Title:
Liquid dispensing apparatus
United States Patent 2300066


Abstract:
This invention relates to improvements in fluid storage and dispensing, and more particularly to methods and apparatus for storing liquid under sterile conditions and discharging the same without contamination and in a simple and convenient manner. While the invention is illustrated and described...



Inventors:
Schwab, Martin C.
Application Number:
US37563041A
Publication Date:
10/27/1942
Filing Date:
01/23/1941
Assignee:
Schwab, Martin C.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61M5/28
View Patent Images:



Description:

This invention relates to improvements in fluid storage and dispensing, and more particularly to methods and apparatus for storing liquid under sterile conditions and discharging the same without contamination and in a simple and convenient manner. While the invention is illustrated and described herein with special reference to hypodermic or intravenous injection for medical purposes, it is to be understood that the invention is adapted for use wherever it is desired to store and subsequently discharge liquids, from which it is apparent that the instant invention has a wide field of industrial utility.

It is well known to those skilled in the medical arts that sterile liquids are often contaminated i by bacteria, foreign protein matter, dust, and the like in the course of being removed from the sterile container and injected into the person of the patient. In my co-pending application, S.. N. 370,519, filed December 17, 1940, I have disclosed '0 various forms of apparatus from which liquid may be discharged without admitting any extraneous matter whatsoever. The apparatus disclosed in the aforesaid co-pending application, S. N. 370,519, is normally charged under pressure prior to being sealed. In the present invention, however, the liquid is stored under ordinary atmospheric pressure, in vacuo, or under its own vapor tension and in absence of air, as may be most convenient under the circumstances of the particular case.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide fluid storing and dispensing apparatus in which a storage ampule is closed at one end by contact with the inner wall of a resilient bulb which can be compressed to open the end of the ampule and simultaneously apply pressure to the contents thereof, thereby rupturing a closure at the discharge end of the ampule and discharging the contents of the ampule through an injection needle coupled to the discharge end of the ampule.

Another object is to provide apparatus of the general construction above recited and provided at or near the fluid discharge portion of the apparatus with a sedimentation chamber adapted to prevent the discharge of the last portion of the fluid therein.

Another object is to provide an ampule charged with fluid and adapted to be joined at one end to suitable discharging means, such as an hypodermic needle or the like, and to be joined at the other end to a bulb, pump or other pressure applying means, whereby the fluid in said ampule may conveniently be discharged after said ampule has been opened.

Another object is to provide an ampule having a plurality of connecting means, each of said connecting means being sealed against escape of liquid or adventitious entrance of foreign material by caps, plugs or coatings adapted to be removed from said connecting means in a convenient manner whenever said ampule is to be discharged.

Another object is to provide fluid storing and dispensing apparatus adapted to discharge fluid contained therein when pressure is applied to a bulb forming a part thereof.

Another object is to provide apparatus adapted to the purposes above set forth and including a double injection needle coupled to an ampule in such manner that one end of the needle may readily be forced through a closure on the ampule to enable the contents of the ampule to be discharged.

Yet another object is to provide apparatus adapted to the purposes herein set forth and which may be used without risk of accidentally withdrawing blood or a portion of the medicament when the apparatus is used for purposes of medical injection.

Further objects are to provide apparatus and constructions of maximum simplicity, economy, ease of use, and safety.

The foregoing and such other objects, advantages, and capabilities as may appear herein or be pointed out as this description proceeds, are illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which: Figure 1 is a central longitudinal sectional view of a sealed, filled ampule to be employed in the apparatus of the present invention; Figure 2 is a central longitudinal view of a package somewhat similar to that illustrated in Figure 1, but having the connecting means thereof closed with caps or the like; Figure 3 is a central longitudinal sectional view illustrating an embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention completely assembled and ready for use; Figure 4 is a fragmentary detail view in central vertical section of a valve arrangement sealing one end of the ampule; Figure 5 is a fragmentary detail view in central vertical section of a modified ampule included in the present invention and provided with a sedimentation chamber; Figure 6 is an enlarged fragmentary detail view in central vertical section of a portion of the package illustrated in Figure 2, and shows the cap thereon in fluid-dispensing relation to the tip of the ampule; Figure 7 is a fragmentary detail view in central vertical section of a modification of the invention provided with a double needle for opening the package and dispensing the contents thereof; Figure 8 is a fragmentary detail view in central vertical section showing the tip of an ampule similar to that of Figure 1 within a bulb i specially designed to facilitate fracture of said tip.

