US 3819039 A
A block of resilient material has a series of parallel slits defining abutments which bear against surgical sutures positioned in the slits to hold them securely and conveniently in place.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Erickson 1 1 SUTURE HOLDER  Inventor: Oscar A. Erickson, 1620 Robbins St., Santa Barbara, Calif. 93101  Filed: Mar. 4, 1971  Appl. No.: 120,902
52] us. Cl ..206/388,, 206/1227, 206/1438, 211/89, 243/205 A, 206/486 511 1m. (31.... A611 17/02, B65h 55/00, 865d 85/00 [451 June 25, 1974 2,860,768 11/1958 Swithers 206/46 FR UX 2,962,156 11/1960 Adams 211/89 X 3,033,156 5/1962 Verbish 206/63.3 X 3,080,963 3/1963 Rothgart 1 206184 3,138,244 6/1969 White 206/.84 X 3,261,126 7/1966 Marks 248/205 A X 3,388,790 6/1968 Slomczewski 206/63.3 3,490,725 1/1970 Speelman 211/88 X 3,616,096 10/1971 Roeder 243/205 A X 3,624,161 11/1971 Bub 206/46 FC UX 3,696,920 10/1972 Lahay 206/65 R X Primary Examiner--William T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmPastoriza & Kelly [57 ABSTRACT A block of resilient material has a series of parallel slits defining abutments which bear against surgical sutures positioned in the slits to hold them securely and conveniently in place;
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures SUTURE HOLDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to surgical accessories and more specifically to a holding device for retaining sutures.
During surgical operations a scrub technician or operating room assistant is required to supply the surgeon with sutures as the need arises. The customary manner of attempting to hold sutures in place is to arrange bundles of sutures within the folds or pleats of ordinary towels. An average sized towel has a limited capacity for holding the sutures.
As the bundles become larger they become correspondingly unmanageable and individual sutures become entangled and stuck together. Also, the individual sutures are not held stably within the folds so when the scrub technician tries to pull just one away from a bundle it is not uncommon for two or more sutures to become released which slows down the procedure. Doctors and others sometimes mistake this towelfor one of another kind.
In order to keep the towel stationary as it holds the sutures, it is common practice to weight it down with medical instruments. If the table upon which the towel rests is jolted then the folds may become opened and the sutures permitted to tumble on to the floor.
The cumbersome and annoying drawbacks of this foregoing conventional technique are greatly minimized by this invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, this invention comprehends a lightweight, inexpensive, handy suture holder for reliably holding numerous individual surgical sutures in a manner so that a selected suture may be quickly withdrawn from its storage place without displacing or adversely affecting the other sutures.
In its broader aspects the suture holder includes a block constructed from resilient material and a plurality of abutments defined by slits formed in the block. The abutments are aligned generally parallel, and are arranged so that opposing faces of side-by-side abutments contact one another with gentle pressure. Surgical sutures are positioned within the slits and held steady in desired positions by the opposing faces of abutments associated with the slits.
The intermediate abutments between the outermost abutments are preferably substantially equivalent in size. In accordance with one embodiment the abutments are rectangular in cross section, and, in accordance with another embodiment the abutments are of rhomboidal shape in cross section.
The slits extend entirely through the block top wall and more than halfway through the block end walls so that a relatively large number of sutures may be stacked in slightly vertically spaced relationship within the slits.
At least a pair of pressure sensitive adhesive strips are attached to opposing ends of the block bottom wall in order to permit the block to be held down against a support surface. A third or intermediate pressure sensitive strip is attached to the centerof the block bottom wall so that a scrub technician may sever the block into equal sections with the result that each resulting block section will have two hold down points.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The numerous benefits and unique aspects of the present invention will be fully understood when the following detailed description is studied in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view with a partially broken away section showing a suture holder constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the suture holder; and,
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of another embodiment of a suture holder constructed in accordance with this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. I and 2 a suture holder I0 is fabricated from a generally rectangular shaped block of resilient material capable of withstanding maximum temperatures customary during conventional auto clave procedures. By way of illustration the material may be sponge rubber, polyurethane foam or polyethylene foam. The block has a top wall llll, bottom wall 12, end wall 13, end wall 14, side wall 15 and side wall I6. I
A rowof side-by-side abutments I7, 18, I9, 20 and 21 are formed in the block by a series of parallel slits 22, 23, 24 and 25. Whereas five abutments and four slits are shown in this embodiment the particular number of abutments and slits may vary to accommodate changing or difierent requirements. Groups or bundles of conventional surgical sutures 26, 27, 28 and 29 are shown arranged in slits 22, 23, 24 and 25 respectively. The sutures are aligned generally straight and extend lengthwise through their corresponding slits with opposing ends of the sutures projecting beyond the slit ends for a reason that shall be described.
