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Publication numberUS3921640 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1975
Filing dateMar 22, 1974
Priority dateMar 22, 1974
Also published asDE2511782A1
Publication numberUS 3921640 A, US 3921640A, US-A-3921640, US3921640 A, US3921640A
InventorsJohn O Freeborn
Original AssigneeInt Paper Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Disposable surgical instruments
US 3921640 A
Abstract
A surgical instrument of single piece molded plastic construction is provided. The instrument includes a pair of substantially identical arms connected together for relative pivotal movement by an integral pivot connection and an integral U-shaped spring element located between the arms for normally maintaining the arms and jaw members in an open position. The instrument is provided with integral locking members which interlock upon closure of the arms to hold the jaw members in a closed position. Alternative jaw configurations are provided to allow the instrument to function as a pair of scissors, a needle holder, a hemostat, or a towel clip.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Freeborn Nov. 25, 1975 Inventor:

Assignee:

Filed:

Conn.

International Paper Company, New

York, N.Y.

Mar. 22, 1974 Appl. No.: 453,819

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 7/1905 Austria 128/321 212,482 4/1967 Sweden 128/318 430,945 8/1967 Switzerland. 128/346 836,545 4/1952 Germany 128/321 Primary Examiner-Channing L. Pace Attorney, Agent, or FirmFinnegan, Henderson, Farabow & Garrett [57] ABSTRACT A surgical instrument of single piece molded plastic construction is provided. The instrument includes a pair of substantially identical arms connected together for relative pivotal movement by .an integral pivot connection and an integral U-shaped spring element located between the arms for normally maintaining the arms and jaw members in an open position. The instrument is provided with integral locking members which interlock upon closure of the arms to hold the jaw members in a closed position. Alternative jaw configurations are provided to allow the instrument to function as a pair of scissors, a needle holder, a hemostat, or a towel clip.

14 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet10f3 3,921,640

F/GI

US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,921,640

FIG. /2

US. Patent Nov.25, 1975 sheewofa 3,921,640

DISPOSABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS The present invention relates to disposable surgical instruments and, more particularly, to a surgical instrument formed of a single piece of molded, resilient'material.

In the prior art, disposable surgical instruments have been developed of single piece molded plastic construction. The prior art surgical instruments have, in general, been unsatisfactory because of the requirement of excessive actuating forces. In addition, the instruments have been molded of plastic material which is easily bent to misalign the instrument components. This problem is a distinct drawback in the case of a pair of surgical scissors which requires accurate alignment of the cutting blades to achieve the desired shearing operation. Further, the material of the prior art surgical instruments have had a relatively low surface hardness which prevents clamping instruments, such as needle holders and towel clips, from performing efficient gripping opcrations. Two-piece surgical instruments which use a rivot or self-threading screw as a fulcrum have been subject to the same problems. In addition, the two-piece instruments have been usually weak at the fulcrum point.

In view of the above drawbacks of the prior art, it is particularly important in the case of surgical instruments of single-piece molded plastic construction to provide an instrument structure which strongly resists the tendency to bend while, at the same time, does not require an excessive actuating force. Furthermore, it is essential to provide surgical instruments of compact structure which facilitate the performance of surgical operations in areas of limited access.

Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide surgical instruments of single piece molded plastic construction which are compact in size, easy to assemble and operate, and sufficient in strength to resist bending and avoid misalignment of the instrument components. A primary purpose of the invention is to provide a basic single piece molded plastic structure which may be used for various types of surgical instruments.

In accordance with the invention, a surgical instrument is formed of a single piece of molded, resilient material which provides a pair of spaced arms each including an elongated shank portion terminating in a jaw member at its front end and a finger grip section at its rear end, pivot means for connecting the arms together for relative pivotal movement, and a U-shaped spring element located between the shank portions and connected to the rear ends of the shank portions for normally biasing the finger grip sections apart to maintain the jaw members in a normally open position, the jaw members being movable together to a closed position upon application of manual pressure on the finger grip sections. Preferably, the U-shaped spring element includes a pair of spring arms connected to the rear ends of the shank portions and a loop portion which joins the spring arms and extends toward the jaw members of the instrument. A preferred embodiment of the invention includes integral locking members formed on the finger grip sections which are cooperable upon closure of the jaw members to interlock and hold the jaw members in a closed position.

