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Publication numberUS3915386 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 28, 1975
Filing dateFeb 25, 1975
Priority dateFeb 25, 1975
Publication numberUS 3915386 A, US 3915386A, US-A-3915386, US3915386 A, US3915386A
InventorsVora Prabodh
Original AssigneeRespiratory Care
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Nebulizer
US 3915386 A
Abstract
A container of water is adapted as a supply source for producing an aerosol with an oxygen stream for inhalation therapy through the agency of this improved nebulizer adapter which couples pressurized oxygen to the water container. A primary Venturi type insert member is disposed uprightly within a vertical tubular portion of a laterally disposed generally T-shape adapter fitting to help draw water through the primary Venturi member from the water supply and directs atomized droplets of water and oxygen into a medial mixing chamber portion where any surplus entrained water droplets are collected and returned to the water supply. The aerosol flows out of the nebulizer adapter generally horizontally through an outlet nozzle forming the stem of the T, and via a flexible hose to the patient. The primary Venturi insert member includes axially offset vertically disposed oxygen and water inlet channels with terminal portions adjacent slightly axially offset sides of the narrowest Venturi passage which is horizontally disposed. This narrowest Venturi water passage and a similarly orificed adjacent gas inlet passage form the basic atomizing nozzle component portions of the primary Venturi insert which is disposed intermediate of and in general alignment with vertically opposed oxygen and water inlets of the adapter. The water inlet channel gradually increases in cross-sectional area toward its lower end which connects and communicates directly with another vertical water conduit projecting up from a lower socket of the adapter, which socket connects with an outlet of the water supply container. Disposed axially below the primary Venturi insert is a breaching member constituted by a downward extension of the other vertical water conduit in the lower socket of the adapter. The breaching member is for piercing a breachable diaphragm sealing the outlet neck of the liquid supply container. The adapter is also provided with selectively openable and closeable opposed air inlets controlled by a manually rotatable collar adjacent the oxygen inlet of the adapter. The degree of openness controls the relative mixture of oxygen and ambient air entrained through the air inlets. The adapter also may be provided with a secondary Venturi type annular throat member disposed in surrounding relation to the primary Venturi insert. This constricts and increases the velocity of the inflow entrainment of ambient air and oxygen past the narrowest transversely horizontal opening of the primary Venturi insert. The upper portion of the vertical part of the adapter has a rotatable wing-nut type of threaded connector to facilitate connection of the adapter with a threaded terminal end of an oxygen supply conduit.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Vora [ Oct. 28, 1975 [73] Assignee: Respiratory Care, Inc., Arlington Heights, 111.

22 Filed: Feb. 25, 1975 21 Appl.No.:552,994

[75] Inventor:

