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Publication numberUS3861560 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1975
Filing dateJan 23, 1973
Priority dateJan 23, 1973
Publication numberUS 3861560 A, US 3861560A, US-A-3861560, US3861560 A, US3861560A
InventorsEntwistle Claude Joseph, Oakes Andrew A
Original AssigneeBecton Dickinson Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for storing and exposing cots for extraction
US 3861560 A
Abstract
A container formed of a unitary carton blank is adapted to receive a spool having an elongated tape wound thereon. The tape has spaced perforations in which rubber cots are suspended. The container includes a bifurcated tape support and an opening in superposition with the tape support. The bifurcated tape support is positioned to support an unrolled portion of the tape and engage a cot so that the cot is freely suspended from the tape support and further advancement of the tape is prevented until the engaged cot is removed. An overwrap tape is provided for covering the open ends of the cots and to facilitate advancement of the rolled tape. A spacer is provided to maintain the spool in its proper position within the container so that the spool will not interfere with a cot suspended from the bifurcated tape support. The tape also includes indicia for indicating when the supply of cots becomes low.
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United States Patent 1 1 Entwistle et al.

[451 Jan. 21, 1975 1 1 DEVICE FOR STORING AND EXPOSING COTS FOR EXTRACTION [73] Assignee: Dickinson Becton and Company,

East Rutherford, NJ.

[22] Filed: Jan. 23, 1973 [2]] Appl, No.1 326,026

494,994 8/1950 Belgium 221/70 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Francis .1. Bartuska Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kane, Dalsimer. Kane, Sullivan & Kurucz [57] ABSTRACT A container formed of a unitary carton blank is adapted to receive a spool having an elongated tape wound thereon. The tape has spaced perforations in which rubber cots are suspended. The container includes a bifurcated tape support and an opening in superposition with the tape support. The bifurcated tape support is positioned to support an unrolled portion of the tape and engage a cot so that the cot is freely suspended from the tape support and further advance ment of the tape is prevented until the engaged cot is removed. An overwrap tape is provided for covering the open ends of the cots and to facilitate advancement of the rolled tape. A spacer is provided to maintain the spool in its proper position within the container so that the spool will not interfere with a cot suspended from the bifurcated tape support. The tape also includes indicia for indicating when the supply of cots becomes low.

18 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEB JANE] i975 SHEEI 1 [IF 5 PATENTED JANZI I975 SHEEI 5 OF 5 DEVICE FOR STORING AND EXPOSING COTS FOR EXTRACTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a cot dispenser for dispensing rubber cots onto medical probes and more particularly to a dispenser having a container formed from a unitary carton blank.

2. Description of the Prior Art US. Pat. No. 3,673,868, issued July 4, 1972, discloses an electronic-medical thermometer. The thermometer is designed to receive and retain a disposable latex cot or sheath over its sensing element during temperature measurements to prevent contamination from spreading between patients during subsequent temperature measurements.

In a commonly assigned copending application, Ser. No. 320,532, there is disclosed a cot dispenser system, wherein an elongated tape has spaced perforations in which rubber cots may be suspended. The tape is wound forming a compact roll for insertion into a dispensing container which may be either reusable or disposable. The dispensing container includes a bifurcated tape support and an opening in superposition with the tape support. The tape support is positioned to support an unrolled portion of the tape and engages a cot so that the cot is freely suspended from the unrolled portion and further advancement of the tape is prevented until the cot is removed. The freely suspended cot may be removed through the opening by inserting a medical probe.

The system taught by the copending application provided many advantages over the prior art in that a single cot at a time could be exposed for removal while the remaining cots remained in a sanitary condition. However the dispensing system taught by the copending application was somewhat inconvenient to use and also proved to be too expensive. The system when used with a reusable dispensing container required that the rolled cots be removed from a sealed storage envelope and placed in the dispensing container prior to use. The rolled tape after being placed in the dispensing container had a tendency to unravel so that the cots became entangled, thereby hindering the advancement of the tape. The rolled cots also had a tendency to interfere with the probe during insertion. Since the cots were exposed one at a time, there was no way of determining when the supply of cots were running low.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention contemplates an inexpensive, disposable cot dispenser, wherein a single cot at a time is exposed for removal by medical probe while remaining cots are maintained in a sanitary condition prior to their being removed from the dispenser.

