Title:
Operation sutural needle counter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is related to surgical suture needle counters with features of parts with which needles are counted are either protruded or in concave hollow forms one projection or one hollow parts for each needle, made of material that endures autoclave sterilization, that can be disposed after use, and with insertion holes to fit into slits, the bottom base or the side of the container made of transparent resin, enabling confirmation of contents after closing and sealing the container, to secure safety during counting and at the time of disposal for preventing needle pricking accidents in advance.



Inventors:
Koseki, Tomoaki (Chiyoda-ku, JP)
Application Number:
10/433469
Publication Date:
07/08/2004
Filing Date:
05/30/2003
Assignee:
KOSEKI TOMOAKI
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61B19/00; A61B17/06; A61G12/00; A61B19/02; (IPC1-7): B65D85/28
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tomoaki Koseki (Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, JP)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A surgical suture needle counter with the feature of counting the number of used surgical suture needles, being a sheet of a container to dispose the needles, and having a shape of the part with which to count the needles are protruded for each needle.

2. A surgical suture needle counter with the feature of counting the number of used surgical suture needles, being a sheet of a container, and having a shape of the part with which to count the needles being in a hollow form for each needle.

3. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 1 and 2, wherein the outer part of the main body is in a round shape that can be stored inside a petri dish which is used inside an operation room, and projection to pull out the device is arranged around one side of the circumference which can be bent.

4. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 3, wherein the shape of the bendable projection around one side of the circumference is in a shape of a calyx reminding a person of a fruit or a vegetable, the overall color is in a fruit-like or vegetable-like tone accordingly.

5. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3 and 4, wherein the part that constructs the main part of the counter being a material which can endure the temperature and pressure of an autoclave (high pressure steam sterilizer) which is a commonly used sterilization method in an operation room, and does not easily deform or deteriorate.

6. A manufacturing method of a surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, wherein the material is made of foam and such, the overall body and the part with which needles are counted are made of foam mold processing forming convex and concave shapes.

7. A manufacturing method of a surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, wherein the material is made of foam and such, the overall body and the part with which needles are counted are made of heat press processing forming convex and concave forms.

8. A manufacturing method of a surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 2, 3, 4, and 5, wherein the material of foam and such is cut out, and the numbers with which to count needles can be pasted on a piece of paper and such with numbers printed on to form the overall shape.

9. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, wherein concave and convex shapes applied on the outre rim of the main body of the surgical suture needle counter, and the concave and convex shapes fit with the concave and convex parts at the outer rim of the blister pack which is the external package at the time of shipment, enabling a disposable form.

10. A surgical suture needle counter which counts the number of used surgical suture needles, and which is a disposable device, consisting of a main body, a saucer plate and a lid, the main body being in a columnar of square column pillar shape made of soft flexible material, the needles counted by pricking needles one by one onto a multiple number of projections at the surface of the device, each projection having a number in serial marked, is stored and fixed in advance onto a resin-made disposable saucer plate, the bottom part of the saucer plate and the lid having slip-proof adhesive sheet pasted on the bottom base of the saucer plate and on the top of the lid in advance, the lid is closed on top of the saucer plate after the usage and can be disposed as a sealed container.

11. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 10 wherein the surface of the main body is not projected but has a multiple number of holes, and the needles can be counted by dropping needles one by one, each hole having a number in serial marked at the bottom of the hole.

12. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 11 wherein not holes but a multiple number of slits to insert needles are applied, and numbers in serial can be applied, and serial numbers marked at the side of the slit.

13. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 12 wherein the center and the right side of the slit is a round or a square shape insertion hole.

14. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 10, 11, 12 and 14 with the feature of having magnetic sheets pasted on the inside of the lid.

15. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 10, 11, 12 or 13, wherein double face adhesive sheet is pasted onto the inside of the lid.

16. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 10, 11, 12 or 13, wherein double face adhesive sponge is pasted onto the inside of the lid.

17. A surgical suture needle counter that is a container which counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, wherein a hollow columnar pillar is halved in the middle vertically to be opened and closed with a hinge in half-column state, soft flexible material is fixed onto the left half of the half-column for used needles to be fixed onto, partitions for storing needles placed inside the right half of the half-column, numbers marked onto the bottom base of each partition for counting needles, and when the two half-columns are closed the overall appearance becomes a columnar pillar and can be sealed and disposed.

18. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 17 wherein one half of the two half columnar pillars has no partition nor needle pricking fixing body, but has magnetic sheet pasted on the inside wall.

19. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 17 wherein one half of the two half columnar pillars has no partition nor needle pricking fixing body, but has double face adhesive sheet pasted on the inside wall.

20. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 17 wherein one half of the two half columnar pillars has no partition nor needle pricking fixing body, but has double face adhesive sponge pasted on the inside wall.

21. A surgical suture needle counter that counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, having a form of a petri dish type short columnar pillar consisting of a saucer plate and a lid, the outside base of the saucer plate having slip-proof adhesive sheet, the inside of the saucer plate divided in a radial form from the center being needle storage space, and the needle storage space has numbers for counting needles marked for visual confirmation from the top, the space which is for used needles to be thrown in, and the counter can be disposed after sealed.

22. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 21 wherein the saucer plate and the lid are contacted and fixed so that these do not separate, the lid has a window for either one or two needle storage space divided in two in the latter case, wherein the lid rotates one by one for used needle to be thrown inside the needle storage space, the top part of the last needle storage space is closed and does not rotate to the front or rear due to a stopper, and the counter can be disposed after sealed.

23. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 21 and 22 wherein the bottom base of the saucer plate is made of transparent resin, to enable visual confirmation of the content of the counter after needles are counted, and then the counter is sealed.

24. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 21, 22, and 23 wherein adhesive sheet or magnetic sheet is applied on the inside of the bottom base of the saucer plate to enable the needles thrown-in to be fixed inside.

25. A surgical suture needle counter that counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, consisting of an external case, a needle storage rotating body, and a rotating handle, wherein slip proof adhesive sheet is pasted on the outside of the bottom base of the external case, the center axis located at the side center of the inside of the external case pierces and is stored inside the center of the spherical part of the spherical columnar needle storage rotating body, the inside of the needle storage rotating body becomes needle storage space divided into radial spaces from the center, the spherical parts on the right and the left of the columnar pillar blocked with a wall, the surrounding curved side is opened, needles are thrown inside towards the center of the needle storage rotating body from the top part of the external case, the top part of the external case having a multiple number of windows for needle storage space for throwing in used needles, the surrounding curved side of the needle storage rotating body having numbers marked for counting the needles to enable visual confirmation from the top, the needle storage rotating body connected to a rotating handle via the wall of external case, used needles are thrown inside needle storage space by rotating the rotating handle one by one, the top part of the last needle storage space is closed and would not rotate to the front or rear due to a stopper, and the counter can be disposed after sealed.

26. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 25 wherein the center axis of the needle storage rotating body is connected with frame moving lever via external case wall, the frame moving lever is restricted to one portion of needle storage space for its upwards and downwards movement range by a restriction projection which is fixed onto the front side of the external case, a push spring is set below the frame moving lever, the side of the frame moving lever has frame moving projection which sends out radial extended isolation wall via ditches of external case, the frame moving projection has its tip end bend when the projection is moving downward, and when the projection is moving upward the straight state is maintained and push up the isolation wall, the tip end of the isolation wall are small spheres, there are catchers on the inside of the external case to receive the spheres, and so when the frame moving lever is pressed down, the needle storage space is sent on one by one.

27. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 26 wherein a display panel is connected to the external circumference of the first isolation wall, one display panel being in the same shape and area as one needle storage space to block the circumference, the display on the display panel connected to the first isolation wall is 1, the border of the next display panel which displays 2 in serial continued from the first display panel is made thin to bend flexibly, the same structure continues one by one, each display panel which continues on is pulled inside the triangular column display rotating body each time the needle storage rotating body rotates one move, and the display blocks the circumference of one needle storage space showing a number.

28. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 25, 26, and 27 wherein all the needle storage rotating bodies and the side wall in which the center axis of the external case runs through are made of transparent resin, and the content can be confirmed after sealed.

29. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 25, 26, 27 and 28, wherein the center axis is made of magnet, enabling the thrown in needles to be fixed inside.