[52] U.S. Cl. 239/338; 239/120; 239/124; 239/309; 128/194 [51] Int. (31. BOSB 7/30; A6lM 11/02 [58] Field of Search 239/120, 124, 309, 338, 239/343, 370, 590, 590.3; 128/194 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,605,764 8/1952 Adams 128/194 X 2,951,644 9/1960 Mahon et a1... 239/338 X 3,206,175 9/1965 Boteler 239/338 X 3,652,015 3/1972 Beall 239/338 3,771,721 ll/l973 Van Amerongen 239/338 3,826,255 7/1974 Havstad et a1. 128/194 Primary Examiner-Robert S. Ward, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmEric P. Schellin [5 7 ABSTRACT A container of water is adapted as a Supply source for producing an aerosol with an oxygen stream for inhalation therapy through the agency of this improved nebulizer adapter which couples pressurized oxygen to the water container. A primary Venturi type insert member is disposed uprightly within a vertical tubular portion of a laterally disposed generally T-shape adapter fitting to help draw water through the primary Venturi member from the water supply and directs atomized droplets of water and oxygen into a medial mixing chamber portion where any surplus entrained water droplets are collected and returned to the water supply. The aerosol flows out of the nebulizer adapter generally horizontally through an outlet nozzle forming the stem of the T, and via a flexible hose to the patient. The primary Venturi insert member includes axially offset vertically disposed oxygen and water inlet channels with terminal portions adjacent slightly axially offset sides of the narrowest Venturi passage which is horizontally disposed. This narrowest Venturi water passage and a similarly orificed adjacent gas inlet passage form the basic atomizing nozzle component portions of the primary Venturi insert which is disposed intermediate of and in general alignment with vertically opposed oxygen and water inlets of the adapter. The water inlet channel gradually increases in cross-sectional area toward its lower end which connects and communicates directly with another vertical water conduit projecting up from a lower socket of the adapter, which socket connects with an outlet of the water supply container. Disposed axially below the primary Venturi insert is a breaching member constituted by a downward extension of the other vertical water conduit in the lower socket of the adapter. The breaching member is for piercing a breachable diaphragm sealing the outlet neck of the liquid supply container. The adapter is also provided with selectively openable and closeable opposed air inlets controlled by a manually rotatable collar adjacent the oxygen inlet of the adapter. The degree of openness controls the relative mixture of oxygen and ambient air entrained through the air inlets. The adapter also may be provided with a secondary Venturi type annular throat member disposed in surrounding relation to the primary Venturi insert. This constricts and increases the velocity of the inflow entrainment of ambient air and oxygen past the narrowest transversely horizontal opening of the primary Venturi insert. The upper portion of the vertical part of the adapter has a rotatable wing-nut type of threaded connector to facilitate connection of the adapter with a threaded terminal end of an oxygen supply conduit.

18 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures OXY GEN U.S. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,915,386

FIG.3;

1 NEBUIMJZER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present disclosure relates to inhalation therapy and more particularly to aerosol-producing means in the form of an improved nebulizer for attachment to a liquid container. i

As indicated in US. Pat. No. 3,711,721, issued Nov. 13, 1973, inhalation therapy is the medical art of treating with oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and air having a high-moisture content. Several classes of devices, including atomizers and humidifiers, are adapted for effecting such treatments. With respect to atomizers, or nebulizers as they are often called, a heretofore known system for inhalation therapy comprises a container for pure water which has means enabling operation of the container in one of several modes. An adapter fitting, comprised of a Venturi type member, when associated with the enabling means, adapts the container as a nebulizer reservoir and by itself provides nebulized water in the sense that small droplets of water are carried by the oxygen. Thus, in such a form of inhalation therapy, atomized droplets are delivered in an oxygen carrier to the patient, rather than a pure water vapor. This prior art nebulizer device, described in said US. Pat. No. 3,771,721, owned by the same assignee as in the present application, while providing certain improvements over other priorart, has been found to embody some features requiring still further refinement, to be described hereinafter.

In considering the nebulizer of US. Pat. No. 3,771,721, the degree of its oxygen dilution has been found to be limited to only about 4548%, due to its venturi construction and inherent restrictions on entrainment. Its molded body design with a single entrainment port, and other features were found to need improvement' to'reduce some potentially objectionable operating noise levels and to provide a smoother path for the entrained air. Its vertical slide collar for controlling air entrainment was found subject to inadvertant displacement attimes resulting in inaccurate settings. More consistent output performances were hampered by build-up of variable manufacturing tolerance in separate Venturi and baffle componets.

The present invention relates to the provision of a greatly improved nebulizer adapter fitting for forming and mixing atomized water droplets with an oxygen stream and also utilizing a Venturi member to draw up water from a reservoir. The water s'till emerges from the Venturi member in the form of entrained atomized droplets which are conveyed with theoxygen stream and which exits from the adapter means downstream of the Venturi member enroute to the patient.

The present invention thus has for an object to providefor an improved nebulizer form of adapter having more consistent output performance, which is of improved construction including a one-piece Venturi and baffle member imparting improved waterlift characteristics to assure continued functioning until the container bottle runs out of water; and asimplified outer body of generally T-shape having very. little resistance to air entrainment through a pair of opposed ports with a dialtype closure collar.v

It is also an object to provide for, an improvedquiet lowing the oxygen to dilute with ambient air in a range from as low as 35% up to substantially It is still another object of this invention to generate water droplets with the help of a Venturi construction, with the droplets impinging at great force on an abuttment to further atomize' them for flow with the oxygen stream passing thereby for delivery to the patient.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide such a nebulizer adapter which also embodies improved means for more efficient collection and return of excess water from the nebulizer to its associated reservoir.

