US 3804280 A
A disposable sealed container as it is formed is aseptically filled with a fluid for inhalation therapy. A first duct fashioned integrally with the container has an integral breachable seal to provide an opening for passing a gas such as oxygen under pressure through the water when the container comprises a humidifier reservoir for operating in a first mode and for removing water when the container comprises a nebulizer reservoir for operating in a second mode. A second duct fashioned integrally with the container has an integral breachable seal to provide an opening through which wetted oxygen is forced outwardly when the container operates in its first mode and through which atmospheric air is drawn when the container operates in one manner of a second mode. A third duct fashioned in a recess in the bottom of the container having an integral breachable seal to provide an opening for dispensing the fluid therefrom into a cup-like device from which oxygen carrying particles of fluid is dispensed while the fluid in said cup-like device is subjected to ultrasonic vibrations and oxygen is admitted under pressure into said cup-like device. A breaching tool is provided which both acts to penetrate the seal and to permit the fluid in the container to be admitted into the cup-like device in a manner to maintain a selected level. As no other holes are present in the container under this mode of operation the tool has provision for admitting a quantity of atmospheric air as it is needed to displace the fluid entering the cup-like device. The said device is useful as a holder for the container. Means is also provided for using the container as a water bottle from which the fluid may be poured.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent van Amerong en et al.
[ MULTl-USE INHALATION THERAPY APPARATUS  Assignee: Respiratory Care, Inc., Arlington Heights, Ill.
22 Filed: July 27,1971 21 Appl. No.: 166,417"
52 us. Cl. 215/1 (2, 128/194 51 Int. Cl. B6511 23/00 58 Field of Search...; 215/1 A, 1 R, 1 c; 128/194  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,270,305 6/1918 Lent 215/1 R 3,232,495 2/1966 Schneider 215/1 C 3,667,638 6/1972 Cambio, .lr.... 215/1 C 3,319,837 5/1967 Mueller 215/1 C 834,014 10/1906 Lyke 215/1 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 242,053 8/1965 I Austria; 215/1 C Great Britain 2 l5/l R Primary Examiner-Herbert F. Ross A!torney,-Agent, or Firm-Eric P. Schellin; Martin P. Hoffman  ABSTRACT A disposable sealed container as it is formed is asepti- Apn 16, 1974 cally filled with a fluid for inhalation therapy. A first duct fashioned integrally with the container has an integral breachable seal to provide an opening for passing a gassuch as oxygen under pressure through the water when the container comprises a humidifier reservoir for operating in a first mode and for removing water when the container comprises a nebulizer reservoir for operating in a second mode. A second duct fashioned integrally with the container has an integral breachable seal to provide an opening through which wetted oxygen is forced outwardly when the container operates in its first mode and through which atmospheric air is drawn when the container operates in one manner of a second mode. A third duct fashioned in a'recess in the bottom of the container having an integral breachable seal to provide an opening for dispensing the fluid therefrom into a cup-like device from which oxygen carrying particles of fluid is dispensed while the, fluid in saidcup-like device is subjected to ultrasonic vibrations and oxygen is admitted under pressure into said cup-like device. A breaching tool is provided which both acts to penetrate the seal and to permit the fluid in the container to be admitted into the cup-like device in a manner to maintain a selected level. As no other holes are present in the container under this mode of operation the tool has provision for admitting a quantity of atmospheric air as it is needed to displace the fluid entering the cup-like device. The said device is useful as a holder for the container. Means is also provided for using the container as a water bottle from which the fluid may be poured.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures .PATENTEnAPmslm v 3.804280 snmaurz 4 INVENTORS j EDWARD VAN AMERONGEN GLENN L. BEALIL JOHN E. CLARK & WHEN-HARD J. EEILLY FIELD OF THE INVENTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Inhalation therapy is anart of treating with oxygen having a relatively high-moisture content. The moisture may be providedby humidification of oxygen or atomization of water. Apparatus known as humidifiers are adapted for effecting the former by discharging into the atmosphere oxygen which has been broken into bubbles and has been forced under pressure through a volume of water. Apparatus known as nebulizers are adapted for effecting the latter by discharging into the atmosphere water which has been broken into a mist of fine drops.
A conventional humdifier comprises a water container of glass fabrication with an upper closure.- A metal oxygen supply tube extends through the closure. It carries a radial perforated plate at its lower end for breaking up oxygen, introduced under pressure through the tube, into bubbles. As the bubbles rise through the water, theybecome moisture coated for discharge into the atmosphere.
While there are several heretoforeknown types of nebulizers. a conventional nebulizer of the type with which this disclosure is concerned comprises a water container of glass fabrication with an upper closure. A venturi tube which may be of rigid plastic fabrication is associated with the closure. It utilizes oxygen under pressure to atomize water in the container and force the atomized water through a tube opening into the atmosphere.
