US 3796337 A
A sterile feeding unit for using once only and especially adapted for feeding infants, said unit comprising three main elements, a teat, a feeding-bottle and a hood for protecting said teat and, when so required, an intermediate member between said teat and said feeding-bottle, said elements and said member being joined together in a sterile and fluid-tight manner so as to form a feeding unit which is inoperative in a first position of said teat, which is ready to operate in a second position of said teat, and which is operative after heating said feeding-bottle and removal of said hood.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Seunevel [451 Mar. 12, 1974 1 STERILE FEEDING UNIT  Thierry Bernard Seunevel, Pantin,
 Societe Anonyme Alpha-Bebe Sante,
Pantin, France Filed: Aug. 25, 1971 Appl. No.: 174,795
 Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 29, 1970 France 70.35079 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1971 Barton 215/11 C 2,793,776 5/1957 Lipari 215/6 3,146,904 9/1964 Hansen 215/11 R 3,468,445
9/1969 Ballin 215/11 C UX Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Craig and Antonelli  ABSTRACT A sterile feeding unit for using once only and especially adapted for feeding infants, said unit comprising three main elements, a teat, a feeding-bottle and a hood for protecting said teat and, when so required, an intermediate member between said teat and said feeding-bottle, said elements and said member being joined together in a sterile and fluid-tight manner so as to form a feeding unit which is inoperative in a first position of said teat, which is ready to operate in a second position of said teat, and which is operative after heating said feeding-bottle and removal of said hood.
13 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures INVENTOR T'Hl ERRY BERNARD SEUNEVEL BY mizfla tomlh s w AT ORNEYS PATENTEBIMI I2 I974 SHED 2 BF 2 FIG] INVENTOR THIERRY BERNARD SEUNEVEL Craig GAOMQQJ ATFORNEYS STERILE FEEDING UNIT The present invention relates to sterile bottle-feeding units intended to be used for feeding infants, and more particularly a new form of packing for the previously sterilized teat, feeding-bottle and feeding preparation unit.
Known bottle-feeding units comprise, generally speaking, a feeding bottle intended to contain the milk and the teat mounted on the feeding-bottle, either directly or by means of a fixing ring.
Before beginning the feeding, each of the parts is sterilized, for example by immersion for a fixed time in boiling water, after which the bottle is filled and the teat is put in position. These operations are long, complicated and expensive, especially for maternity hospitals, but they are also not practical for private persons, especially when away from home. Above all, these manipulations, even when carried out with care, present serious risks of contamination.
Pre-sterilized feeding-bottles are known which are filled with a feeding preparation, and on which it only remains to place a teat at the moment of use. Sterilized teats are also available for a single use, in packings which render them not very practical for handling. In all these cases, the mounting of the teat on the feedingbottle is not eliminated and the serious risks of contamination still exist.
The present invention has for its object to remedy these drawbacks; it relates to a pre-sterilized complete feeding unit for a single use, which eliminates all risk of contamination.
Briefly, according to the invention, the feeding unit for a single use is constituted by three main elements: teat, bottle, and teat-protecting hood, and when so required, an intermediate member between the teat and the bottle, these elements and this member being joined together in a sterile and fluid-tight manner so as to form a feeding unit which is inoperative in a first position of the teat, a unit ready for operation in a second position of the teat and, after heating and removing the hood protecting the teat, an operative teat-feeding bottle unit.
Other characteristic features and advantages will be brought out in the text which follows below and in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGl shows in cross-section a teat for a first form of embodiment of the feeding unit according to the invention;
FIG.2 shows a cross-section of the feeding-bottle in this first form of embodiment;
FIG.2a shows a detail of the feeding-bottle of FIG.2;
F [6.3 shows in cross-section a protecting hood of the teat of FIG];
FIG.4a shows a first form of embodiment of the feeding unit in the inoperative position;
FIG. 4b shows this first form of embodiment ready for operation;
FIGS shows in cross-section a second form of embodiment of the feeding unit;
FIG.6a shows in cross-section a third form of embodiment of the feeding unit in the inoperative position;
FIG. 6b shows a cross-section of this same form of embodiment in position ready for operation;
FIG. 6c shows a cross section of an intermediate member in accordance with the present invention;
FIG.7 shows partly a cross-section and partly a view of a fourth form of embodiment;
FIGS is a cross-section taken along the line VIII- VIII of FIG.7;
FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of the present invention in which the flange of the teat and the skirt of the hood are concentrically arranged.