The dispenser includes a container formed from a unitary carton blank so that the manufacturing costs are greatly reduced. An elongated tape having spaced perforations in which rubber cots are suspended is wound upon a spool of convenient size for insertion into the container.

An overwrap tape is provided to overlay the perforated tape and cover the open ends of the cots to maintain them in a sanitary condition. The overwrap tape also facilitates advancement of the cot containing tape.

The tape is provided with indicia for indicating when the supply of tapes is running low so that another dispenser may be obtained.

The entire dispenser may be provided in a sealed envelope for maintaining the cots in a sanitary or sterile condition prior to removing the dispenser from the envelope.

A spacer is provided within the dispenser container for maintaining the spool in a proper position so that the spool does not interfere with a cot engaged by the bifurcated portion and suspended therefrom.

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide an inexpensive and disposable cot dispenser.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide an overwrap tape for maintaining the cots in a sanitary condition while facilitating advancement of the tape from the dispenser container.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide means for maintaining the tape in its proper position and for preventing the tape from unraveling.

The foregoing objectives and advantages of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter from a consideration of the detailed description which follows, taken together with the accompanying drawings, wherein several embodiments of the invention are illus' trated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be considered as defining the limits of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmental perspective view of a cot dispenser constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a unitary foldable carton blank in sheet form prior to erection.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the cot dispenser of the present invention shown with the tape partially extending from the dispenser.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the dispenser of FIG. 4 packaged in a sealed envelope.

FIG. 6 shows another embodiment of a spacer that may be used with the embodiment shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of a spacer that may be used in the container.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION United States Patent Application, Ser. No. 320,532 previously referred to, teaches the concept of packaging latex cots by suspending them in perforations formed in a rolled tape. The rolled tape is inserted into a dispensing container that has a tape support for supporting an unrolled portion of the tape that is advanced over the tape support. The tape support includes a bifurcated portion for engaging a cot suspended in the unrolled portion of the tape and preventing further advancement of the tape. The container also includes an opening superimposed over the tape support so that the cot engaged by the tape support is exposed for removal through the opening by the use of a medical probe.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an elongated tape 18 having spaced perforations l2 and cots l4 suspended in said perforations. The cots have a beaded rim 16 that engage the tape and prevent the cots from slipping through the perforations. Each perforation is identified with appropriate indicia 18 preferably in the form of numberf for indicating the number of cots remaining on the tape. An overwrap tape 20 is provided to overlay perforated tape 10 and the open ends of the cots and for retaining the cots within the perforations. The overwrap tape 20 and the perforated tape 10 may be secured together at intervals between the perforations if it is so desired. Tapes and 20 are rolled onto a spool 22 having side flanges 24 for preventing the tape from unraveling and the cots from becoming entangled. The spool is inserted into a dispensing container 26 as shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a unitary carton blank 27 that may be folded to form the dispensing container 26 shown in FIG. I. The carton blank comprises first and second side wall panels 32 and 34 separated by a rear end panel 36. The side wall panels are connected to the rear end panel by a pair of score lines 28. A front end panel 38 is attached to the first side wall panel 32 by a score line 28 and a connecting panel 40 is attached to the second side wall panel 34 by a score line 28. When the dispensing container 26 is erected, score lines 28 are folded at right angles so that side wall panels 32 and 34 are opposite each other and rear end panel 36 and front end panel 38 are opposite each other with connecting panel 40 overlapping panel 38 and attached thereto by the use of adhesive 41 to form a generally rectangularly shaped body portion.