Like reference characters are used to designate like parts in the drawing and in the description of the invention which follows: Referring now more particularly to the draw- 1 ing, Figure 1 discloses a package of medication constructed according to my invention. The package consists of a shell I of any suitable material, such as glass or the like, which in the finished package is fused or otherwise closed so as 2 to retain the contents thereof and protect the same from contact with the air and/or contamination. This shell I is designated herein as the ampule. It is to be distinctly understood, however, that the term "ampule" in this specifica- 2 tion and the appended claims includes and designates not only the various kinds of small bulbous glass vessels, hermetically sealed, used for holding solutions for hypodermic injection, and commonly called ampules, but also any vessel, bottle 3( or other container, small or large, adapted to the purposes of the present invention.

The ampule I is more or less completely filled with liquid 2, which may be, but is not limited to, an aqueous medicament for hypodermic injection, s5 or the like. The ampule I is provided with means 3 adapted to connect said ampule to pressure applying means and to transmit pressure from said pressure applying means to the fluid within said ampule. If desired, means 3 may terminate in an elongated hermetically sealed tip 5 adapted to be fractured with ease. The ampule is also provided with means 4 adapted to connect said ampule with fluid conveying means. Said means 3 and 4 are illustrated herein as, but are not limited to, nipples having expanded portions 6, 6, said nipples being adapted to be insertably connected with flexible tubing, compressible bulbs, and the like, and said expanded portions 6, 6, being adapted to retain said nipples in connected relationship with said tubing, bulbs, and the like.

The ampule illustrated in Figure 1 may be formed, filled and sealed by methods known to those skilled in the art of ampule manufacture.

Figure 2 illustrates a modification of my inven- g5 tion in which the connecting means 3, 4 are not sealed by fusion of the material from which they are formed. Instead, each of said connecting means is closed by a suitable cap, such as those illustrated at 7 and 8. These caps may be made of rubber, synthetic rubber, rubber substitutes, plastics, or the like, although, as will be realized, they should preferably be of material capable of being sterilized by heat or otherwise without losing their shape, dimensions, flexibility or other desirable properties. The ampule is closed simply by fitting the caps 1, 8 over the open ends of the connecting means 3, 4. Alternatively, the sealing means may be applied as a liquid, and the caps be formed by conversion of the liquid to a solid by evaporation of the solvent therefrom, or by vulcanization, polymerization, or oxidation.

Normally one of said caps will be formed or applied before the ampule is filled, and the other after it is filled. Alternatively, connecting means 3 may be attached to a source of vacuum and connecting means 4 may be inserted into the fluid with which the ampule is to be filled, whereby said liquid may be drawn into the ampule by means of suction. In such case the lower cap 8 will ordinarily be affixed after the ampule has been filled and while connecting means 3 is still connected to the vacuum line, which line may be closed by a clamp or valve. After the cap 8 has 0 been affixed in leak-proof connection with the connecting means 4, the connecting means 3 may be disengaged from the vacuum line and a suitable cap 7 affixed thereto to seal the same against leakage of medicament and/or infiltration of air 5 or other gas.

Figure 3 illustrates an embodiment of my invention which may conveniently be shipped complete and ready for use and which is arranged for the immediate injection of medicament or 0 the like. The apparatus consists of an ampule 1, suitable pressure applying means, exemplified by the bulb 9, a suitable coupling 10, and injection means 11, exemplified by, but not limited to, an hypodermic needle. The ampule may be of the 5 construction shown in Figure 1, Figure 2, or Figure 3. The bulb 9 is fabricated of resilient material, such as live rubber, and, if desired, may be provided with a one-way valve 12 which permits ingress of air to the interior of the bulb and Sthus acts as a vacuum-breaker. Alternatively, a pump or bellows may be employed as the pressure applying means. The coupling 0 may be flexible surgical tubing of rubber or the like.

If the ampule shown in Figure 1 is used, the Sbulb 9 may be passed over the connecting means 3 and secured to the ampule I in any convenient manner, as for example, by tying the neck of said bulb 9 securely to said ampule I by means of wire 13, or the like. Similarly, coupling 10 may be passed over connecting means 4 and be secured thereto by wire 13, or its equivalent. Fluid injecting means 11 is attached to the other end of the coupling 10.

When it is desired to dispense the contents of the ampule, the sealed connecting means 3 and 4 are fractured. This may be facilitated by scratching each of said connecting means with a file prior to inserting them into the bulb S or coupling iG. The ampule may then be opened at both ends by applying torque to said bulb and said coupling opposite the scratches on the connecting means 3 and 4. If desired, the connecting means 3 may be fractured before the bulb 9 is connected thereto and the connecting means 4 may be fractured subsequently, as for example, after the needle 11 has been inserted into the person of the patient to be treated.

Figure 8 discloses a bulb 9 provided with an interior protuberance 15, which may be a metal cap, a ridge on the inside of the bulb, or the like.

