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Publication numberUS3825990 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 30, 1974
Filing dateJul 26, 1972
Priority dateJul 26, 1972
Publication numberUS 3825990 A, US 3825990A, US-A-3825990, US3825990 A, US3825990A
InventorsD Shields
Original AssigneeD Shields
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Scalpel implement
US 3825990 A
Abstract
A scalpel implement for removing a flexible, linearly slotted surgical blade mounted on a linear supporting key, the blade having a cutting end and a heel, including means for gripping the cutting end of the surgical blade and means for applying force to the heel of the blade to facilitate removal of the blade off of the linear supporting key.
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United States Patent [191 Shields 1 SCAL!.ELIMPI EMENT [76] Inventor: Donald F. Shields, 2541 Ramshorn Dr., Manasquan, NJ. 08736 [22] Filed: July 26, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 275,335

52 U.S.C1 ..29/268,7/5,81/5.1R, 81/308 51 lnt.C1 ..B23p19/04 [58] Field ofSearch 29/268, 278; 7/3 R, 4, 7/5;s1/s.1 R, 303,304,308, 310,335

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1910 Vaughn..... 5/1923 Conard 8/1943 Greene et 1' July 30,1974

2,766,817 10/1956 Carpenter 8l/5.l R X 2,853,074 9/1958 Olson 81/5.l R 3,172,316 3/1965 Grieshaber....' 29/278 Primary Examiner-Othell M. Simpson Assistant Examiner-Harold P. Smith, Jr.

Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Popper,-Bain, Bobis,

57 ABSTRACT A scalpel implement for removing a flexible, linearly slotted surgical blade mounted on a linear supporting key, the blade having a cutting end and a heel, including means for gripping the cutting end of the surgical blade and means for applying force to the heel of the blade to facilitate removal of the blade off of the linear supporting key.

5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PAIENIED SHEET 2 BF 2 FIG-3 1 SCALPEL IMPLEMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to apparatus for removing a surgical or scalpel blade from a handle or holder in a rapid and completely safe manner; the apparatus may also be used to assemble or mount the blade with the handle or holder.

As is known in the scalpel art, a most common practice is to provide separate surgical or scalpel blades and handles or holders. There are many valid reasons which justify this practice, among which are the provision of new sharp blades for each operation, the provision of different forms or shapes of blades which may be used with a single standard handle, and the avoidance of any possibility of infection either to patients or to medical personnel through the use of blades which have not been properly sterilized or which may have become dulled or damaged in prior use. Despite the many advantages which accrue to the use of separate or detachable blades, there are certain highly undesirable disadvantages which also accrue to such structure, namely, difficulties in mounting and removal of such blades with its attendant inefficiency and annoyance, but most importantly and significantly, the risk and even likelihood of serious injury to the user during removal of the blade from the holder and its attendant likelihood of the transmittal of disease, such as for example hepatitis, to the user.

More particularly, the handles are customarily provided with a linear supporting key or boss which is provided with a groove, and the blade is provided with a slot including a narrow portion that is adapted to be slidably moved in a wedging manner within the groove formed in the linear supporting key and which blade slot also includes a larger portion adapted to fit over the end or abutment of the linear supporting key so as to securely hold the blade on the handle. In removing the blade from the key, considerable force must be applied to disengage the blade slot from the groove and to engage the wider portion of the slot from the end or abutment of the supporting key. Since such surgical or scalpel blades are extremely sharp, narrow, slightly flexible or resilient, they are extremely difflcult to handle manually, particularly during removal, and many serious injuries have resulted to users during the manual removal of the blade from the handle. Removal is generally practiced after pathological or surgical use of the blade, during which time the blade is typically covered with blood, tissue, and other material, and if the user experiences a cut or wound in the removal of the blade, there is great risk, and even likelihood that a wounded or injured user will be exposed to serious disease such as hepatitis or other serious infection. The danger of such injury and exposure to disease such as hepatitis is particularly serious and prevalent in pathology where the user is generally performing the pathological examination on tissue believed to be diseased.

In fact, as is known in the art, users have even suffered the loss of a portion of a finger during the attempted removal of a scalpel blade from a holder after use.

2. Description of the Prior Art Various implements are known to the prior art for mounting and/or removing surgical blades, such as for example, the implements disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,83 l ,379 and 3,172,316, as well as other prior art implements commerically available. Such prior art implements are typically difficult to use and do not provide the required or desired safety to the user.

