|Publication number||US3843971 A|
|Publication date||Oct 29, 1974|
|Filing date||Jul 23, 1973|
|Priority date||Jul 23, 1973|
|Publication number||US 3843971 A, US 3843971A, US-A-3843971, US3843971 A, US3843971A|
|Inventors||Delanty J, Lincoln D|
|Original Assignee||Kimberly Clark Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (26), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Delanty et al.
[ Oct. 29, 1974 CLOSURE 0F STERILE BACKED SURGICAL GOWNS  Inventors: John T. Delanty; David Lincoln,
both of Neenah, Wis.
 Assignee: Kimberly-Clark, Neenah, Wis.
 Filed: July 23, 1973 [211 Appl. No.: 381,417
 US. Cl. 2/114, 2/96  Int. Cl A4lb 9/00  Field of Search 2/114, DIG. 7, 96, 128
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,259,9l3 7/1966 Tames 2/1 l4 3,359,569 l2/l967 Rotunz ct a] 3,72l,999 3/l973 Goya et al. 2/l l4 SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR OBTAINING Primary ExaminerRichard J. Scanlan, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm- Daniel J. Hanlon, Jr.: li m r Raymo Miller  ABSTRACT A pressure-sensitive closure assistance system and method particularly useful in connection with surgical gowns requiring a sterile surface on the back of the gown. The closure may comprise a snap fastener or other pressure-sensitive closure such as those comprised of tapes or hook and loop type elements. In accordance with the invention, a cover made of paper or the like encloses a closure element, and an assistant who need not be sterile-gloved may grasp a folded edge of the cover. The overlap is then drawn across the back exposing the closure elements which are pressed through the cover to ensure contact between the closure elements. The assistant then may detach the closure assistance tab and discard it. Thus, no part of the back of the gown is required to come in contact with an element which has not been sterilized.
5 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Pmmmmsm 3.843.971
SHEET 20E 3 28 I8 38 4O 42 I8 38 40 42 FIG. 3 FIG. 4
FIG. 5 FIG. 6
PMENYEMm 29 um SREH 3 BF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to devices and methods for closing garments. More particularly, the invention relates to such devices and methods that are especially useful for gowns that are worn by surgeons and other members of hospital operating teams. Specifically, in its preferred embodiment the present invention concerns a closure system and method for beltless surgical gowns that enable the garments to be closed about the wearer by a non-sterile-gloved person without requiring the use of sterile instruments.
2. Description of the Prior Art When performing surgical operative procedures, it is essential for the protection of the patient that conditions near the operative site be maintained as sterile as possible. For this purpose members of the operating team wear clothing or gowns which have been sterilized. Such gowns may be made of woven material in which case washing and sterilization are required after each use, or they may be made of nonwoven material, sterilized, and after a single use, discarded. In both cases, however, some means must be provided to close the gown about the wearer so as to prevent exposure of surfaces considered to be non-sterile. In order to present a continuous surface adjacent the operating site, surgical gowns are generally closed at the wearer's back. Various types of closures have been used, including snaps, belts, and adjustable hook and loop type fasteners. Beltless closures are especially advantageous in that they do not require a tight waist and are inherently cool and free from blousing problems. Such gowns are sold, for example, under the trademark KIMLON by Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
Certain surgical procedures require not only that the front of the gown be sterile but also'that portions of the back of the gown be sterile as well. In such cases, it has heretofore been necessary to have a sterile gloved person present to close the gowns or that a sterile instrument or the like be used to make the closure. This problem has been time consuming and the source of much inconvenience to surgeons and other members of the operating team.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a closure system and method for operating room gowns that do not require the use of sterile instruments or a sterile gloved person and yet produce a closure in a manner free from contamination from contact with unsterilized elements.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, in accordance with the present invention, a surgical gown is provided having a beltless pressuresensitive closure. This closure, in general, includes a female element and a male element which are joined by contact and the application of pressure to the outside thus making the closure without affecting the sterile nature of the gown itself. When this is down, the cover is simply removed from the gown and discarded so that the back of the gown presents a sterile surface and yet the gown is closed in a cool and comfortable loosefitting fashion. In this manner, the aims and objects of the invention as hereinabove described, are achieved.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I illustrates a gown in accordance with the present invention prior to completing the closure.