Referring now to the drawings, in which FIG.1 is a cross section of the teat, the upper part of this teat is of conventional shape. Its extremity is pierced with one or more orifices 11. It comprises at its lower portion a heel 12 which shows:
- Internally a cylindrical bearing surface 16 starting from the base 15 and opening into a clearance space 13 of hemispherical shape;
-- Externally, a ring 14 forming an integral part of the heel. The dimensioning of the heel l2 and especially that of the ring 14 are chosen in such manner as to give it excellent rigidity.
The feeding-bottle is shown in cross-section in FIG.2. It may be made of any desired material; it may especially be produced from a moulded synthetic material. For example, the feeding-bottle may be moulded from a flexible synthetic translucent material having a certain elasticity in order that, by pressing on the wall of the container, the milk can be forced out under pressure.
The feeding-bottle 20 is of cylindrical form. It is surmounted by a spout 21 having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the internal surface 12 of the teat. The spout is closed at its upper extremity 24; it comprises at its exterior on its periphery at midheight, a ledge 22 which may be an integral part of the feeding-bottle and moulded together with this latter. Between this ledge 22 and the upper extremity 24 of the spout 21, orifices 23 are pierced in its cylindrical wall 26 and are distributed over the whole periphery.
These orifices 23 are located above the ledge 22. The diameter of these orifices 23 is chosen in such manner that the sum (h) of this diameter (d) and of the distance (e) of the upper edge of the orifice 23 from the ledge 22 (e d h) is less than the height H of the cylindrical internal wall 16 of the heel 12 of the teat 10. It will be understood that the size of these orifices23 and also their number are a function of the type of feeding preparation, of the desired speed of flow, etc., In addition, the distance (e) should be such that the fluid-tight closure of the orifices 23 is ensured in the non-operative position of the feeding unit due to the action of the cylindrical portion 16 of the heel 12 of the teat 10 on the outer portion of the spout 21. This fluid-tightness is obtained by the slight clamping effect applied by the teat on the spout, the diameter of which is slightly greater than that of the internal cylindrical portion of the heel 12 of the teat 10 (see FIGS.1, 2 and 4a).
The ledge 22 on the spout 21 of the feeding-bottle 20 has preferably a slightly-rounded shape on its upper face 22a which shows a slight downward slope. The lower face 22b shows a slight upward slope. The form of the upper face must ensure the easy movement downwards of the teat l0, and the form of the lower face must permit of firm application of the curved internal wall 28 of the teat 10 against the lower face 22b of the ledge 22, when the teat is in the operative position (see FIG.4b). This permits perfect maintenance of the teat during feeding.
The feeding-bottle 26 has a volume sufficient to contain a pre-determined quantity of the feeding preparation 50 (F164). This quantity may be such for example that the feeding preparation fills the whole of the useful volume of the feeding-bottle 20. it is then possible to utilize feeding-bottles having the same volumetric capacity for any pre-determined quantities less than the maximum quantity mentioned above. it is on the other hand within the scope of the invention to utilize feeding-bottles having volumetric capacities adapted to the various pre-determined quantities of the feeding preparation.
The hood 36 shown in cross-section in RG3 can for example be made of plastic material, transparent or not. its upper portion 31 has the form of a goblet. it comprises towards the base a portion 32 which extends radially from the lower extremity of the said goblet 31 and which forms a shoulder. It terminates in a cylindrical skirt 33 having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the body 27 of the feeding-bottle.
F1641: represents the mounted unit in cross-section, in the non-operative position of the feeding-bottle.
The feeding-bottle 20 is filled with a quantity of the feeding preparation 56. The teat having an internal diameter at the level of the heel 12 slightly less than that of the spout is mounted on the spout 21 of the feeding-bottle, the base of the teat bearing on the ledge 22 formed on the spout. in this position, the internal cylindrical surface 16 of the teat closes the orifices 23 of the feeding-bottle. The teat is covered by a hood 30, the shoulder 32 of which comes to bear without the application of any force on the external ring 14 of the teat 10. The cylindrical skirt 33 of the hood fits over the top of the body of the feeding-bottle.
An adhesive tape 40 is placed overlapping the extremity of the skirt and the feeding-bottle so as to ensure hermetic sealing. The adhesive is chosen in such manner that it can only be applied once, thus guaranteeing the safety of the sterile packing of the unit.- it may comprise in addition a sterilization indicator.
The whole volume comprised by the feeding-bottle and the hood is sterile.