SUMMARY The present invention provides a rapid and completely safe implement for removing a flexible, slotted scalpel blade mounted on a linear supporting key, which implement includes means for securely gripping the cutting end of the scalpel blade, and means for applying force to the heel of the blade mounted on a linear supporting key to force the heel of the blade upwardly and off of the linear supporting key thereby facilitating removal of the blade from the key or even providing complete removal of the blade from the key. Such implement may be employed by a single hand of the user in a safe and rapid manner completely eliminating exposure of the hand of the user to the blade during removal.

The scalpel implement of the present invention may also be advantageously utilized to mount the scalpel blade on the linear supporting key of the holder whereby the end of the holder again is free from any direct physical contact with the blade during mounting.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a first embodiment of a scalpel implement embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the scalpel implement of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the surgical implement embodiment of FIG. 1 illustrating its use during the removal of a scalpel blade from a holder;

FIG. 4 is a separated view of a typical scalpel blade and holder; and

FIG. 5 is a view showing a second embodiment of a scalpel implement embodying the present invention and also illustrating its use in the removal of a scalpel blade from a holder.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring first to FIG. 4, there are shown a separate, flexible scalpel blade 10 and a portion of a separate scalpel blade holder 12. The scalpel blade 10 is provided with a cutting end 14, a heel l6, and a linear slot 18 having a wider rearward portion 20 and an integrally formed narrower forward portion 22. The holder 12 is provided with a handle portion 24 and a linear supporting key or boss 26 which is provided with grooves 28 formed on either side of the forward end thereof, and further provided with an integrally formed end or abutment portion 30. In mounting the scalpel blade 10 on the holder 12, the wide portion 20 of the blade slot 18 is placed on top of the linear supporting key 26 and the entrance of the narrow slot portion 22 is placed in engagement with the front end of the linear key. Force is then applied to force the narrow slit portion 22 into wedging engagement with the grooves 28 formed in the key 26, and to force the wider slot portion 20 over the top of the linear supporting key 26 and into engagement with the abutment 30 whereupon the linear supporting key 26 resides within the blade slot 18 with the narrow portion of the slot being in wedging engagement with the grooves 28 and the larger portion of the slot 20 in surrounding engagement with the abutment or end 30 of the linear supporting key. The blade then is securely fixed to the holder 12 for pathological and- /or surgical use.

To remove the scalpel blade from the holder 12, the heel 16' must be forced upwardly off of the abutment or end 30 of the supporting key 26 and then relative movement must be imparted to the blade and holder to un-wedge the narrow slot portion 22 from the grooves 28 and thereby separate the blade from the holder.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown the first embodiment of a scalpel implement 40 embodying the present invention. The implement 40 includes a pair of clamping or gripping jaws 42 and 44 which are pivotally connected by a pin 46 in a plier-like manner, the jaws 42 and 44 being provided with respective and integrally formed handle portions 48 and 50. A lever 52, which is operable independently of the jaws 42 and 44, is also mounted pivotally on the pin 46. The implement 40 is further provided with locking means, indicated by general numerical designation 54, for locking the jaws 42 and 44 in gripping relationship with an object received therebetween, such as for example, the cutting end of a flexible scalpel blade 10. The locking means may include a threaded member 56 secured to the underside of handle 50 and which is received in and extends through an aperture 58 provided in the lower handle 48. The portion of the threaded member 56 extending through the aperture 58 is threadedly received within the threads formed in a central aperture of a wing-nut 60. Clockwise rotation of the wing-nut 60 forces the handles together to lock the jaws 42 and 44 in gripping relationship as described above.

The lever 52 is provided with a rearward, thumb engaging portion 64 and a forward force applying portion 66 for engaging and applying force to the heel portion 16 of the scalpel blade 10.

