US 3896527 A
A clamp comprises a pair of integral jaws hingedly connected at one end for pivotal movement between opened and closed positions. One jaw contains a latch strike while the other jaw includes a projecting latching member selectively engageable with the latch strike for securely though releasably interconnecting the jaws in various locked positions. The clamp is fabricated from a semi-rigid plastic material having a high fatigue level, and is particularly adapted for releasably securing medical tubing and the like to or immediately adjacent a patient in a medical environment.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Miller et al. p
[ July 29, 1975 UNITARY CLAMP lnventors: Gale W. Miller; James L. Geraci,
both of Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati Biomedical, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio Filed: May 23,1973
Appl. No.: 363,034
US. Cl. 24/81 HS; l6/D1G. 13; 24/73 SH; 24/132 HA; 24/DlG. 22; 224/28 R Int. Cl A441) 21/00 Field ofSearch... 24/258,81HH,81 HS,81 PA, 24/81 CC, 81 TH, 249 R, 249 LL, 249 SL, 249 PP, 248 B, 248 L, 248 SB, 248 SL, 250 R, 73 FA, 73 PS, 73 SA, 73 AP, 73 SH, 3 A, 255 SL, 255, DIG. 22, 132 HA; 128/346; 224/5 H, 28 A, 28 R; l6/D1G. 13; 220/31 S References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1884 Collins 24/248 B 8/1892 l/ 1941 9/1948 Daniels 224/28 R 'IIIIII'c.
2,459,603 l/l949 Verkuil 24/81 3,515,139 6/1970 Mallina 128/346 3,537,150 11/1970 Emberson 24/249 R 3,665,563 5/1972 Batts 24/258 3,790,429 2/1974 Berger 220/31 S FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 750,781 l/l967 Canada 220/31 S Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant ExaminerKenneth .l. Dorner Attorney, Agent, or Firm,l. Warren Kinney, Jr.
 ABSTRACT A clamp comprises a pair of integral jaws hingedly connected at one end for pivotal movement between opened and closed positions. One jaw contains a latch strike while the other jaw includes a projecting latching member selectively engageable with the latch strike for securely though releasably interconnecting the jaws in various locked positions. The clamp is fabricated from a semi-rigid plastic material having a high fatigue level, and is particularly adapted for releasably securing medical tubing and the like to or immediately adjacent a patient in a medical environment.
14 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEnJuLzems 3,896,527
sum 1 UNITARY CLAMP BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In hospitals and similar institutions it is always desirable and often necessary to releasably secure various medical tubing and monitoring or information control cables to or immediately adjacent a patient, particularly where a patient has limited control of his faculties or is severely restricted in extent of physical activity. Critical life support fluids as well as monitoring apparatus are generally supplied to the patient via suitable tubing or information flow cables. It is most desirable to secure these vital life lines in a manner ensuring their effectiveness yet maintaining their portability.
Efficient and dependable attachment as well as detachment of the tubings and cables is also a critical factor in the effectiveness of a clamping device utilized to attach medical cables and tubing to or immediately adjacent a patient. It is, therefore, desirable that the clamping device be inexpensive, easy to use, and dependable. Ideally, the clamping device should be simple, requiring the use of only one hand to permit the greatest freedom of the user while manipulating the clamp and various tubes or the like to be secured It is further desirable that the clamping device not injure or enhance the possibility of damage to the secured or securing member and, in that regard, the clamp must permit the simple and efficient attachment to bedding, a patients clothing, or directly to a patient without injury or damage. It is further imperative that the clamp not restrict or endanger the free flow of information or fluids through the life lines supported by the clamping device.