It is the further object of this invention to provide an improved nebulizer fitting or adapter which is less expensive to manufacture, and one for adapting preferably a prepackaged sterile water container as a reservoir for producing the aerosol.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To achieve the foregoing objects, a nebulizer is provided in the form of a laterally disposed T-shape adapter fitting attachable to an outlet on and which adapts a reservoir of purified water into a source of atomized droplets formed by a primary Venturi insert member within the fitting. The primary Venturi type insert is basically a one piece member disposed up rightly within a vertical tubular portion of a laterally disposed generally T-shape adapter fitting to help draw water through the primary Venturi member from the water supply and directs it from an output Venturi channel generally horizontally to the upright axis of the portion forming the top of the T -adapter. The water is broken up into atomized droplets of water by pressurized incoming oxygen and by impacting the water droplets against an adjacently disposed preferably integrally formed abutment surface. The water and oxygen further intermix in a medial mixing chamber portion where any surplus entrained water droplets are collected and returned to the water supply. The aerosol- /oxygen stream flows out of the nebulizer adapter generally horizontally through a modified elbow type outlet nozzle forming the stem of the T, and via a flexible hose to the patient.

The primary Venturi insert member includes axially offset vertically disposed oxygen and water inlet channels with terminal portions adjacent slightly axially offset sides of the horizontally disposed narrowest Venturi passage. This narrowest Venturi water passage and a similarly orificed adjacent gas inlet passage form thebasic atomizing nozzle component portions of the primary Venturi insert which is disposed intermediate of and in general alignment with vertically opposed oxygen and water inlets of the adapter.

The water inlet channel of the primary Venturi insert gradually increases in cross-sectional area toward its lower'end which connects and communicates directly with another vertical water conduit projecting up from a lower socket of the adapter, and which socket connects with an outlet of the water supply container. Disposedaxially below the primary Venturi insert is a breaching member constituted by a downward extension of the other vertical water conduit in the lower socket of the adapter. The breaching member is for piercing a breachable diaphragm sealing the outlet 'neck of the liquid supply container.

manually rotatable or dial-like collar adjacent the oxygen inlet of the adapter. The degree of openness controls the relative mixture of oxygen and ambient air entrained through the air inlets. The adapter also may be provided with a secondary Venturi type annular throat member disposed in surrounding relation to the primary Venturi insert. This constricts and increases the velocity of the inflow entrainment of ambient air and oxygen past the narrowest transversely horizontal opening of the primary Venturi insert. The secondary Venturi member may be a separate component or may be integrally formed with an upper half portion of the fitting body.

The upper portion of the vertical part of the adapter has a rotatable wing-nut type of threaded connector to facilitate connection of the adapter with a threaded terminal end of an oxygen supply conduit.

The construction and operational. features will become more apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the following illustrative drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the ensuing description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an end elevational view of the output end of the improved nebulizer adapter;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view taken substantially on line 22 of FIG. 1, and shown mounted on a reservoir container;

FIG. 3 is a view of the device of FIGS. 1 and 2 taken from above, being partially a top plan and horizontal cross-sectional view as seen on line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the nebulizer adapter components shown on a somewhat smaller scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Briefly the adapter fitting A broadly comprises a generally T-shape composite body B whose three main arms provide'for separate connection with a supply of oxygen, a supply of water, and an output delivery means all to be described in detail therein. The body B houses the primary and secondary Venturi-type inserts VI and V2 respectively to provide nebulizing and mixing chamber areas therein. Fitting A further comprises a rotatably adjustable oxygen-dilution collar C, and a rotatable fastener F, of the wing nut type, for fastening an oxygen feed line to the adapter.