After the bulb has been placed over the nipple 8, or in the course of this operation, the bulb may be manipulated so that the protuberance 5 fractures the frangible tip 5. Such a bulb construction is particularly convenient when but a single bulb is provided with a set containing a considerable number of sealed ampules similar to that illustrated in Figure 1.

Returning to Figure 3, a filter plate 14 permeable to liquid, or a plug of sterilized cotton or like material, may be inserted, if desired, into the coupling 10 to prevent fragments of glass or other solid material from entering the needle I . Alternatively, the filtering devices disclosed in Figures 2, 3, and 4 of Patent No. 2,222,123, issued to me November 19, 1940, may be interposed between the ampule I and the needle 11.

If the ampule construction shown in Figure 2 herein is to be incorporated into the apparatus of Figure 3, the cap 7 is removed before the pressure applying means 9 is attached to the ampule. In the particular apparatus shown in Figure 3, connecting means 3 is closed by contact of the end thereof with the inner surface of the bulb 9. To facilitate leak-proof closure, the inner surface of the bulb 9 may be provided with a button or protruding boss 16 adapted to enter the tip of connecting means 3 and effectively seal the same.

Alternatively, the construction illustrated in Figure 4 may be utilized. In this construction, a depression with sloping sides and flat floor is formed in the interior wall of the bulb 9. The sloping sides are designed to facilitate seating of the nipple 3 in the depression, and the flat floor is designed to make sealing contact with the open end of the nipple 3, as is shown in Figure 4.

Returning again to Figure 3, the cap 8 is illustrated as being corrugated, knurled, wrinkled or otherwise roughened on one side, as shown at 17.

Said corrugated region frictionally engages the coupling 10. The remainder of the outer surface of the closure 8 preferably is smooth. The particular apparatus illustrated in Figure 3 may be used for dispensing purposes without breaking the ampule shell. Therefore, in this embodiment the filter 14 may be dispensed with, if desired.

The entire apparatus shown in Figure 3, including the fluid contents thereof, may be sterilized by heat in the usual manner. The apparatus is used in the simplest manner imaginable-the needle 11 is inserted into the patient and the bulb 9 is compressed. Compressing the bulb 9 causes it to take the configuration 9A indicated by the broken lines in Figure 3, so that the pad or boss 16 is lifted away from the tip of the connecting means 3. Thus it will be seen that the pad or boss 16 acts as a valve to open and close connecting means 3. Compressing the bulb 9 simultaneously compresses the air therein and opens the ampule 1. The compressed air passes through the open connecting means 3 and exerts pressure upon the liquid 2 within the ampule. This pressure is transmitted through the liquid to the cap or other closure 8. If the cap 8 is of flexible or deformable material, the pressure within the ampule forces the smooth side of the cap 8 away from the tip of the connecting means 4 and thereby opens it, whereupon the liquid 2 is forced through the open end of the connecting means 4, the coupling 10, and the needle II, and into the patient. Figure 6 illustrates the appearance of this portion of the apparatus after it has been opened.

If the bulb 9 is provided with a vacuumbreaker 12, pressure upon the bulb may be relieved while the needle II is in the vein of the patient. Air will then enter the bulb through the one-way valve 12, thus permitting the bulb 9 to resume its normal configuration without causing blood or a portion of the medicament to be drawn into the apparatus.

The corrugated region 17 causes the closure 8 to be frictionally engaged between the connecting means 4 and the coupling 10. Thus the closure is not forced into the coupling 10, and will not obstruct the same. If the closure 8 is made of relatively rigid material, applying pressure to the bulb 9 will cause said closure 8 to be forced off the connecting means 4 and be deposited within the coupling 10. If the bore of the coupling is so large that it is not plugged thereby, there is no objection to this alternative construction.

Where the construction shown in Figure 2 is used, the cap 7 is removed before the bulb 9 is attached. However, the other cap 8 is not disturbed, the coupling 10 being passed over it as well as over the connecting means 4.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the bulb 9 has approximately the same capacity as the ampule I, thus permitting the ampule to be completely emptied of its contents by a single compression of the bulb 9. For convenience in packing, the compressing means may be of substantially the same diameter as the main portion of the ampule and may be elongated as much as is necessary in order that it may have the desired capacity. In other words, I do not desire to be limited to bulbs which are substantially spherical, but use the word "bulb" to refer to any suitable pressure-applying means, regardless of the shape thereof.

Figure 5 illustrates a further modification of my invention in which the connecting means 4 extends into the interior of the ampule I as a reentrant tube 20. Said reentrant tube acts as a trap and prevents the last drops of medicament from leaving the ampule. Since any sediment in the ampule is usually collected in these last few drops, the trap helps to prevent foreign material from being injected into the patient.

The same function is subserved by the injection needle shown in Figure 3, in which the end 18 of the needle shaft 1 protrudes upwardly into the cavity of the butt portion 19 of the injection needle, and thus forms a trap for the retention of sediment.