The opposing or adjacent faces of the side-by-side abutments generally contact and exert gentle pressure upon one another. For example, face 30 of abutment l7 and opposing face 31 of abutment 18 generally contact one another to exert a slight pinching pressure upon sutures 26 in order to hold the sutures 26 steady and accurately in alignment. This promotes ease in withdrawing individual sutures one at a time without disturbing the others. As indicated by the two separated bundles of sutures 28 in slit 24 the sutures may be stacked either partially or entirely throughout the depth of one or more slits. Opposing faces of the abutments do not contact one another at points occupied by the sutures but do generally contact one another over areas between the sutures. If, however, the lower region of a slit becomes too packed then there could be a slight crevice or gap along the slit.
The top opening 34 of slit 25 is parallel to the bottom limit 35 which are spaced from one another by a depth L which is greater than one half the overall depth of the block. Face 32 of abutment 20 and opposite face 33 of abutment 21 squeeze against stures 29 to hold the individual sutures in slightly vertically spaced relationship. The spacing or lack of it depends primarily on the manner in which the sutures are loaded into position.
For the convenience of the surgeon and his assistants the suture holder 10 may be used to hold atraumatic needles N.
Referring primarily to FIG. 2 the manner in which a person may load a retaining slit is by grasping the opposing ends of one or more sutures 29a, pulling the sutures 2.9a relatively taut and then slipping them downwardly as indicated by directional arrow D into the slit to a desired level. The first suture would be arranged near the bottom and successive sutures would be placed at higher levels to eventually constitute a stack.
The bottom wall 12 carries hold down means in the form of three pressure sensitive adhesive strips 36, 37 and 38. Strips 36 and 38 are attached to opposing ends of bottom wall 12. After protective coverings are peeled away they may be secured, for stability purposes, to an appropriate support surface 39 which may for example be a Mayo stand or back table. Intermediate strip 37 is attached approximately to the middle of bottom wall 12 so that if the scrub nurse or other operating technician wishes to sever the suture holder in half crosswise along cut line C, then each resulting half section will still have two adhesive strips for hold down purposes at opposing ends.
Referring now to FIG. 3, another embodiment of a suture holder 40 is shown having a tilted or wedge shaped block 41 and a plurality of abutments 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47 which are generally of rhomboidal shape in cross section. The angle A described by the intersection of a plane passing generally through block 41 and the slopes of the abutments is preferably between 35 and 75. The purpose of this is to facilitate loading the sutures into place and more importantly to greatly promote ease and quickness of withdrawal of them. In addition, the bulk and overall height of the block may be reduced while keeping the slits at the same depth.
OPERATION Keeping the above construction in mind it can be understood how many of the previously described disadvantages of conventional suture holding practices are overcome or substantially eliminated by the present invention.
Initially the scrub technician loads one or more slits of the suture holder 10 with one or more sutures. He may position a small group of sutures within a slit or a stack of sutures extending substantially throughout the entire depth of the slit. The opposing ends of a suture are firmly grasped and tugged away from one another until the suture is taut and then it is forced downwardly into a slit to a predetermined level at which point the suture is released and held.
When the suture is released the opposing faces, 32 and 33, for example, of abutments and 21, squeeze against the suture to hold it steady at the desired position. When enough sutures are satisfactorily loaded into the suture holder 10 then it is taken to a Mayo stand, back table or the like represented by support surface 39 and positioned stably at the desired location.
Upon need for additional sutures by the surgeon the scrub technician may quickly and confidently pull a single suture from its slit without disturbing the relative positions of the other sutures located beneath it or above it.
Preferably each suture would be grasped by an end and pulled lengthwise in a horizontal direction out of the slit.
From the foregoing it will be evident that the present invention has provided a suture holder in which all of the various advantages are fully realized.
What is claimed is:
l. A suture holder comprising:
a. a generally rectangular block constructed from resilient and suitable autoclavable material having a top wall, a flat bottom wall, opposing side walls and opposing end walls, and,
b. plural abutments formed in the block by generally parallel and lengthwise extending slits that pass entirely through the top wall and more than halfway through the end walls, the abutments being arranged so that opposing faces of side-by-side abutments generally contact one another,
. wherein when surgical sutures are placed within a slit and disposed at a level fully beneath the block top wall, the sutures are held steady in place by compression exerted by opposing faces of corresponding abutments.
2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein;
intermediate abutments between the two outermost abutments are of substantially equivalent size and are rectangular in cross section.
3. The structure according to claim 1, wherein;
intermediate abutments between the two outermost abutments are of substantially equivalent size and are rhomboidal in cross section, and,
the slits intersect a plane passing through a flat bottom wall of the block at an angle of between 35 and 4. The structure according to claim 1, wherein;
the slits are of constant and equal depth.
5. The structure according to claim 1, including:
hold down means for securing the block to a support surface.
6. The structure according to claim 5, wherein;
the hold down means has at least two hold down points characterized by a pair of pressure sensitive adhesive strips attached near opposing ends to the block bottom wall.
7. The structure according to claim 6, wherein;
the hold down means includes an intermediate pressure sensitive adhesive strip secured to the middle of the block bottom wall so that if the block is severed into two equal sections each resulting section will have two hold down points.
8. The structure according to claim 6 including:
an intermediate, pressure-sensitive adhesive strip attached to the middle of the block bottom wall so that if the block is severed into two equal sections, then each resulting block half-section will have two hold down points.