|Publication number||USRE38700 E1|
|Application number||US 09/828,651|
|Publication date||Feb 15, 2005|
|Filing date||Apr 6, 2001|
|Priority date||May 14, 1998|
|Also published as||US6041776|
|Publication number||09828651, 828651, US RE38700 E1, US RE38700E1, US-E1-RE38700, USRE38700 E1, USRE38700E1|
|Inventors||Stephen W. Briggs, III|
|Original Assignee||Briggs Iii Stephen W|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (15), Classifications (10), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to a medical device and more particularly to an improved medical nebulization device which provides means for supplying one or more auxiliary gases for nebulization, as well as a main stream of nebulizing gases.
2. Prior Art
Aerosol therapy in the field of respiratory care is indicated for retained secretions, humidification of inspired gas and to directly administer bronchodilator medications to the smooth muscles of a patient's airways. The administration of aerosols improves bronchial hygiene, hydrates retained secretions and, when used with bronchial dilators, relieves shortness of breath in compromised patients, that is, those with asthmatic or chronic obstructive pulmonary conditions (COPD).
Typically, asthmatic and COPD patients are treated with a conventional hand held nebulizing device to deliver aerosolized medications to the sensitized airways. For example, in the conventional emergency treatment of asthma, a hand held small volume nebulizer is utilized with a typical dose of 0.5 cc of Albuterol Sulfate solution, repeated 3-4 times in an E.R. in combination with steroids to help reduce the inflammatory process and shortness of breath in the patient.
Moreover, it has been found that the early administration of large doses (10-15 mg) per hour of medication/saline by means of a nebulizer can have positive dramatic effects on patient outcomes, reducing hospital stay times by as much as 3 days. The nebulizer not only delivers large amounts of medication to the affected areas but deposits them even in the smaller peripheral airways. Large amounts of nebulized saline delivered by the nebulizer assist in breaking down mucus plugs in the patient's airways and cooling and moisturizing those airways.
3. Applicant's Inferences from the Prior Art
For those compromised asthmatic and COPD patients who exhibit swollen and mucus obstructed airways, it may also be beneficial to utilize a secondary and lighter weight inert gas to deliver medications to bypass obstructed airways. Helium, an inert and metabolically stable gas, readily diffuses into swollen airways. A mixture of 80% oxygen and 20% helium would therefore be useful for such purposes.
The ideal nebulizing device for medical use would permit continuous nebulization for extended periods of time, utilizing small particle size aerosol for maximum deposition in the airways, and also have the capability of introducing in a controlled manner through a secondary inlet port lighter gas as needed to facilitate deposition of aerosolized medication into the lung parenchyma. Such device should be driven by a primary gas source or either oxygen or air but permit bleeding in of lighter gas as required for a special application.
Currently, the continuous nebulizing devices available do not meed the requirements set forth above for the ideal device. None of the current devices are capable of entraining a secondary small amount of special inert gas from a supplemental gas source. It would be highly desireable to provide a medical nebulizing device meeting the criteria for the ideal device.
The improved nebulizing device of the present invention satisfies all the foregoing needs. The device is substantially as set forth in the Abstract of the Disclosure.
Thus, the device comprises a nebulizing head and a removeable liquid medication-holding reservoir attached to the bottom thereof. The head has a closed top, closed sides and open bottom defining a central space in which is secured a nebulization chamber having closed sides and an open top and bottom. The chamber can be funnel or hour glass shaped or the like.
A nebulization baffle or annular flow aerosol nozzle is secured to the underside of the head top and disposed within the chamber. A liquid syphon or draw tube has its upper end connected to the baffle and extends down through the chamber and into the reservoir.
A nebulized aerosol output port extends between the space outside the chamber in the head and a point peripheral of one side of the head and may have an extension which directs the aerosol towards and into the patient.
Of primary importance, an auxiliary multiple gas entrainment inlet port is provided which, at its outer end has a removeable seal cap, and extends from a point peripheral of the head and remote from the outlet port to a point within the chamber. This inlet port permits auxiliary gases such as light weight helium or another gas alone or in admixture with oxygen or air or the like to be bled into the primary gas stream flow path through the nebulizer head and thus to exit with and as part of the output aerosol when and as needed, without interrupting the continuous output flow of aerosol from the device. Such primary flow powers the auxiliary gas through the device.
Preferably, the primary oxygen and/or air flow through the device is driven by pressurized gas from a flowmeter. The gas passing through the device draws liquid such as a mixture of medication and saline solution from the reservoir up the draw tube by a Venturi effect to and through a spraying and baffle system within the device to provide a fine aerosol mist of, for example, 2.5-3.0 um particle size. The device may be driven by a primary gas source of, for example, 50 psi operating at, for example, 13 liters/min. to provide about 25-30 cc/hr of aerosol.