Figure 7 illustrates yet another fluid-dispensing arrangement, in which the connecting means 4 is closed with a cap 7 similar to that illustrated at 7 in Figure 2. By means of coupling 10, an injection needle 21 is connected to the nipple portion 4. Said injection needle 21 has a hollow needle shaft which pierces the butt portion to form a pointed needle on either side of the butt portion. By pushing the portion 22 through the cap 7, the ampule is opened. This operation is facilitated when the coupling 10 is of deformable, flexible, or elastic material, such as rubber. The butt portion acts as a stop to regulate how far into the ampule the portion 22 may be inserted.

That part of the needle shaft 22 which protrudes above the punctured cap 7 serves as a trap and prevents any sediment which has collected in the bottom of the nipple 4 from entering the injection needle. The needle portion II is inserted into the patient in the usual way.

As will be apparent, the details of my invention may be utilized in numerous combinations and permutations. For example, the bulb and breaker shown in Figure 8 may be used with any frangible ampule, and, if desired, in combination with the vacuum-breaker shown in Figure 3; the trap shown in Figure 5 may be incorporated 65 in any ampule, and, if desired, may be used in combination with the special needle construction shown in Figure 3; the double needle and pierceable cap arrangement shown in Figure 7 may be used in combination with an ampule such as that shown in Figure 2, Figure 5, or Figure 8, and the apparatus may in addition be provided with any of the bulb constructions shown in Figures 3, 4 and 8, and so on. Thus it will be seen that I have fully disclosed new forms of liquid dispensing apparatus, which new constructions obviate disadvantages of prior constructions and accomplish the objects hereinabove set forth.

While I have disclosed various modifications of my invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous other modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The specific methods of retaining the liquid within the ampule and of applying pressure thereto are likewise capable of substantial modification without departing from the scope of my invention. It will also be understood that a choice of materials is available for the construction of the ampules forming a part of my invention. Not only glass, but various plastics and certain metals and alloys may be used.

Having thus described my invention and illustrated its utility, I claim1. Apparatus for liquid storage and dispensing comprising an ampule, liquid confined in said ampule, a plurality of pierced nipple portions on said ampule, a deformable resilient bulb surrounding one of said nipple portions and affixed thereto, a boss on the interior wall of said bulb in sealing contact with the opening in said nipple portion, a closure over the open end of a second nipple portion, an injection needle, coupling connecting said capped nipple portion with said injection needle, and a filter disk within said coupling.

2. Apparatus for the storage and injection of medicament comprising an ampule having two open ends, a bulb normally closing one of said open ends by contact of the inner wall of said bulb therewith and adapted when compressed to communicate pressure to said ampule to discharge the contents therein through the other end thereof, a cap normally closing said other end and adapted to be displaced from sealing relationship with said ampule by pressure exerted upon said bulb, an injection needle, coupling connecting said injection needle with the capped end of said ampule and adapted to transmit the contents of said ampule to said needle when said cap is removed from sealing relationship with said ampule.

3. Liquid dispensing apparatus comprising an ampule, a compressible bulb, an injecting means, said ampule having two openings, one of said openings being closed by a closure adapted to be ruptured by pressure transmitted from the : interior of said ampule, the second opening being closed by contact of the inner wall of said bulb therewith, the application of distorting pressure to said bulb displacing the inner wall of the same from closing relationship with said I0 second opening, thereby connecting the interior of said bulb with the interior of said ampule and transmitting pressure thereto, whereby the closure for said first mentioned opening is ruptured and the contents of said ampule is exl- pelled through said injecting means.

4. Liquid dispensing apparatus comprising an ampule, a compressible bulb, and fluid-injecting means, said ampule having two openings, one of said openings being closed by a closure adapto0 ed to be ruptured by pressure transmitted from the interior of said ampule, the other of said openings being closed by contact of the inner wall of said bulb therewith.

5. Liquid dispensing apparatus comprising an 35 ampule having two open nipple portions, a compressible bulb surrounding one of said portions and sealing the same by contact of the inner wall of said bulb with the open end thereof, a closure sealing the other nipple portion, said closure being adapted to be disengaged from sealing relationship with the same by pressure applied from within said ampule, and fluid-injecting means connected with said other nipple portion.

6. In combination, an ampule having an opening therein, and a bulb surrounding a portion of said ampule and sealing the same by contact of the inner wall of said bulb with the opening in said ampule, said bulb being adapted to be compressed to unseal said ampule and connect the interior thereof with the interior of said bulb.

7. In combination, an ampule having an opening therein, and a deformable bulb surrounding a portion of said ampule and sealing the same 4o by contact of the inner wall of said bulb with the opening in said ampule.

MARTIN C. SCHWAB.