The invention also provides a plurality of jaw structures which enable the basic instrument structure to function as a pair of scissors, needle holder, hemostat or towel clip. The jaw members may be molded in different widths, lengths, cross sections or curvatures to suit various surgical applications.

The accompanying drawings illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

Of the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a surgical instrument, e.g., a pair of scissors, formed of a single piece of molded, resilient material shaped to provide a pair of spaced arms connected together by an integral U-shaped spring element and provided with a pivot connection to join the arms for relative pivotal-movement;

FIG. 2 is a side view illustrating the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 assembled with the U-shaped spring element normally biasing the arms of the instrument apart;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 of the pivot connection of the instrument;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section, similar to FIG. 3, illustrating the pivot connection in its assembled configuration;

FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1 of one arm of the instrument and the U-shaped spring element;

FIG. 6 is a vertical section taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 1 illustrating integral locking members provided on each arm of the instrument;

FIG. 7 is a vertical section taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 2 of the cutting blades of the scissors;

FIG. 8 is a vertical section of an alternative embodiment of the cutting blades of the scissors including metal inserts provided along the cutting edges;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view, partially in section, of a pair of jaw members which enable the instrument to function as a needle holder;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view, partially in section, of a pair of jaw members which enable theinstrument to function as a hemostat;

FIG. 11 is a side view of a first pair ofjaw members which enable the instrument to function as a towel clip;

FIG. 12 is a section view of the jaw members taken along line l2-12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a side view of a second pair of jaw members which enable the instrument to function as a towel clip;

FIG. 14 is a bottom view of the upper jaw member of the instrument of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is a top view of the lower jaw member of the instrument of FIG. 12.

FIG. 16 is a side view of a third pair of jaw members which enable the instrument to function as a towel clip; and

FIG. 17 is a bottom view of the upper jaw member of the instrument of FIG. 16.

Referring to FIG. 1, the present invention is embodied as a pair of scissors formed from a single piece of molded, resilient material, e.g., polypropylene. The instrument comprises a pair of spaced arms 20 and 22 substantially identical in configuration. Upper arm 20 includes an elongated shank portion 24 terminating in a jaw member or cutting blade 26 at its front end and a finger grip section 28 at its rear end which provides a finger hole 30. Similarly, lower arm 22 comprises an elongated shank portion 34 terminating in a jaw memher or cuttingblade 36 at its front end and a finger grip section 38 at its rear end which provides a finger hole 40.

The surgical instrument also includes an integral, U- shaped spring element 42 located between shank portions 24 and 34 of the instrument arms. Spring element 42 includes an upper arm 44 connected to the rear end of shank portion 24 of instrument arm 20. Similarly, the spring element includes a lower arm 46 connected to the rear end of shank portion 34 of instrument arm 22. Spring arms 44 and 46 are joined by a loop portion which extends forwardly toward the jaw members of the instrument.

The surgical instrument further includes'pivot means for connecting the arms together for relative pivotal movement. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the scissors include a pivot connectionv comprising an integrally molded fulcrum rivet 48 provided on shank portion 24 of upper arm and a corresponding hole 50 formed in shank portion 34 of lower arm 22 for receiving the rivet.

In the assembly of the instrument, arms 20 and 22 are moved into a crossed configuration (FIG. 2) and rivet 48 is inserted into hole 50. A head 51 (FIG. 4) is then formed on the outer end of the rivet by heat or ultrasonic treatment to join the arms together for relative pivotal movement.

As shown in FIG. 2, U-shaped spring element 42 normally biases finger grip sections 28 and 38 apart to maintain jaw members 26 and 36 in a normally open position. When it is desired to operate the surgical instrument, an operator inserts his fingers into finger holes and and applies manual pressure to finger grip sections 28 and 38 to move the instrument arms together and close jaw members 26 and 36.

Finger grip sections 28 and 38 are provided with integral locking members 52 and 54, respectively, which permit the instrument to be locked in a closed position. Referring to FIG. 6, locking members and 52 are provided with lateral teeth which interlock upon complete closure of arms 20 and 22 to hold jaw members 26 and 36 closed. The arms can be released by bending the finger grip sections laterally, in opposite directions, to disengage the teeth of the locking members.