Preferably, the reservoir has a graduated scale on it and a large capacity of, for example, about 200-500cc or more of medication/saline solution so that continuous nebulization can be carried out for up to about 20 hrs or more without recharging the reservoir.
Further features of the improved nebulization device of the present invention are set forth in the following detailed description and accompanying drawings.
Now referring more particularly to
Thus, device 10 is shown which comprises a nebulizing head 12 releasably connected to a liquid-containing reservoir 14. Head 12 includes a closed top 16, closed sides 18 and an open bottom 20 collectively defining a generally central space 22. Head 12 is preferably in the form of a shell 24 of glass, plastic or the like, and is preferably generally cylindrical.
A nebulization chamber 26 is secured at its upper end to the inner surfaces of sides 18 and depends therefrom within the central portion of space 22 below top 16 and above bottom 20 and may be formed as an integral part of shell 24, if desired.
Head 12 also includes a nebulization baffle 34 conventional design secured to the underside of head top 16 and having a central passageway 36 extending vertically down through top 16, through which the main stream of nebulizing gas (not shown) can pass into and through baffle 34 after connection of a primary gas line (not shown) to baffle 34 through a nipple nut adapter 38 carried by top 16. The bottom of baffle 34 is connected to the upper end of a hollow draw tube 40 up through which liquid 42 in reservoir 14 is drawn by suction or Venturi effect into baffle 34 for aerosolizing, that is, nebulizing.
Head 12 is releasably secured to reservoir 14 by mating threads 44 and 46, respectively, in the inner surface of the bottom portion of head 12 and outer surface of reservoir 14 at the upper end thereof. Preferably, reservoir 14 is transparent and bears a graduated vertical scale 48 for determining the amount of liquid 42 in reservoir 14. Scale 48 can be molded into or separately applied to reservoir 14, as desired.
Head 12 also includes a nebulized aerosol output port 50 defined in a side 18 or head 12 and extending into communication with space 22 but external of chamber 26, as shown in FIG. 1. Port 50 extends peripheraly of head 12 and preferably is elongated and funnel shaped for delivery of the nebulized aerosol to a patient.
Head 12 further includes a novel auxiliary gas entrainment inlet port 52 defined in a side 18 and extending into space 22, specifically into the upper portion of chamber 26. Inlet port 52 is provided with an external tube portion 54 extending peripherally of shell 24, and a removeable seal cap 56, in
This auxiliary gas is used intermittently as needed and is powered through device 10 by primary gas such as oxygen and/or air driven under pressure into device 10 from a pressurized gas supply source. Such source is connected to device 10 through nipple 38 and the primary gas passes through passageway 36 in baffle 34 and then into nebulization chamber 26, causing by venturi effect liquid 42 to be drawn up through tube 40 into baffle 34 for nebulization with such primary gas.
The resulting aerosol exits chamber 26 and out of device 10 through output port 50 to the patient. The auxiliary gas from inlet port 52 meets the nebulized aerosol in chamber 26 and exits therewith through port 50. In effect, such auxiliary gas is bled into the flowstream in head 12 when and as needed, without interrupting the production of aerosol and its output from device 10.
Device 10 can therefore be operated to provide an intermittent or continuous output of nebulized aerosol, preferably a continuous stream of the aerosol. Usually, the auxiliary gas or gases are used for periodic bleeding into the main gas flow in device 10 for specialized augmentation of the content of the aerosol output. Device 10 thus provides features which improve the function of a medical nebulizer for improved treatment of a patient, in contrast to conventional medical nebulizers.
A second preferred embodiment of the improved medical nebulization device of the present invention is schematically depicted in FIG. 2. Thus, device 10a is shown. Components thereof similar to those of device 10 bear the same numerals but are succeeded by the letter “a”.
Device 10a is substantially identical to device 10 except as follows:
The other features and advantages of device 10a are similar to those of device 10. Accordingly, devices 10 and 10a have substantial advantages over the prior art devices.
Various modifications, changes, alterations and additions can be made in the improved medical nebulization device of the present invention, its components and parameters. All such modifications, changes, alterations and additions as are within the scope of the appended claims form part of the present invention.
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|U.S. Classification||128/200.21, 128/203.12, 128/200.14, 128/204.14|
|International Classification||A61M11/06, A61M16/00, A61M11/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A61M11/06, A61M11/002|
|Jul 19, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: S & T MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRIGGS, SUSAN D.;REEL/FRAME:017957/0284
Effective date: 20060519
|May 8, 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Oct 18, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: S&T MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRIGGS, SUSAN D., EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF STEPHEN W. BRIGG, III;REEL/FRAME:019991/0722
Effective date: 20060519
|Apr 6, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12