Disposable humidifiers and nebulizers, according to some. conventional practice. are provided by manufacturers in completed condition with sterile water. Therefore. an institution, such as ahospital, is required to have an inventory of humidifiers-and nebulizers, each with its water container," if it is to satisfy all requirements. Due to the high cost attendant using conventional inhalation therapy apparatus, many institutions use reusable humidifiers and nebulizers. It will be appreciated that this practice creates a burden on trained personnel, already in short supply. Moreover, whether it produces the desired economy is highly disputable.
As a consequence considerable effort has been expended to develop a sterilized prefilled container selectively adapted as a reservoir for a humidifier or a nebulizer. Withregard thereto there are now pending appli cations on such devices as exemplified by Ser. No. 856,756 of David Allan et al., filed Sept. 10, I969 entitled: Inhalation Therapy Apparatus," and Ser. No. 36,340 of Glenn L. Beall. filed May l l, 1970 entitled: Nebulizer" now U.S. Pat. No. 3,652,015.
The invention contemplated herein carries the inventive concept to further fruition. In the foregoing a method for humidifying and nebulizing has been described. Both are accomplished directly from the prefilled container. Another method for nebulizing is by ultrasonic means, wherein portiosn of the water are dispensed into a suitable receptacle and the nebulization occurs therefrom. To accomplish this from a prefilled container is one of the features of the present invention along with the structure of the container to impart further usefulness thereto.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To effect the foregoing of the invention a container is provided for inhalation apparatus. It comprises a body having a chamber defining a reservoir for a liquid. A first duct is integrally connected with said body and has a passage with an end portion fluidally connected with said chamber below the normal liquid level. A second duct is integrally connected to said body above the normal liquid level in the chamber. A third duct is integrally connected to a recessed portion in the bottom of said chamber. A breachable seal defines a penetrable sterile barrier integrally fashioned with each of said ducts for isolating a liquid in said chamber. In accordance with the aforementioned copending applications means on the first duct enable selective operation of said container as a humidifier-reservoir and a nebulizer reservoir. The second duct after breaching is useful for dispensing therethrough bubbled oxygen laden with a relatively high quantity of moisture removed from the container or the breached duct may have water poured therethrough. To assist in this end a fourth breachable duct is provided and is located near the upper end portion of said passage. The fourth duct when breached provides displacing air to the container when it is tipped to pour liquid therefrom through the second duct;
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the ensuing description reference is made to ac- DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION Referring now more particularly to the drawings especially taken in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 2, a container generally designated 10 is shown vertically oriented. It is composed of a body 12 having therein a chamber 14 which defines a reservoir for water 16 for instance. Body 112 has a bottom 18. A passageway 19 is in communication with the bottom portion of the body 12 and extends upwardly outside said body 12 and terminates in a duct 20 which lies atop the uppermost portion '22 of body 12. The duct extends upwardly generally centrally with respect to the body. An external thread 24 is fashioned on the wall of duct 20. The duct is closed to the outside by a breachable seal 30. The passageway 119 has a secondary duct 26 located at a point prior to the beginning to said duct 20. The secondary duct 26 terminates in a breakaway seal 30. The seal 30 has an extension 32 which is used as a lever to break the seal 30 off. A finger hold tab 34 extends between the duct 26 and the passageway 19 in order to give a finger hold when breaking the seal 30. When openeed duct 26 provides a small opening for the admission of displacing air when required; at other times the opening remains sealed.
It will also be seen that the body 12 has a depressed area 36. The passageway 19 is therefore separate from the body 12 where it is depressed, thereby a portion of the passageway provides an excellent handgrip for the container. The use thereof will be seen later.
A duct 40 is positioned near the top of body 12 and, of course, somewhat off center. The duct 40 has an external thread 42. The duct 40 is closed to the outside by a breachable seal 44.
When it is desired to use the container as a pour bottler the seal 44 is punctured with a suitable means to provide access to the contents within the body 12. In
order to provide displacing air seal '30 is removed by.
raising extension 32 which will snap off the seal 30 providing a relatively small hole. Thecontainer is then gripped by the passageway 19 with the fingers and hand while the thumb is placed easily over the small hole now extant in duct 26. The container is tipped so that water is dispensed from the body 12 through the puncture in seal 44. The dispensing rate of the water. is controlled by the degree of tipping of the container and the amount of air permitted to be entered through duct 26. The thumb of the user is used to act as a valve.
When the container is not too large it may be appropriate to grasp the body 12. To prevent dropping of the body a series of vertically aligned depressions 46 are located about the periphery of the body 12.
In the situation wherethe container of the present invention is to be utilized as a nebulizer, the water is aspirated through duct 20, after having the seal punctured by the means and-manner described in the copending applications Ser. No. 856,756 and Ser. No. 36,340 further identified in the above. In this operation seal 44 will also be broken to provide displacing air therethrough. When the container is to be employed as a humidifier, then seal 30 is punctured and oxygen is introduced therethrough by means ofa suitable fitting which is screwed on. The oxygen is fed to the bottom of body l2 through passageway 19, where it bubbles upwardly in the body '12. In duct 40 seal 44 is punctured and a suitable fitting is screwed on the duct 40. The fitting is the terminus for a suitable hose to carry the now highly humidified oxygen to the site of use. The fittings of the type that are applicable are described in copending application'Ser. No. 856,756, mentioned in the foregoing.
