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Title:
Dispensing method utilizing disposable coverings that prevents spread of disease through cross-contamination
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A package containing contents for dispensing, the package includes a body having an outlet for permitting the contents to be dispensed; a dispensing mechanism having a first opening aligned with the outlet for permitting the dispensed contents to pass therethrough; and a disposable covering having a second opening in alignment with both the outlet and the first opening, wherein the disposable covering covers the dispensing mechanism and is discarded after use.


Inventors:
Herdzik, Jan A. (Rochester, NY, US)
Stephany, Thomas M. (Churchville, NY, US)
Kerbs, Robert E. (Pittsford, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/229683
Publication Date:
03/04/2004
Filing Date:
08/28/2002
Assignee:
Eastman Kodak Company
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61F9/00; B65D25/48; B65D35/24; (IPC1-7): B65D5/72
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patent Legal, Staff Thomas Close H. (Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, 14650-2201, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A package containing contents for dispensing, the package comprising: (a) a body having an outlet for permitting the contents to be dispensed; (b) a dispensing mechanism having a first opening aligned with the outlet for permitting the dispensed contents to pass therethrough; and (c) a disposable covering having a second opening in alignment with both the outlet and the first opening, wherein the disposable covering covers the dispensing mechanism and is discarded after use.

2. A package as in claim 1, wherein the disposable covering may be punctured to produce the second opening.

3. The package as in claim 1, wherein the disposable covering may be pre-punctured to produce the second opening.

4. The package as in claim 1, wherein the disposable covering is a chamfered tip.

5. The package as in claim 1, wherein the disposable covering may be pre-scored and torn off to produce the second opening.

6. The package as in claim 1, further comprising a storage appendage attached to the container, and the disposable covering is disposed upon the storage appendage before being placed on the dispensing mechanism for actual use.

7. The package as in claim 6, wherein the storage appendage may be bent in a plurality of directions for efficient placement of the storage appendage.

8. The package as in claim 1, further comprising a strip containing a plurality of disposable coverings, and the strip is placed upon the container for permitting efficient removal of the disposable coverings.

9. The package as in claim 1 further comprising a plurality of disposable coverings placed stacked in registration.

10. The package as in claim 6, further comprising a plurality of disposable coverings placed either upon the storage appendage, within a separate housing, or stored upon the body.

11. The package as in claim 6 further comprising a case containing both the package and the separate housing.

12. The package as in claim 11, wherein the case contains the package and the separate housing is dispensed separately from the case.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates generally to the field of packaging and, more particularly, to medical and consumer packaging which uses disposable coverings placed over fixed applicators for enhancing the effectiveness of dispensing medicines and other substances, improving cleanliness, and preventing cross contamination.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In the treatment of a number of problems such as infections and cuts of the skin, along with more serious maladies such as infections of the ear and nose, various delivery methods are employed. Depending upon the medical effectiveness, sprays, viscous substances, and some tube dispensable fluids are employed as treatments. Since medical substances are usually packaged with considerably more than one dose within a container, repeated use of the medicine raises the possibility that infection can be transferred from one dispensing site to another. Additionally, the proliferation of diseases such as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and other infectious diseases has incited fear and anxiety in the public, and causes a reluctance within the public to share or otherwise contact appliances or substances which may have been casually contacted by others. Another example is the sharing of toothpaste between several people who are both ill and healthy. The sharing of the toothpaste could enhance the transfer of disease from the ill individuals to the healthy ones.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 5,064,122 addresses some of the above concerns by disclosing a disposable nozzle for intranasal spray containers. This indeed takes a step in addressing the problem of cross-contamination and public fear, but does so at a significant cost. Precision nozzles must be discarded after each use of a medicine, adding to the increasing costs involved with health care.

[0004] Therefore, a need exists for a novel and cost-effective method to dispense substances among a population of patients with a low cost and simple method to prevent the transfer of disease and the elimination of undue anxiety.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention is directed to overcoming one or more of the problems set forth above. Briefly summarized, according to one aspect of the present invention, the invention resides in a package containing contents for dispensing, the package includes (a) a body having an outlet for permitting the contents to be dispensed; (b) a dispensing mechanism having a first opening aligned with the outlet for permitting the dispensed contents to pass therethrough; and (c) a disposable covering having a second opening in alignment with both the outlet and the first opening, wherein the disposable covering covers the dispensing mechanism and is discarded after use.

[0006] These and other aspects, objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood and appreciated from a review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and appended claims, and by reference to the accompanying drawings.

ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECT OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention has the advantage of preventing diseases from being transferred by providing disposable coverings, which prevents the contact of the infection from one site or individual to the medicine dispenser, and thus prevents contaminating another dispensing site or individual.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 is a drawing detailing the dispensing of medicine into an eye;

[0009] FIG. 1a is a drawing detailing the dispensing of a consumer product such as toothpaste;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a drawing detailing a covering showing the manual puncturing of the covering;

[0011] FIG. 2a is a drawing detailing that the tip of the covering having pre-punctured openings;

[0012] FIG. 2b is a drawing where the disposable covering has a chamfered tip;

[0013] FIG. 2c is a drawing of a covering whose opening is made by pre-scoring the tip of the covering, and removing the tip to produce an opening in the covering;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a drawing detailing a package where coverings are stored upon a dispensing mechanism;

[0015] FIG. 3a is a drawing detailing a package where,coverings are stored upon a dispensing mechanism, the mechanism being moveable for efficient placement;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a drawing showing the coverings being supplied in strips where the strips are attached to the dispensing mechanism;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a drawing showing the coverings being supplied as a stack of strips that are stacked in registration;