30. A surgical suture needle counter which is a container that counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, wherein a hinge is applied to the upper part of the container which stores 8 detached needle type suture thread package, a lid is connected, a slip proof adhesive sheet is pasted on the external bottom base of the container, soft flexible material is pasted on the inside of the container and the inside of the lid for pricking needles onto, numbers being marked on parts to count needles, the whole container is sealed and disposed when the lid is closed.

31. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 30 wherein magnetic sheet is pasted to the inside of the container and the inside of the lid, numbers to count needles are marked.

32. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 30 and 31 wherein hinges are applied to both sides of the container in which stores 8 detached needle type suture thread package, to which a needle storage space in the size of being stored inside the container when bent inwards, sponge and such needle fixing body is pasted on the side of each of the right and left needle storage space, numbers are marked on the bottom base for counting the number of needles, and when all the eight detached needle type suture thread is used, the needle storage space on both sides can be bent inwards to be stored inside the container, and when the lid is closed the counter is sealed.

33. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 32 wherein magnetic sheet is pasted on the inside bottom base of the needle storage space connected to both sides of the container, and numbers are marked on the parts where needles are counted.

34. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 17, 18, 19, 20, 30, 31, 32 and 33, wherein one of the hinges attached to the two divided containers is in a spherical form, the other in two projection forms to sandwich the sphere, and when counting needles is conducted the container is closed, the hinges fit each other enabling complete sealed state which cannot be opened easily, a sphere that projects in a slanting angle connecting to either one tip end or two tip ends of one side that continues to the hinge and the cup that receive the sphere fit each other when the container is fully opened, being in a temporary fixed state, and the divided containers can be manufactured with mold processing method with the same mold.

35. A surgical suture needle counter which counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, consisting of an external box, a bellows insole and a lid, wherein the bellows insole is placed inside the square shape external box, both ends of the bellows insole that extend outwards are connected respectively onto the far end inside the external box and the side wall of the external box, numbers for counting needles are marked on the top parts of each of the bellows insole, slip proof adhesive sheet is pasted on the outside bottom base of the external box and the top outside part of the lid, a material such as magnetic sheet that can adhere and fix needles is pasted on the inside of the lid, the lid is closed onto the external box after counting needles, and the whole counter can be sealed and disposed.

36. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 35 wherein knobs made of soft flexible material are attached on the center top part of the bellows insole or the top parts of each of the three parts of the bellows insole when the insole is divided equally in three, a hole is made in the center of the knob, a projection to fix the knob hole is made in the far end of the external box and in the center of the front side wall.

37. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 35 and 36 wherein the front half of the external box is in a drawer style, enabling double the volume size when this counter is in usage.

38. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 35, 36, and 37 wherein each of the both tip ends of the trough parts of the bellows insole is bent inwards as peak parts to enable each needle storage part to be in a pocket form.

39. A surgical suture needle counter wherein each of the both tip ends of the trough parts of the bellows insole is bent inwards as peak parts to enable each needle storage part to be in a pocket form, each of the top part of the peak parts of the bellows insole having numbers to count needles being marked, the bellows insole is folded from both the front and the back side at time of disposal, enabling the insole to be folded small to be stored inside the small external box, and can be sealed and disposed after the lid is closed.

40. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 39 wherein one end of the front or the back side of the bellows insole is connected to the inside of the side wall of the small external box, the side wall on the lower base side of the other side is connected to one side of the bottom base, the top side is connected to one side of the lid, and when the bellows insole is extended during usage, the bottom base and the side wall and the lid all become flat in one line, the bellows insole is folded from both the front and the back sides at time of disposal, the side wall and the lid are raised one by one, to be sealed.

41. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 39 wherein a wall to fix the center part of the bellows insole is made on the inside of the small external box, the bellows insole extends to the front and the back from the center, one side of the front side wall and the back side wall connects to the bottom base, and when the bellows insole is extended during use, the front side wall the base and the back side wall all become flat as one line, the bellows insole is folded from the front and back at time of disposal, the front wall and the back wall are raised and sealed, and the appearance of the counter after sealing becomes triangular shape.

42. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 38, 39, 40 and 41, wherein a multiple number of the pocket type needle storage parts are lined up in one line horizontally.

