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Publication numberUS3925014 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1975
Filing dateJun 26, 1974
Priority dateJun 26, 1974
Publication numberUS 3925014 A, US 3925014A, US-A-3925014, US3925014 A, US3925014A
InventorsLangdon Robert S
Original AssigneeLangdon Robert S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Instrument sterilization
US 3925014 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Langdon 1 1 INSTRUMENT STERILIZATION [76] Inventor: Robert S. Langdon, R.F.D. No. 1,

East Hampton, Conn. 06424 22 Filed: June 26, 1974 2| Appl. No: 483,228

[52] US. Cl 21/105; 21/82 R; 206/370; 211/13 [51] Int. Cl. A61L 3/02; A47F 7/00 [58] Field of Search 21/105, 83, 90, 103, 82 R; 211/7, 13, 60 T, 124, 184; 206/363, 370, 72

[ 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,018,651 10/1935 Bates 21/105 2,316,731 4/1943 Walter 21/90 2,559,636 7/1951 King et a1, 1, 206/370 Dec. 9, 1975 Anderson 206/72 3,021,958 2/1962 Winkler 211/124 3,285,426 11/1966 Wilcke H 211/60T 3,438,506 4/1969 Groth 4. 211/60 T 3,564,662 2/1971 Dold 1. 21/105 3,579,290 5/1971 Pickstone 21/83 Primary Examiner-Barry S. Richman Assislant Examiner-Dale Lovercheck [57] ABSTRACT A rack for storing and supporting, at the time of use, sterile hinged instruments. The rack is comprised of an openwork frame and includes a pair of removable retaining bars which respectively hold the instruments in the open position during sterilization and retain the instruments on the rack until use thereof is desired regardless of the position of the rack.

10 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 3,925,014

INSTRUMENT STERILIZATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to the handling of tools, and particularly surgical instruments, which must be maintained in an ultra-clean condition, presented at the time of use in a manner which facilitates their manipulation and which must be thoroughly cleaned after each use. More specifically, this invention is directed to a surgical instrument rack on which sets of instruments may be retained during both cleansing and storage and, additionally, which can be used to present groups of instruments to operating room personnel in the desired order. Accordingly, the general objects of the present invention are to provide novel and improved methods and apparatus of such character.

2. Description of the Prior Art While not limited thereto in its utility, the present invention is particularly well suited for use in the storage and handling of surgical instruments. In the interest of facilitating and standardizing operating room proce' dure it is common practice to group surgical instruments into standard or basic sets; the set brought to the operating room being determined by the surgical procedure to be followed. These standard groups of instruments are stored in the sterilized condition and, subsequent to use, are subjected to a multi-step cleaning procedure.

In the routine handling of surgical instruments care must be taken to insure that all instruments have been thoroughly cleaned prior to sterilization. Thus, the instruments will first be subjected to a cleaning which may include immersion in an ultra-sonic bath to remove all foreign matter. Thereafter, the instruments will be assembled into a basic set, and the set will be arranged in a perforated or wire-meshed bottom tray for sterilization. During preliminary cleaning and sterilization all jointed instruments must be open or unlocked to permit contact of the steam with all surfaces.

In the operating room the instruments will typically be removed from the tray in which they have been sterilized and will be arranged on a Mayo stand in a manner which permits their being handed to the surgeon as needed without delay. The arrangement of a plurality of instruments, for example jointed clamps, in loose fashion on the stand presents the possibility of accidental droppage thus often necessitating emergency sterilization. The numerous manipulative steps required between each use also presents the possibility that an instrument may be inadvertently misplaced and thus will not be in a basic set when needed.

For the reasons briefly discussed above, there is a need and desire for a technique and apparatus which will minimize the handling of instruments during the cleansing process by eliminating the preparation for each basic step in the cleaning technique. For jointed instruments this requires that some means be provided for facilitating the opening and retaining of the instruments in the open condition during cleaning and sterilization. A concomitant desire is the elimination of the possibility of loss of any instrument from a basic set during processing. This desire may be expressed in terms of the objective of keeping the instruments of a basic set together at all times except when the instruments are in the surgeon's hands.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention achieves the above objectives by providing a novel surgical instrument rack particularly well suited for use with'general hinged surgical instruments. Thus, in accordance with the present invention, a rack is provided upon which basic sets of hinged surgical instruments will remain at all times except when in the surgeons hands.

