Title:
Inexuflator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An inexuflator including a patient interface unit, a source of negative fluid pressure, a source of positive fluid pressure, and a manual valve connected to the source of positive fluid pressure and the source of negative fluid pressure, the valve being adapted to selectively connect the patient interface unit with the source of positive fluid pressure and the source of negative fluid pressure.



Inventors:
Be'eri, Eliezer (Jerusalem, IL)
Malka, Eliyahu Raphael (Ramat Gan, IL)
Shuchman, Yisrael (Jerusalem, IL)
Application Number:
09/975943
Publication Date:
03/20/2003
Filing Date:
10/15/2001
Assignee:
BE'ERI ELIEZER
MALKA ELIYAHU RAPHAEL
SHUCHMAN YISRAEL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/911
International Classes:
A61M16/20; A62B1/00; A61M16/00; A61M; (IPC1-7): A62B1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MENDOZA, MICHAEL G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dekel Patent Ltd. (Rehovot, IL)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An inexuflator comprising: a patient interface unit; a source of negative fluid pressure; a source of positive fluid pressure; and a manual valve connected to said source of positive fluid pressure and said source of negative fluid pressure, said valve being adapted to selectively connect said patient interface unit with said source of positive fluid pressure and said source of negative fluid pressure.

2. The inexuflator according to claim 1 wherein said manual valve is adapted to substantially seal fluid flow from said source of positive fluid pressure to said patient interface unit while generally simultaneously opening fluid flow from said source of negative fluid pressure to said patient interface unit.

3. The inexuflator according to claim 1 wherein said inexuflator comprises a working cycle that comprises providing positive fluid pressure from said source of positive fluid pressure via said manual valve to said patient interface unit, and, within a predetermined period of time, substantially sealing fluid flow from said source of positive fluid pressure to said patient interface unit while generally simultaneously providing negative fluid pressure from said source of negative fluid pressure via said manual valve to said patient interface unit.

4. The inexuflator according to claim 1 and further comprising at least one pressure sensor adapted to sense at least one of said positive fluid pressure and said negative fluid pressure.

5. The inexuflator according to claim 1 wherein said manual valve comprises a sliding element.

6. The inexuflator according to claim 5 wherein said sliding element comprises a first orientation and a second orientation, wherein in said first orientation said sliding element permits fluid flow from said source of positive fluid pressure to said patient interface unit, but substantially seals fluid flow from said source of negative fluid pressure to said patient interface unit, and in said second orientation said sliding element substantially seals fluid flow from said source of positive fluid pressure to said patient interface unit but permits fluid flow from said source of negative fluid pressure to said patient interface unit.

7. The inexuflator according to claim 5 wherein said sliding element comprises a piston that slides in a housing between said first and second orientations.

8. The inexuflator according to claim 7 wherein said piston has an aperture formed therein adapted to be selectively in fluid communication with an opening formed in said housing.

9. The inexuflator according to claim 7 wherein said sliding element comprises a sealing element that is in selectively sealed engagement with said piston.

10. The inexuflator according to any of the preceding claims wherein said patient interface unit comprises at least one of a facemask and a tube connector.

11. The inexuflator according to claim 1 wherein said source of positive fluid pressure comprises at least one of a manual resuscitator and a mechanical ventilator.

12. The inexuflator according to claim 1 wherein said source of negative fluid pressure comprises a vacuum cleaner.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to respiratory apparatus, and particularly to an inexuflator useful, for example, in clearing respiratory secretions from airways.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] An inexuflator is a device designed to assist a patient to clear respiratory secretions from lungs and airways. Inexuflators are used, for example, in patients suffering from diseases that cause weakness of the thoracic cage muscles and diaphragm, such as but not limited to, Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. Such patients are unable to cough with sufficient strength to clear respiratory secretions from the lower respiratory tract. The inexuflator artificially provides the coughing action.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention seeks to provide a manual inexuflator that is simple and inexpensive, yet efficient and effective in artificially reproducing a coughing action to clear respiratory secretions from lungs and airways.

