US 3811136 A
Sanitary urine specimen collector including a container, a vertically collapsible funnel made of a relatively rigid flexible material and a releasable connection from the funnel to the container extending over and about the lip of the container and protecting the lip of the container from contamination, in which the funnel is arranged to conform to the body.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Whitney et al.
[ SANITARY URINE COLLECTOR  Inventors: William G. Whitney, Evanston;
Lawrence Muesing, Winnetka, both  Assignee: W. G. Whitney Corporation, Skokie,
 Filed: Sept. 6, 1972  Appl. No.: 286,771
[111 3,811,136 [451 May 21, 1974 3,161,891 12/1964 Bauman 4/110 3,579,652 5/1971 Ericson 4/110 3,711,871 1/1973 Sherin 4/110 Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Hill, Sherman, Meroni, Gross & Simpson [5 7] ABSTRACT Sanitary urine specimen collector including a container, a vertically collapsible funnel made of a relatively rigid flexible material and a releasable connection from the funnel to the container extending over and about the lip of the container and protecting the lip of the container from contamination, in which the funnel is arranged to conform to the body.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SANITARY URINE COLLECTOR US. Pat. Nos. 3,579,652; 3,228,444 and 3,164,186 disclose specimen collectors for collecting urine samples. Such patents have funnel portions leading to the container. These funnel portions either have rigid collars or are too rigid to conform to the shape of the body or else are made from a sheet-like plastic material which is extremely flexible and difficult to hold in conformance with the body.
While such types of specimen collectors are in use, where the funnel is relatively rigid, besides being difficult to conform it to the body, such collectors cannot be stored in small places. Where the funnels are flexible and collapse to extend about the specimen container, such funnels do not protect the mouth of the container from contamination and must usually be provided with covers which renders it difficult for the large end of the funnel to be readily conformed to the shape of the body.
In accordance with the principles of the present invention, we provide a specimen collector having a funnel detachably connected to the mouth of the collector and completely protecting the mouth of the collector from contaminants. We further provide a specimen collector having a collapsible funnel attached to the container, in which the funnel has sufficient rigidity to efficiently serve as a funnel, but is soft enough to conform to the GU area to facilitate the collection of a specimen in midstream.
An advantage in the invention is that the funnel is large enough to lend to the ease and efficiency in the collection of a specimen of urine, but is collapsible to allow the specimen bottle to move up inside the funnel.
A still further advantage of the invention is that a coupling member couples the funnel to the inside of the container, with the coupling member and the portion of the funnel extending thereabout, extending about the lip of the container, in which a simplified form of bayonet-type locking means is provided to readily couple the coupling member and funnel to the mouth of the container, or to remove the coupling member and funnel therefrom, where it may be desired to cover the container by a cap.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, although variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the disclosure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a view in side elevation of a specimen collector constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the specimen collector shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view in side elevation of the specimen collector, with the funnel collapsed about the container.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line IV-IV of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view looking down on the funnel and coupler, drawn to the same scale as FIG. 4 and illustrating the bayonet-type joint coupling the coupler and funnel to the mouth of the container.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF INVENTION In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, we have shown a generally frusto-conical specimen bottle 11, which may be made from a rigid plastic material or from glass and has a relatively flat bottom 12, a top generally cylindrical mouth 13 and an integral frustoconical side wall 14.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the mouth 13 has threads 15 extending along the outer side thereof, to accommodate closing of the specimen bottle by a cap or other closure member (not shown). The upper end of the mouth 13 defines a lip 16. Inwardly extending diametrically spaced ribs 17 extend inwardly of the mouth 13, adjacent the lower end thereof, and are adapted to engage within an outwardly opening annular groove 20 extending about a coupling member 21, provided to couple a funnel 23 to the mouth of the specimen bottle.
The coupling member 21 is shown as having a neck 24 of the funnel 23 extending thereabout and downwardly therealong to the annular groove 20. The upper end portion of the coupling member 21 is flanged in a radial outward direction, as indicated by reference numeral 25 (FIG. 4), to extend over the lip of the neck of the bottle and to retain the neck 24 of the funnel 23 into engagement with said lip, to hold contaminants from said lip. The coupling member 21 has diametrically opposed flattened portions 26 corresponding to the flattened ribs 17 and registering with said ribs when inserting the funnel in the neck of the bottle.
When it is desired to insert the funnel in the neck of the bottle, which is usually done prior to packing and shipment, the flattened portions 26 of the coupler 21 are registered with the ribs 17 to accommodate the coupler 21 and neck of the funnel to be pushed downwardly along the mouth of the bottle, until the ribs 17 register with the annular groove 20. The coupler and funnel may then be turned a quarter of a turn, to fasten the coupler and funnel to the mouth of the bottle, with the flattened ribs in engagement with the annular recessed portion 20 of the coupler. This in effect forms a bayonet-type of joint, detachably connecting the funnel to the mouth of the specimen bottle 11.