A rack in accordance with the present invention may be employed during cleaning and subsequent sterilization and will retain the instruments positioned thereon in the unlocked and open condition. A rack in accordance with the present invention includes an openwork frame for supporting the instruments, and a pair of removable retaining bars. The first of these bars will hold the instruments in the opened condition during cleaning and sterilization. A second of these bars will retain the instruments on the rack until use, regardless of the position of the rack, and will only be removed in the operating room.

An instrument rack in accordance with the invention also includes a plurality of removable spacers which permit segregation of and which also support subgroups of instruments thus facilitating use of such instruments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The present invention may be better understood and its numerous objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying drawing wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements in the two figures and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention, FIG. I depicting the invention supporting a hinged surgical instrument in the position which will be assumed during sterilization; and

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side elevation view of the FIG. 1 embodiment, FIG. 2 depicting the invention in the condition it will assume in an operating theater when the instruments are to be withdrawn therefrom for use.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference now simultaneously to FIGS. 1 and 2, the instrument rack of the present invention comprises a main or outer frame member which defines a pair of parallel supporting feet 10 and 12. The feet portions 10 and 12 are, in a preferred embodiment, integral with and interconnected by side members 14 and 16. The side members 14 and 16 are shaped as shown and extend generally upwardly from the front to the back 01 the rack; the rack front being defined by foot portior 12.

A plurality of parallel bars extend transversely of th: side members 14 and I6 and are affixed thereto by any suitable technique such as, for example, welding. In the disclosed embodiment of the invention there are fou transversely extending bars as indicated at 18, 20, 21 and 24. Bars 18, 20 and 22 serve to support the instru ments. The intermediate bar 20, which is not shown a performing any function in the disclosed embodiment will support the forward ends of hinged instruments 0 shorter length than the instruments 26 and 28 respec tively of FIGS. 1 and 2. Supporting bars 18 and 22 de fine a first plane which is inclined upwardly toward th rear or instrument handle supporting side of the rael Similarly bars 20 and 22 define a second inclined plane. The bars 18, 20 and 22 are positioned such that the center of gravity ofeach instrument is intermediate bar 22 and the forwardly disposed one of transverse bars 18 and 20 on which the front end of the instrument is supported.

A rack in accordance with the present invention also ncludes a removable retaining bar 30 which, as shown n FIG. 1, will be supported on the oppositely disposed ipper ends of frame side members 14 and 16. Bar 30 is generally L-shaped and may be locked on the rack by Jeing rotated to the position shown in FIG. 1. Bar 30 :asses behind the cooperating serrated locking posts of he instruments disposed on the rack and above one of he hinged arms of each instrument. Bar 30 will prevent he instruments from falling off the rack even if it is inerted. Under normal circumstances, however, bar 30 loes not contact the instruments. Bar 30 is removed by ieing rotated and then withdrawn to the left, as the ack is shown in FIG. 1, when it is desired to use instrunents carried by the rack.

A second removable bar 32 engages one finger grip iortion of the handle of each instrument as shown in he case of instrument 26 in FIG. 1. Bar 32 will hold the hus engaged instruments in the open position during :leaning and sterilization. The handle engaging bar 32, vhen in use, is supported on a pair of upward extenions 34 and 36 of the rack. Frame extensions 34 and 6 will preferably be integral with the instrument conacting bar 22. Extensions 34 and 36 will be provided, t the upper ends, with bar receiving apertures which may be defined by washers 38 and 40. The washers, or ther suitable bar receiving means, will typically be lelded to extensions 34 and 36 and extension 34 will lso be provided with a spring clamp 42 which will enage and thus hold bar 32 against accidental removal. lt the end of a cleaning procedure the bar 32 will be emoved from the frame and the instruments will asume the closed and unlocked position of instrument 8 of FIG. 2. Thus, removable bar 32 will only be em loyed during the cleaning process whereas removable ar 30 will remain with the rack at all times except hen the instruments are in use. It is also to be noted rat the extensions 34 and 36 may be designed or iounted for pivoting or rotation so that they can be wung downwardly out of the way upon completion of ie cleaning process.