Before carrying out feeding, the adhesive strip 40 is removed and the hood 36 is then pushed on to the feeding-bottle. As the shoulder 32 of the hood bears on the ring 14 of the teat, the latter is pushed down to its base 15 until it rests against the top of the feeding-bottle 25, and the upper portion inside the heel 12, following the shape of the lower portion 22b of the ledge 22 is held by this latter against any movement, as shown in F!G.4b.The orifices 23 of the feeding-bottle then open into the clearance space 13 of the teat. The ledge 22 formed on the spout holds the teat in a position fixed against any pulling-off during feeding. llt is then only necessary to heat the feeding-bottle, remove the hood and carry out the feeding. Up to this latter operation, the teat is protected by the hood 3t) and there is therefore no risk of contamination.
It remains however within the scope of the invention that the feeding unit is heated in the bottle-heater before the removal of the adhesive strip 40.
FIGS shows another form of embodiment of the feeding unit according to the invention, in which the milk is introduced separately in the form of powder, while in the feeding bottle there is only sterilized water; the mixture of water and milk is effected during the putting into operation of the feeding unit.
The general characteristics are the same as previously. The powdered milk 151 is contained in the teat 110. This latter is pierced with one or a number of slots 111, rather than holes, so that in the absence of pressure on the teat-shield M9, the orifices are not opened.
The spout 121 of the feeding-bottle is closed at its upper part by a wall 124 of conical shape intended to facilitate the fall of powder into the feeding-bottle. For the same reason, it may be useful to provide the orifices 123 larger or alternatively more numerous.
At the moment of feeding, the operations are the same as before. When once the teat has been pushed down, the powdered milk falls into the feeding-bottle. it is only necessary to shake slightly so as to carry away all the powder and complete the mixture.
Another form of embodiment is shown in FlGS.6a, 6b and 6c. The teat 210 of generally conventional shape, is mounted on an intermediate member 260 which can be made of appropriate synthetic material. This part comprises a cylindrical wall 262 closed at its base by an upwardly directed cone 261, and carrying at its upper portion a flange directed radially towards the exterior 263, coupled to a cylindrical part 264 directed downwards, and finally by a second flange 265.
The heel 212 of the teat 210 rests on the flange 265 and is supported with its internal cylindrical wall on the exterior of the cylindrical vertical portion 264 which couples together the two flanges 265 and 263 of the part 260. The cylindrical wall 262 comprises in its lower half a plurality of radial orifices 266. The feeding-bottle 220 is of conventional shape. As mentioned above, it may be made of plastic, glass, or any other material. It comprises a cylindrical spout 221 having a diameter such that a slight grip is produced on the intermediate member 260. The hood 230 has the same general shape as that previously described.
The feeding bottle can be filled with milk or water. in this latter case, a space defined by the internal walls of the teat 210 and the internal walls of the part 260 is filled with a quantity of powdered milk. At the time of packing, the unit is in the position shown in FIG. 6a. in this position, the orifices 266 of the intermediate memher are facing the internal wall of the spout 221, and are in consequence closed. The feeding-bottle is then isolated from the teat. The latter is capped with the hood 230 which bears against the outer walls of the feeding-bottle 120. Hermetic closure is obtained as before by a removable adhesive strip 240. All the interior volume is sterile.
The same procedure is followed as previously to render the unit operative for feeding. The adhesive strip 240 being removed, the teat 210 and the intermediate member 260 are pushed in by pressure on the hood; the shoulder 232 of this latter carries with it the outer flange 265 of the intermediate member. The unit in this position ready for operation is shown in FlG.6b.The orifices 266 then open into the bottle. After heating, it is only necessary to remove the hood before proceeding to feed.
The form of embodiment of the feeding unit shown in FIGS .6a, 6b and may also be employed with a predetermined quantity of a feeding preparation introduced into the feeding-bottle. in this case, the space in the teat remains empty until the feeding bottle is put into communication with the teat through the orifices 166 by pushing down the teat. The operation is similar to that described for the feeding unit shown in FIGS.1
to 4. This form of embodiment advantageously permits the use of teats of any type. For that purpose, it is in fact only necessary to provide an intermediate member 260 which permits the adaptation of the feeding-bottle to a teat of any type and the spout of the bottle. Thus, it remains within the scope of this invention to produce intermediate members 260 having shapes such that they are adapted on the one hand to any type of teat whatever and on the other hand to the spout of the feeding-bottle.