Referring in more detail to the drawings, FIG. 2 better depicts the laterally disposed generally T-shape of the fitting A shown in cross-section, wherein the body B is shown mounted on a neck portion of a suitable water container 12 shown fragmentarily in broken outline, and which may be similar to that described in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,771,721. The containers neck portion 10 is provided with male threads to receive fitting A by way of complementary female threads 14 in a lower socket 16 depending from one end ofa main body portion 18. This main body portion 18 constitutes a form of mixing chamber and is depicted as having a generally oval shape in top plan view (FIG. 3). Body B comprises lower half portion 20 and upper half portion 22 which, after assembly with other component parts therein, are unitarily joined together along a juncture line 24 by any suitable means, such as by an adhesive or fusion-inducing means, not shown.

Upper half portion 22 of the fitting A is provided at one side with an upper elbow-like outlet nozzle 26 for the humidified oxygen leading from the Venturi portions of the adapter. The main outlet barrel portion of nozzle 26 projects generally horizontally and at generally right angles from the vertical axis of the socket l6 and neck of the bottle 12. This horizontal barrel portion of the nozzle 26 constitutes the stem of the gener ally T-shape fitting A. The stem outlet nozzle 26 is adapted to have attached thereto a flexible hose 28 through which is delivered a humidified oxygen stream.

Adapter fitting A. in its lower half portion 20 and below inner exit 30 of outlet nozzle 26, is also provided with a lower outlet pipe 32 spaced apart from and generally parallel to the lower socket 16. This outlet pipe 32 is adapted to have connected thereto one end of a flexible pipe 34, shown in phantom lines in FIGS. 1 and 2, whose other end leads back and is suitably connected to the top of the container 12. Flexible pipe 34 functions not only to primarily equalize the pressure of head space of the container with that of the mixing chamber or outlet side of the venturi portions, to be described, but also permits excess water droplets which may collect on shelf 36 to be returned via drain/return pipe 34 to the reservoir container to be used for further humidification. This type of arrangement with flexible pipe 34 thereby assures that any back pressure which might be created by the various downstream patient devices will not affect the lift characteristicsof the primary venturi portion to be described. Without the drain tube 34, back pressure would tend to cause the oxygen entering the top of the adapter 10 to divert down into the container or bottle.

The upper portion 22 of the adapter fitting A is integrally formed with an upwardly projecting tubular body protion 38 which serves to house the principal portion of the Venturi inserts V1 and V2. This portion may be generally considered to be the nebulizing chamber area of the fitting.

The portion 38 is provided with a transverse top wall 40 having a preferably centrally disposed tubular oxygen inlet stem 42 projecting upwardly therefrom and also a shorter lower portion 44 projecting inwardly of the fitting. Mounted upon the stem 42 is the rotatable fastener F, preferably of the general wing nut type of which the body 46 has a female threaded recess 48 in the upper side thereof. An oxygen delivery pipe 50 (FIG. 2) is threaded into the threaded socket 48 for supplying oxygen to the adapter fitting A. The lower end of the body 46 is adapted to rotate freely around the stem 42, such as shown in FIG. 2. Inwardly adjacent the threaded recess or socket 48 is a shouldered seat 52 adapted to receive a radial flange 54 of a short tubular fastener-retainer member 56. Member 56 has an inside diameter of a size to provide a good frictional fit upon a preferably reduced diameter portion of the stem 42, and when assembled thereon serves to retain the fastener F thereon in a freely rotatable manner. The upper end of the retainer member 56 is preferably rounded, as shown, and is sized so as to provide a fluid tight seal, with the end of the oxygen conduit 50.

Referring further to the various figures, the bottom or lower half body portion 20 includes the integrally formed lower socket member 16 having the aforesaid integrally formed peripheral screw threads to complementarily attach it to the threaded neck 10 of container 12. This lower socket member 16 has a transverse inner wall 58 provided with an axiallly extended pointed breaching member 60 which depends downwardly from the said inner wall 58, with the bottom cutting edge 62 of the breaching member 60 extending midway down socket member 16. Breaching member 60 is provided with an axial passage 64, and an annular seat formed by upwardly extending preferably tapered stem 66 constituting with passage 64 a water outlet for the water supply container 12. This seat or stem 66 receives a lower extending portion of the primary Venturi insert V1 adapted to be carried principally within the upper tubular portion 38 of the housing body 18. The transverse inner wall 58 may also be provided with an annular concentric sealing lip 68 to better seal the fitting A onto the containers neck portion via socket 16.