In the past, various attempts have been made to provide a clamp for use in the medical environment. However, none of the prior art devices provides a clamp which is efficient and economical to use yet dependable, and easy to attach and detach. while ensuring proper flow of information and fluids through the secured devices and without enhancing or causing damage to the attachment member. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,059,645 discloses a unitary clamping device for attaching an l.V. tube or the like to the limb ofa patient by means of an elongate strap-like member. A pair of spaced transverse ribs are provided on one face and adjacent one end of the strap. The tube receiving recesses are contained in and are coextensive with each rib, with locking elements placed on each side of and spaced from the ribs extending upwardly to hold the tubes in place. The strap is wrapped around the patient with the tubes secured in ribs, the strap continuing over the top I of the ribs thus sandwiching the tubes between two sides of the strap. The strap is then buckled or secured in the typical manner.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,179,991 discloses a'clamp made of a flexible tubular device having a cutaway portion to form a tongue which is wrapped around the tubes or cables to be held. A screw is then placed through the tongue and the tubular portion of the clamp to secure the tubing or cables. An aligator type clip is also held by the screw and within the tube portion of the clamp to provide means for attaching the mechanism to a patients clothing or bedding.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,616,497 discloses a snap action unitary clamp having a toggle actuated clamping mechanism for securing the clamp to clothing or the like and a C clip for attaching tubing and carrying it to the patient.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,374,509 discloses another unitary clamp designed to secure fluid conductive tubes ofdifferent size. The clamp has a tear drop open tube for carrying medical tubes or the like whereina tube may be pinched to stop the flow of fluids therethroughby moving the tube into the narrow portion of the tear drop. The clamp also has a narrowing slot by which the entire apparatus may be attached to bedding, clothing or the like by wedging the fabric into thevslot.
Other clamps or fasteners not directly related to medical or similar applications are, disclosed in ,U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,459,603, 2,531,003, and 3,292,233. Ofparticular interest in this group is U.S. Pat. No. 3,292,223, disclosing a clamp of unitary construction being of the snap action variety for attaching clothes to a clothes line. The clamp is basically a closed integral ring sectioned into relatively rigid supports carryingopposite resilient arm sections wherein each arm terminates in a foldable, thin web. A pair of jaw sections are provided, one extending from each web and connected to each other by a thirdfoldable, thin web. A tube, for example a clothes line, is then placed in the jaws'after having fabric wrapped thereabout and the clamp is snapped shut to secure the tubing to the fabric.
Each of the clamps devised in the prior art have certain disadvantages in that they are not efficient or economical to use and do not provide simple, dependable attachment and detachment ofv tubular and cable devices to or immediately adjacent a patient without special skill. Further, none of the prior art devices permit efficient and simplemanipulation without impairing or endangering the flow of fluids or information therethrough. Further, at least some of the prior art devices I cured tubing and cables, without endangering or injuring the secured member.
Other objects and features of the invention will .be readily apparent from the accompanyingdrawings and detailed description.-
SUMMARY" THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a clamp for releasably securing flexible tubing or the like to a support article. Specifically, the invention relates to a clamping device for releasably securing medical tubing and cables to or immediately adjacent a patient in a medical environment.
The clamp of the present invention comprises a pair of integral jaws hingedly connected at one end for pivotal movement between opened and closed positions. A latching member projects from one jaw and is selectively engageable with a latch strike contained in the other jaw, to lock the clamp in a plurality of closed position. Passageways for carrying tubing, cables, and the like are contained in at least one of the jaws and located between the latch and the hinge. When the jaws are held in closed position the periphery of the tubing hand of an operator.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a second embodiment ofth'e" 'clamp, adapted for attachment to a limb of a patient.
is tightly held, thus securing the tubing in' predetermined position. Means for gripping a fabric material; such as bedding or a patients clothing are provided in the'fopen end of the jaws. Thus, when the jaws are closed to secure'tubes or clamps, the open ends close attaching the clamp to a suitable fabric support. To
openfthejaws, the latch strike and latch member are merely disengaged, thereby" detaching the fabric and releasingthe tubes and cables.
interfering with the latch or the tube andcable passageways. Whenthe clamp includes the strap member, it is further, desirable to provide jaws conforming to the contours of a patients limb. This ensures the comfort :of the patient while minimizing extension of the clamp beyond thesecuring member, thus reducing the possij bility'o'faccidentally moving or opening'the clamp.
A series of guide posts are provided to properly seat tubes and cables within the passageways to further aid the operator in efficiently attaching the clamp. Also, locking posts are provided to restrict the longitudinal jaws are hingedly connected at 11- for movement between open and closed positions A latch 12 including While a detailed description of the preferred embodi-.
ments follows, it'should be understood that alteration in'exact structural details may be made without deterring from the scope and spirit of the invention.
1.. DESCRIPTION OF THEDRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of an embodiment of a clamp embodying the teachings of the present invention, showing the jaws of the clamp in'a locked position.
FIG. 2 is a view conforming generally to the view of FIG. 1, showing the clamp in section. 7
FIG. 3 is 'a top view of-the clamp of FIG. 1 in a-fully opene d orextended position.