According to another form of embodiment of the unit according to the invention, the putting into communication of the internal spaces of the tear. and the feeding-bottle is effected by rotation of the teat with respect to the bottle. An example of this construction is shown in FIG.7 which is a view in elevation, partly in cross-section, the right-hand part of the hood not being shown, and in F168 in a cross-section taken along the plane 8 of FIG.7.
The hood 330 has generally a frusto-conical part 331 closed at its upper part by a substantually hemispherical apex 335 and extended downwards by a first skirt 334, and then a second skirt 333 having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the body of the feeding-bottle which it covers.
According to this form of. embodiment, the first skirt 334 and the outer ring of the teat 314 are provided with means which make them rigidly fixed for rotation. They are in this case both of octagonal shape, which enables the teat to be rotated by rotating the hood.
The teat 3111 is provided at its base 312 with a cyiindrical internal surface 3316 opening towards the top into a space 313. This surface 316 comprises in its upper portion a number of axial grooves 313 uniformly dis tributed along its circumference and opening into the space 313. These grooves constitute a flow conduit for the feeding preparation of the feeding-bottle towards the teat in the operative position of the unit. Its diameter is slightly less than the diameter in fact only necessary to provide an intermediate member 260 which permits the adaptation of the feeding-bottle to a teat to produce a slight gripping action on this latter.
The spout 321, closed at its upper extremity 324, comprises an enlarged annular portion 326 which is engaged above the cylindrical surface 316 of the teat, in the space 313 and prevents the teat from being pulled away. It is pierced with as many radial orifices 323, uniformly distributed along its circumference, as there are grooves 315 in the teat, so that the grooves and orifices are facing each other in certain angular positions of the teat with respect to the feeding-bottle.
The upper part 325 of the body of the feeding-bottle and the heel 312 of the teat comprise means which permit the rotation of the teat with respect to the feedingbottle to be limited. To this end, the underside of the flange 31d of the teat is provided with at least one radial parallelepiped rib 317 extending from the internal surface 316 to the exterior of the flange 314. The upper portion 325 of the feeding-bottle comprises at least two studs 327 arranged in such manner that the rotation of the teat with respect to the feeding-bottle is limited to half the angle separating two radial orifices 325, or two consecutive grooves 315, and that in one of the extreme positions, the orifices 325 and grooves 315 are opposite each other.
The package is hermetically closed by an adhesive tape M0 arranged to overlap on the outer skirt 333 of the hood and on the body of the feeding-bottle, over the whole circumference. The adhesive is chosen so as to ensure complete safety.
In the inoperative position of the feeding unit, the teat is placed in a first extreme position of rotation in which the grooves 315 are arranged on the bisecting lines of the angles formed by the radial orifices 323 of the spout. These orifices are then closed in a fluid-tight manner by the internal wall of the heel of the teat.
In order to carry out the feeding, the user removes the adhesive strip, rotates the hood and therefore the teat in a direction indicated, up to a second extreme position, formed by the stud'32'7. The orifices 323 of the feeding-bottle are then in communication with the grooves 315. After heating in a bottle-heater, for example, it is only necessary to remove the hood 330 in order to proceed with the feeding.
In order to rotate the hood 331] together with the teat, it is only necessary for the flange portion 314 of the heel 312 and the skirt 334 of the hood 330 to have the same general shape. In 1 16.8, the flange 314 and the skirt 334 have, by way of example, an octagonal shape. in FIGS, also by way of example, the flange 314 and the skirt 334 are concentric and are provided with grooves 318 and 328.
A unit of this type is equally suitable for containing milk and for containing powdered milk in the teat and water in the feeding-bottle, the mixture being effected at the time of use.
It is possible to transpose the utilization of an intermediate member as shown in 1 16.6, to an embodiment of this type.
Other improvements and modifications may be provided without thereby departing from the scope of the invention.
1. A feeding unit for using once only and specially intended for feeding infants, said unit comprising three main elements including a teat, a feeding-bottle and a hood for protecting said teat, said elements being joined together in a sterile and fluid-tight manner so as to form a feeding unit which is inoperative as a feeding unit in a first inoperative position of said teat, which is ready to operate in a second operative position of said teat and which is operative as a feeding unit after heating said feeding-bottle and removal of said hood, said teat comprising a heel having a cylindrical internal face, said feeding-bottle having a spout adapted to be closed at its upper portion and provided with orifices along the lateral cylindrical periphery of said spout above a ledge adapted to serve as a support for said heel so as to close said orifices in the lateral wall of the spout with said cylindrical face for the first inoperative position of said unit, the diameter of said teat level with said face being slightly less than the externai diameter of the cylindrical portion of said spout.