[0018] FIG. 6 is a drawing that has a plurality of stacked strips attached to a storage appendage;

[0019] FIG. 6a is a drawing where the stacked strips are housed within a separate container;

[0020] FIG. 6b is a drawing where the stacked strips are stored upon the dispenser body;

[0021] FIG. 7 is a drawing showing where the stacked strips and the dispenser are stored within the same package; and

[0022] FIG. 8 is a drawing showing where the strips and body are packaged separately.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0023] Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a drawing of a medical package application 10 of the present invention. The dispenser body 15 has an integral tip 20 with an opening 25 that allows the content 40, which is eye medication, to be dispensed. The dispenser body 15 is aligned with the disposable covering 30 which itself has an integrated opening 35 that lay in direct alignment with the opening 25 of integral tip 20. When the disposable covering 30 is applied over the integral tip 20 of dispenser body 15, the opening 25 and the integrated opening 35 exist in direct alignment thus permitting the dispensing of content 40 into eye 45. If more than one infected area needs to be medicated, disposable coverings 30 used after each application prevent cross-contamination. That is, after each application, the used disposable covering 30 is disposed of and a new disposable covering 30 is used.

[0024] Referring now to FIG. 1a, there is shown a drawing of a consumer package application 50 of the present invention. The dispenser body 15 has an integral tip 20 with an opening 25 that allows the content 40, which is toothpaste, to be dispensed. The dispenser body 15 is aligned with the disposable covering 30 which itself has an integrated opening 35 that lay in direct alignment with the opening 25 of integral tip 20. When the disposable covering 30 is applied over the integral tip 20 of dispenser body 15, the opening 25 and the integrated opening 35 exist in direct alignment thus permitting the dispensing of content 40 onto toothbrush 55.

[0025] In a typical household where medications and consumer items such as toothpaste are used interchangeably with multiple members of a household, serious cross-contamination issues are present. As disclosed previously, if disposable coverings are used to isolate germs from multiple individuals, transfer of disease is harder to occur and a much higher level of household hygiene is achieved.

[0026] Referring now to FIGS. 2-2c, there are shown four different embodiments detailing how the disposable coverings 30, can have several different tip configurations. Referring to FIG. 2, disposable covering 30 can have an opening 60 manually punctured 65 by puncturing tool 70. Referring next to FIG. 2a, disposable covering 30 can have a pre-punctured opening 75. Referring next to FIG. 2b, disposable covering 30 can have a tip 80 weakened by a chamfer 85, that facilitates removal of tip 80 that, when removed, will create an opening such as pre-punctured opening 75 from FIG. 2a. Referring next to FIG. 2c, disposable covering 30 includes a pre-scored portion 90 that facilitates the removal of tip 95 that, when removed, will also create an opening such as pre-punctured opening 75 from FIG. 2a.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 3, dispenser body 15 has a fixed storage appendage 100 integral with dispenser body 15 for storage of disposable coverings 30.

[0028] Referring next to FIG. 3a, dispenser body 15 has a bendable or movable storage appendage 105 integral with dispenser body 15 for storage of disposable coverings 30, and may be bent in a plurality of directions for facilitating storage.

[0029] Referring now to FIG.4, dispenser body 15 includes a strip 110 containing a plurality of disposable coverings 30. This strip 110 is placed upon dispenser body 15 by any suitable means for efficient removal of disposable coverings 30.

[0030] Referring next to FIG. 5, a stack of strips 110 includes a plurality of disposable coverings 30, shown in stacked registration 115, as a method for providing multiples of disposable coverings 30.

[0031] Referring now to FIG. 6, there are shown two views of a flattened storage appendage 120 for use with strips 110 of either single disposition 121 or in stacked registration 115, for storage and disposition of disposable coverings 30.

[0032] Referring next to FIG. 6a, there is shown a dispenser body 15, with disposable coverings 30 in stacked registration 115 shown being stored in a separate single storage container 125.

[0033] Referring next to FIG. 6b, there is shown a dispenser body 15 with disposable coverings 30 shown in stacked registration 115, and attached directly to dispenser body 15.

[0034] Referring now to FIG. 7, there is shown an embodiment where dispenser body 15 and a strip 110 of disposable coverings 30 (disposed in stacked registration 115) are packaged together in dual storage container 130.

[0035] Referring last to FIG. 8, there is shown an embodiment where the dispenser body 15 and the strip 110 of disposal coverings 30 (disposed in stacked registration 115) are packaged separately in single storage containers 125.

[0036] The invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment. However, it will be appreciated that variations and modifications can be effected by a person of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of the invention.

[0037] Parts List

[0038] 10 medical package application

[0039] 15 dispenser body

[0040] 20 integral tip

[0041] 25 opening

[0042] 30 disposable covering

[0043] 35 integrated opening

[0044] 40 content

[0045] 45 eye

[0046] 50 consumer package application

[0047] 55 toothbrush

[0048] 60 opening

[0049] 65 manually punctured

[0050] 70 puncturing tool

[0051] 75 pre-punctured opening

[0052] 80 tip

[0053] 85 chamfer

[0054] 90 pre-scored portion

[0055] 95 tip

[0056] 100 fixed storage appendage

[0057] 105 bendable storage appendage

[0058] 110 strip

[0059] 115 stacked registration

[0060] 120 flattened storage appendage

[0061] 121 single disposition

[0062] 125 single storage container

[0063] 130 dual storage container