US 3826248 A
The invention relates to a laryngoscope for examining the larynx or the like comprising a handle element and a spatula detachable therefrom with a longitudinally extending lateral member serving as a tongue deflector.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Gobels July 30, 1974' LARYNGOSCOPE 2,026,065 12/1935 R0111 128/16 x 1761 Inventor Georg 10, 5233533 311333 12.21321.3313331131::::::::::::'"':::: 123511 5038, Rodenklrche" near Cologne, 3,592,199 7/1971 Ostensen 128/6 7 Germany 3,598,113 8/1971 Moore 128/11  Filed: Sept. 20, 1972 2] A L N 290,572 Primary Examiner-Channing L. Pace 1 1 PP 0 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Diller, Brown, Ramik &
Wi ht I30] Foreign Application Priority Data g Sept. 21, 1971 Germany 2147054  ABSTRACT  US. Cl. 128/11, 128/16  Int. Cl A6lb 1/06, A61b l/24, A6lb 1/26 The invention relates to a laryngoscope for examining  Field of Search 128/ 10, 1 1, 12, l5, l6, 1 the larynx or the'like'comprising a handle element and 128/6 a spatula detachable therefrom with a longitudinally I extending lateral member serving as a tongue deflec-  References Cited tor.
UNITED STATES PATENTS Y D 104.874 6/1870 Osborn 128/15 7 Chums 6 Drawmg F'gures 3b 3 A 2 1b 1c 1 mg 7 F PMENIEBJuwmQM SHEEI 1 or 2 FIG.2
PAIENIEmugaoxm I SHEET 2 0? z LARYNGOSCOPE Laryngoscopes serve to keep free the oral cavity and the glottis by introducing the spatula into the mouth and by advancing the spatula front end into the throat gap. A tongue deflector or depressor presses the tongue aside so that the oral and throat cavities are unobstructed. Generally, the handle is fitted with an illuminating device permitting it to illuminate the throat cavity by means of a bulb. Such laryngoscopes are subjected to opposing conditions, namely, on the one hand are medical requirements relating to sterilization, life and safety, whereas on the other hand are the mechanical and electrical requirements relating to efficiency of performance and the like.
It is customary with conventional laryngoscopes to provide the handle and the spatula capable of-being coupled mechanically and electrically with respect to Moreover, the handle with the light source is destined for a plurality of applications, thus increasing the possibility for deficiencies and interferences concerning the illumination system. If during the treatment, the light source fails and the illumination collapses, valuable time may be lost during which medical help cannot take place, and, in particular in cases of emergency, e.g., for accidents, the rescue of the patient might be defeated.
Concerning circumstances resulting due to sterilization, and above all that of the spatula, solutions have been suggested which provide a measure of success. For a laryngoscope with the bulb fitted at the front end of the spatula the laryngoscope spatula is enwrapped by a sheathing placed longitudinally over the spatula. By this means only the sheath need be subjected to sterilization. However, the disadvantage of such anarrangement is that the thickness of the spatula cross section is relatively unwieldy. The result maybe additional coercions in the mouth and throat cavity. Moreover, the pressure of the upper incisors becoming effective on the lateral part of the tongue deflector is considerably increased. Furthermore, the mechanical and electrical sources of trouble are not excluded. By contrast, the fixture of the bulb and the control of its seat is still aggravated by the spatula sheath. It is also known to design the handle and the spatula as one single piece of the laryngoscope and to only provide interchangeability of the illuminating device together with the bulb. The reason for this is to realize an apparatus of a reasonable price which can be thrown away after one single use in order to do-away, with repeated sterilizations of the apparatus. The disadvantage connected therewith is that the'entire implement, viz. the handle and the spatula shall be thrown away after one single use, and this is relatively expensive. In addition thereto, the bulb insertable into the handle is always intended for multiple uses. Hence, it may happen that the illumination unexpectedly fails thus resulting in the disadvantages described above.
What all the known laryngoscopes have in common is that the spatula at the space, where it rests against the upper teeth of the jaw bone upon introduction of the laryngoscope into the mouth and the larynx gap is made of hard unelastic material. This is necessary because with the spatula there must be exerted forces to press back the inner parts of the mouth'and of the. throat, the spatula being then under bending stress. Moreover, there is caused a considerable pressure by the upper incisors on the lateral part of the spatula serving as a tongue deflector. It .is not uncommon that these stresses are such as toendanger the teeth and/or to break them from their seats in the jaw. The pressure exerted by the teeth on the spatula of the laryngoscope is sometimes as high as to cause scratches and notches on the metal surface of the rigid spatula, unless the tooth broke off or became loose in the jaw. Added to the problems of sterilization, mechanical, as well as electrical properties, is the problem of avoiding darnage to the teeth of the upper jaw of the patient under treatment.