Referring to FIG. 7, each jaw member or cutting blade of the scissors includes a convex outer surface and a concave inner surface. Cutting blade 26 includes an upper, cutting edge 56 having a bevel between 2 and 5 to the horizontal. Similarly, cutting blade 36 includes a lower, cutting edge 58 also having a bevel between 2 and 5 to the horizontal. The purpose of the bevel is to provide a sharp cutting edge to allow cutting blades 26 and 36 to perform a shearing action as the blades pass each other during closure of the surgical instrument.

In an alternative embodiment of the scissors, an elongated metal insert is provided along the cutting edge of each cutting blade. A shown in FIG. 8, cutting blade 26 can be provided with an elongated metal insert 60 along its upper edge and cutting blade 36 is provided with an elongated metal insert 61 along its lower edge. The metal inserts provide sharp cutting edges which allow the instrument to perform the desired shearing action.

FIG. 9 illustrates a modification of the jaw members which permits the surgical instrument to function as a needle holder. In this embodiment, a lower jaw member 62 has a cross section gradually increasing in width to provide a substantially flat top surface. A longitudinal recess 63 extends along the top surface of lower jaw member 62. Similarly, an upper jaw member 64 hasa' cross section gradually increasing in width to provide a substantially flat bottom surface. An elongated protrusion 65 extends downwardly from the bottom sur-. face of upper jaw member 64 which mates with longituw dinal recess 63 upon closure of the instrument arms. In

operation, a suture needle 66 clamped between the jaw members is held in a manner similar to a beamsupported at spaced points with a center load.

FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of the jaw members which enables the instrument to function as a hemostat. In this embodiment, upper and lower jaw members 67 and 68, respectively, are similar in cross section to jaw members 62 and 64 of FIG. 9. Jaw members 67 and 68 are provided with a plurality of teeth 70 which intermesh upon closure of the jaw members to provide a clamping function useful to reduce or prevent bleed ing in surgical operations.

FIG. 11 illustrates an additional embodiment of the jaw members which enables the surgical instrumentto function as a towel clip. In this embodiment, the upper jaw comprises an elongated blade 74 which includes a plurality of wedge-shaped teeth 76 formed alongits lower edge. Similarly, the lower jaw comprises an elongated blade 78 provided with a plurality of wedge shaped teeth 80 along its upper edge which intermesh with teeth 76upon closure of the jaw members to clamp a towel or similar article. As shown in FIG. 12, teeth 76 and 80 are provided with a lateral 45 bevel on the right-hand side of the teeth.

FIG. 13 illustrates a further embodiment of the jaw members which enables the surgical instrument to male and female mating surfaces for holding a towel or other similar article therebetween upon closure of the jaw members. Upper clamping element 86 includes a male surface pattern in the form of a plurality of radially extending ribs 94 (FIG. 14) which mate with a fe- A male surface pattern in the form of a plurality of corresponding radially extending recesses 96 (FIG. 15) formed in lower clamping element 92 to enable the jaw members to grip the towel or other article.

FIG. 16 illustrates another embodiment of the jaw members which enables the surgical instrument to function as a towel clip. In this embodiment, the upper jaw member comprises a forwardly extending rod 102 provided with a vertical portion 104 which supports an upper clamping element 106. Similarly, the lower jaw member comprises an elongated rod 108 provided with a vertical portion 110 which supports a lower clamping element 112. As shown in FIG. 17, each clamping element has an oval-shaped surface provided with a diamond-shaped pattern of fine teeth which mate with the teeth of the other clamping element upon closure of the jaw members to hold a towel or other similar article therebetween. In addition, the upper jaw member includes an elongated, integral rib 114 extending downwardly from rod 102. Similarly, the lower jaw member includes an elongated, integral rib 116 extending upwardly from rod 108 in alignment with rib 114 of the upper jaw member. The ribs move into clamping engagement with the towel or similar article upon closure of the jaw members to assist in holding of the towel or similar article by the towel clip.