A bottom closure assembly comprises symmetrical tabs 44 which extend from the front and rear end panels 38 and 36 and are attached thereto by score lines 28. A bottom panel 42 is attached to the first side wall panel 32 by score line 28 and has attached thereto a closure flap also connected by a score line 28. When the bottom of dispensing container is closed, symmetrical tabs 44 are folded at right angles to front and rear end panels 38 and 36 and bottom panel 42 is folded to overlap tabs 44 and closure flap 46 is inserted into the dispensing container adjacent an edge of the second side wall panel 34.

A top closure assembly comprises a tab 50 attached to the rear end panel 36 by a score line 28 and a top panel 48 attached to the second side wall panel 34 by a score line 28. Midway score line 28 connecting top panel 48 and side wall panel 34 is a slot 54. A closure flap 52 is attached to top panel 48 by a score line 28 and when the top is closed, flap 52 is inserted into the dispensing container adjacent side wall panel 32.

A tape support assembly 55 is attached to front end panel 38 by a score line 28 and comprises a bifurcated portion 56 and a pair of support flaps 58 attached to each side of the bifurcated portion score lines 30. The support flaps have edges 60 preferably cut at obtuse angles to the perforated score lines 30. The obtuse angles are not required but are preferred so that the bifurcated portion 56 will be supported in a plane parallel to top panel 48 when edges 60 of support flaps 58 engage the front end panel 38 as most clearly shown in FIG. 3. This arrangement prevents sagging of bifurcated portion 56 especially when a medical probe is inserted into a suspended cot. When erected, tape support 55 functions in conjunction with the top closure assembly for closing the dispensing container.

A locking band 62 is attached to the upper edge of the first side wall panel 32 and has a locking tab 64 attached thereto by way of score line 28. Band 62 and tab 64 are arranged so that when the dispensing container is erected. tab 64 may be inserted into slot 54 formed along score line 28 connecting the top panel 48 and the second side panel 34. Top panel 48 has an opening 66 formed therein which is positioned to be superimposed over the bifurcated portion 56 when the dispensing container is properly erected so that cots may be removed through the opening.

A spacer assembly 67 comprises a first portion 68 attached to the front end panel 38 by a score line 28, a second portion 70 attached to portion 68 by another score line 28 and a flap 72 connected to portion 70 by a perforated score line 30. Portions 68 and 70 and flap 72 are folded at right angles to each other so that portion 70 is opposite front end panel 38. Flap 72 is attached to side wall panel 32 by adhesive 74 as most clearly shown in FIG. 1.

The flanges 24 of spool 22 engage portion 70 which retains the spool in its proper position within the dispensing container so that the tape may be easily guided between bifurcated portion 56 and top panel 48 and advanced until a cot 14 is engaged by the bifurcated portion 56 thereby preventing further advancement of the tape. Portion 70 holds the spool and the wound tape in position so that it does not interfere with a cot engaged by bifurcated portion 56 and suspended from tape 10. Thus, the space in dispensing container 26 below the tape support is unobstructed so that a medical probe may be fully inserted into a suspended cot.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown how the overwrap tape 20 is guided through opening 66 and between band 62 and top panel 48 so that tape 10 may easily be advanced by pulling on the overwrap tape 20. The used portion of the perforated tape 10 may be torn off and discarded. Indicia 18 clearly indicates the number of cots remaining in the dispenser.

The dispenser, including the cots, may be provided in a sealed package 78 as shown in FIG. 5 made of a foil paper, plastic or cellophane for maintaining the cots in a sanitary or sterile condition.

Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a second embodiment of the present invention, wherein the spacer as sembly is of a different configuration and is not unitary with the carton. A separate structure 80 retains spool 22 in its proper position within the dispenser. Structure 80 is formed of an elongated strip of cardboard or other suitable materials and has an upstanding portion 82 at one end ofa base portion 84. A second upstanding portion 86 is spaced from an opposite end of base portion 84 for engaging the flanges 24 of spool 22 when structure 80 and spool 22 are inserted into dispensing container 26. A portion 88 of structure 80 is disposed at an angle to support the second upstanding portion 86 and has an opening 90 formed therein to provide clearance for a cot suspended from the tape support 55 and for allowing a medical probe to be fully inserted into the cot for proper removal.

