United States Patent 3702613

A device for use in housing and providing conductive fluid to the interface between the operative surface of a defibrillator paddle and the surface or point of application of the human body. The device houses or stores the conductive fluid in a sterile, conductive envelope ready for use on the operative surface of said paddle. The envelope is ruptured immediately prior to use and the ruptured surface is applied to the surface of the human body.

Panico, Joseph (Cambridge, MA)
Lopin, Michael (Cambridge, MA)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61N1/04; (IPC1-7): A61N1/18
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
2632447Electric applicator1953-03-24Dobes
1625675Electrical instrument for medical treatment1927-04-19Noishiki

Primary Examiner:
Kamm, William E.
We claim

1. A disposable device containing a viscous conductive electrolyte for use on a paddle of a defibrillator on a single use basis comprising: a closed, circular envelope having two external plane surfaces composed of a impervious conductive foil,

2. The device of claim 1 wherein a fibrous mat is contained in said envelope, said mat saturated with said viscous conductive electrolyte.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein a fibrous mat is secured over the external side of said envelope adjacent the access-provided surface of said envelope, whereby when said seam is broken said viscous conductive electrolyte passes through the pores of said fibrous mat communicating with both said paddle and said outer surface of said fibrous mat.

This invention relates to a device for use in defibrillation. More particularly, this invention relates to a device for use in maintaining an electrically-conductive agent in position on the electrode of a defibrillator for an extended period of time.

In medical practice, it is often necessary to apply an electrical stimulus to the body for corrective therapy of a deteriorating function of an organ of the body. In the case of the heart, this stimulus is accomplished by the application of a defibrillator over the external area of the body in the region adjacent this life-maintaining organ.

In the past, however, it has been that as an electrical impulse is applied, it may cause an excessive amount of irritation in the area of application. This irritation takes the form of burns due to the resistance of the skin to the passage of electricity.

In common practice, this difficulty is substantially overcome by means of specific chemicals such as jellies, creams or pastes which because of their inherent nature conduct electricity. The latter fluid agents when applied to the external area of the body improve contact between the electrode of the defibrillator and the external area of the body by lowering the resistance of the skin to the passage of an electrical charge. This method works quite well but has several disadvantages.

One of the major disadvantages lies in the fact that the application of the conductive agents take precious time. However, defibrillation of the heart is an emergency procedure. Death could ensue within 2 minutes of fibrillation of this vital organ. Therefore, the 10 to 30 seconds which are required to apply the fluid agents to the electrode, in many case, could possibly mean the difference between life and death to the patient.

In some cases, the electrodes of the defibrillator are maintained, prior to use, in position near a tray of the required fluid agents. This procedure, in many cases, relaxes the pressing nature of the time deficiency of the procedure. However, the sterile nature of such fluid agents are many times in question as the result of exposure. This situation is especially objectionable in an operating room environment or when there are open cuts or wounds in the external area of application.

Further, the specific fluid agents are exceptionally messy for the operator to use. It is a difficult and time consuming procedure to clean the electrodes thoroughly and if, perchance, any residue remains, it will dry out and could possibly corrode or discolor the electrodes. And further, it is often dangerous to the operator if perchance an excessive amount of fluid is applied to the electrode. In such a situation, as is often the case, the excess will migrate out of the interface between the body and the electrode and if it touches the fingers of the operator, several thousand volts will be applied to his own body.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a safety device of improved construction for use in the rapid application of electrical stimulus to the body during an emergency procedure.

A further object is to provide means by way of a device for the safe and sterile application of a conductive agent to the interface between a defibrillator and the area of application of the body.

A further object is to provide a portable device of the type described having improved construction of low fabrication and maintenance cost, and facile in use under a wide variety of service conditions.

Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the device in position on an electrode of a defibrillator.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 taken on line 2--2.

FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 showing an improved embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the device showing an alternate means of attachment to the electrode.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the device showing still another alternate means of attachment.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the attachment means shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the device showing still another alternate means of attachment.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a alternate manner of positioning the various elements of the device.

FIG. 8 is a plan view showing the method of providing egress to the fluid agents of the device of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view showing an laternate means of providing egress to the fluid agents of the device of FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 shows still another means of providing egress to the fluid agents.

Similar numerals refer to the similar parts throughout the several views.