Reference will now be made in more detail to the unitary primary Venturi insert V1 seen better in FIGS. 2 and 4. The insert V1 has elongated body means 70 constructed so as to form at opposite ends thereof axially offset vertically disposed upper and lower tubular stems 72 and 74 constituting or defining oxygen and water inlet passages 76 and 78, respectively. Upper stem'72 is adapted to have a fluid tight telescopic fit within the downward projecting portion 44 of the center stem 42 of fitting end wall 40. The upper fully open end of passage 76 is in open fluid flow communication with the oxygen inlet stem 42 and oxygen supply or delivery conduit 50. The passage 76 of the stem 72 is constricted at its lower end to form a small orifice 80.

The water inlet passage or channel 78 is tapered so as to increase in cross-sectional area from its inner and upper end 82 toward its lower end which also connects telescopically in a fluid tight manner onto the upwardly projecting stem 66 of the socket inner wall 58. This connection provides fluid communication with the water supply container 12. The narrowed inner end 82 of the water passage 78 terminates generally adjacent and in communication with a horizontally disposed very narrow short Venturi water channel 84. Channel 84 terminates in a small terminal orifice 86 similar to and disposed substantially at right angles adjacent the oxygen inlet orifice 80, thereby constituting the coacting atomizing nozzle orifices.

The atomizing or nebulizing operation is apparent, wherein water is adapted to be drawn up the water inlet channel 78 by the reduced pressure caused by the in coming stream of pressurized oxygen jetting from orifice 80 across the transverse water inlet orifice 86. The water emerging from the Venturi channel 84 is broken up into small droplets by the jetting stream of oxygen.

To further assure more complete atomizing of the water droplets, there is suitable small abutment member 88 disposed adjacently beneath the water orifice 86 and opposite the oxygen orifice 80. Abutment member 88 is depicted as projecting transversely from the side of the Venturi body means 70. The incoming oxygen stream thus produces an aerosol by this nebulizer fitting by the entrainment of fine water droplets which become further intermixed within the oval-shaped main body 18 of tne adapter. As the aerosol flows through the adapter to exit via outlet nozzle 26, as per the flow arrows in FIG. 2, any surplus water droplets fall out and collect generally in the left side portion of body 18 if FIG. 2. This excess water collects primarily upon the shelf 36 from where it is returned via outlet pipe 32 and conduit 34 to the water container l2.

The water container may be any suitable source of preferably pre-sterilized water. It has been found expedient to use the subject adapter with various of the prefilled and aseptically sealed containers of water manufactured and distributed under the trademark AQUA- PAK by Respiratory Care, Inc, of Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005.

Sleeve 102 has an outwardly turned top edge 104 and a downwardly extending outer skirt portion 106 terminating in a transversely radial flange 108. Skirt portion 106 is adapted to orient the insert V2 by slidably engaging a plurality of vertical splines 110 provided unitarily in a circumferentially spaced manner around the inner periphery of the upper tubular body portion 38 of the fitting. The radial flange 108 of insert V2 is adapted to abut against the lower end of the splines 110 when the insert V2 is properly seated. To further maintain the insert in its installed position, apart from its frictional fit, the upright insert V1 is preferably provided with a short transverse lug 112 adapted to engage against and support the lower edge of wall 102 of the insert V2.

The adapter fitting, in a further non-illustrated embodiment, contemplates the integral molding of the second Venturi part V2 or its equivalent within the neck portion 38. In such an embodiment it is contemplated that the tubular portion would be stepped down from its upper end diameter to a smaller intermediate diameter at its juncture with the medial body portion 18, 20.

