FLOW CONTROLLER FOR IV CHAMBER
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates in general to IV equip-' ment, and, more particularly, to flow rate controls for IV equipment.
Accurate control of the flow rate of fluids being administered to a patient is of critical importance. There io are several devices which control such flow rate, with the devices disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,323,774 and 3,785,378being examples of such devices.
However, these known devices have sliding joints and broken fluid paths which create fluid leakage and 15 sterility problems. Air leakage problems may also arise.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The device embodying the teachings of the present invention controls fluid flow from an IV chamber with- 20 out sliding joints and broken fluid paths.
The device includes an annular plug integral with an IV chamber. The plug has a bore defined centrally thereof and has an IV tube connector depending there- 25 from. The tube connector has a bore defined therein to be fluidly connected to the plug bore. A flexible, deformable tube is located within the two bores.
A plunger rod bore is defined in the plug to extend radially of that plug from the plug bore to the outer 30 surface of that plug. A plunger rod is slidably positioned in the radial bore and extends out of the plug.
A skirt surrounds the plug and has a crescent-shaped groove defined circumferentially therein to be aligned with the radial bore. The skirt is movable circumferen- 35 tially of the IV chamber, and such movement alters the distance between the radial bore and the inner surface of the skirt due to the crescent-shaped groove.
As the skirt is rotated with respect to the chamber, the rod is pushed into or allowed to move outwardly of the radial bore under the influence of the natural resiliency of the tubing.
Flow rate of fluid to the IV tubing is adjusted by the amount the tubing is pinched off by the plunger rod. 45 Such adjustment varies from zero occlusion and full flow when the rod is fully withdrawn into the radial bore, to full occlusion and zero flow when the rod is fully inserted into the axial bore, thereby completely pinching off the tubing. 50
There are no sliding joints and no breaks in the fluid path between the IV chamber and the IV tubing. Thus, there are no joint engendered leakage or sterility problems. Furthermore, there is no chance for air to leak into the fluid path via a joint. 55
OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
It is a main object of the present invention to control flow from an IV chamber while still having an unbro- ^ ken fluid path from the IV chamber to the IV tubing.
This together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and, operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to 65 the accompanying drawings forming part hereof, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective showing the flow control mechanism embodying the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a cutaway elevation of the flow control mechanism embodying the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a view taken along line 3—3 of FIG. 2 showing the device in a full open position.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing the device in a mid-flow position.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing the device in a zero flow, or flow-off, position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
Shown in FIG. 1 is an IV chamber 10 having a drip rate control mechanism 12 integral therewith. The IV chamber receives fluid, such as parenteral fluid, or the like, from a source (not shown) and transfers that fluid to IV tubing 14 for transfer to a device administering that fluid to a patient. The chamber 10 is cylindrical and has a wall 16.
As best shown in FIG. 2, the drip rate control mechanism 12 includes a cylindrical plug 20 integral with the bottom rim of the wall 16. The plug 20 includes a bore 24 defined centrally therethrough. The plug has an outer diameter greater than the outer diameter of the wall 16 and thus has an annular shoulder 26 defined on upper surface 28 thereof. The plug has a stepped lower surface 30 which includes first surface 32 and second surface 34. A lug 36 depends from the plug and has an outer surface 38 tapered to frictionally retain IV tubing 14 thereon, and a bore 40 defined longitudinally through the lug to be aligned with and in fluid communication with bore 24. The bore 40 has an inner diameter slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the bore 24 so a shoulder 44 is defined subjacent the plane containing the first surface 32.
A bore 50 is defined radially in the plug to have one end 52 thereof defined in circumferential outer surface 54 of the plug, and the other end 56 thereof defined in inner surface 58 of the bore 24 so that the bore 24 is in communication with the outside of the plug.
A semi-cylindrical skirt 60 is rotatably mounted around the IV chamber. The skirt has a body 62 with a top 64 having a bore 66 defined therein to accommodate the chamber 10. The top 64 thus forms an annular collar surrounding the chamber. The body 62 has an inner surface 66 slidingly contacting the plug outer surface and has a groove 70 defined therein to be co-level with the bore 50. A lower rim 72 has a foot 74 which defines a lower wall of the groove 70. The groove 70 has a top wall 76 and a rear wall 78, with the rear wall 78 being located in a plane which is parallel with the plane containing the end 56 of the bore 50.
The groove 70 is best shown in FIGS. 3-5 to be crescent-shaped with a first inner surface 80 and a second inner surface 82 corresponding to rear wall 78. The surfaces 80 and 82 are located closely adjacent each other at end 84 of the groove and are spaced apart from each other at end 86 of the groove so that the groove is circumferentially narrowing in one direction and circumferentially widening in the other direction. The foot 74 has an upper surface 90 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 for reference.