As shown in FIG. 2, this invention has as one of its initial aspects, a fragile envelope 11 within which is contained an electrical-conductive fluid agent 12 such as jelly, paste or cream. The fragile envelope 11 is made from either a flexible plastic or a metallic foil such as aluminum, either of which must be electrical conductive. The envelope 11 is secured to the plastic head of the defibrillator paddle by an attachment means which in this situation is a connecting piece 13. The latter piece 13 is secured to the peripheral edge 14 of the circular envelope and is folded in the manner shown to secure in position a circular elastic ring 15 which could be made of rubber. In this embodiment, the circular elastic ring 15 is manually expanded and slipped over the peripheral edge-portion of the plastic paddle head 17 and the device remains in this position until after actual use in defibrillation. Egress is provided to the fluid agents by a pull tab 18 which is secured to the partial perforation or draw string 19 around the circumferential portion of the outer surface of the envelope 11 as shown.

In FIG. 2A, a fibrous mat 20 which is saturated with the fluid agent, already described, is positioned within the fragile envelope. The fibrous mat may be gauze, cotton, cloth or simply a woven pad and the like.

Whenever required for actual defibrillation, the tab 18 on the device is pulled breaking the circular seal or perforation 19 thereby exposing the conductive fluid and such surface of paste-like consistency is applied directly to the skin by pressing the required area of the body with the stimulus producing Surface of the defibrillator. The voltage from the metallic electrode of the defibrillator paddle will be conducted through the flexible metallic foil and conductive fluid to the body without any ill effects to the patient such as surface burns.

As is self-evident, the amount of electrolyte or conductive fluid at the electrode-body interface may be carefully controlled during manufacture of the device. In this manner, there will be no mess for the operator or patient. As a result, there will be less likelihood of any danger by way of the accidental transmission of shock to the operator, patient or auxiliary equipment. The electrode may be applied to the patient in a much more improved and rapid manner thereby avoiding dangerous delays in defibrillation. The metallic envelope is neat and requires no special storing facilities or treatment prior to use and possesses an indefinite shelf-life. The device of this invention may simply be removed and discarded after each use and the defibrillator itself will require no special cleaning subsequent to the emergency procedure. Further, both the conductive fluid and fibrous mats which are contained internally in the envelope will be sterile upon use reducing the possibility of infection to the patient. The device of this invention may be manufactured in a wide variety of sizes to fit many and varied paddles of different type difibrillators. There will be no danger of the conductive fluid drying out for it is contained in a sealed envelope and will be readily available and easily released when therapy is applied.

As an alternate means of attaching the envelope to the paddle of the defibrillator, as shown in FIG. 3, a wide, circular band, sleeve or sheath 21 may be integrally secured to the peripheral body of the circular envelope. A further attachment means which may be used consists of an adhesive tab 22 which is separably engaged to the peripheral body 14 of the flexible envelope. This variation is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 wherein the adhesive portion of the attachment means is formed in the shape of a flat, circular band or ring 23 with outwardly extending, flat fingers 22 or tabs. The adhesive surface 24 of the latter element may be protected prior to use by cellophane sheets 25 which may be removed by a simple pull thereby exposing the adhesive surface. The extending fingers or tabs 22 may then be secured to the defibrillator by a simple operation of folding and pressing into the shape indicated around the plastic head 17. Another alternate method of attachment is by means of dual rings of interlocking fabric 26 one of which is positioned in a operative manner around the circular shelf 21 formed between the head and the electrode, while the mating section is secured in operative fashion around the inner peripheral border 28 of the envelope.

The dry fibrous mat 31 may be external to the envelope as indicated in FIG. 7 to 10. There are many alternate methods of providing egress from the envelope for the conductive fluid or electrolyte. In these cases, immediately prior to use, the envelope or container of electrolyte is ruptured by pressure and the conductive fluid is expelled and saturates the mat or pad 31. The rupture of the envelope is controlled by weakening one portion of the envelope with, for example, a partial perforation 32 as shown in FIG. 8. It may be also controlled by a weak seal 33 formed by overlapping surfaces of the envelope as shown in FIG. 9. In FIG. 10, a further alternate consists of a fragile plastic window 34 positioned as shown.

There are many other alternate means of attachment which will become self-evident upon the reading of this description as will other methods of providing egress to the conductive fluid within the envelope heretofore described.