Preferably the rotatable collar 92 and the housing body are provided with cooperative indicia means, such as arrows 114 (FIG. 4) and numerical indicia 116, for designating certain preferred settings. Depending upon the size of the window openings the numerical indicia may be labelled to identify the percentage of mixture of gas and ambient atmosphere.

The operation of the adapter has been already described in conjunction with various portions of the preceding specification and need not be repeated.

To dilute the pure oxygen which is adapted to enter the adapter from pipe 50 via center stem 42 and passage 76, the upper tubular body portion 38 is provided with suitable window means, such as a diametrically opposed pair of open windows 90, 90 of predetermined area Ambient gases or the atmospheric air may then be entrained in aregulated manner through the windows 90 by suitable regulating means, such as rotatable windowed collar means 92.

Collar means 92 as shown, includes an open sleeve body whose cylindrical wall 94 is also preferably provided with a pair of diametrically disposed open windows 96, 96 corresponding to and adapted to align with windows 90, 90 at times. At least one of the windows 96 is provided with an elongated tapering slot 98 shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. Slot 98 serves to provide for a minimal gradual dilution of the oxygen stream by the ambient atmosphere, depending upon the rotatable position of the collar 92. In this illustrative form the collar is provided with a serrated upper portion 100 or slight radial knurlings to provide a manual gripping area to facilitate the rotary adjustment thereof.

A preferred form of the adapter further embodies a secondary Venturi insert V2 in the form of an open ended cylindrical sleeve member 102. Sleeve 102 is of much lesser diameter than the tubular body portion 38 of the adapter within which it is disposed. This narrows the throat area of initial atomization and provides increased velocity therethrough of the flow. As shown, the inside diameter of sleeve 102 is uniform throughout its height but it is contemplated that for some modifications the diameter could vary from larger to smaller commencing at the upper end.

It is apparent from the foregoing that a unique and novelly improved nebulizer adapter fitting has been evolved in accordance with the objectives set forth in the beginning portion hereof.

While one preferred embodiment has been illustrated and described in detail, it is apparent that other changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the inventive spirit hereof. Reference should be made to the appended claims for the inventive scope covered by this invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A nebulizer device particularly adapted for use in an inhalation therapy system, embodying a nebulizer fitting adapted to be connected to both a source of liquid and also to a pressurized gas stream, whereby an aerosol issuing therefrom "isdirectable to 'a -predetermined use, said nebulizerdevice comprising in combination:

a. a housing body having peripherally enclosing wall means defining initial nebulizing and'subse'quent mixing chamber areas in serial arrangement therein; g said body having at one side means for connecting said fitting physically onto and for fluid flow communication with a container of liquid to serve as the liquid source, and at another side means for connecting said fitting with said source'of pressurized gas; I c. Venturi insert means disposed within said body and operatively connected with said liquid and gas source and including atomizing means for generating a flow of aerosol commencing in said nebulizing chamber area and flowing into said mixing chamber;

d. said body also having outlet means for exit of the humidified gas flow;

e. regulating means on said body radially outward of the nebulizing chamber area for providing entrainment of ambient atmospheric fluid in predetermined quantities for diluting mixture with said gas flowing internally of the humidifier device; and

f. said Venturi insert means comprising at least a first Venturi insert member having an elongated body with longitudinally disposed upper and lower stem portions that are axially offset and constituting gas and liquid inlet passages respectively, said passages terminating inwardly in transversely adjacent orifices constituting part of the atomizing means whereby a flow of pressurized gas out of the gas passage orifice past the orifice of said liquid passage creates a suction on the latter adapted to draw liquid therethrough from said liquid source to be aspiratively carried by said gas flow.

2. The nebulizer device of claim 1 further including in combination therewith liquid collecting shelf and body means downstream of said Venturi insert and atomizing means for collecting excess liquid droplets not entrained with the gas flow, and means connected with said shelf and body for returning said excess liquid to said liquid source.

