United States Patent 3769975

An intravenous catheter assembly is constructed with a flexible plastic catheter for introduction into a body member and a flexible plastic tubing secured coaxially to the proximal end thereof by a wing section. An introducer needle extends completely through the coaxially aligned lumens of the catheter and tubing and a removable plastic sleeve having a longitudinal slit therein is positioned over the tubing between the wing section and the tubing hub to prevent displacement of the wing section toward the hub during the catheter introduction procedure.

Nimoy, Melvin (East Brunswick, NJ)
Winnie, Alon P. (Wilmette, IL)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
A61M25/06; (IPC1-7): A61M5/14; A61M25/00
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3297030Catheter placement unit with removable cannulated needle1967-01-10Czorny et al.
3064648Intravenous needle assembly1962-11-20Bujan
2893389Needle hub seal1959-07-07Nesset
2725058Intravenous needle1955-11-29Rathkey
2389355Surgical needle1945-11-20Goland et al.
1494973Medicinal package1924-05-20Pittenger

Foreign References:
Other References:

Brooks, "Modification of Polyethylene Catheter for Intravenous Infusions," International Abstracts of Surgery; May, 1958, p. 506..
Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Mcgowan J. C.
What is claimed is

1. An intravenous catheter assembly, comprising: a flexible plastic catheter having a lumen extending therethrough; a flexible plastic tubing having a lumen extending therethrough in alignment with the lumen in said catheter; gripping means connected to the proximal end of said catheter and to the distal end of said tubing; a hub secured to the proximal end of said tubing; an introducer needle extending completely through said lumens from said hub to beyond the distal end of said catheter; and removable rigid support means disposed between said hub and said gripping means for positively preventing displacement of said gripping means toward said hub during the introduction of said needle and catheter into a patient.

2. The catheter assembly of claim 1, wherein said support means is a rigid removable sleeve that extends over said tubing from said hub to said gripping means.

3. The catheter assembly of claim 2, wherein said sleeve is substantially cylindrical with a slit extending longitudinally thereof.

4. The catheter assembly of claim 1, wherein said gripping means is a wing section.


This invention relates to intravenous catheter assemblies and, more particularly, to a plastic intravenous catheter having a flexible plastic tubing secured to the proximal end thereof for assisting in the connection of the catheter assembly to an administration set. The invention is further directed to a stabilizing support means for preventing displacement of the catheter during the introduction procedure.

It has long been the practice in the administration of fluids to the body to utilize a metal needle having a flexible plastic tubing secured to the proximal end thereof. It is also known to utilize a gripping means, such as a wing section, in conjunction with the metal needle to assist in the introduction of the needle into a vein. Such an intravenous needle assembly is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 3,064,648. This type of needle assembly is effective for the administration of fluids into a vein, however, it is considered to be a serious problem to permit such a metal needle to dwell within a vein for an extended period of time. The extremely sharp point on the needle frequently causes damage to the vein wall and excess movement of the body member can actually cause the needle point to penetrate the vein and create serious problems.

Plastic catheters having gripping means for aiding in the insertion of the catheter into a vein have also been used, however, it has previously been impossible to provide such a device having a flexible plastic tubing permanently secured coaxial with the proximal end thereof. This is true because it is necessary to provide an introducer needle in combination with the plastic catheter to effect the introduction of the catheter into the vein. Without such an introducer needle, it would be impossible to penetrate the skin and the vein wall with the flexible catheter material.


The present invention overcomes the foregoing disadvantages by providing a plastic catheter having a flexible plastic tubing secured to the proximal end thereof by a gripping means in the form of a wing section. The catheter assembly is constructed to receive an introducer needle that extends completely through the lumens of the catheter and tubing so that it may be appropriately withdrawn after the catheter has been introduced into a body member. By thus removing the introducer needle, it is possible to have a unitary construction which includes only the catheter and tubing. In order to prevent displacement of the catheter toward the hub of the plastic tubing during the introduction procedure, a stabilizing support member has been provided which prevents the tubing from collapsing during the introduction procedure.


The invention will be particularly described with reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention when considered together with the attached drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the intravenous catheter assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross sectional view of the intravenous catheter assembly shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3--3 in FIG. 2.