It is an object of this invention to createa laryngoscope for larynx inspections or the like which takes into consideration the aforementioned problems and permitting a troublefreesafe operation from the mechanical as well'as from the illumination viewpoint, with the simultaneous simple solution of the sterilization problem.
For a laryngoscope with spatula detachable from the handle, the handle incorporating the illumination system and the spatula a light, the invention is characterized in that the spatula has at the rear of its tonguedeflector-side element an insert of elastic material and a bulb with light or current supply fixed in the spatula undemountably, the spatula with insert and bulb being provided as a disposable article.
By such a design of the laryngoscope or the spatula thereof there is obtained the best possible safety for its operating efficiency with respect to all the requirements to be demanded from the laryngoscope. All the sources of trouble which probably might become'effective are in the one-way single use, or disposable part which consists only of the spatula, so that the expendi ture for obtaining the optimum is held at a minimum. The elastic insert in the tongue-deflector side part of the spatula permits an impeccable and safe manipulation of the laryngoscope without the risk of breaking out teeth of the patient even in case of a rudimentary operation of the laryngoscope.
This brings about a greater safety during the performance of the medical work for the patient. The bulb being provided in the one way part entails the essential advantage that it is used only once. The risk of a failure of the bulb during the work with the laryngoscope is practically eliminated. A failure of the illumination due to a decrepit bulb is excluded. Added thereto isthe direct, firm arrangement of the bulb in the one-way part so that defective contacts and other. interruptions of current are completely excluded. Hence, avoided is the patient suffering damage due to a failure of the illumination.
While it is possible to sterilize a spatula with an insert of sterilizable material, the life of the elastic material is the safe illumination is solved in that each time the spatula is being used, an unused new bulb is available, and, on the other hand, that the electric contact faces at the coupling space of the spatula with respect to the handle part of the laryngoscope are always accurately clean and available for operation. For a sterilization of the spatula in the autoclave often causes an oxidation of the electric contact faces. As a result of the design of the laryngoscope according to the invention, requirements, otherwise incompatible, are complied with at an optimum in order to insure an operative laryngoscope efficient in any respect.
The elastic insert in the spatula may be constructed from rubber, plastic or the like. It should be suitably anchored in the lateral part of the spatula by means of undercut grooves extending in cross and longitudinal directions relative to each other. The rejectable spatula may be of any convenient material. It is advantageous to use plastic, whereby the rigidity of the spatula is guaranteed. The spatula must have a mat or darkcolored surface to avoid reflections resulting from the illumination.
It is advantageous to provide the bulb with its socket in the spatula foot. To this end, a light conductor, e.g. a glass fiber line or the like, or a prismatic piece, may lead to the front part of the spatula. It is also possible to fit the bulb at the front part of the spatula and to 7 connect it by a current, line with the contact points of the spatula foot.
The spatula itself is preferably fitted with a bent foot member thus facilitating the provision of the bulb in the spatula. Coupling of the bent foot member with the handle is accomplished by a sliding connection in cross direction relative to the spatula foot. To this effect, the spatula foot with its socket rail may engage in an undercut groove of the handle. At that occasion, the socket rail and the groove of the handle cooperate electrically by means of a contact tongue and contact pin. It is suitable to provide a taper i.e. a narrowing design of the socket rail and the undercut groove so that a firm seat is insured when the parts are pushed together.
With the above and other objects in .view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the'invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an axial sectional view of the first embodiment of the laryngoscope of this invention, and illustrates an insert of elastic material carried by spatula.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the laryngoscope spatula and illustrates an open longitudinal canal for the elastic insert.
FIGS. 3 and 4 are cross sectional and top plane views, respectively, and illustrate coupling unit between handle and spatula.
FIG. 5 is an axial sectional view of a further embodiment of another laryngoscope according to the invention and illustrates a bulb directly housed in the spatula foot.
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the spatula of the laryngoscope of FIG. 5.
The laryngo scope of FIGS. 1 to 4 has a handle 18 and a spatula 6, the spatula being provided with a longitudinally extending main body 1 with a first'end portion la thereof serving as a tongue deflector. The main body 1 4 of the spatula 6 contains an insert 3 of elastic material, e.g. of rubber, plastic or the like. This insert 3 is in the rear part or second end portion 1b of the spatula and serves for the elastic reception of the patients teeth when the spatula 6 with insert 3 rests against the teeth upon use of the laryngoscope. Insert 3 includes a surface 3b which forms a continuation of and merges with an uppermost surface 1c of the first end portion la. Anchorage of the elastic insert 3 is conveniently carried out in a longitudinal canal 4 with undercut front surfaces 4a and by means of an undercut cross groove 23 in cheeks 22, 22. In the tongue deflector or main body 1 of the spatula 6 a bulb 2 is located undemountably near the front end, and it is preferably soldered in place. Current supply lines 10, 11 extend in the canal 4 and in a bent foot member 7 to a socket rail 9 housing contact pieces 12 and 13. A contact tongue or switch 8 is provided in the socket rail 9 for making and breaking contact between the contact piece 12 and a contact pin 16. Spatula 6 with the elastic insert 3 and the elements of the illuminating system such as the bulb 2, supply lines 11' and 10 and contact pieces 12 and 13 permanently arranged in the spatula, form one unit which upon one single use is destined to be thrown away.