Referring to FIG. 6 there is shown another embodiment of a spacer assembly. A member 92 is formed of a resilient material such as plastic or spring steel. Member 92 has a base 94 having a length approximately equal to the length of bottom panel 42. Arms 96 and 98 extend from the ends of base 94 and arm 96 has an opening 100 formed therein. Member 92 has a width slightly less than the space between flanges 24 of spool 22 so that arms 96 and 98 may contact the tape rolled on spool 22 to prevent unraveling of the tape. The angle between arm 98 and base 94 must be greater than the angle between arm 96 and base 94 so that the spool is held to one side of the container away from opening 66 to provide clearance for a cot to be freely suspended from the tape support. Opening 100 allows the probe to be fully inserted without interference.

Referring to FIG. 7 there is shown another embodiment of a spacer assembly that may be used both as a spacer and a tape support. A frame 102 is formed of plastic, cardboard or other suitable material and has in general a U-shaped cross-section with a top 104 and depending sides 106 and 108. The frame is disposed in container 26 to provide a spacer and tape support. Sides 106 and 108 have hub means 110 formed therein at a position to one side of center. Spool 22 is disposed between the sides so as to turn on hub means "0 which retain the spool at one end of the container so as to provide clearance for a suspended cot. Hub means 110 may be integrally molded as part of the frame if the frame is plastic or may be made as a separate insert if the frame is not made of a molded material. Top 104 has an opening 112 formed therein through which the tape may be passed. The forward end 114 of opening 112 is narrow so as to engage a suspended cot while top 104 supports the tape. Frame [02 can be used in conjunction with the tape support assembly 55 to provide added support or in lieu thereof, in which case the support assembly 55 may be eliminated from the container.

Many additional embodiments of the invention are contemplated. The spool could be provided with large flanges in a square container so that a space is provided beneath opening 66 for the probe to be suspended. Various forms of hubs could be used to keep the spool in place within the container, such as a hub provided directly through the side walls of the container.

Thus, the present invention provides a cot dispenser that may be formed from a unitary carton blank, thereby making the dispenser inexpensive and disposable. A spool is used to keep the rolled tape from unraveling and to prevent entanglement of the cots suspended in the perforated tape. An overwrap tape is provided to cover the open ends of the cots and to maintain them in a sanitary condition while providing a convenient means for advancing the tape over a tape support. Indicia in the form of numbers or a warning mark is provided on the tape to indicate the supply of cots remaining in the dispenser.

What is claimed is:

l. A package for storing and dispensing cots of the type adapted for use on an associated probe and comprising an elongated tubular body portion having a closed bottom end, an open top end and a beaded rim disposed about the open top end, said cots being provided in 3 rolled elongated tape having spaced perforations in which the individual cots are suspended, said package including a dispensing container formed from a unitary carton blank and adapted to receive the rolled tape, said unitary carton blank, comprising:

a body portion including first and second side wall panels adapted to be spaced opposite one another and first and second end panels adapted to be spaced from one another, the first end panel being connected to both side wall panels by score lines and the second end panel being connected to the second side wall panel;

a connecting panel connected to the first side wall panel by a score line and adapted to be contiguous with the second end panel and bonded thereto;

a bottom closure assembly means for closing the bottom of the dispensing container when erected;

a top closure assembly means for closing the top of the dispensing container when erected, said closure assembly means having an access opening formed therein at a position adjacent one end panel, said access opening being dimensioned to expose only one cot at a time for extraction by a probe from said package;

a tape support assembly including means for permitting the removal of only one cot at a time through said access opening, said just mentioned means comprising: a bifurcated portion portion attached to the one end panel and adapted to be folded under the top closure assembly means so that the access opening is superimposed over the bifurcated portion, support means attached to the bifurcated portion for supporting the bifurcated portion beneath the top closure assembly, so that an unrolled portion of the tape may be passed over the tape support assembly and beneath the top closure assembly until a cot is engaged by the bifurcated portion and held in position for removal through the access opening.