[0004] There is thus provided in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention an inexuflator including a patient interface unit, a source of negative fluid pressure, a source of positive fluid pressure, and a manual valve connected to the source of positive fluid pressure and the source of negative fluid pressure, the valve being adapted to selectively connect the patient interface unit with the source of positive fluid pressure and the source of negative fluid pressure.

[0005] In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the manual valve is adapted to substantially seal fluid flow from the source of positive fluid pressure to the patient interface unit while generally simultaneously opening fluid flow from the source of negative fluid pressure to the patient interface unit.

[0006] Further in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the inexuflator includes a working cycle that includes providing positive fluid pressure from the source of positive fluid pressure via the manual valve to the patient interface unit, and, within a predetermined period of time, substantially sealing fluid flow from the source of positive fluid pressure to the patient interface unit while generally simultaneously providing negative fluid pressure from the source of negative fluid pressure via the manual valve to the patient interface unit.

[0007] Still further in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention at least one pressure sensor is adapted to sense at least one of the positive fluid pressure and the negative fluid pressure.

[0008] In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the manual valve includes a sliding element.

[0009] Further in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the sliding element includes a first orientation and a second orientation, wherein in the first orientation the sliding element permits fluid flow from the source of positive fluid pressure to the patient interface unit, but substantially seals fluid flow from the source of negative fluid pressure to the patient interface unit, and in the second orientation the sliding element substantially seals fluid flow from the source of positive fluid pressure to the patient interface unit but permits fluid flow from the source of negative fluid pressure to the patient interface unit.

[0010] Still further in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the sliding element includes a piston that slides in a housing between the first and second orientations.

[0011] In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the piston has an aperture formed therein adapted to be selectively in fluid communication with an opening formed in the housing.

[0012] Further in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the sliding element includes a sealing element that is in selectively sealed engagement with the piston.

[0013] Still further in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the patient interface unit includes at least one of a facemask and a tube connector.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a simplified pictorial, exploded illustration of an inexuflator constructed and operative in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a simplified pictorial illustration of the inexuflator of FIG. 1 in a first orientation comprising insufflation of a patient, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

[0017] FIG. 3 is a simplified pictorial illustration of the inexuflator of FIG. 1 in a second orientation comprising exuflation of the patient, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0018] Reference is now made to FIGS. 1 and 2, which illustrate an inexuflator 10 constructed and operative in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0019] Inexuflator 10 preferably includes a patient interface unit 12 (FIG. 2), which may comprise without limitation, a facemask applied to a patient's face or alternatively a tube connector that connects directly to a tracheotomy cannula (not shown), for example. A source 14 of negative fluid pressure may be provided, such as but not limited to, a vacuum cleaner or any other suitable suction device, such as a standard medical suction unit. A source 16 of positive fluid pressure may be provided, such as but not limited to, an “AMBU” type manual resuscitator bag or a mechanical ventilator, for example. It is noted that the sources 14 and 16 of negative and positive fluid pressure, respectively, may be manually or automatically controllable with any suitable control apparatus, sensors, recording devices and the like (not shown).

[0020] A manual valve 18 is preferably connected to the source 14 of negative fluid pressure and to the source 16 of positive fluid pressure. Valve 18 is adapted to selectively connect patient interface unit 12 with sources 14 or 16 of negative and positive fluid pressure, respectively.

[0021] The following is one example of a construction of manual valve 18, although it is understood that the manual valve 18 is not limited to this construction. In the illustrated embodiment, manual valve 18 comprises a cylindrical housing 20 having a connector element 22 for connection to patient interface unit 12 and another connector element 24 for connection to the source 14 of negative fluid pressure. An aperture control device 26 may be provided at the interface between housing 20 and connector element 24 for varying the amount of negative pressure, i.e., controlling the amount of suction. Housing 20 may have an opening 27 that fluidly communicates with connector element 24. One or more pressure sensors 28 may be provided for sensing the positive fluid pressure or the negative fluid pressure, such as but not limited to, a Pitot tube or a manometer on housing 20 (pressure sensor 28 is omitted for clarity in FIGS. 2 and 3).