It is contemplated that the jaw members may be molded in various widths, lengths, cross sections or curvatures to suit other surgical applications. For example, it is contemplated that other surgical instruments such as clip-retaining forceps, sponge forceps, and tubing clamps can be constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

The invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details shown and described, and modifications may be made in the details of the surgical instruments without departing from the principles of the present invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A surgical instrument formed of a single piece of molded, resilient material which provides a pair of spaced arms each including an elongated shank portion having a front end terminating in a jaw member and a rear end provided with a finger grip section, pivot means for connecting said arms together for relative pivotal movement, and an integral U-shaped spring element located between said shank portions and connected to said rear ends of said shank portions for holding said arms together in an unassembled configuration of the surgical instrument, said spring element normally biasing said finger grip sections apart in an assembled configuration of the surgical instrument to maintain said jaw members in a normally open position, said jaw members being movable together to a closed position upon application of manual pressure on said finger grip sections.

2. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

said U-shaped spring element includes a pair of spring arms connected to said rear ends of said shank portions with a loop portion joining said spring arms and extending toward said jaw members.

3. The surgical instrument of claim 1, which includes:

integral latching members formed on said finger grip sections and cooperable upon closure of said jaw members to hold said jaw members in the closed position.

4. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

said jaw members are provided with adjacent cutting edges which move past each other upon closure of said jaw members to perform a shearing action.

5. The surgical instrument of claim 4, wherein:

each of said jaw members includes an elongated metal insert provided along its cutting edge.

6. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

one of said jaw members includes a longitudinal recess and the other of said jaw members includes an elongated protrusion which mates with said longitudinal recess upon closure of said jaw members for clamping a suture needle therebetween.

7. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

said jaw members are provided with a plurality of teeth which intermesh upon closure of said jaw members to provide a hemostat.

8. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

each jaw member includes a clamping element provided with mating surfaces for holding a towel-like article therebetween upon closure of said jaw members.

9. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

each of said jaw members comprises a blade having an elongated edge movable into engagement with the corresponding edge of the other blade upon closure of said arms, said blade having a plurality of wedge-shaped teeth formed along its elongated edge which intermesh with the corresponding teeth on the other blade to clamp a towel-like article .therebetween, said teeth being provided with a lateral bevel.

10. The surgical instrument of claim 9, wherein the lateral bevel of said teeth is 45.

11. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

said U-shaped spring element maintains said arms in a spaced, parallel relationship in the unassembled configuration of the surgical instrument.

12. The surgical instrument of claim 1, wherein:

each elongated shank portion includes an enlarged contact surface adjacent to the jaw member at the front end thereof for engaging the corresponding enlargedcontact surface on the other elongated shank portion; and

said pivot means is located at said enlarged contact surfaces on said elongated shank portions.

13. The surgical instrument of claim 13, wherein:

said pivot means comprises a rivet projecting from one of said contact surfaces and a hole formed in the other contact surface for receiving said rivet.

14. The surgical instrument of claim 2, wherein:

each elongated shank portion has a cross-section substantially in the shape of an ellipse with its major axis oriented perpendicularly to the pivot axis of the instrument; and

each of said spring arms has a cross-section substantially in the shape of an ellipse with its major axis oriented in a direction parallel to the pivot axis of the instrument.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CETIFICATE 0F CORRECTION Patent No. 3,921,640 Dated November 25, 1975 Inventor(s) John O. Freeborn It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Claim 13 should be corrected. to be dependent from claim 12.

igned and Scaled this twenty-seventh Day of April 1976 [SEAL] Arrest.-

RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer (mnmissimwr nj'latcnls and Trademarks

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Classifications
U.S. Classification606/158, 606/174, 606/147, 30/261, 606/207
International ClassificationA61B17/04, A61B17/28, A61B17/32
Cooperative ClassificationA61B17/2812, A61B2017/12004, A61B2017/0023, A61B17/062, A61B17/0483, A61B17/3201, A61B17/0467, A61B17/28
European ClassificationA61B17/04C, A61B17/28D, A61B17/28, A61B17/3201, A61B17/062
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 29, 1980AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: C.R.BARD, INC., 731 CENTRAL AVE., MURRAY HILL, NJ.
Effective date: 19800808
Owner name: INTERNATIONAL PAPER COMPANY