FIG. 7 is a view of the clamp of FIG. 6 showing in detail the modification including a bracelet strap.
FIG. 8 isa plan view of the clamp of FIG. '6 showing in detail .the modification for attaching the clamp to a patients limb.
FIG. 9 is a top view of the fully opened clamp of FIG.
FIG. 10 is a side view of the fully opened clamp of DESCRIPTION oF THE PREFERRED I I EMBODIMENTS a latch strike 33 is carried in each upper jaw as illus- :trated and a projecting latching member 32 is integral with the other jaw, the strike and latching member being selectively engageable with one another to releasably secure the upper and lower jaws in various locked positions. The clamp of FIGS. 1 through 5 is particularly well suited for attachment to a fabric material 13, for example, a bed sheet or a patients clothing. The clamp of FIGS. 6 through 10 includes a modification having a strap member 14 for securing the clamp 10 to a member, for example, a patients limb.
The first embodiment of the clamp 10, illustrated in FIGS. l-through 5, is composed of an upper jaw 30 and a lower jaw 31 joined at flexible hinge 11 for movement between opened and closed positions. A latch mechariism 12 composed of the latch strike 33 (see FIG. 2) and the projecting latching member 32 selectively locks the jaw in a variety of closed positions for clamping various devices in the area between the latch mechanism 12 and hinge 11.
The latch mechanism comprises a throat 33 having a lip edge 52 which is suited to engage the serrations on the front surface of the elongate projecting member 32. The latching member 32 is contained in the lower jaw 31 and projects through the throat 33 as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5.'When the clamp 10 is closed the serrations 50 engage the lip 52 for securely though releasably locking the clamp in a selected closed position.
a It is desirable, when the clamp is utilized for carrying tubular devices 20 and 21, to provide a set of passageways 16 through 19 in one or both of the jaws 30 and 31, the passageways being disposed between the latch member 12 and the hinged end 11, see FIG. I. The passageways 16-19 are generated by mated channels 16a through 19a in jaw 31 and 16b through 196 in jaw 30, as shown in FIG. 3, when channels a are in phase with channels b cylindrical passageways are created when the clamp 10 is closed. This facilitates the carriage of tubular'devices, for example, tubes 20 and 21 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3. When the clamp is in the position illustrated in FIGS.v I and 2, the perimeter of the tubes 20 and 21 are tightly held, .without distortion.
When the clamp is opened the tubes may be adjusted or removed. In this manner the clamp 10 provides a suitable apparatus for releasably securing medical tubing, for instance, intravenous (I.V.) tubing 21, information cables 20 and the like, in position during use.
A series of ribs 15 may also be contained in each of the jaws 30 and 31 between the terminal end 51 of the lustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5. The channels 15 provide a friction gripping mechanism for securing the clamp 10 to fabric material 13, for example, bedding or clothing or the like. By securing the clamp 10 at I3, the clamp is maintained in a relatively fixed position immediately adjacent a patient.
To enhance the gripping ability of the ribs 15 when the clamp 10 is held in closed'juxtaposition it is useful to provide nodules 34 on each of the projecting surfaces of channels 15, said nodules serving to enhance the friction created when the clamp 10 is closed as in FIGS. land 2, thus decreasing the possibility of the ac cidental or unintentional removal of material 13 from ;the clamp while thelock member 32 engages strike 30.
. voir thereby eliminating possibility-of accidental or un-v seen that the clamp 10 is normally open when molded in the configuration illustrated-in FIGS-.13 and 4; To counteract this biasing the locking means 12' is utilized to lock the clamp-"10 in a selected closed position .dur-
ing'use. Due' to-the inherent spring-back and fatigue levels of polypropylene, theprojectin-g member 32 may be depressed with the thumb torelease the lock and will automatically spring backinto the locking position when the force is removed. 1 1
As illustrated in FIG. 5, the clamp is particularly well suited for applications where only one'hand is free to perform the clamping function. As there shown, once the tubes have been placed in channels 1619,'if the clamp is held 'in the open position between the thumb and forefinger,'it is possibleto close'an'd/or' secure the clamp to an object'simply by-advancing the two jaws 30 and 31 into a closed position.
