United States Patent 3625216

A disposable bag for disposition between a source of suction and a container for collecting drainage from the body of a patient after severe wounding of or surgery performed on the patient, the bag having a suction control section and a water seal section and is fixedly attached to a canister cover, both the bag and cover being discarded after usage with a single patient or whenever desired.

Pannier Jr., Karl A. (Salt Lake City, UT)
Reynolds, Gordon S. (Salt Lake City, UT)
Sorenson, James L. (Salt Lake City, UT)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61M1/00; (IPC1-7): A61M1/00
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3556101SURGICAL SUCTION ASSEMBLY1971-01-19Economou
3381687Suction apparatus1968-05-07Andersen et al.
3363627Underwater drainage apparatus1968-01-16Bidwell et al.
3363626Underwater drainage apparatus1968-01-16Bidwell et al.
3279467Drainage apparatus1966-10-18Hofstra et al.

Primary Examiner:
Rosenbaum, Charles F.
The invention claimed is

1. A suction control assembly disposable after usage for disposition in an open topped reusable canister, including a canister cover,

2. The assembly of claim 1, including means dividing the pressure column chamber in a manner defining separate paths for the outflow of air and the return of liquid entrained therein.

3. The assembly of claim 1, wherein each chamber is substantially U-shaped.

4. The assembly of claim 1, including baffle means in the path of air exiting from the liquid column chamber to insure removal of entrained liquid.

5. The assembly of claim 2, including baffle means in the liquid return path positioned to form a venturi passage to expedite return flow of liquid.

6. The assembly of claim 2, including baffle means positioned to guide air drawn into the liquid column chamber into its outgoing path and away from the liquid return path.

7. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said chambers are each smaller at the bottom than at the top to slow the velocity of exiting air.

8. A suction control assembly disposable after usage for disposition in an open topped reusable canister, including

9. The assembly of claim 8, including bar seals dividing each of said chambers to form U-shaped chambers.

10. The assembly of claim 9, wherein the last said bar seals are each split in the upper portions of said bag to define upper inlet and outlet tubes for each chamber and for connection with the means on said cover.

11. The assembly of claim 10, including a generally upright bar seal stopping short of the bottom of the liquid column chamber and dividing the lower part of that chamber into separate air exit and liquid return paths.

12. The assembly of claim 11, including a crossbar seal forming a baffle in the path of air exiting from the liquid column chamber.

13. The assembly of claim 12, including a crossbar seal in said liquid return path forming a venturi passage between it and said upright bar seal.

14. The assembly of claim 1, including a manually controlled air inlet vent in said cover leading to the canister.

15. The assembly of claim 8, including a manually controlled air inlet vent in said cover leading to the canister.


The instant invention is designed to complement that set forth in our copending application entitled "Vacuum Drainage Collecting Apparatus With Disposable Liner," filed Nov. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 778,963, and is highly suitable for use between the apparatus of the aforesaid pending application and the connection to the suction source, especially in hospitals where there is no mechanical installation of suction control means.


1. Field of the Invention

The instant invention or discovery is highly desirable for use in the field of surgery and pertains to a thin flexible disposable bag for use in a canister located in the suction system between the source of suction and a body drainage receptor into which the drainage is drawn from the body of a patient by suction, the bag having a suction control compartment to maintain constant suction by means of a liquid column and a water seal compartment for the protection of the patient, the bag and a canister lid to which it is permanently attached both being disposable whenever deemed necessary or desirable

2. Description of the Prior Art

Heretofore suction control means have been in the nature of mechanical devices including pressure gauges, which devices had to be adjusted or regulated at intervals during usage. Also, it has been known to control suction by means of a liquid column, and water seals embodied in suction systems have also been previously known but were in the form of solid containers or bottles which necessitated sterilization at intervals and were difficult to properly cleanse. Insofar as we are aware, not any of these formerly known means employing a liquid column as a vacuum control, provided a liquid return other than back through the path followed by the air bubbles from atmospheric air entering the bottom of the liquid column upon the occurrence of excess suction, and none of the formerly known appliances was sufficiently economical to be disposable after a period of usage.


This invention or discovery comprises a thin flexible, preferably plastic bag secured to a canister cover from which the bag may be suspended inside the canister. The flexible bag is initially two sheets heat sealed together except at the upper open end and the bag is partitioned by heat-sealed seams into various passages and compartments some of which are partly separated from the others to facilitate attachment to the nipples secured to the cover. The compartmented bag forms a U-shaped chamber for a water seal, an air passageway from the atmosphere, and a U-shaped chamber for any quantity of liquid to effect the desired vacuum control. This chamber is also provided with baffles to aid in separating liquid entrained in exiting air traveling to the vacuum line, and also arranged to provide a separate return passage from that followed by the air bubbles passing through the liquid. Thus, the structure is highly economical, highly efficient, prevents any liquid from being carried out by exiting air, and the entire bag along with its cover is thrown away whenever desired and a new bag and cover substituted. There is nothing to be sterilized, washed, or otherwise cleansed, since the bag and its cover are in a sterile condition at the start. The bag is disposed between a source of suction and a body drainage receptor. Thus, it will be seen that the bag is considerably economical when used in hospitals, lessening duty on the sterilization equipment, and eliminating much of the heretofore necessary labor. By way of a conversion scale on the bag itself, no mistake can be made in the amount of water or mercury placed in the bag at the start of an operation, and it is a matter of less than 1 minute to change bags, fill a new bag to the desired extent, and proceed again with the operation.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the following detailed description of certain preferred embodiments thereof when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bag and canister cover assembly embodying principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan transverse sectional view taken substantially as indicated by the line II--II of FIG. 1, but with the canister removed;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary diagrammatic view illustrating the use of the bag as it would be used in a hospital; and

