|Publication number||USRE40432 E1|
|Application number||US 10/613,144|
|Publication date||Jul 15, 2008|
|Filing date||Apr 29, 1997|
|Priority date||Apr 30, 1996|
|Also published as||DE69736894D1, EP0904018A1, EP0904018A4, EP0904018B1, US6065596, WO1997040753A1|
|Publication number||10613144, 613144, PCT/1997/259, PCT/AU/1997/000259, PCT/AU/1997/00259, PCT/AU/97/000259, PCT/AU/97/00259, PCT/AU1997/000259, PCT/AU1997/00259, PCT/AU1997000259, PCT/AU199700259, PCT/AU97/000259, PCT/AU97/00259, PCT/AU97000259, PCT/AU9700259, US RE40432 E1, US RE40432E1, US-E1-RE40432, USRE40432 E1, USRE40432E1|
|Inventors||Michael Shane Cavanagh|
|Original Assignee||Catilina Nominees Pty. Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (26), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (5), Classifications (13), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a U.S. national application (a 371) of international application Ser. No. PCT/AU97/00259 filed Apr. 29, 1997, which claims priority to Australian (AU) Ser. No. PN 9597 filed Apr. 30, 1996.
This invention relates to containers.
The invention has particular but not exclusive application to containers such as trays for use in surgical procedures for holding a sharp instrument having a cutting portion.
As used herein the expression “sharp instrument” includes equipment which can cut, puncture or otherwise be invasive such as scalpels, needles and other sharp or pointed surgical instruments. The expression “cutting portion” is to be taken to include any surface, edge or point which cuts, punctures or is otherwise invasive and includes a scalpel blade and a needle point.
During an operation, a scalpel is transferred between surgeon and scrub nurse or other assistant either directly from hand to hand, or more frequently by one person placing it in a tray for the other to pick up. The tray currently used for this purpose is an open topped kidney shaped dish which provides users with no protection against accidental injury from the scalpel blade. Many other instruments such as suture needles and Veress needles are passed directly between the surgeon and scrub nurse or other assistant.
The present invention aims to provide an alternative to known containers, systems and methods for the handling of sharp instruments during surgical procedures.
This invention is one aspect resides broadly in a container for holding a sharp instrument having a handle portion and a cutting portion, the sharp instrument being held within the container to be easily accessible during surgical procedures, the container including:
The guide means may converge toward the instrument recess and in a preferred embodiment the container includes inclined walls converging to the opening, the inclined walls constituting the guide means.
In one embodiment the instrument recess is elongated and closed at each end, is adapted to receive a scalpel and along two opposite lengths thereof has a cross sectional configuration of width slightly greater than the major cross-sectional dimension of a scalpel and depth slightly greater than the minor cross-sectional dimension of a scalpel, the length of the instrument recess being such that the scalpel blade is located within one of the opposite lengths irrespective of the position of the scalpel in the instrument recess.
It is preferred that the instrument recess has sidewalls and a base, the junctions thereof being radiussed such that a scalpel is disposed to rest in the recess with its major cross-sectional dimension parallel to the base.
The container may include access means for providing a user with access to the scalpel handle for removing the scalpel from the instrument recess.
The access means could be a pivoting lever arrangement adapted to elevate the scalpel handle portion or alternatively a portion of the container sidewall can pivot to achieve this effect. However the access means is preferably a finger access recess, the cross sectional configuration of the finger access recess being such as to allow a user's fingers to contact the scalpel handle for removing the scalpel from the instrument recess, the position of the finger access recess being such that the scalpel blade is not located within the finger access recess irrespective to eh position of the scalpel in the instrument recess.
The container may include barrier means for preventing a user's fingers entering the instrument recess. The barrier means may constitute the opening to the instrument recess, the width of the opening being such as to allow a scalpel to enter the recess but to prevent a user's fingers entering the recess.
In one preferred embodiment the container may include handle means whereby a user can hold the container. Alternatively, the container may include handle mounting means for mounting a detachable handle whereby a user can hold the container.
In another embodiment the container has a plurality of the instrument recesses each adapted to receive a scalpel therein.
In a further embodiment the container is adapted to contain a suture needle holder and a suturing needle held thereby, and the instrument recess is substantially semi-cylindrical and adapted to receive the suturing needle.
In an alternative embodiment the container is adapted to contain a straight needle and a suture threaded thereto, and the instrument recess is elongated and closed at one end and adapted to receive the straight needle, the container also including a suture recess for receiving the suture. This arrangement may also be included in the container adapted to contain a suture needle holder and a suturing needle.