2. A feeding unit as claimed in claim 1, in which said teat-protecting hood is coupled, in the first inoperative position of said unit, to the external wall of the body of said feeding bottle by means of an adhesive strip, a shoulder on said hood resting by its internal wall on a flange of said heel, while in the second ready to operate position of said feeding unit obtained, after removal of said adhesive strip, by a thrust of said shoulder on said flange, the heel of said teat is applied by its cylindrical face against the lateral wall of said spout and by its lower face against the face of said feeding-bottle, the
upper part of said heel being applied against the lower face of said ledge in such manner that a feeding preparation passes from said feeding-bottle into said teat.
3. A feeding unit as claimed in claim 1, in which the upper face of said spout is closed by a conical member so as to permit the flow of powdered milk stored in said teat into water stored in said feeding-bottle, during the setting into operation of said feeding unit.
4. A disposable feeding unit, particularly for feeding infants, comprising a feeding-bottle, a teat mounted on the feeding-bottle and, arranged from movement between a first and second position with respect to the feeding-bottle, and a removable hood for protecting the teat mounted on the feeding-bottle and arranged for movement with the teat, the feeding-bottle, teat and hood being joined together in a sterile and fluid-tight manner to form a feeding unit which is inoperative as a feeding unit in the first position of the teat, the feeding unit being ready to operate in the second position of the teat and the feeding unit being operative after removal of the hood in the second position of the teat, said feeding-bottle having a cylindrical upstanding spout closed at its upper end and provided with orifices along the laterial cylindrical wall of said spout, said teat comprising a heel having a cylindrical internal face cooperating with the lateral wall of said spout and arranged for covering said orifices in the lateral wall of said spout in the first position of said teat rendering the feeding unit inoperative, said teat being movable from the first position to the second position for uncovering the orifices in the lateral wall of said spout so as to render the feeding unit ready to operate and permitting a feeding preparation in said bottle to pass through said orifices in said spout to said teat.
5. A feeding unit according to claim 4, wherein said spout is formed in one piece with said feeding-bottle.
6. A feeding unit according to claim 4, wherein said spout is provided with a ledge below said orifices in the lateral wall of said spout, said ledge serving as a support for said heel so as to cover said orifices with the cylindrical face of the heel for the inoperative position of said feeding unit, the diameter of said cylindrical internal face of said heel being slightly less than the external diameter of the cylindrical wall of said spout.
, 7. A feeding unit according to claim 4, wherein said hood is coupled in the first inoperative position of said feeding unit to the external wall of the body of said feeding bottle by means of an adhesive strip, a shoulder on said hood resting by its internal wall on a flange of said heel, while in the second ready to operate position of said feeding unit obtained, after removal of said adhesive strip, by a thrust of said shoulder on said flange, the heel of said teat is applied by its cylindrical face against the lateral wall of said spout and by its lower face against the face of said feeding-bottle so as to uncover the orifices in the lateral wall of said spout so as to permit a feeding preparation to pass from said feeding-bottle into said teat.
8. A feeding unit according to claim 4, wherein the upper end of said spout is closed by a conical member so as to permit the flow of powdered milk stored in said teat into said water stored in said feeding-bottle, during the setting into operation of said feeding unit.
9. A feeding unit according to claim 4, wherein said teat is provided with a plurality of grooves at the cylindrical internal face thereof, said teat being rotated about said spout to cause said grooves to register with said orifices in saidspout in the second position of said teat.
10. A feeding unit according to claim 9, wherein said heel of said teat has a flange with an outer face of a predetermined configuration, and said hood has a skirt portion having an internal face having a configuration cooperating with the configuration of the outer face of the flange to permit rotation of said teat by rotation of said hood. 7
11. A feeding unit according to claim 10, wherein said plurality of grooves are axially extending grooves and correspond in number to the number or orifices in said spout, said feeding-bottle being provided with abutment means for limiting the rotational movement of said teat.
12. A feeding unit according to claim 11, wherein said teat is provided with rib means for cooperating with said abutment means of said feeding-bottle.
13. A feeding unit as claimed in claim 4, in which said hood comprises a skirt adaptedto co-operate with the outer face of the flange of the heel of said teat by means of a plurality of grooves, so as to put said teat and said feeding-bottle into communication by rotation of said teat with respect to said feeding-bottle up to an abutment, until the orifices in said spout are opposite grooves formed in the internal wall of said teat.