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United States Patent  [ii] Patent Number: 4,546,762
Upsher  Date of Patent: Oct. 15, 1985
U.S. Patent Oct 15,1985 Sheet 1 of2 4,546,762
U.S. Patent Oct 15,1985 Sheet 2 of2 4,546,762
 LARYNGOSCOPE INCLUDING A LATERALLY OFFSET BLADE
 Inventor: Michael S. Upsher, 2957 Adeline Dr., Burlingame, Calif. 94010
 Appl. No.: 501,538
 Filed: Jim. 6, 1983
 Int. C1.+ A61B 17/24
 U.S. CI 128/11
 Field of Search 128/10, 11
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,354,471 7/1944 Macintosh 128/10
3,766,909 10/1973 Ozbey 128/11
4,037,588 7/1977 Heckele 128/11
4,086,919 5/1978 Bullard 128/11
4,314,551 2/1982 Kadell 128/11
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
1278067 9/1968 Fed. Rep. of Germany 128/10
2738202 3/1979 Fed. Rep. of Germany 128/11
Primary Examiner—Kyle L. Howell
Assistant Examiner—Ruth S. Smith
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Flehr, Hohbach, Test,
Albritton & Herbert
A laryngoscope comprising a handle and a blade disengagably connected therewith is disclosed therein. The handle includes an elongated, straight hand gripping segment containing a power source. The blade includes a handle connecting backend segment containing a light source and an elongated tongue lifting and tube guiding front segment which carries a light guide. This latter segment is made up of first and second subsegments extending its entire length, the first subsegment being disposed within a plane through the elongation axis of the hand gripping segment and serving to contain a light guide and the second subsegment being disposed laterally to one side of the same plane and serving to elevate the patient's tongue and to guide an endotracheal tube into the patient's throat.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures
LARYNGOSCOPE INCLUDING A LATERALLY
The present invention relates generally to a laryngo- 5 scope and more particularly to a laryngoscope comprised of a conventional or standard handle and a specifically designed non-standard blade engagably connectable with the handle in a laterally offset operating position. 10
As used herein, the "standard laryngoscope" refers to the one specifically illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, generally designated by the reference numeral 10. This laryngoscope includes a handle 12 having an elongated, straight hand gripping segment 14, and a blade connect- 15 ing head segment 16 extending up from the uppermost end 18 (FIG. 2) of segment 14. This laryngoscope also includes a blade 20 separate from the handle and having a handle connecting back segment 22 and an elongated, slightly curved tongue lifting and endotracheal tube 20 guiding front segment 24 extending out from segment 22. As seen best in FIG. 2, segment 16 includes a pair of spaced apart support flanges 26 extending up from the uppermost end 18 of hand gripping segment 14. A blade supporting pin 28 (FIG. 1) is connected to and between 25 these flanges near the front, top end of the latter. The handle connecting back segment 22 of blade 20 includes a front jaw-shaped section 30 defining a slot 32 (FIG. 1) and a rearward base 34 (FIG. 2). Blade 20 is disengagably connected to handle 12 by engaging the slot 32 30 around support pin 28 and thereafter rotating base 34 into its FIG. 2 position between flanges 26. While not shown in FIGS. 1 or 2, the flanges 26 and base 34 include cooperating means for maintaining blade in its operating position. 35
In addition to the components thus far described, standard laryngoscope 10 includes a power supply, e.g. one or more batteries (not shown), contained within hand gripping segment 14 of handle 12 and an electrical contact 35 located at the uppermost end of and carried 40 by segment 14 along the elongation axis 46 of the latter. At the same time, blade 20 carries its own light source 36, e.g. a light bulb, at the front end of the segment 24 and a contact 38 electrically connected to the light source by means of a conduit contained lead wire 40. 45 Contact 38 is carried by base 34 on the underside of the latter in a position so as to engage contact 35 when the blade is placed in its operating position. This closes an electrical circuit between the power supply in handle 12 and the light source so as to cause the latter to energize. 50
As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the tongue 24 of blade 20 may be separated into laterally adjacent subsegments 42 and 44 extending its entire length. Subsegment 42 is located in a plane extending through the elongation axis 46 of hand gripping segment 14 and serves to lift the 55 patient's tongue and guide an endotracheal tube into the throat of a patient. Subsegment 44 which is disposed laterally to one side of subsegment 42 serves to contain lead wire 40. This positional relationship between the subsegments 42 and 44 and the rest of the laryngoscope 60 has certain drawbacks. First, it should be noted that subsegment 42 is what may be considered the working subsegment of the blade in that it is used to physically guide the endotracheal tube into the patient's throat, as stated. Since this subsegment is in direct line with the 65 handle's hand gripping segment, it is located relatively close to the user's hand, actually his wrist when properly gripped, as best illustrated in FIG. 6. This makes it
more difficult for the user to manipulate the endotracheal tube along the guiding surface of subsegment 42. Another disadvantage of this positional relationship resides in the desire to replace the light source 36 at the front end of blade 20 with a light guide and relocate the light source in base 34 directly over contact 38, as will be seen hereinafter. With the particular positional relationship between subsegments 42 and 44 and base 34, this requires that the light guide be bent a number of times. Specifically, in order for the rearwardmost end of the light guide to be placed in optical communication with a relocated light source, it would have to be bent downward (FIG. 1) and thereafter to the left and then again downward, (see the dotted lines in FIG. 2).
In view of the foregoing, it is one object of the present invention to provide a laryngoscope including a handle and a blade which is disengagably connectable with the handle in a laterally offset manner so as to place its working surface (e.g., its endotracheal tube guiding surface) further from the user's grip when the laryngoscope is held in a normal operating position.
Another object of the present invention is to provide the last-mentioned laryngoscope with a standard laryngoscope handle.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide the last-mentioned laterally offset blade with a light source at its rearward handle connecting end and a light guide extended therefrom to the front end of the blade, all of which, except for a forwardmost end section of the light guide, are disposed in a common plane extending through the elongation axis of the handle when the blade is in its operating position on the handle.
As will be seen hereinafter, the overall laryngoscope disclosed herein includes a standard handle of the type described above, specifically one which includes an elongated, straight hand gripping segment containing a battery or batteries and a blade connecting head segment extending up from the uppermost end of the hand gripping segment as well as the previously described electrical contact 35 located on the axis of the hand gripping segment. The laryngoscope also includes a separable blade having a handle connecting back segment and a tube guiding front segment as well as first and second cooperating means respectively forming parts of the head segment of the handle and the handle connecting segment of the blade for disengagably connecting the blade in an operating position to the handle.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the handle connecting segment of the blade carries means including a light source and its own electrically connected contact in a location which places this latter contact and the light source over and directly adjacent contact 35 such that the contacts engage one another and thereby energize the light source. A light guide is carried by the tube guiding segment of the blade and has a rearwardmost end in optical alignment with the light source and forwardmost end section. This light guide, with the exception of its forwardmost end section, is disposed within a single plane which extends through the elongation axis of the handle's hand gripping segment when the blade is in its operating position and therefore it is not required to be bent outside of this plane.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the tongue of the blade just recited includes laterally adjacent first and second subsegments extending its entire length. The first of these subsegments is disposed within the plane of and serves to contain the