Referring now to FIG. 3, for a more complete understanding of the present invention, the operation of the scalpel implement 40 will be presented in detail. it will be assumed that a scalpel blade 10 has been mounted on a scalpel holder 12 in the manner described above, and as shown in FIG. 3, and that it is desired to remove the scalpel blade from the holder. The wing-nut 60 will be rotated in the counterclockwise direction to loosen the handles 48 and 50 to thereby separate the jaws 42 and 44. The handles 48 and 50, as shown in FIG. 3, will be held in the left hand L of the user, shown in dashed outline, away from the body, with the cutting edge 14 of the scalpel blade facing the user and the scalpel holder 12 being held in the right hand R of the user, also shown in dashed outline. The cutting end 14 of the blade 10 is inserted loosely into the jaws 42 and 44, and the left thumb engages the rearward portion 64 of the lever 52 to assure that the end portion 66 of the lever engages the widest portion of the blade heel 16. The wing nut 60 is then rotated clockwise with the right hand R to lock the handles and the jaws 42 and 44 in temporary, fixed gripping relationship with the blade cutting end 14. The thumb of the left hand L then gently depresses the rearward portion 64 of the lever 52 to cause the lever portion 66 to apply upwardly acting force to the blade heel 16 to force the blade heel l6 upwardly off of abutment 30 of the linear supporting key 26. Relative motion is then applied to the surgical implement 40 and blade holder 12 to separate the two and thereby gently remove the scalpel blade 10 from the linear key 26 by un-wedging the narrow slot portion 22 from the key grooves 28. The blade 10 will now be removed from the linear slot 26 and will be gripped between the lock jaws 42 and 44, whereuponcounterclockwise rotation may be imparted to the wing-nut 60 to separate the handles 48 and 50 and thereby loosen and separate the jaws 42 and 44 to release the removed blade 10.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown a second embodiment of the scalpel implement of the present invention which is functionally similar to the abovedescribed scalpel implement 40 but different in structure, in particular, different in locking means structure.

The second embodiment is identified by the general numerical designation 70 and includes a pair of handles 72 and 74. The handle 72 is provided with an integrally formed upper jaw 76, and the lower handle 74 is structurally linked with the lower jaw 78 by being pivotally interconnected with the lower jaw by a pin the jaws 76 and 78 being pivotally interconnected by a pin 82. The lower handle 74 is also pivotally interconnected with a member 86 by the pin 80; the end of the member 86 being received within the upper handle 72 and being engaged with a rotatable, threaded locking member indicated by the general numerical designation 90. In the manner known in the art, clockwise rotation of the locking member 90 locks the handles 72- and 74 with respect to each other thereby locking the jaws 76 and 77 with respect to each other to cause the jaws to securely grip any object, such as the cutting end of a sealpel blade, securely, although temporarily, therebetween; release of the handles being effected by downward movement of the release lever 75 also in the manner known to the art. The scalpel implement 70 is also provided with a pivotal lever 90 which is pivotally secured to the pin 80. The lever 90 is provided with a rearward thumb engaging portion 92 and a forward force applying portion 94 for applying upwardly acting force to the heel 16 of the blades 10 to facilitate removal of the blade 10 from the linear supporting key 26, in the same manner as the force applying portion 66 of lever 52 of FIG. 3.

It will be further understood by those skilled in the art that the operation of the scalpel implement 70 is substantially the same as that of the scalpel implement 40, and that the above described operation of the implement 70 is substantially the same as the implement 40 as will be manifest by an observation of FIG. 5 and as indicated by the right and left hands shown in dashed outline therein.

it will be also understood by those skilled in the art that the above detailed description of the operation of the scalpel implements of the present invention was presented with respect to a right-handed user, and that the reverse operation, with regard to the use of the left and right hands, would be employed by a left-handed user.

It will be still further understood by those skilled in the art that many variations and modifications may be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A scalpel implement for facilitating the removal of a flexible, linearly slotted scalpel blade mounted on a linear supporting key, said blade having a cutting end and a heel and said linear supporting key being received wedgedly within said linear slot formed in said blade, comprising:

pivot means;

a pair of plier-like jaws mounted pivotally on said pivot means and provided with generally opposed flat, planar shaped surfaces for engaging and securely gripping said cutting end of said scalpel blade and for holding said cutting end of said scalpel blade temporarily fixedly therebetween; pair of handles structurally interconnected with said jaws and upon said handles being forced together said handles pivoting said jaws together to cause said surfaces of said jaws to engage and securely grip said cutting end of said scalpel blade temporarily fixedly therebetween; and

lever means, mounted pivotally on said pivot means and operable independently of said handles and jaws, said lever means provided with a portion extending forwardly past said jaws and provided with a transverse portion at the end thereof and upon said lever being pivoted said transverse portion for engaging said scalpel blade heel to flex said heel upwardly off of said linear supporting key to facilitate removal of said scalpel blade from said linear supporting key.