In still another manner, it is pointed out that the body 12 has molded slight circular recess 52 at the bottom thereof. Asecond more pronounced recess 54 is located concentrically with respect to the first mentioned recess. The second recess 54 terminates with a centrally located center portion 56. A duct 58 extends downwardly therefrom. The duct is spaced from the side wall 60 of the second recess and terminates on the approximately same plane as the first recess 52. The duct 58 has an external thread 62 and a breachable seal 59.
From FIG. I it will be seen that the container rests on a cup 64 which has a bottom 66 and upstanding side wall 68. It is open at the top. The container rests on the upwardly facing edge of the cup in the area of the first recess 52. The cup 64 is adapted to contain a quantity of water 70. The cup 64 is provided with a nipple 72, connected tangentially, at the side thereof to which is connected a conduit 74 for compressed air or oxygen. At the other side of the cup is another nipple 76, also connected tangentially 180 from the nipple 72, to which is attached a conduit 75 for carrying away the now moisture laden oxygen or air. Baffles 72A and 76A provide for turbulent flow. The cup 64 is positioned on an ultrasonic producing apparatus 77 which is of a conventional type. So that the ultrasonic vibrations can get through an ultrasonic permeable window 78 is provided as a portion of the bottom 66 of the cup 64. Although this may not be necessary.
Mounted within the confines of the cup 64 is a combined puncturing and dispensing tool 79. The tool 79 includes a spider-like support structure 80 which radiates with four spokes towards the inner side wall 68 and is secured thereto by any well known amnner as by glue or heat welding, for instance. The support structure may be molded into cup 64 as by blow molding. FIG.
3 illustrates more clearly the spider arrangement with respect to the support structure 80.
The support structure has a relatively short tubular element 81 into which is mounted a puncturing tube 82 which terminates at its uppermost end in a point 83 as seen from FIG. 4 and is surrounded concentrically with a screw means fitting so that the bottle is punctured as the cup is mounted to the bottom. The bevel of the point has two orifices 84 and 85, respectively. The tube 82 is divided into two separate channels 86 and 87 by wall 88 therein. As seen from FIG. 4 channel 86 terminates somewhat below the water level while channel 87 terminates at thewater level. When the water level falls below that shown in FIG. 4 ambient air is pulled up through channel 87 to displace a sufficient quantity of water which flows downwardly through channel 86 to bring the waterlevel back up to the same level until channel 87 is again covered with water. As no other openings are provided the water in the body 12 will be slowly dispensed from the bottom and atmospheric pressure will keep the remainder of the water from running out until needed.
It will be seen that the puncturing tube functions both as a breach tool for seal 59 and as a dispensing and level control means for the water in the body. The breach may be accomplished at 'the moment when the container is positioned on the cup 64.
In this mode the nebulization is achieved under the aegis of the ultrasonic vibrations as opposed to the aspiration techniques when duct 20 is employed. The usefulness of this system will be obvious when it is considered that a much larger liquid container may now be employed for long continued operation. The materials of fabrication for the container will of course be plastic as it permits aseptic filling while molding. Other suitable materials may be employed.
While there have been shown and described particular embodiments of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention and, therefore, it is aimed to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A container containing a liquid comprising a body having a chamber and defining a reservoir for a liquid; said body having a bottom; said bottom having a recess substantially centrally therewith; a first duct communicating with the interior of said chamber and integral with said body positioned in said recess, extending downwardly and terminating in a plane above said bottom; the first duct has a breachable seal defining a penetrable sterile barrier integral with said first duct for isolating said liquid in said chamber; a second duct integral with said body; said second duct has a passage exterior of said body with an upper end portion disposed above the normal level of said liquid and a lower portion fluidally connected with said chamber below the normal level of said liquid and below the uppermost plane of said recess; a third duct integrally connected to said body above the normal level of said liquid and having a passage fluidally connected to said chamber terminating above the normal level of said liquid; at least one of said second and third ducts defining a penetrable sterile barrier integral with said ducts for isolating a liquid in said chamber.
2. The liquid container of claim 1 wherein the said passage has a duct positioned intermediate the second duct and above the normal level of said liquid, said mentioned duct being normally sealed and having integral means for opening it to provide access to the container.
3. The liquid container of claim 2 wherein the integral opening means is provided with an extension whereby it may be grasped to break it off to provide said access.
4. The liquid container of claim 2 wherein a portion of the upper portion of the container is depressed and the said passage and said depressed portion is in spaced relationship whereby the passage may be employed as a handgrip.