The clamp is also particularly well suited to be opened and removed with the use of only one hand. When the clamp is held'as shown in FIG. 5 between the thumb andforefinger, the thumb may be used to depress or deflect projecting latch member 32 of the locking mechanism"12 to'disengage -the latch strike 33. When this is done, the spring action of the flexible hinge 11 ,will force the jaws 30 -and 31' apart, thus permitting removal of the clamp from the fabric 13 and adjacent or removal of the tubes 20 and 21 from channels to their smooth surface tend to creep or shift longitudinally if only held about their periphery. By utilizing the two locking posts 37, the polyvinylchloride tube. 21
maybe placed in an S configuration inside the channel 16. This prevents creeping and also transfersthe pull tension from between the patient jor the needle arid the l.V. fluid reservoir to between the clamp and the reserintentional withdrawal oftheneedleor injury to the patient. The configuration of both theguideposts35 and the locking posts 37 is clearly shown in FIG. 4.
. Upon closing the clamp 10 the guide posts. 35 are seated'inthe guide channel 36'to ensure proper seating of the cable and tube 21 and the like in their respective channels'16-19 once the jaws 30 and 31 are in the locked position. In this-manner the clamp 10 can be 'closed'to-releasably secure the perimeter of yarious tubing devices thus minimizing longitudinal movement.
It has been found that the flexible hinge 11 may aid in the locking technique wherein a locking mechanism similarto latch 12 is utilized. The hinge 11 tends to urge jaw 30 toward the serrations 50 of member 32 when the clamp is in a closed position. To enhance this capability, the flexible hinge 11 is of awedge-shaped sion thus increasing the locking force holding the clamp a closed position.
16-19; Due to the spring-back qualities of polypropylene and similar materials the'clamp will again be held in the locked position once the member32 is released.
The clamp is illustrated in a fullyextended position in FIG 3. As can be seen, the p'assage ways 16, 17, 18 and 19 of FIGS. 1 and 2 are generated by the transverse channels 16a through 19a in jaw 31 arid 16b through 19% in jaw The channels a and b mate when the clamp is locked in a closed position. It should be understood that thecha'rin els 1641-1911 and 16b'19b need not be in phase, as illustrated, but may be disposed in any relationship giving the desired number and type passageways when the clamp is closed. The formed passageways 16-19 are illustrated as varying in size to facilitate the carriage of a va ri'ty' of devices, for example, the large tube ascabl'e 20 and the smaller diameter intravenous (I.V.)' tube 21, see FIG. 3. Projecting guide posts extend beyond each channel 16a through 190 to ensure properseating of the tubes 20 and 21 and the like prior to locking the jcla rn p a closed position. A guide channel 36in jaw 31 receives the posts 35"wh'en the clamp 10 is closed. The channel 36 provides clearance for the posts thusallowing them to extend substantially beyond the top surface 60 of the jaw. 30, without interference. In this manner it is possible to easily seat the tubes 20 and 21 in proper channels when the clamp is open.
Projecting locking posts 37 are also provided in jaw 30 for longitudinally securing wall flexible tubes in place once the clamp 10 has been closed, for example, the IV. tube 21 in channel 16. Flexible l.V. tubes are generally made of a polyvinylchloride material and due The clamp also includes means for attaching a bangar, such as "a hook to hang the clamp from a suitable ;support when not in use or when desired to suspend the articles 20and 21 from a support structure. The clearance hole 38 and 39 are suited to receive such a clip or hangar, see FIGS. 1 and 2. Holes 38 and 39 may beincludedin the original mold or later drilled. Generally, it is advantageous to mold clearance'hold 39 because it is halved into sections 390 and 39b 'in the mold product, similar to channels 16 through 19, see FIGS. 3 and FIGS. 6 through 10 illustrate an alternative embodiment of the present invention. The clampingdevice' 10 comprises a pair ofjaws 40 and 41, joined by a flexible hinge -1 1 to generate transverse channels 42, 43 and 44 of varying size to hold a variety of tubular devices. The channels 42, 43 and 44 correspond to' channels 16-19 of the first embodiment. The locking device'12 is again utilized in the 'secondembodiment, having a projecting member 32 carried in-jaw 41, the member 32 being sele'ctively engageable with strike 33' in jaws 40. However, the jaws 40 and 41are contoured in FIGS. 6-9,
' conforming to the limbof 'a'patient, shown in phantom one side of the strap and a friction cloth 55 as contained on the inner surface 56 of the other half of the strap. Thus, when the strap 14 is wrapped around a supporting member, for example, the limb of the patient (shown in phantom in FIG. 6) the two halves of the strap are merely brought into juxtaposition as shown at 57 and frictionally held to form a bracelet about the limb.