2. A scalpel implement for facilitating the removal of a flexible, linearly slotted scalpel blade mounted on a linear supporting key, said blade having a cutting end and a heel and said linear supporting key being received wedgedly within said linear slot formed in said blade, comprising:

pivot means;

a pair of plier-like jaws mounted pivotally on said pivot means and provided with generally opposed flat, planar shaped surfaces for engaging and securely gripping said cutting end of said scalpel blade and for holding said cutting end of said sealpel blade temporarily fixedly therebetween;

a pair of handles structurally interconnected with said jaws and upon said handles being forced together said handles pivoting said jaws together to cause said surfaces of said jaws to engage and securely grip said cutting end of said scalpel blade temporarily fixedly therebetween;

lever means mounted pivotally on said pivot means and operable independently of said handles and jaws, said lever means provided with a portion extending forwardly past said jaws and provided with a transverse portion at the end thereof and upon said lever being pivoted said transverse portion for engaging said scalpel blade heel to flex said heel upwardly off of said linear supporting key to facilitate removal of said scalpel blade from said linear supporting key; and

locking means operably associated with said handles and for locking said handles in said forced together relationship to thereby lock said surfaces of said jaws in said gripping relationship with said cutting end of said scalpel blade during the removal of said blade from said linear supporting key.

3. A scalpel implement for facilitating the removal of a flexible, linearly slotted scalpel blade mounted on a linear supporting key, said blade having a cutting end and a heel and said linear supporting key being wedgedly received within said linear slot formed in said blade, comprising:

first pivot means;

a pair of plier-like jaws mounted pivotally on said pivot means and provided with generally opposed flat, planar shaped surfaces for engaging and securely gripping said cutting end of said scalpel blade and for holding said cutting end of said scalpel blade temporarily fixedly therebetween;

a pair of bundles structurally interconnected with said jaws and upon said handles being forced together said handles pivoting said jaws together to cause said surfaces of said jaws to engage and securely grip said cutting end of said scalpel blade temporarily fixedly therebetween;

second pivot means provided on one of said handles;

lever means, mounted pivotally on said second pivot means and operable independently of said handles and jaws, said lever means provided with a portion extending forwardly past said jaws and provided with a transverse portion at the end thereof and upon said lever being pivoted said transverse portion for enagging said scalpel blade heel to flex said heel upwardly off of said linear supporting key to facilitate removal of said scalpel blade from said linear supporting key; and

locking means operably associated with said handles and for locking said handles in said forced together relationship to thereby lock said surfaces of said jaws in said gripping relationship with said cutting end of said scalpel blade during the removal of said blade from said linear supporting key.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said generally opposed flat, planar shaped surfaces of said pair of plier-like jaws are provided with serrations for facilitating the gripping of said cutting end of said scalpel blade by said surfaces.

5. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said generally opposed flat, planar shaped surfaces of said pair of plier-like jaws are provided with serrations for facilitating the gripping of said cutting end of said scalpel blade by said surfaces.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3965777 *Sep 29, 1975Jun 29, 1976Mcmillan Charles GBroken needle removal tool for knitting machines
US4018110 *Jul 13, 1976Apr 19, 1977Spriggs Samuel CStopper remover
US4302989 *Apr 28, 1980Dec 1, 1981Hafele KgApparatus for holding panels for fastening to a carrier framework
US4868986 *Mar 11, 1988Sep 26, 1989Olson Steven NChip cracker device
US5092074 *Mar 18, 1991Mar 3, 1992Triangle Tool & Die & Machine, Inc.Fish gripping implement
US5894925 *Jan 24, 1996Apr 20, 1999Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Medical sharps blade removal and containment structure
US7581949 *Nov 27, 2006Sep 1, 2009Ormco CorporationDebonding pliers
US8128400 *Jul 16, 2009Mar 6, 2012Ormco CorporationDebonding pliers
US20070122763 *Nov 27, 2006May 31, 2007Ormco CorporationDebonding pliers
US20090274988 *Jul 16, 2009Nov 5, 2009Ormco CorporationDebonding pliers
DE3105262A1 *Feb 13, 1981Sep 2, 1982Bessey & SohnWerkzeug zum verformen, druecken oder zur durchfuehrung anderer arbeitsgaenge unter anwendung von druck
DE3701069A1 *Jan 16, 1987Aug 13, 1987Josef WitzelPincers
Classifications
U.S. Classification29/268, 81/308, 7/128
International ClassificationA61B17/32
Cooperative ClassificationA61B17/3217
European ClassificationA61B17/3217