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view, enlarged, through the structure of FIG. 1, but with the connections of the bag to the cover nipples placed in a straight line to better illustrate the operation of the invention.


In most of the sciences, the height of either a column of water or a column of mercury is the accepted measure for pressures. Consequently, insofar as the operation of the instant invention is concerned, water and mercury are to be considered synonymous herein and in the appended claims, even though water may be mentioned in the description to facilitate the explanation of the invention.

The invention is utilized within a canister 1 which is a cylindrical receptacle open at the top and closed at the bottom and preferably made of rigid transparent plastic material so that the bag ultimately placed therein is visible through the canister wall. With reference to FIG. 3 it will be noted that when the bag is put to use the canister 1 may be conveniently held on a stand 2 which may also hold a canister 3 containing a disposable receptor bag of the type more fully set forth and claimed in our aforesaid copending application. Of course, the instant invention may be utilized with the old-fashioned collecting bottles heretofore used by hospitals if so desired. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 3 a tube 4 leads from a wound in the body of a patient 5 and is connected to the drainage receptor bag within the canister 3. A tube 6 leads from a fitting on the top of the canister 3 and connects with the interior of the bag in canister 1, and a tube 7 leads through a fitting connecting the interior of the canister 1, outside the bag therein, with a source of suction or vacuum generally indicated by numeral 8 of the type usually found built into the wall of certain hospital rooms, although any other suitable source of suction may be provided. The cover 9 embodied in the instant invention may be of thin metal but is preferably plastic to facilitate attachment of the various fittings or nipples thereto by cement or fusion. Extending through the cover is a nipple 10 to which the aforesaid tube 7 leading to the vacuum system is connected. As seen in FIG. 4, this nipple communicates only with the interior of the canister 1 outside the bag therein. Another nipple 11 projects through the cover and this nipple is connected to the aforesaid tube 6 leading to the canister 3 and drainage receptor therein. A third nipple 12 projects through the cover, terminating almost flush with the outer face of the cover, and remains open to atmosphere. To the inside face of the cover a pair of nipples 13 and 14 are firmly secured, but these nipples do not extend through the cover. A carrying and suspending bale 15 is also attached to the outside of the cover in any suitable manner to facilitate carrying the cover and the bag attached thereto or suspending it for filling purposes.

The bag, generally indicated by numeral 16, suspended from the cover 9, as stated above, is formed of initially two pieces of material secured together. The material of the bag is not essential, since it could be made of substantially transparent rubberlike material vulcanized or adhesively secured together, but it preferably is made of two sheets of thermoplastic material, and it will so be described herein by way of example.

In forming the bag, the initially separate plastic sheets are joined together by a bounding heat-sealed seam 17 which extends from the top of the bag on both sides thereof, curves around at the bottom as indicated at 18--18 to define an inverted V-shaped open notch 19. From the top of the notch 19 a bar heat-seal 20 extends to the top of the bag, thereby dividing the bag into two separate portions, the top of the bag remaining open while the bottom is closed by the aforesaid heat-seal seam 17 at the curvatures 18--18. The right-hand portion of the bag, as viewed in FIG. 4, is divided by a bar seal 21 extending from the top of the bag downwardly to a point above the bottom, terminating at 22 to define an interior U-shaped chamber of which the legs are tubes 23 and 24. The bar seal 23 is divided along a line 25 centrally thereof which extends from the top of the bag to a point 26 well above the bottom so that the tubes 23 and 24 may be separated one from the other to facilitate connection with the respective nipples in the canister cover 9. The upper end of the tube 24 is connected in a leakproof manner around the inward extension of the nipple 11 connected to the aforesaid tube 6 leading to the drainage receptor canister 3. The upper end of the tube 23 is connected to the inside nipples 14, the connection being separate from the nipple in one location to provide an open port on the interior of the tube 23 into communication with the interior of the canister, the bag being secured to all nipples at a point below the cover 9, as indicated by the line 28 in FIG. 4.