A handle 18 receives one or more insertable electric energy cells (flashlight batteries) 17. At the upper end of the handle 18 is a spatula holder 14 screwed in place in which is resiliently supported the contact pin 16 insulated with respect to the surrounding wall. Contact piece 13 is designed as a contact rail extending transversely relative to the longitudinal axis of the main body 1 with free ends of the rail resting firmly against the guide surfaces 15 of holder 14. Contact piece 13 may be also constructed as a spring contact supporting itself against the bottom of groove 21. The lower end of the handle 18 is closed by a detachable cap 19 which carries the support spring 20 for the cells 17.
The groove 21 is designed to slidably receive the rail 9 when the latter is progressively slid into the groove 21 from left-to-right as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 4. The guide surfaceslS, l5 converge from left-to-right in FIG. 4,
and, therefore, the rail 9 will reach a point where its surface configuration matches that of the groove 21 resulting in a binding therebetween. The guide surfaces 15, 15 additionally converge in an upward direction away from the bottom of the groove 21.
The spatula 6 and the spatula foot 7 with the socket rail 9 consist advantageously of black-colored plastic or the like with all the surfaces being mat. Black coloring has proven its quality as a contrast surface against the red mucosa of mouth and throat for the illuminating operation. The elastic insert 3 may be fitted laterally with a slight bulge 3a (FIG. 2) as an additional protection for a persons lips.
In the embodiment of the laryngoscope of FIGS. 5 and 6 identical elements are referred to with identical though primed numbers. The spatula 6 as a one-way piece is also fitted with an insert 3' of elastic material and anchored in the same way. The bulb 2' is however in the foot 7 and firmly fitted in a socket 24, e.g. soldered, which, at the same time serves as a contact for the counter-contact 16' in handle part 18. The spatula 6' is capable of being coupled with the handle 18' by means of thread 25. It is also possible to combine the elements by means of a bayonet connection. From light 2' a light conductor 26 leads to the front part of spatula 6 so that a good illumination of the rear throat cavity or. the like is insured. Also in this embodiment, the spatula 6' with all elements arranged therein, in particular with the elastic insert 3 and the firmly fitted lamp 2 as well as the light conductor 26, form a one-way unit insuring high functional efficiencyv While preferred forms and arrangements of parts a have been shown in illustrating the invention, it is to be clearly understood that various changes in details and arrangement of parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure.
1. A laryngoscope comprising a handle and a spatula, said spatula having a longitudinally extending main body which in turn has first and second opposite end portions, the first of said end portions being contoured to serve as a tongue deflector, said first end portion including an uppermost curved surface in use, a recess in said main body adjacent said second end portion, an
, insert of elastic material housed within said recess and having an uppermost surface in use merging with and forming a continuation of said first end portion uppermost curved surface, a bulb carried by said main body to illuminate the larynx cavity or the like, said handle including power means for illuminating said bulb, means for electrically detachably coupling said power means and bulb, means for mechanically detachably coupling said handle and spatula, and said mechanically and electrically detachable coupling means functioning to permit said spatula and bulb to operate as a single-use unit whereby upon one use of said laryngoscope said spatula and bulb may be discarded and replaced by a like though unused structure.
2. The laryngoscope as defined in claim 1 wherein the elastic insert is anchored in the spatula by means of undercut grooves.
3. The laryngoscope as defined in claim 1 wherein the bulb is fixed undismountably in the spatula and is provided with a light conductor.
4. The laryngoscope as defined in claim 1 wherein the bulb with its socket is fitted in a foot at the second end portion of the spatula and a light conductor leads to said first end portion of the spatula.
5. The laryngoscope as defined in claim 1 wherein the bulb is fitted in the first end portion of the spatula and is connected via a conduit with contact point of a spatula foot.
6. The laryngoscope as defined in claim 1 wherein the spatula has a foot at the second end portion of the spatula and said mechanical coupling means is a sliding connection between said foot and said handle.
7. The laryngoscope as defined in claim 6 wherein the spatula foot has a socket rail engageable in an undercut groove of the handle, the socket rail and the undercut groove being chamfered, and the socket rail and the handle groove coact electrically by means of a contact tongue and a contact pin.