Title:
SURGICAL DRAPE HAVING INTEGRAL LEGGINGS AND METHOD OF MAKING
United States Patent 3862632


Abstract:
A surgical drape having integral leggings therein and adapted for use by a patient in the lithotomy position. The surgical drape is fabricated from as little as three sheets, including a main sheet and two smaller sheets of material which are attached on opposite sides of said main sheet to form a pair of leggings.



Inventors:
HINSCH KURT W
Application Number:
05/335108
Publication Date:
01/28/1975
Filing Date:
02/23/1973
Assignee:
KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/853, 128/856
International Classes:
A61B19/08; (IPC1-7): A61B19/06
Field of Search:
128/132D,132R,292,155,156,157
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3750663LITHOTOMY DRAPE1973-08-07Collins
3693618DISPOSABLE UNITARY SURGICAL DRAPE1972-09-26Madden
3251360Gynecology or lithotomy drape1966-05-17Melges



Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Dunne G. F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A surgical drape having integral leggings therein, comprising:

2. A surgical drape as defined in claim 1 wherein said main sheet is inwardly cut from both outside edges along two lines which converge adjacent said fenestration, so as to remove a triangular shaped portion from each of said side portions, each side portion below the cut lines being folded inwardly to define a diagonal fold line.

3. A surgical drape as defined in claim 1 wherein a single cut is made inwardly toward the center from each of said outside edges, each side portion below said cut line being folded inwardly to define a diagonal fold line, the edges of each said folded over side portion defining, together with said unfolded portion adjacent said cut line, the three sides of said generally quadrangular shape.

4. A surgical drape as defined in claim 3 wherein said cut lines are generally perpendicular to a line extending from the head to the foot end portion, so that when said side portions are folded inwardly to define said diagonal fold line, said generally quadrangular shape comprises a rectangular shape and each of said pieces of material which are bonded to said main sheet are in the shape of a rectangle.

5. A surgical drape as defined in claim 1 wherein said quadrangular pieces of material are continuously bonded to said main sheet along first and second sides of said quadrangular shape and along the third side from the intersection of said second and third sides to a point located a predetermined distance inwardly from the outside edge of said main sheet to permit even draping of said surgical drape over the stirrup of a table when the patient is in the lithotomy position.

6. A surgical drape as defined in claim 5 wherein a reinforcing patch is applied at said predetermined point on said third side and a second patch is applied at the intersection of said first and second sides to provide additional strength as well as close small openings which communicate bacteria between opposite sides of the drape.

7. A surgical drape as defined in claim 1 wherein said pieces of material extend outwardly from the edges of said main sheet.

8. A method of making a surgical drape having integral leggings therein, comprising the steps of:

Description:
The present invention relates generally to surgical drapes and, more particularly, to surgical drapes of improved construction which have integral leggings therein and which are particularly adapted for use on a patient while in the lithotomy position.

Because it has long been known that the use of surgical drapes together with separate leg covers or leggings in cystoscopy or lithotomy procedures have had several shortcomings. Among other things, the aseptic techniques involved with their use has at least one considerable disadvantage, the disadvantage being that the leggings are separate articles and quite often present a gap between the main surgical drape and the legging which can easily contribute to contamination during use. Additionally, the separate leggings are often quite unwieldy and take considerably time in which to apply. For these reasons, there has been a long-felt need for a surgical drape having integral leggings which would inherently improve the aseptic technique and would also require only a single drape sheet for patients in the lithotomy position.

With a drape sheet having integral leggings, the necessity for considerable overlapping of the legging material with the main drape sheet is also eliminated, so that with proper design, it is possible to use considerably less material than would be required for separate leggings and a surgical drape. While recent developments in the area of disposable surgical drapes have included surgical drape sheets that have integral leggings, such preexisting drapes have required considerable sewing or attaching of many separate pieces in their fabrication. For example, in one instance five separate pieces must be attached to one another in the fabrication of such a surgical drape. It is quite apparent that in the market place for disposable surgical drapes, the requirement for attaching a substantial number of pieces of material in the fabrication of such drapes will increase the cost because of the additional labor involved in cutting and attaching the pieces together. Since such disposable surgical drapes are often intended for only a single use, it should be understood that such a design is not desirable. On the other hand, while surgical drapes made of muslin or other woven material that are adapted for reuse after laundering may more easily justify the added labor cost of sewing together many difference pieces of material, it should also be understood that the cost of such reusable surgical drapes would accordingly be less if fewer pieces of material were combined to form it.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a surgical drape having integral leg covers or leggings therein, so that the surgical drape is particularly adapted for use on patients while they are in the lithotomy position.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a surgical drape having integral leggings that is easily fabricated from as few as three pieces of material and which is capable of being fabricated from differing materials, thereby permitting the drape to be directed toward either the disposable or reusable surgical drape markets.