3. The nebulizer device of claim 1 wherein said means of paragraph (b) for connecting said fitting to said liquid source includes a lower socket-type connector having with said socket membrane-breaching means carried thereby and adapted to breach a membrane for sealing aseptic liquid within a receptacle of the liquid constituting the liquid source.

4. The nebulizer device of claim 3, wherein said membrane breaching means is an axial tubular member projecting downwardly from a closed inner wall constituting part of said body wall means, said tubular member having a pointed breaching end terminating within said socket-type connector, said tubular member having an upper end projecting above said closed inner wall, and terminating in an open end portion adapted to engage with said lower stem portion of said first Venturi insert member of paragraph (f), whereby liquid fluid communication is provided between said passage of said lower stem portion and said liquid source via said membrane breaching tubular member.

5. The nebulizer device of claim 1 wherein said means of paragraph (b) for connecting said housing body to said pressurized gas flow includes a horizontal wall portion interrupted by an upstanding tubular stem on which a fastener body is rotatably disposed, said fastener body having an upwardly opening conduitreceiving threaded socket and a handle portion integral therewith; said fastener body socket having an internal shoulder, and a tubular fastener-retainer member adapted to telescopically frictionally seat over said up standing tubular stem upon a shouldered portion thereof and to cooperate with said internal shoulder of said fastener body socket to retain said fastener body in a freely rotative manner thereon.

6. The nebulizer device of claim 1, wherein said means for channeling and directing an aerosol stream to a predetermined use includes an outlet nozzle on said body downstream of said nebulizing and mixing chamber areas and disposed on an upper part of said housing body for channeling the aerosol stream in said predetermined direction.

7. The nebulizer of claim 1 wherein said housing body is of generally a laterally disposed T-shape, with the connecting means of paragraph (b) for connecting said body to said respective gas and liquid sources being vertically disposed in general axial alignment, and said outlet means of paragraph (d) disposed generally horizontal to form the stem of said T-shape.

8. The nebulizer device of claim 1, wherein said first Venturi insert member is of integral form and said liquid inlet passage in said lower stern portion of said first Venturi insert member is of elongated general conical form tapering to a smaller diameter at its inward end adjacent its said orifice; and a small diameter, laterally disposed Venturi passage interposed between said smaller diameter inward portion of said liquid inlet passage and its said orifice, thereby providing a generally right-angular flow path of the liquid adapted to traverse through said liquid inlet passage.

9. The nebulizer device of claim 8, wherein said lower stem portion further includes a transversely projecting abutment adjacently beneath said liquid inlet orifice and in opposed relation to said gas inlet orifice, said abutment adapted to receive with great force thereagainst liquid droplets issuing from said liquid -inlet orifice, and propelled by the gas stream issuing from said gas inlet orifice.

10. The nebulizer device of claim I wherein said housing body wall means includes a cylindrical tubular portion constituting a major part of the nebulizing chamber, and within which tubular portion said first Venturi insert member is disposed generally centrally and in spaced apart relation to the walls means thereof; said body wall means including a top end wall transversely closing an upper portion of said cylindrical tubular nebulizing chamber portion of the body;

an upstanding tubular stem projecting centrally from said top end wall and having a center passage for the inlet of said pressurized gas; and

said first Venturi insert member of paragraph (f) having its upper stem portion telescopically connected with a complementary lower portion of said upstanding tubular stem on said top end wall that encloses said nebulizing chamber.

11. The nebulizer device of claim 10, further comprising a second Venturi insert member in the form of an open-ended sleeve disposed in surrounding relation to at least a medial part of said first Venturi insert member, said sleeve being of lesser diameter than said cylindrical tubular body portion constituting part of the nebulizing chamber, said sleeve having a substantial part of its length in spaced relation to said cylindrical tubular portion and to said first venturi insert member; ans said sleeve including radial wall means bridging a top portion between said sleeve and said cylindrical tubular body portion to effectively channel the incoming gas flow longitudinally between said first and second Venturi insert members.

12. The nebulizer device of claim 11, wherein said cylindrical tubular body portion of the housing and said second Venturi insert member have complementary coacting interengageable means for orienting said second Venturi insert member relative to said housing body and said first Venturi insert member.