Referring now in particular to the details of construction of the funnel, the funnel may be made from a relatively inexpensive plastic material such as a low density polyethylene which is sufficiently rigid to stand by itself in a funnel shape, but is sufficiently flexible to be distorted by the fingers to properly fit the shape of the patient.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the funnel 23 fits about the outside of the coupling member 21 and is engaged thereby with the lip 16 of the mouth of the specimen container, and includes a lower generally frustoconical funnel portion 27 extending upwardly from the neck 24 and an axially aligned larger diameter upper frustoconical portion 29 connected to said lower portion by an integral annular shoulder 30. The larger diameter frusto-conical portion 29 of the funnel terminates into a generally cylindrical wall 31 having an annular rim 32 extending radially from its upper side, and having a tab 33 formed integrally therewith and extending outwardly therefrom, to afford a means to be readily grasped by the fingers to extend the funnel from the collapsed position shown in FIG. 3 to the extended position shown in FIG. 1, when it is desired to collect a specimen of urine. The tab 33 may also be grasped to hold the rim 32 in contact with the body.
As has previously been mentioned, the funnel is usually supplied in the collapsed condition shown in FIG. 3 to reduce the space taken up by the collector during shipment and storage. When, however, it is desired to use the collector to take a specimen, it is merely necessary to grasp the tab 33 by the fingers of one hand and extend the funnel to the position shown in FIG. 1, which as shown in this Figure, is substantially twice the height of the collector when in a collapsed condition. If, for any reason, the funnel has been extended and the collector has not been put in use and it is desired to send the collector back to storage, the funnel may be collapsed upon itself about the shoulder 30 in such a manner that the vertical height of the specimen collector is cut in half, with the larger diameter portion .29 of the funnel extending outside of the smaller diameter portion 27 thereof with the smaller diameter portion inverted relative to the larger diameter portion.
lt may be seen from the foregoing that a new and improved form of collector for specimens of urine has been provided which is efficient and comfortable for use by the patient, of a rugged detachable construction, compact for storage and avoiding contaminating the lip of the specimen bottle before, during and after the taking of a specimen.
We claim as our invention:
1. In a contaminant-free specimen collector for samples of urine,
a specimen container having a mouth and a lip defining the entering end of said mouth,
a collapsible, semi-rigid funnel made from a semirigid thermoplastic material of the same rigidity throughout its height leading into saidmouth along the inside of said lip,
said funnel having an intermediate shoulder spacing an upper part of the funnel outwardly of the lower portion thereof and accommodating axial collapse and extension of the funnel about the shouldered portion thereof, and
a coupling within said funnel and mouth and extending about said lip and forming said funnel to protect said lip and mouth from contamination.
2. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim 1, wherein the funnel comprises two frusto-conical portions, one spaced above the other, a flexible shoulder extending about the upper end of the lower of said frusto-conical portions and forming a supporting connection for the upper of said frusto-conical portions and accommodating the collapse of one frusto-conical portion axially downwardly along the outside of the other,
and the extension of the large diameter frusto-conical portion by outwardpulling movement thereon.
3. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim 2, wherein a rim extends radially outwardly of the large diameter end of the funnel and accommodates the large diameter end of the funnel to fit about the genitalia regions of the body and to conform thereto by the pressure of the hand thereon.
4. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim wherein the funnel extends along the outside of said coupling member and is secured thereto, and wherein a bayonet-like connection is provided between the outside of said coupling member and the inside of said mouth of said container, to accommodate the locking of said funnel to said container by placing said coupling member in the mouth thereof and then turning said coupling member to engage said bayonet-like joint. 5. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim 4, wherein the coupling member has an annular shoulder extending radially outwardly of its upper end portion and having said funnel extending thereabout and therebeneath and retaining said container to the lip of the mouth of said specimen collector. v
6. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim wherein the funnel is of a frusto-conical form and the reduced diameter portion of said funnel has a neck extending therefrom about the outside of the upper end portion of the mouth of the container, and
wherein the'coupling member extends inside of the neck of the funnel and the mouth of the container and retains the neck of the funnel to the mouth of the container.
7. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim 6, wherein a bayonet-like connection is provided between the outside of the coupling member and the inside of the mouth of the container, to retain said funnel to said container by the pressing of said coupling member within said container and the turning of said funnel and coupling member to bring said bayonet-like joint into an engaged locking condition.
8. The contaminant-free specimen collector of claim 7, wherein the bayonet-like joint comprises a recessed portion extending about the outside of the coupling member,
at least two lugs extending inwardly of the mouth of the specimen container and flattened portions leading from said recessed portion and registrable with said lugs to accommodate the placing of said coupling member within said container and the locking of said coupling member and funnel to said container by turning movement thereof to engage said lugs with said recessed portion.