Yet another object of the present invention lies in the provision for fabricating a surgical drape having integral leggings therein that can be easily made in a short period of time.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a surgical drape sheet having integral leggings therein which can be easily applied to the patient in the lithotomy position with a minimum of effort.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a surgical drape having integral leggings therein which uses considerably less material during fabrication and which has no gaps near the fenestration thereof which would permit bacterial contamination of the fenestration area.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon reading the ensuing specification, while referring to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a patient in the lithotomy position with the surgical drape embodying the present invention applied thereto;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a portion of the surgical drape of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the surgical drape of the present invention, with portions removed;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation of the surgical drape shown in FIG. 3 and is taken generally in the direction of the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a modification of the surgical drape embodying the present invention, and is shown with certain portions removed.

While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative forms, certain specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings which will be described herein. It should be understood, however, that it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is intended to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Turning now to the drawings, and particularly FIG. 1, there is shown a surgical drape embodying the present invention as applied to a patient that is positioned on a cystoscopy table in the lithotomy position. As is well known in the field of surgery, both lithotomy and cystoscopy procedures are carried out with the patient in illustrated position, and the patient's feet are typically placed in outwardly extending stirrups. As is best shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, two embodiments of the surgical drape having integral leggings therein are specifically illustrated. Turning firstly to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, the surgical drape comprises a main sheet generally indicated at 10, which has head and foot portions 12 and 14, respectively, as well as side portions 16 and 18 and integrally formed leggings 20 and 22. For purposes of description herein, the longitudinal line of the main sheet is defined as the direction between the head and foot portions 12 and 14 although the width of the main sheet is slightly larger than its length. Generally midway between the head and foot portions as well as midway between the side portions is a fenestration or opening 24 through which the surgical procedures are performed by a physician.

In accordance with an important aspect of the present invention, the manner in which the leggings are constructed in the surgical drape of the present invention will now be described. As shown in FIG. 3, the side portion 16 is shown with the leggings 20 completed, while the opposite side portion 18 is shown prior to final completion.

To form the leggings, cut lines 26 and 28 are made inwardly from the outside edges toward the center of the main sheet. The side portions 16, 18 below the cut lines 26, 28 as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3 are then folded inwardly toward the foot end portions to define diagonal fold lines 30 and 32. As is shown with respect to the side portion 18, the unfolded portion on the head end side or above the cut lines 26 and 28 define a first side 34 of a generally quadrangular shape, with the other sides 36 and 38 being defined by the folded over portions of the main sheet. Thus, the lines 34, 36 and 38 define three sides of a generally quadrangular shape. It should be understood that with the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the cut lines 26 and 28 are generally perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the gown, and with the fold lines 30 and 32 being at an angle of approximately 45° relative to their respective cut lines, the angles between intersecting adjacent sides 34, 36 and 38 are at right angles to each other and thereby define a rectangular shape. It should be understood that in the event the angle of each of the cut lines is somewhat different from that shown, or if the folded over portions do not have a diagonal fold line at an angle of 45° as shown, the quadrangular shape will be something other than a rectangle.