The other portion or left side of the bag, as viewed in FIG. 4, is provided with a bar seal 29 having a curvate lower end 30 above the bottom of the bag. This bar seal is divided along a centerline 31 which terminates at a point 32 well above the bag bottom thereby defining a pair of tubes 33 and 34 separable at the upper portion for convenience in reaching the cover nipples, the tube 34 being between part of the bar seal 29 and the aforesaid seal 20. The tube 33 is connected to the atmospheric nipple 12 in a leakproof manner, such as by adhesive or by fusion. The tube 34 is connected at the top to the inside nipple 13, being separated from the nipple to provide a relatively large port 36 communicating with the interior of the canister outside the bag. An elongated bar seal 37 terminating short of the curvate end 30 in the seal 29, and terminating at some distance below the top of the bag, divides the tube 34 into what may be termed a bubble path 38 and a liquid return path 39. As will later appear, air bubbles rise through liquid the path 38, and any entrained liquid will be returned to the reservoir formed by the tubes 33 and 34 by way of the separate path 39. Spaced above the top of the bar seal 37 is a curvate bar seal 40 that forms a baffle against which escaping air may impinge on its way out the port 36. Adjacent the top of the liquid return path 39 is a curvate bar seal 41 which extends the major distance across this path and forms a venturi 42 between the lower end of the seal 41 and elongated seal 37.

When put to use, the right-hand portion of the bag, as seen in FIG. 4, is filled with liquid to approximately the level 43, and the left-hand part of the bag as used in this figure is filled with liquid approximately to the level 44. The liquid to the level 43 forms a water seal, and this liquid may be supplied through the nipple 11. The liquid to the level 44 forms a liquid pressure column for vacuum control and may be put in through the tube 33. The nipples 10 and 11 may then be connected respectively to the tubes 7 and 6 of the system shown in FIG. 3, and the device is ready for operation.

With reference to FIG. 1, it will be noted that on the exterior of the bag there is a pair of scales 45 and 46 which indicate to the operator the exact number of centimeters of liquid to be placed in the bag to fill it to the desired levels, so that only the proper amount of liquid need be placed in the bag. The liquid forming the water seal need only extend one or two centimeters above the lower end 22 of the bar seal 21 to effectively form a water seal, while the pressure liquid extends to a height to provide a pressure equal to the desired strength of vacuum. Should the vacuum or negative pressure exceed the desired strength, the arrangement of the bag and the liquid therein will automatically correct the pressure to its original desired value, whereby there is a constant vacuum maintained on the drain tubes leading from the patient's body.

When the invention is in use, as long as the strength of the vacuum remains at the desired amount, air traveling to the source of vacuum or suction will pass only through the tubes 23 and 24 of the bag entering downwardly through the tube 24, passing through the liquid forming the water seal, upwardly through the tube 23, and exit into the canister outside the bag through the port 27, leaving the canister through the nipple 10. The gradual increase upwardly in size of the tube 23 aids the discharge of liquid entrained in the traveling air so that the air will exit substantially dry. This flow of air is indicated by the long arrows 47.

Should the strength of the vacuum, for any reason, increase above the desired amount, atmospheric air will enter through the nipple 12 and follow the path of the long arrows 48 down through the tube 33, through the liquid at the level 44, up through the air passage 38 and then bubble up to strike against the baffle 40 which aids in the removal of liquid that may be entrained in the air. The amount of such entering air will be equivalent to the difference of the desired negative pressure and the excess negative pressure. The air will enter the canister and exit through the nipple 10 by way of the port 36. During the travel of air from the atmosphere, there will be a movement of the liquid through which this air travels as indicated by the shorter arrows 49 upwardly through the air path 38 along with the air thence inwardly and downwardly following a separate return path to the reservoir of liquid through the passage 39. Separation of entrained liquid from the exiting air is aided by the baffle 40, the baffle 41, the venturi 42, and the fact that the passages are larger at the top than at the bottom. As liquid is moved from the bottom of the reservoir by the travel of the air, a venturi action will be created at 42 materially aiding the return of liquid entrained in the air. Thus, air exits through the port 36 into the canister substantially dry, and none of the water seal liquid or the vacuum control liquid is carried over into the suction line. The action just above-described will continue until the strength of the vacuum reduces to its original desired value as determined by the liquid column. It has been found desirable that where the canister is connected to a fixed vacuum source, to vent the canister to ambient air by way of a manually controlled air valve to regulate the amount of vacuum desired in the canister. To this end, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, by way of example, we have shown a simple form of air valve consisting of a screw 50 having a flanged head as indicated at 51, the flange overlying a plurality of air ports 52 through the canister cover 9. The amount of air admitted through the ports depends upon how close the flange is to the ports and that distance may readily be varied to increase or decrease the admitted air by turning the screw 50, the shaft of the screw being threaded into a suitable aperture in the cover 9.

It will be noted that the operation of the instant invention is entirely automatic and any replenishment of liquid in either the water level reservoir or the volume control reservoir would be at the least at intervals few and far between. In fact, when the instant invention is used it replaces permanently installed mechanism which requires frequent regulations during usage for vacuum control, and also may be used in lieu of bottle equipment as now used and eliminates the difficult cleansing and sterilization thereof. With the instant invention, a hospital or the like need not have finances tied up in permanent installations or an inventory of expensive bottles and the like, but may operate satisfactorily on a relatively small and economical inventory, replaceable at any time.

Although various minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that we wish to embody within the scope of the patent granted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of our contribution to the art.