2. A package as described in claim 1, additionally comprising means for positioning the rolled tape so that the space inside the container beneath the access opening is free of obstruction and a cot engaged by the bifurcated portion may be freely suspended.

3. A package as described in claim I, wherein the unitary carton blank additionally comprising a locking bond attached to one of said side panels and adapted to be folded over the top closure assembly and inserted into a slot formed along a connection between the top closure assembly and a side panel for locking the top closure assembly in a closed position.

4. A package as described in claim 3, additionally comprising an overwrap tape superimposed over the elongated perforated tape and the open ends of the cots for covering the open ends of the cots, said tape being passed through the access opening of the top enclosure assembly and under the locking band so that the elon gated tape may be advanced by pulling on the overwrap tape.

5. A package as described in claim 1, wherein the unitary carton blank additionally comprises a spacer assembly including a first portion attached to the inner most of the contiguous panels and adapted to be spaced from and opposite one of said side panels, a second portion attached to the first portion and adapted to be positioned opposite and spaced from the contiguous panels, a third portion attached to the second portion and adapted to be positioned opposite the first portion and bonded contiguous with a side panel.

6. A package as described in claim I, wherein one of said contiguous panels have adhesive deposited thereto for bonding said panels.

'7. A package as described in claim 1, wherein the support means of the tape support assembly comprises a pair of support panels attached to the bifurcated portion and adapted to engage the end panel to which the tape support assembly is attached.

8. A package as described in claim 2, wherein the means for positioning the rolled tape comprises;

a separate insert positioned on the bottom closure assembly for engaging the rolled tape so as to maintain the rolled tape in the proper position and to prevent the tape from unraveling.

9. A unitary carton blank adapted to be erected to form a package for storing and dispensing cots of the type, comprising an elongated tubular body portion having a closed bottom end, an open top end and a beaded rim disposed about the open top end, said cots being provided in a rolled elongated tape having spaced perforations in which the individual cots are suspended, said carton blank comprising:

a body portion including first and second side wall panels adapted to be spaced opposite one another and first and second end panels adapted to be spaced from one another, the first end panel being connected to both side wall panels by score lines and the second end panel being connected to the second side wall panel;

a connecting panel connected to the first side wall panel by a score line and adapted to be contiguous with the second end panel and bonded thereto;

a bottom closure assembly means for closing the bottom of the dispensing container when erected;

a top closure assembly means for closing the top of the dispensing container when erected, said closure assembly means having an access opening formed therein at a position adjacent one end panel said access opening being dimensioned to expose only one cot at a time; and

a tape support assembly including means for permitting the removal of only one cot at a time through said access opening, said just mentioned means including a bifurcated portion attached to the one end panel and adapted to be folded under the top closure assembly means so that the access opening is superimposed over the bifurcated portion, support means attached to the bifurcated portion for supporting the bifurcated portion beneath the top closure assembly, so that an unrolled portion of the tape may be passed over the tape support assembly and beneath the top closure assembly until a cot is engaged by the bifurcated portion and held in position for removal through the access opening.

10. A package for storing and dispensing cots of the type adapted for use on an associated probe and comprising an elongated tubular body portion having a closed bottom end, an open top end and a beaded rim disposed about the open top end, said cots being provided in a rolled elongated tape having spaced perforations in which the individual cots are suspended, said package comprising:

a dispensing container formed from a unitary carton blank including a body portion including first and second side wall panels adapted to be spaced oppo site one another and first and second end panels adapted to be spaced from one another, the first end panel being connected to both side wall panels by score lines and the second end panel being connected to the second side wall panel, a connecting panel connected the first side wall panel by a score line and adapted to be contiguous with the second end panel and bonded thereto, a bottom closure assembly means for closing the bottom of the dispensing container when erected, a top closure assembly means for closing the top of the dispensing container when erected, said closure assembly means having an access opening formed therein at a position adjacent one end panel, said access opening being dimensioned to expose only one cot at a time for extraction on a probe from said package; and means for permitting the removal of only one cot at a time through said access opening, said just mentioned means comprising: an insert having a top and two depending side walls, said insert being formed and arranged to be inserted into the erected dispensing container so that the side walls are adjacent the first and second side wall panels and the top is adjacent to the top closure assembly of the erected dispensing container, and