To complete the fabrication of the leggings 20, 22, it is only necessasry to attach generally quadrangular pieces of material 40 to the main sheet by placing the pieces in overlying position as shown with respect to the legging 20 in FIG. 3, and thereafter attaching the pieces to the main sheet adjacent the cut lines 26, 28 and to the folded over portions of the main sheet along the lines 34, 36 and 38 to define pockets between the coextensive areas of said folded over portions and said pieces 40. The pieces of material 40 preferably extend beyond the outer edge of the main sheet so that when the surgical drape is applied to the patient while in a lithotomy position, the legs of the patient extend into said pockets and the material will drape downwardly below the upper surface of the table. While the pieces of material 40 may be attached to the main sheet by various means, such as sewing or adhesive bonding, it is preferred that the attachment be continuous along the lines 34, 36 and 38 to prevent the passage of bacteria and contaminates through the seam.

If adhesive bonding is used to attach the pieces 40 to the main sheet 10, it should be understood that in relatively fast production line fabrication, the adhesive may not have sufficient time in which to fully set or dry, in which case the bond may not have sufficient strength to preclude pulling apart during subsequent folding steps. It has been found that by applying patches 42 of material preferably having a pressure sensitive adhesive thereon which has considerably strength immediately after application, to the intersection lines 34 and 36, sufficient strength will be present to substantially preclude separation of the pieces of material 40 from the main sheet during subsequent folding steps.

It should be noted that the patches 42 also effectively cover a small opening at the intersection of the lines 34 and 36 and thereby tend to block the passage of contaminates or bacteria through the drape at this location in addition to providing desirable reinforcement during fabrication of the drape. Additionally, similar patches 44 may desirably be placed at the end of the lines 38 to reinforce the end of this seam as well. It should be understood from FIG. 1 that the patches 44 may be required to sustain considerable stress during use, since it is this area that will overlie the stirrups which hold the patient's legs and feet. The patches 44 are preferably attached to the folded over side portions 16, 18 in a manner such that approximately half of the patch will contact the underside of the folded over portion and the other half will contact the piece of material 40 and thereby reinforce the seam between the two components. It should also be understood that in the event the pieces of material 40 are sewn to the main sheet, it may be unnecessary to have such reinforcing patches 44 since additional stitches may suffice if reinforcement is needed at certain locations along the seam.

In keeping with the present invention, the main sheet 10 is preferably a rectangular shape but may have the corners removed by cutting along the diagonal lines 46 near the head end portion and along lines 48 near the foot end portion, merely to remove unnecessary material which offers little additional benefit during use. It should be understood, however, that the corners may be left intact without causing any substantial detrimental effect.

The surgical drape of the present invention may be fabricated from either a woven material such as conventional muslin or other cloth, or it may be fabricated from a nonwoven fabric or suitable plastic film, such as polyethylene, if desired. A desirable nonwoven material that is particularly suited for producing a disposable surgical drape embodying the present invention comprises outer layers of wadding and inner layers of highly drafted fibers disposed angularly relative to each other with a spaced pattern of adhesive disposed between each fiber layer and its adjacent wadding layer, with the fibers in each fiber layer partially embedded in and held by the adhesive of the adjacent adhesive layer and partially embedded in and held by the adhesive in the other adhesive layer where it extends between the adjacent fibers of its adjacent fiber layer as described in the Sokolowski U.S. Pat. No. 3,484,330, assigned to the assignee of the present invention.

Turning now to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, there is shown a main sheet 100 having head and foot portions 112 and 114, respectively, and side portions 116 and 118, together with a generally centrally located fenestration 124, all of which is similar to the main sheet 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. it can be seen, however, that the integrally formed leggings 120, 122 of this embodiment are positioned at a different angle relative to the longitudinal direction than is the case with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. In this instance, a pair of inward cut lines 126 and 128 are made and converge to a point 130 located adjacent the fenestration, thus removing a segment of material shown in phantom at 131. The side nearer the foot portion of the main sheet 100 is folded over at 130 along a diagonal fold line 132 in a manner similar to that described with respect to FIG. 2. The lines 134, 136 and 138 thus generally define three sides of a quadrangular shape to which a separate piece of material 140 is to be bonded to the main sheet to substantially complete the fabrication of each of the integral leggings 120 and 122. A patch 142 may be applied to the intersection of the edges 134 and 136 to prevent passage of contaminates or bacteria at this location.

Thus, a surgical drape having integral leggings therein has been shown and described which is easily fabricated from a minimum of components. The drape is believed to satisfy all of the aforementioned objects and advantages.