A surgical instrument rack in accordance with the resent invention may also include a plurality of spring iaded separators such as separator 44. As may best be am from FIG. 2, the separators 44 will engage the forardly disposed support bar 18 and will also, by virtue fa spring-type socket, engage the transverse bar 24. he separators 44 are employed to arrange instruments n the rack in predetermined groups and also, as may i: seen in the case of instrument 26 in FIG. 1, to suport the end instrument of each group in a substantially :rtical orientation whereby the instruments may be :adily removed from the rack. A surgical instrument rack in accordance with the resent invention will typically be comprised of stainss steel and, in the design and fabrication of the rack, |e number ofjoints or crevices in which foreign matter ight accumulate will be minimized. The latter objecve is, in part, accomplished by using round stock.

As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, instruents arranged on the rack of the present invention ill remain on the rack at all times except when in the hands of the surgeon. When use of the instruments has been completed they will be immediately returned to the rack and the bar 30 reinserted. Thereafter, at the initiation of the cleaning procedure, the bar 32 will be engaged with the instrument handles whereby the instruments may be held in the open position throughout the cleaning procedures. When cleaning and sterilization has been completed the bar 32 will be removed and the rack and instruments thereon wrapped in sterile fabric material, and returned to storage until the next use.

While a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.

What is claimed is:

l. A surgical instrument rack for supporting instruments during the cleaning and sterilization of said instruments comprising:

means for supporting a plurality of elongated hinged instruments in side-by-side alignment, said supporting means consisting of an open-work frame means comprising plural support surface means whereby each instrument is supported by at least two said support surface means, said at least two said support surface means being horizontally and vertically offset from each other whereby the handle ends of instruments disposed on said supporting means are displaced vertically above the working ends thereof;

means for releasably engaging one handle portion of each of the instruments disposed on said supporting means;

frame extension means connected to said supporting means frame for receiving and supporting said releasably engaging means vertically above an inclined plane defined by said support surface means whereby an engaged instrument handle portion will be displaced away from the other handle portion of each such engaged hinged instrument and the instruments may be held in the open condition during cleaning and sterilizing; and

instrument retaining means, said retaining means separably engaging said supporting means and cooperating with said supporting means and the instruments disposed thereon to prevent accidental separation of instruments from the frame when in an installed position, said retaining means being removed from contact with said supporting means when it is desired to use the instruments.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said releasable engaging means comprises:

an elongated bar; and wherein said frame extension means comprises:

means for supporting said elongated bar; and

locking means for preventing accidental removal of said bar.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said retaining means comprises:

an elongated bar, said bar being normally in contact with said supporting means and cooperating with handles of the instruments to prevent substantial movement of the handle portion of each instrument which contacts said supporting means with respect to said supporting means; and

locking means for preventing accidental removal of said bar. 4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said releasable engaging means comprises: a second elongated bar; and wherein said frame extension means comprises:

means for supporting said second elongated bar; and locking means for preventing accidental removal of said second bar. 5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: movable separator means, said separator means engaging said supporting means and extending generally parallel to instruments positioned thereon for arranging said instruments in groups and supporting said groups of instruments in a generally verti cal side orientation. 6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said separator means comprise:

resilient members releasably engaging said supporting means at two spatially displaced points. 7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said supporting means further comprises:

a pair of generally parallelly oriented side members; a pair of downwardly extending leg extensions on each of said side members, first legs of each of said pair of said leg extensions being of greater length than the other leg of each pair; and wherein said support surface means comprises a plurality of spaced apart parallel bars, said bars being affixed to and generally transversely oriented with respect to said side members, said bars being positioned so as to contact and support instruments with the center of gravity of the instruments lo cated intermediate the contacting parallel bars.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said retaining means comprises:

a first elongated bar, said first elongated bar being normally in contact with said supporting means and being displaced toward the instrument handle receiving side of said supporting means from said side member first leg extensions, said bar preventing substantial movement of the handle portions of the instruments with respect to said supporting means; and

blocking means for preventing accidental removal of said first elongated bar.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said releasable engaging means comprises:

a second elongated bar; and wherein said frame extension means comprises:

means for supporting said second elongated bar; and

locking means for preventing accidental removal of said second bar.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 further comprising:

movable resilient members engaging said supporting means at two spatially displaced points, said resilient members extending generally transverse to said spaced instrument contacting parallel bars and serving to separate instruments on said rack into groups.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US4229420 *Mar 26, 1979Oct 21, 1980American Hospital Supply CorporationSurgical instrument rack
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Classifications
U.S. Classification422/310, 422/300, 211/70.7, 206/370
International ClassificationA61L2/26
Cooperative ClassificationA61L2/26
European ClassificationA61L2/26