an opening formed in the top of said insert said opening having a first end positioned beneath the access opening of the top closure assembly and a second end positioned inwardly thereof, said second end having a width sufficiently wide so that the tape may be passed therethrough the first end of the opening having a decreased width so that an unrolled portion of the tape may be passed over the top of the insert and beneath the top closure assembly until a cot is positioned in the first end of the opening, whereby the top adjacent the first end of the opening supports the tape and the beaded rim of the cot for removal through the access opening with a probe.

11. A package as described in claim 10, additionally comprising means for positioning the rolled tape so that the space inside the dispensing container beneath the access opening is free of obstruction so that a cot suspended from the first end of the insert opening may be freely suspended.

12. A package as described in claim 10, additionally comprising a spool on which said elongated tape is rolled for preventing unraveling of the tape and entanglement of the cots.

13. A package as described in claim 12, additionally comprising hub means associated with the depending side walls of the insert said hub means cooperating with openings formed in the spool so that the spool may rotate on said hub means and be positioned so that the space inside the container beneath the access opening is free of obstruction so that a cot may be freely sus pended beneath the access opening.

14. In combination: (a) a rolled, elongated tape having spaced perforations in which individual cots are suspended, said cots comprising an elongated tubular body portion having a closed bottom end, an open top end and a beaded rim disposed about the open top end, and (b) a package comprising:

a dispensing container formed from a unitary carton blank including a body portion including first and second side wall panels adapted to be spaced opposite one another and first and second end panels adapted to be spaced from one another, the first end panel being connected to both side wall panels by score lines and the second end panel being connected to the second side wall panel, a connecting panel connected to the first side wall panel by a score line and adapted to be contiguous with the second end panel and bonded thereto, a bottom closure assembly means for closing the bottom of the dispensing container when erected, a top closure assembly means for closing the top of the dispensing container when erected, said closure as sembly means having an access opening formed therein at a position adjacent one end panel, said access opening being dimensioned to expose only one cot at a time for extraction on a probe from said package;

and means for permitting the removal of only one cot at a time through said access opening, said just mentioned means comprising:

an insert having a top and two depending side walls, said insert being formed and arranged to be inserted into the erected dispensing container so that the side walls are adjacent the first and second side wall panels and the top is adjacent to the top closure assembly of the erected dispensing container; and

an opening formed in the top of said insert said opening having a first end positioned beneath the access opening of the top closure assembly and a second end positioned inwardly thereof, said second end having a width sufficiently wide so that the tape may be passed therethrough the first end of the opening having a decreased width so that an unrolled portion of the tape may be passed over the top of the insert and beneath the top closure assembly until a cot is positioned in the first end of the opening whereby the top adjacent the first end of the opening supports the tape and the beaded rim of the cot for removal through the access opening with a probe 15. A package as described in claim 14, additionally comprising a spool on which said elongated tape is rolled for preventing unraveling of the tape and entanglement of the cots.

16. A package as described in claim 14, wherein said elongated tape includes indicia for indicating when the supply of cots within the package is running low.

17. A package as described in claim 16, wherein said overwrap tape includes indicia for indicating when the supply of cots within the package is running low.

18. A package as described in claim 15, additionally comprising hub means positioned adjacent the first and second side wall panels when the container is erected and extending inwardly for engaging openings formed in said spool, whereby the spool may rotate on the hub means and the hub means positions the spool so that the space inside the container beneath the access opening is free of obstruction.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification221/70, 206/488, 206/412, 206/409
International ClassificationB65D83/04, B65D73/02, B65D5/72
Cooperative ClassificationB65D5/72, B65D83/0472, B65D2583/0409, B65D73/02
European ClassificationB65D83/04C2B, B65D73/02, B65D5/72