FIG. 2 is a similar illustration of a gown of the invention that has been closed.
FIGS. 36 illustrate sequential steps in forming a closure in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of an exemplary cover for use in the invention.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the cover as shown in FIG. 7 on a folded gown preparatory to being used.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS While the invention will be described in connection with preferred embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to these embodiments. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Turning first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the invention will be described briefly in terms of its application for use in providing a sterile-back-closure on a disposable surgical gown. As used herein and recognized by those skilled in this art, the term sterile-back-closure indicates that the gown has been closed on the wearers back without contact between the unsterilized element and the critical area of the gown which is that portion of the gown likely to be positioned near the operative site during the surgical procedure. While complete sterility may be impossible to maintain once the gown has been exposed to the atmosphere, avoiding contact with unsterilized elements is recognized as a means to greatly reduce the risk of contamination. In fact, some hospitals go so far as to require sterile-back-closure gowns for many surgical procedures even when contact between the wearers back and the operative site is highly unlikely.
As illustrated, the gown, generally indicated at 10, is a loose fitting garment including neck opening 12, sleeves l4, and bottom opening 16. It may be formed predominantly of any sterilizable material, but for purposes of improved asepsis and convenience it is preferred that a fluid repellent, low linting, disposable material be used such as a scrim reinforced cellulosic nonwoven manufactured and sold by Kimberly-Clark Corporation under the trademark KAYCEL.
In donning the gown, the wearer first substantially unfolds it except for the last fold indicated at 18, which is maintained in an unfolded condition particularly in the area of releasable cover 20. The wearer enters the gown through back opening 22 placing his arms into sleeves 14 thus fully covering the front of the wearer. An assistant then draws the gown about the wearers back. As illustrated, the gown may have three closure fastener members 24, 26, and 28 which mate with opposing members 30, 32, and 34, respectively. While these are generally indicated as hook and loop type fasteners, it will be recognized that other pressuresensitive fasteners such as snaps, or adhesives for example, may be utilized as well. In the latter case one set of the members may be omitted as the adhesive will adhere directly to the gown material.
As shown in somewhat greater detail by FIGS. 3-6, for example, the hook and loop type fasteners comprise female loop members 24, 26, and 28 and hook type male members 30, 32, and 34. Fastening is accomplished by pressing the male and female surfaces together and interlocking the hooks with the loops. Such fasteners are well known and will not be further described. As shown and further described in copending U.S. Ser. No. 352,244, Disposable Gown with Multiple Flaps and Closures" by Angelica G. Green filed 18 Apr. 1973 as a Continuation of Ser. No. 158,299 filed 30 June, 1971, both of which are assigned to the present assignee of the instant application the size of one of the sets of the members may be selected so as to provide a certain degree of adjustability in forming the closure, particularly since this type of fastener may be opened and refastened. For these reasons, the hook and loop type fastener is advantageous.