43. A manufacturing method for manufacturing bellows insole part for the surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 39, 40, 41 and 42, wherein slits are made on the top part for the peak folds and bottom part for the trough folds when folding a piece of paper or a plate of thin resin to enable easy folding, numbers for counting needles are printed on each top part of the bellows insole, the insole being able to make a bellows insole form by sandwiching the insole by one movement from the front and the back.

44. A surgical suture needle counter which counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, consisting of the main body and a lid, the front side of the square box is shaped to have the main body slanted in the front side so that the box shape becomes shorter in the front, with three strips of lengthwise soft flexible material on the right and the left side walls and the center of the inside of the main body, number for counting needles are marked on the top part of the soft material, slits are made to enable needles to be pricked from the top or the sides, a transparent resin plate is arranged horizontally as partition keeping a space for one needle to be left for the space of needles for marked numbers, one space between the left sponge and the center sponge, and another space between the center sponge and the right sponge, the partition plate is raised from the bottom base so that the top part of the partition slants slightly towards the far side of the main body, the lid made of transparent resin, slip proof adhesive sheet being pasted on the outside base of the main body, material such as magnetic sheet for adhering and fixing needles is pasted on the inside bottom base of the main body, the lid is closed on the main body after counting the needles, the counter being able to be sealed and disposed.

45. A manufacturing method for a surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 44 wherein the main body and the lid is made of transparent plastic resin with injection mold processing, three strips of lengthwise sponge with slits made in advance and with numbers printed in advance being placed on the right and left side walls and on the center.

46. A surgical suture needle counter which counts the number of used surgical suture needles and can be disposed, consisting of a main body and a lid, adhesive acrylic foam is pasted on the inside of the main body to enable needles to be fixed just by placing needles, numbers to count needles are marked on the surface of the adhesive acrylic foam, the lid made of transparent resin, and when the lid is closed needles are fixed between the adhesive acrylic foam and the lid.

47. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 46 wherein the part in the main body on which needles are placed is projected in arch forms, holes are made on the adhesive acrylic foam for the arch projections to match the needle locations, the center part of the arch projections having a slit, so when a needle is pressed the needle inserts into the arch projection part, the dented projection part restores back into the projected form with spring effect after a needle is inserted, the lid is in a concave shape to prevent the arch projection parts to touch, having features to fix the needles in the locations accurately, and to prevent easy dropping off of the needles.

48. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 46 and 47 wherein slits are made in advance around the marked number parts on the surface of the adhesive acrylic foam, the foam is adhered in a slightly light way onto the top part of a projected pillar which is made with solid body mold method with the main body, so when used needles are returned to the surgical suture needle counter, the marked numbers of the locations where the needles are place are peeled off, the peeled off number stickers are pasted onto the used needle package, to enable more accurate confirmation of used needles and of needles opened from packages.

49. A manufacturing method for a surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claim 48 wherein the main body and the lid are made of resin with injection mold method, numbers are printed on the adhesive acrylic foam, the number parts have slits in advance in the surrounding made with Thompson blades, the acrylic foam adheres onto the top part of the pillar in a slightly light way on the projected pillar made with solid body mold method with the main body, and the number parts can be peeled off.

50. A surgical suture needle counter as claimed in claims 46, 47, and 48 wherein packages of unused suture needles are set and fixed on the top part of a thin H shape frame, the lower part of the H shape frame having a structure to set and fix surgical suture needle counter, the lowest part of the surgical suture needle counter part becomes the transparent lid via a hinge, the transparent lid is fixed to the back side before and during usage, and the lid extends forward after use having the hinge as the axis, the transparent lid is adhered onto the adhesive acrylic foam, the used needles are fixed by being sandwiched, and furthermore after the needles are adhered and fix, the surgical suture needle counter part can be slid out from the lower part of the H shape frame and be disposed.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to improvements of surgical suture needle counters that count used suture needles for disposal to prevent any needle to be left in a patient's body, and to appropriately dispose used surgical suture needles as medical waste.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Conventional surgical suture needle counters for counting used needles can be categorized in two; one is adhesive type and the other is sponge type. In the case of an adhesive type, needles are adhered and fixed on a surface of a flat sheet or a plate, the material of the surface being magnetic or sticker type. The surface of the sheet or plate is divided by straight lines or have square enclosures printed on, and each frame has a number marked for counting the number of needles. By placing the needles from a frame marked with small numbers to large numbers, the number of used needles can be counted. In the case of a sponge type needle counter, numbers are printed on the surface of the sponge and the needles are pricked from the top.