13. The nebulizer device of claim 12, further including a transverse lug on said lower stem of said first Venturi insert member tosupplementally support and to help maintain the second Venturi insert member in its assembled relationship.

14. The nebulizer device of claim 1 wherein said regulating means of paragraph (e) comprise open window means in an upper peripheral wall portion of said housing body adjacent the nebulizing chamber;

rotatable collar means rotatably mounted on said upper portion of said housing body in over-laying relation to said open window means; and

said collar means also having open window means adapted to be selectively positioned between fully closed and fully open fluid communication with said first-mentioned window means of said housing to provide for selective entrainment of ambient atmosphere into the nebulizer fitting.

15. The nebulizer device of claim 14 wherein said collar means includes a cylindrical collar sleeve, and wherein said window means of said housing body and of said collar sleeve include a pair of peripherally spaced open windows having collectively less area than the remaining area of said adjacent housing and collar sleeve members.

16. The nebulizer device of claim 15 wherein said rotatable collar sleeve is provided with serrated hand gripping means on an outer periphery thereof.

17. The nebulizer device of claim 15 wherein one of said windows in said collar sleeve includes a narrowed extension slot of substantially lesser area leading away from one edge of the window and adapted to provide a further degree of control for intermixing ambient atmosphere when said narrowed slot is selectively positioned relative to said open window means of said housing body.

18. The nebulizer device of claim 14, further including cooperative indicia means on said collar means and on said housing body to designate predetermined gas and ambient atmosphere mixture positions providable by said window means.

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Referenced by
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US4061698 *Apr 18, 1975Dec 6, 1977Aerwey Laboratories, Inc.Humidifier-nebulizer apparatus
US4100235 *Jan 31, 1977Jul 11, 1978Aerwey Laboratories, Inc.Humidifier-nebulizer apparatus
US4150071 *Aug 26, 1977Apr 17, 1979Respiratory Care, Inc.Small size, out-patient usage
US4177945 *Mar 6, 1978Dec 11, 1979Warner-Lambert CompanyHumidifier unit
US4198969 *Jan 4, 1979Apr 22, 1980Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc.Suction-operated nebulizer
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US4299355 *Jan 3, 1980Nov 10, 1981Haekkinen TaistoApparatus for atomizing medicaments
US4401241 *Jan 19, 1981Aug 30, 1983Respiratory Care, Inc.Nebulizer bottle
US4575609 *Mar 6, 1984Mar 11, 1986The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergyConcentric micro-nebulizer for direct sample insertion
US4595002 *Oct 20, 1983Jun 17, 1986Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc.Nebulizer
US4703753 *Nov 10, 1986Nov 3, 1987Cadema Medical Products, Inc.Radioactive aerosol inhalation apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification239/338, 239/309, 239/120, 239/124
International ClassificationA61M11/06, A61M16/10, A61M16/12, A61M16/16
Cooperative ClassificationA61M11/06, A61M2016/125, A61M16/16
European ClassificationA61M11/06, A61M16/16
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 8, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: CREDITANSTALT-BANKVEREIN, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUDSON RESPIRATORY CARE INC.;REEL/FRAME:006570/0759
Effective date: 19920914
May 9, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: HOMEFED BANK, F.S.B.
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Effective date: 19900509
Mar 28, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST INTERSTATE BANK OF CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUDSON RESPIRATORY CARE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005302/0948
Effective date: 19900209
Jan 26, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: HUDSON OXYGEN THERAPY SALES COMPANY, A CA CORP., C
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:RESPIRATORY CARE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005228/0683
Effective date: 19890712
Jan 3, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: RESPIRATORY CARE, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:MANUFACTURERS HANOVER TRUST COMPANY, AS AGENT;REEL/FRAME:005249/0733
Effective date: 19890712
Feb 1, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: MANUFACTURERS HANOVER TRUST COMPANY
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RESPIRATORY CARE INC.;REEL/FRAME:005060/0188
Effective date: 19881031
Mar 20, 1984PSPatent suit(s) filed