In another aspect this invention resides broadly in a container for holding a scalpel during surgical procedures, the container including:
In a further aspect this invention resides broadly in a container for holding a suture needle holder and a suturing needle held thereby during surgical procedures, the container including:
In another aspect the invention also resides broadly in a container container for holding a straight needle and a suture threaded thereto, the straight needle and threaded suture being held within the container to be easily accessible during surgical procedures, the container including:
In another aspect this invention resides broadly in a method of transferring a sharp instrument having a handle portion and a cutting portion between operators during a surgical procedure, wherein:
In order that this invention may be more easily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention, wherein:
Sloping side walls 20,21 constitute guide means which guide scalpel 12 when placed in placed in container 11 toward scalpel recess 15. Sloped end walls 22,23 also guide the scalpel to toward the scalpel recess.
Intermediate opposite portions 18,19 of scalpel recess 15, finger access recess 24 provides a user with access to scalpel handle 13 for removing scalpel 12 from scalpel recess 15. Finger access recess 24 has a cross sectional configuration such as to allow a user's fingers to contact the scalpel handle for removing the scalpel from the scalpel recess. Finger access recess 24 is positioned along scalpel recess 15 such that scalpel blade 14 is not located within finger access recess 24 irrespective of the position of scalpel 12 in scalpel recess 15. Moreover the length of scalpel recess 15 is such that scalpel blade 14 is located within one of portions 18,19 irrespective of the position of scalpel 12 in scalpel recess 15 and irrespective of the type of scalpel being used.
Thus the shortest of the available blade and handle combinations, which will of course have the largest fore and aft movement in the recess, will still have its sharp blade positioned outside the central finger access recess.
By suitably configuring the length of scalpel recess 15 and the length of finger access recess 24, container 11 is designed to have a universally accommodating all scalpels in a manner such that a scalpel received within the scalpel recess is positioned therein such that the cutting edge of scalpel blade 14 is located in finger access recess 24, and is not directed towards the opening or upper entrance of scalpel recess 15. Accordingly a user's fingers are substantially prevented from contacting scalpel blade 14.
The downwardly sloping side and end walls mean that the less precision is required by users when replacing the scalpel in the container. The downwardly sloping side walls, and also the end walls, direct the scalpel positively toward the scalpel recess. Both scalpel blades and scalpel handles are wider than they are thick, and the scalpel is thus disposed to come to rest in a flat position in the base of the scalpel recess. In this position the sharp scalpel blade is below the upper edge of the scalpel recess. The low centre of gravity of the container and its relatively wide base provide stability on uneven surfaces such as when placed on a patient's person during a surgical procedure or operation.
One end and one side of container 25 each have a mounting assembly 35 for receiving therein and mounting a handle 36 (as seen in FIGS. 7A and 7B). Mounting assembly 35 has a cut out slot 37 in a recessed end or side wall 38 which can receive the locking lip 39 of handle 36 as best seen in
Alternatively, as seen in
As can be seen in
In another embodiment seen in
The upper edges of the recess sidewalls 55,56 are greatly sloped and radiussed towards neck 51 so that when a scalpel is being removed from the tray under the action of a user's fingers, the flat of the handle will slide upwardly over one of recess sidewalls 55,56 so that it presents to neck 51 with its narrow handle width transverse to the opening.
The tray illustrated stores up to four blades and their handles, two long and two short handles fitted with a variety of scalpel blades. This unit also features a recessed area for the safe storage of long Veress needles 66 used for the introduction of gas into the abdominal cavity for visualisation of the abdominal and pelvic cavities during surgical operations. The tray will prove useful where more than one scalpel blade is used during a surgical operation as it provides a safe means of storing scalpel blades when they are not in use. The majority of surgical operations require the use of more than one scalpel blade. The tray has a low centre of gravity and being of substantially square shape is stable when positioned on an instrument trolley, thereby reducing the risk of its contents falling out and causing injury.
A needle holder is shaped like a pair of long fine pliers with a handle locking mechanism. When a holder 68 fully loaded with needle 69 and a suture (not illustrated) is placed into container 67, the suture needle 69 sits below the middle sloping section 73 in a recess 70 and the width of recess 70 allows little fore and aft movement thus offering stability for the needle holder and its attached suture needle. Moreover the point of the suture needle is below the middle ramp section 73 thereby minimising the risk of a user's fingers accidentally coming into contact with the sharp needle. Because the middle ramp section 73 slopes downwards towards the recess 70, the finger grips 75 of needle holder 68 are elevated above flat surface 74 thereby allowing user's fingers sufficient room to be inserted and facilitating removal of needle holder 68 from the container. The unit could be manufactured to suit a variety of needle holder sizes. The low rectangular design of the container provides stability when placed on a patient's person during an operation.