As is more clearly shown in FIG. 9, the strap 14 is carried in a channel 45 having entrace and exit ports 46 and 47. The channel 45 is deeper than the transverse channels 42, 43, and 44 thereby carrying the strap 14 beneath the tube passageways, allowing sufficient clearance for the flexible tubing carried therein, see FIG. 7. Thus, channel 45 also corresponds with the guide post channel 36 of the first embodiment. As clearly illustrated in FIG. 9, the theory and principle of both clamps is the same. The guide posts 35 -permit proper seating of flexible tubes prior to clamping, the guide channel 36 having been replaced by strap clearance channel 45 to permit proper carriage of the strap 14 during use. While the locking posts 37 have not been included in the second embodiment as illustrated, it should be understood that they could be added if desired. It should further be understood that gripping ribs could be added to the second embodiment thereby further increasing its versatility;
What is claimed is:
l. A one-piece, plastic clamp for clamping tubing and the like to a support member, comprising a pair of elongate jaws integrally hinged together at one of their ends of pivotal movement to open and closed positions, one of said jaws having an opening therethrough between the ends thereof and spaced from the hinged end, a latch strike on said one jaw at one side of said opening, an upstanding latch member on the other jaw spaced from the hinged end thereof in a position to extend through the opening in said one jaw and having serrations on one side thereof engageable with the latch strike to releasably latch the jaws in closed position, a plurality of transverse arcuate channels in each jaw between the latch and hinged end thereof and extending completely across the width of the jaws, said channels forming a plurality of transverse through passageways in the clamp when the jaws thereof are disposed in closed juxtaposition for clamping tubing and the like between the jaws, and an upstanding guide post on one of said jaws at the side of at least one of said channels and projecting into said channel to engage the side of a tube therein to guide the tube into proper registry with the channel during closing movement of the jaws and to lock the tube in proper position in the channel when the jaws are in closed juxtaposition.
2. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein the latch member is permanently biased toward the latch strike.
3. A clamp as recited in claim 2, wherein said bias in generated by a flexible hinge joining the pair of jaws, said hinge being of tapered, wedge shaped configuration and decreasing in thickness from said one jaw toward said other jaw.
4. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein the attaching means comprises a series of ribs in each of said jaws adjacent their terminal ends, and wherein the ribs of said one jaw are out of phase with the ribs of said other jaw, forming a meshing relationship when said jaws are disposed in closed juxtaposition.
5. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein saidjaws constitute curvilinear members conforming substantially to the contour of human limb or the like.
6. A clamp as recited in claim 5, wherein'the attac'hing means includes means for carrying a strap member for securing the clamp to a human limb or the like.
7. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein guideposts are on one of said jaws adjacent one side of saidat least one channel and extending toward the other jaw'for aligning a flexible tube relative to said channel prior to locking said jaws in closed position.
8. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein locking outwardly from and extend completely across the width of the jaws, and wherein the transverse ribs in one jaw are longitudinally offset from the ribs of the other jaw whereby said ribs are disposed in interlocking, side-byside, meshing registry when the jaws of the clamp are disposed in closed juxtaposition, said ribs constituting means for securing the clamp to a support member.
ll. A clamp as recited in claim 10, which includes nodules projecting from each of said ribs thereby enhancing the gripping characteristics of the clampwhen the jaws of the clamp are disposed in closed juxtaposition.
12. A clamp as in claim 1, wherein the jaws are curvilinear, said other jaw having a pair of longitudinally spaced, transversely extending openings therethrough between the latch member and the hingedend thereof,
said jaw having a recess therein in communication. at its opposite ends with said last mentioned openings, and said openings and recess adapted to receive a strap for securing said other jaw member to a human limb or the like.
13. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein said hinge decreases in thickness from one jaw to the other jaw so that the hinges is more flexible adjacent said other jaw whereby the jaws are resiliently urged longitudinally relative to one another when in closed position and the latch serrations and latch strike are accordingly urged into secure locking engagement with one another.
14. A clamp as recited in claim 1, wherein a guide post is at the side of each channel, and said guide posts are disposed centrally of the width of said one jaw and are aligned with one another in the direction of the iongitudinal axis of said one jaw, and a pair'of locking posts are on said one jaw at the side of one of said channels opposite the guide post therein, said locking posts disposed adjacent the opposite ends of said one channel.