The preferred embodiment of the intravenous catheter assembly of this invention is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1. The primary component of the assembly comprises a flexible plastic catheter 11 and a flexible plastic tubing 12. Catheter 11 and tubing 12 are secured in coaxial alignment by a gripping means which is illustrated in the preferred embodiment as a wing section 13. Wing section 13 is preferably constructed with a fairly rigid plastic tubular member 14 into which the proximal end of catheter 11 and the distal end of tubing 12 are secured, as by epoxy or some other suitable adhesive. Wing section 13 also has a pair of wings 15 and 16 which are preferably formed from relatively flexible plastic material so that they may be deformed upwardly in a coplanar position for aiding in the insertion of the catheter into a body member and subsequently folded downwardly into the position shown in FIG. 1 for taping to the skin of the body member in a well known manner.

Although the material of which catheter 11 is constructed is not critical, it is preferred that the catheter be made of a semiflexible material such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene or polytetrafluoroethylene. Also, it is preferred that catheter 11 have a beveled distal end as shown at 19 in FIG. 1 to facilitate the penetration of the body member.

The material utilized in the construction of tubing 12 is also not critical, however, it is preferred that this material be relatively flexible and soft so that the tubing can be easily manipulated for attachment of the fittings of an administration set or other suitable fluid infusion device. The preferred material usuable in this invention for tubing 12 is soft polyvinyl chloride. A standard metal or plastic hub 20 is formed integral with the proximal end of tubing 12 to receive the hub of an introducer needle in a manner to be described hereinbelow and to subsequently provide a fitting for the administration set.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 2, an introducer needle 21 is shown in position within the lumens of catheter 11 and tubing 12 extending completely therethrough from hub 20 to beyond the distal end of catheter 11. Introducer needle 21 is equipped with an appropriate point 22 for penetrating the skin of a patient and for providing a means for introducing catheter 11 into the body member of the patient. Needle 21 is provided with a standard luer-type hub 23 which cooperates with luer hub 20 during the introduction of the catheter assembly into the appropriate body member.

In the procedure for introducing catheter 11 into a body member, the catheter assembly 10 is fully assembled as illustrated in FIG. 2. Introducer needle 21 is positioned completely through the lumens of catheter 11 and tubing 12, and hub 23 is arranged within hub 20 to secure the assembly together. In order to perform the venipuncture, the nurse or doctor manipulates wings 15 and 16 into an upright, coplanar position in contact with one another and inserts catheter 11 with needle point 22 extending beyond the distal end thereof into a vein or other body member. During this operation, it has been found that the leading end 19 of catheter 11 has a tendency to resist entry into the vein and, therefore, has a tendency to be displaced rearwardly toward hub 20. Since the flexible plastic tubing 12 is relatively soft and pliable, it has a tendency to become deformed and permit the aforementioned displacement of catheter 11. This is an undesirable condition and, therefore, stabilizing support means have been provided to alleviate this condition.

The preferred stabilizing support means usable with this invention is illustrated in the drawing in the form of a rigid plastic sleeve 25. Sleeve 25 is substantially cylindrical and is equipped with a longitudinally extending slit 26 which permits the removal of sleeve 25 after the venipuncture has been accomplished and the needle 21 has been removed from the catheter assembly. It will, thus, be apparent that the entire catheter assembly may be provided commercially in the completely assembled condition illustrated in FIG. 2. After the catheter assembly has been secured into position within a vein and wings 15 and 16 have been appropriately taped or otherwise secured to the skin to hold catheter 11 in position, it is only necessary to remove needle 21 and to spread the sleeve 25 in order to open the sleeve an amount sufficient to remove the sleeve from tubing 12. The flexible tubing 12 will then be available for further manipulation and attachment of hub 20 to the fitting on an administration set.

It will, thus, be apparent that the subject invention provides a unique intravenous catheter assembly which comprises a unitary assembly with a catheter having a flexible tubing secured proximally thereof. The introduction of the catheter is facilitated by a stabilizing support means which prevents the longitudinal displacement of the catheter relative to an introducer needle during the venipuncture procedure.