Suture recess serves the dual purpose of maintaining suture 78 in a sterile environment and provides sufficient room for a user's fingers to grasp the blunt end of the needle. Straight suture needles are very fine and are therefore very light in weight. To ensure that the light needle does not become dislodged during transfer, a small magnet 89 is positioned beneath needle recess 79.
The containers described above can be made from a range of suitable material as will be well known to those skilled in the art. If intended to be re-used they can be made from autoclavable plastic and will include sufficient steam ventilation holes for autoclaving purposes. Alternatively if intended to be disposable, they can be made cheaply from a suitable plastics material.
In use during surgical procedures, it will be appreciated that containers in accordance with the present invention utilise a principle conferring significant advantages over existing methods, systems and equipment. Sharp instruments are traditionally passed between surgeons, scrub nurses and other theatre staff either directly hand to hand, or by being placed in a container such as a conventional general purpose kidney bowl.
However in accordance with the present invention, the dangers of needle stick injury or other injury from a non-sterile sharp instrument which may have been invasively used on a patient are significantly reduced by utilising a specific purpose-designed container in which the sharp instrument is positioned by the transferor of the sharp instrument and from which the sharp instrument is removed by the transferee or receiver of the sharp instrument, the container of the present invention being such that the sharp instrument is received within an instrument recess and positioned therein such that the cutting portion of the instrument is not directed towards the opening of the instrument recess whereby the fingers of the transferor or transferee are substantially prevented from contacting the cutting portion.
The scalpel container provides substantially advantages and is an improvement on the traditional kidney tray which being an open topped disk gives little if any protection to users against accidental injury from the scalpel blade. Injury from scalpel blades carry the possibility of an operator contacting a serious or fatal disease and the present invention significantly minimises this risk.
The present invention also improves upon the current method for storing scalpels on a scrub nurse's instrument trolley (which is simply to place them into an open kidney shaped disk or to leave them sitting loosely on the sterile cloth drape which covers the instrument trolley). Removing the blade and its handle from these kidney dishes involves the risks mentioned above, and storing them loosely on the drapes not only involves the same risk but also carries the risk of the sharp blade penetrating the cotton trolley drape and rendering the blade tip unsterile. This would then render the cloth trolley unsterile as well and would also put the patient at risk of contracting an infection.
The suturing needle container also has a number of significant advantages. Suture materials vary in length and in elasticity and some modern materials are very loose and fall freely under gravity to their full length. In an operating theatre anything that falls below scrub nurse waist level is deemed to be unsterile and endangers the patient of contracting an intra-operative infection. This frequently occurs with known methods of needle holder and suture transfer between surgeon and scrub nurse. Storing all the suture material in the dished recessed area of the tray avoids this problem. The tray also protects the patient against needle stick injury. Often when the scrub nurse is busy, the surgeon if finished the operation will place a needle holder with a suture needle loaded onto it onto the drapes covering the patient. This can then penetrate the drapes and injure the patient. Personal transfer of a loaded needle holder from one person to another, as commonly occurs in known systems, carries a high risk of needle stick injury. The suture tray of the present invention significantly minimizes all these risks.
The physical transfer of straight needles between members of a surgical team also involves an extremely high risk of needle stick injury and this is also significantly minimised by the straight needle container of the present invention.
It will of course be realised that whilst the above has been given by way of an illustrative example of this invention, all such and other modifications and variations hereto, as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art, are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of this invention as is herein set forth.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7980517 *||Jul 26, 2010||Jul 19, 2011||Surgisure, Llc||Neutral field tray system|
|US8453977||May 2, 2011||Jun 4, 2013||Surgisure, Llc||Neutral field tray system|
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|U.S. Classification||206/352, 206/363, 206/380|
|International Classification||B65D85/24, A61B17/32, A61B19/02, A61B17/06|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B17/3217, A61B17/06061, A61B50/20, A61B50/33, A61B2050/3011|
|Apr 17, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CATILINA NOMINEES PTY. LTD. (IN ITS CAPACITY AS TR
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CAVANAGH, MICHAEL SHANE;REEL/FRAME:020819/0914
Effective date: 20070315
|Nov 8, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12