage. In order to support the catheter 30 during stowage there is provided an annulus 82 seated internally of the body 13, near the uppermost end thereof. The annulus 82 provides an annular shoulder 84 upon which there is seated a helical spring 86. The spring 86 resiliently receives at the uppermost end thereof an annular shoulder 08 formed about the external surface of the orifice block 40 and provided for this purpose. Thus, the catheter 30 is resiliently supported against axial displacement in a first direction by the helical spring 86 acting against the shoulder 00.
As a practical matter, the spring 86 is of a length and is provided with a spring constant sufficient for projecting the closure block 42 from the uppermost end of the body 13. This facilitates a grasping of the block between the thumb and forefinger and accommodates an extraction of the catheter 30 from the sterilizer 12. It has, in practice, also been found desirable to provide a cover 90 for retaining and sealing the catheter 30 within the body 13 of the sterilizer 12. As a practical matter a cover 90 is provided for closing the retainer 16 and the sterilizer 12, simultaneously. Preferably, the cover 90 includes a set of internal threads 92 mated with a set of external threads 94 formed externally of the annular wall 16 of the retainer 14, FIG. 2. Where desired, a chain 96 coupled with the cover 90 and the wall 16 is employed for assuring that the cover cannot be disassociated from the unit 10.
Furthermore, since the sterilant 26 preferably is a liquid, it is desirable to provide the upper end of the body 13 with a fluid-tight, sealing closure pad 90, mounted internally of the cover 90 for engaging and sealing the uppermost end of the sterilizer 12, when the cover 90 is secured to the retainer 14.
It will be recalled by those familiar with paraplegics that the sensory mechanisms associated with the urinary tract are not viable mechanisms and therefore the patient normally does not sense a need for discharging urine or for catheterization. Furthermore, it will be recalled that one of the primary purposes of the unit 10 is to accommodate independence from a confining facility in order that the patient may pursue useful and desirable vocations and avocations. Since a patient may, when engaged in a particular activity, fail to recognize a lapse of a predetermined interval it is highly desirable that means be provided for alerting the patient to his need for catheterization. Thus, there is, in practice, provided an audible alarm mechanism, generally designated 100, FIG. 6. The alarm mechanism 100 is controlled by a small chronometer 102 which includes therewithin a suitable alarm bell, not shown. The chronometer 102 is of a convenient design and serves to measure the duration of the interval between the periods of catheterization and, at an appointed time, provides an audible alarm for alerting the patient. It can therefore be appreciated that since the unit 10 is constantly and continuously in the custody of a user patient, the alarm mechanism can be relied upon to alert the patient to his need for self-catheterization.
Since the unit 10 is particularly suited for use by a paraplegic patient confined to a wheel chair, there is provided a pair of brackets 106 mounted on the exter nal surface of the body 13 of the sterilizer 12. A pair of annular supports 108, preferably adhesively secured to the external surface of the body 13 of the sterilizer 12, is provided'for affixing the brackets to the body. However, the particular manner in which the brackets 106 are coupled with the unit 10 is deemed to be a matter of convenience only and is varied in accordance with the particular manner in which the unit 10 is operatively supported.
OPERATION It is believed that in view of the foregoing description, the operation of the device will be readily understood, however, it will be briefly reviewed at this point.
With the unit 10 assembled in the manner illustrated in FIG. 2, the patient receives an audible alarm generated by the mechanism 100. Thus the patient is advised that the interval between the periods of catheterization has substantially elapsed. The patient upon preparing for performing self-catheterization removes the cover 90, whereupon the spring 86 forces the uppermost end of the catheter 30 from the sterilizer 12. The patient then grasps the extended portion of the catheter 30 between his thumb and forefinger and extracts it from the sterilant 26. Thereafter, he mates the externally tapered surface of the closure block 42 within the bore 76 of the fitting 74 of the bag-like receptacle 72. In instances where lubricants are provided within the container M, the patient extracts a suitable quantity of lubricant and applies it to the catheter 30, preparatory to insertion into his urinary tract.
Insertion of the catheter 30 is accomplished while the flow control valve 38 is in an OFF condition so that as the head 34 penetrates a source of fluid, no discharge from the catheter is permitted. Once the catheter 30 is properly inserted, the patient merely manipulates the flow control valve 38 for aligning the terminal segment 58 of the segmented bore 54 with the base segment 64 of the segmented bore extending through the closure block 42, as illustrated in FIG. 9. Once communication between these segments is established, a flow of fluid extending from the head 34 of the catheter through the valve 30 into the receptacle 72 is established. Of course, once the fluid is drained, and the flow of fluid is interrupted, the patient merely extracts the catheter 30 from the urinary tract and separates the catheter from the receptacle. He then axially inserts the catheter into the body 13 of the sterilizer l2 and closes the cover 90, whereupon the catheter 30 is secured against axial displacement by the combined effects of the cover and the helical spring 86. The receptacle 72 now is discarded in any suitable manner.
In view of the foregoing, it should readily be apparent that the catheter unit embodying the instant invention provides a practical solution to the perplexing problem of accommodating catheterization of paraplegic patients without subjecting the patient to infection or to confinement within medical facilities.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the illustrative details disclosed.
Having described our invention, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l. A portable catheter unit adapted to be retained in the possession of a patient and periodically employed for self-catheterization, comprising:
A. a portable catheter case including a rigid tubular body having means defining within one end thereof an access opening concentrically related to the longitudinal axis of symmetry of the tubular body;
B. a body of liquid sterilant substantially filling said tubular body;
C. sealing means for selectively sealing said access opening including a cap having coupling means for releasably coupling the cap with said case and a closure pad affixed thereto for engaging said tubular body in sealing relation with said access openmg;
D. a tubular catheter concentrically related to said tubular body partially immersed in said body of liquid sterilant with the base end portion thereof being disposed above the level of said body of liquid sterilant and including means defining an annular shoulder projected radially therefrom;
E. catheter retention means for suspending said catheter within said body ofliquid sterilant including an annulus seated in the tubular body of said portable case, adjacent to one end thereof, and having an annular shoulder coaxially aligned with said access opening and a helical spring concentrically related to said catheter and seated on said shoulder in coaxial alignment with said annulus and disposed in supporting engagement with the radially projected shoulder of said catheter for continuously urging the catheter in axial displacement toward said access opening, whereby the catheter is supported for axial motion as it is suspended within said body of liquid sterilant; and
F. alerting means mounted on said cap for periodically alerting a patient to a need for catheterization.