Referring still particularly to FIGS. 3-6, the present invention will be described in conjunction with the forming of a sterile-back-closure. The neck portion of the gown is not considered sterile and, therefore, the neck fastener need not be closed by sterile means and can be done by the circulating nurse or other available assistant not previously sterile-gloved. Also, since the inside surface of the gown is not considered sterile, the inside waist closure may be made by grasping the folded waist portion of the gown, pulling it across the wearers back and pressing male member 32 onto female member 26 through the folded panel 36 thus avoiding contact with the outside back portion of the gown. For this purpose adhesive tape 42 maintains fold 18 in the closure area. It is primarily with the closure of members 28 and 34 that particular care must be exercised in order to prevent contamination of the outside back surface critical area of the gown. ln forming this final fastening according to the present invention, the releasable cover is grasped as shown, for example, in FIG. 3. For ease of handling the cover may include folded flap 38 that extends for gripping of the cover 20. This cover is releasably attached to the inside surface of the folded gown panel 36 as by means of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes 40, for example. The additional adhesive tape 42 may be used to maintain the gown panel 36 in a folded condition. If used, preferably this adhesive tape 42 is provided with notches 44 as illustrated or some other weakening line such as perforations to allow it to be easily severed. After grasping the cover, the flap 38 is drawn firmly upward across the back of the wearer, thus tearing tape 42 and beginning the unfolding of panel 36, as shown in FIG. 4. At this time the edge of panel 36 is grasped through the cover as shown in FIG. 5 and drawn across the back of the wearer unfolding it so that male element 34 is positioned over female element 28 and is shown in FIG. 6. To complete the fastening, pressure is applied through the cover to the male and female portions, and the cover is separated from the gown and discarded. As described, the closure has been made without contact of the exposed back portion of the gown with anything that is non-sterile.
FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate the preferred releasable cover construction is greater detail. Materials such as paper, plastic, cloth, and the like may be used to form the cover so long as it can be sterilized and provides a barrier to the passage of bacteria during the period of use. As shown, the cover may be printed or otherwise contain indicia providing instructions as to its use. While pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes have been illustrated as the attaching means, they are preferred only for cost purposes, and it will be apparent that other releasable attaching devices may be utilized as well. As shown, the cover is preferably Z-folded and larger than the closure element which it protects so as to extend on both sides of panel 36 and also provide a flap 38 for ease of gripping the cover. The notched tape 42 is preferably placed over tape 40 as illustrated to increase the protection against premature release of the cover. Also, pressure-sensitive tapes 40 are placed close to the edge of folded panel 36 and preferably within about one-fourth inch of this edge for ease of removing the cover after the closure has been formed.
Thus, it is apparent that there has been provided in accordance with the invention a gown closure system and method that fully satisfy the objects, aims, and advantages set forth above. While the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.
1. In a garment for use in reducing the risk of contamination, said garment including a front panel adapted to cover the front of the wearer, a back panel for covering the back of said wearer, a top neck opening, a bottom opening, said back panel having an opening for donning said gown between said top and bottom openings comprising panels, one of which is folded, and adapted to form an overlapped closure of said back opening, and pressure sensitive means on said folded panel for obtaining said back closure,
the improvement wherein said pressure sensitive closure means includes a protective cover releasable from said garment over said pressure sensitive means and folded about the edge of said panel containing said pressure sensitive means so as to provide means for gripping said cover.
2. The garment of claim 1 wherein said releasable protective cover is Z-folded so that one fold is about the edge of said opening and the other fold provides a flap for gripping said cover.
3. The garment of claim 1 further including additional closure elements and means for maintaining said outward fold to protect said garment outside surface from contamination when closing said additional closure elements and thereafter releasing said outward fold.
4. The garment of claim 1 wherein said pressure sensitive means comprises a hook and loop type fastener.
5. The garment of claim 1 wherein said pressure sen-
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US20130086775 *||Oct 4, 2012||Apr 11, 2013||Charles C. Raymond||Closure Assembly Incorporating an Easy Access Tab Integrated into Hook and Loop Fastener Elements and Method for Forming the Same|
|US20150150318 *||Dec 3, 2013||Jun 4, 2015||Encompass Group, Llc||Medical gown|
|WO2005067747A1 *||Sep 20, 2004||Jul 28, 2005||Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.||Surgical gown having an adhesive tab and respective methods of use|
|WO2005067748A1 *||Oct 20, 2004||Jul 28, 2005||Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.||Surgical gown having adhesive tabs|
|U.S. Classification||2/114, 428/100, 2/96|
|International Classification||A41F1/00, A41D13/12|
|Cooperative Classification||A41D2300/30, A41D2200/10, A41F1/00, A41D13/1209|
|European Classification||A41F1/00, A41D13/12B|