[0022] Manual valve 18 may comprise a sliding element 30 that may include a hollow cylindrical piston 32 that slides in housing 20. Piston 32 may have an aperture 34 formed therein adapted to be selectively in fluid communication with opening 27 of housing 20, as described more in detail hereinbelow. A sealing element 36 may be provided that is in selectively sealed engagement with piston 32 of sliding element 30. Sealing element 36 may comprise a hollow cylinder with a tapered end 38. Tapered end 38 may be formed with a plurality of openings 40 through which a fluid, such as air, may pass. A seal 42, such as an O-ring, may be placed at tapered end 38 proximal (i.e., closer to the connector element 22) to openings 40. Sealing element 36 may be coupled to piston 32, without limitation, by means of a tongue 44 that protrudes from a proximal end of sealing element 36 and which is received in aperture 34. Tongue 44 is adapted to pull piston 32 when piston 32 is manually moved out of housing 20 by an operator of inexuflator 10, and seal 42 is adapted to push piston 32 when piston 32 is moved into housing 20 by the operator of inexuflator 10. A screw 48 may optionally protrude into a groove 46 on the outer surface of piston 32 and serve as a stop to limit the travel of piston 32 in housing 20.

[0023] Sliding element 30 comprises a first orientation and a second orientation. In the first orientation, shown in FIG. 2, sealing element 36 does not abut against piston 32 and fluid may flow from the source 16 of positive fluid pressure to patient interface unit 12. However, aperture 34 is not aligned with opening 27 of housing 20 and thus sliding element 30 substantially seals fluid flow from the source 14 of negative fluid pressure to patient interface unit 12.

[0024] In the second orientation, shown in FIG. 3, sliding element 30 has been moved generally in the direction of an arrow 50 (towards the connector element 22 that connects to patient interface unit 12). In the second orientation, seal 42 of sealing element 36 abuts against piston 32 and substantially seals fluid flow from the source 16 of positive fluid pressure to patient interface unit 12. Aperture 34 is now aligned with opening 27 of housing 20 and thus sliding element 30 permits fluid flow from the source 14 of negative fluid pressure to patient interface unit 12. Thus, manual valve 18 may operate like a two-way valve.

[0025] A working cycle of inexuflator 10 for providing air to a patient and suddenly causing the patient to cough is now described with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3. In FIG. 2, a user (not shown) supplies positive fluid pressure from the source 16 of positive fluid pressure via manual valve 18 to patient interface unit 12, which pressure is forced into the airways and respiratory system of the patient. The positive pressure may be monitored and controlled to suit the needs of the patient by observing pressure sensor 28. Within a predetermined period of time, preferably rapidly and suddenly, the user moves manual valve 18 to the second orientation shown in FIG. 3. For example, the user may suddenly and quickly slide sliding element 30 in the direction of arrow 50, thereby substantially sealing fluid flow from the source 16 of positive fluid pressure to patient interface unit 12, while generally simultaneously providing negative fluid pressure from the source 14 of negative fluid pressure via manual valve 18 to patient interface unit 12. The sudden application of negative pressure to the lungs that have been insufflated with the positive pressure may generate a rapid airflow out of the lungs of the patient, thereby simulating a cough (exuflation). After a predetermined period of time, such as but not limited to about 1 second, the manual valve may be returned to the first orientation to start the working cycle again.

[0026] It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited by what has been particularly shown and described hereinabove. Rather the scope of the present invention includes both combinations and subcombinations of the features described hereinabove as well as modifications and variations thereof which would occur to a person of skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description and which are not in the prior art.