SUMMARY OF THIS INVENTION

[0005] When the surface of the sheet or the plate on which needles are places is flat, the needles tend to move when placed on the surface and therefore there is more possibility of mistakes being made when counting.

[0006] Usually when a nurse receives a used needle from a surgeon, the nurse would receive the needle on a needle holder, but when the nurse tries to count needles after pricking needles on a conventional needle counter wherein numbers are printed on the top part of the sponge, the nurse would have to prick the needles from an awkward angle from above. Also as the end tip of the needle would turn upwards, disposal of the counter would be difficult afterwards. If the needle is pricked deeply, the tip point of the needle would jut out. Many of the hospital infections occur from needle pricking accidents, and safer means are being sought.

[0007] Conventional needle counters take much space as the needles are placed horizontally, and so surgical suture needle counters are large in size. As the nurses' workplace is a clean area it is preferable not to have large size tools or devices. The total volume of such tool or device should be kept as small as possible.

[0008] Although there are strong requests from medical organizations to introduce surgical suture needle counters for safety reasons for both patients and medical practitioners, in the current climate of restraint in medical expense, it is difficult to spend much money on disposable items. Ultimate cost reduction including manufacturing process is being sought.

[0009] A surgeon would hold the tip end of a needle and conduct suture holding the needle with a needle holder, but the needle that comes out from body tissue is pulled out from the front tip end. The needle held at the tip of a needle holder is passed onto a nurse who has to re-hold the needle to prick the needle onto a sponge for counting. Needle pricking accidents often occur during the re-holding process of needles by nurses.

[0010] Needles used in surgeries vary in size, and therefore conventional surgical suture needle counters differed in size. Conventional types are not complete in handling both large needles and small needles collectively at the same time.

[0011] To solve the above problems, this invention is structured so that the part for counting needles is elevated individually, or made in a concave form for each needle, to prevent each needle from moving about, and to structure the counter to have needles to be pricked more easily than when needles are pricked from sideways, and to have a form which is easier to dispose.

[0012] The shape of the main body of the surgical suture needle counter is made in a round form, to fit inside a petri dish used in an operation room, and projections are provided on one side of the main body for pulling out the counter, the projection which can be bent. A petri dish is a tool that is used commonly in almost every surgery, and so there is no need to make new space for the needle counter. Also, in facilities which counts needles not using any needle counter, in most cases used needles are counted by placing needles in a petri dish, and therefore in those cases there is smooth transition into utilizing surgical suture needle counters.

[0013] Another added value is that flexible projections at one side of the counter are made in a calyx-like form reminding a person of fruits or vegetables, the counter is colored in relation to such image. The tool counter in an operation room is full of metallic tools with blood, having a cold impression, but such form and color reminding a person of fruits or vegetables would have the effect of bringing peace of mind and relaxation to nurses.

[0014] The material of the surgical suture needle counter is a material which endures the temperature and pressure of the autoclave sterilizer (high pressure steam sterilizer), and which does not easily deform or deteriorate. In an operation room, autoclave sterilization is done generally to sterilize tools and utensils, and a petri dish as previously referred is also sterilized inside an autoclave without placing anything inside the dish. When a surgical suture needle counter is placed inside a petri dish and sterilized, that would lead to cost reduction of the sterilization, and the counter and the dish can be used immediately after opening the petri dish. Also the external packaging and its procedure will turn unnecessary for the manufacturer's side and therefore would realize some cost reduction.

[0015] Material for the counter is foam-like material, and the overall shape and the parts which the needles are to be counted will be in a concave and convex shape made of foam molding process or heat press processing, enabling affordable mass production.

[0016] Foam materials are cut out with press cut mold and then pasted onto a paper on which numbers for counting the needles are printed, and by doing so the overall manufacturing cost can be made affordable, and to minimize the initial investment for ramping of product production.

[0017] Convex and concave shapes are made on the outer rim of the main body of the surgical suture needle counter, the rim fit and combined with convex and concave parts on the rim of a blister pack which is the external packaging at the time of shipment, to enable the tool to be disposed after use. In a case when sterilization is done not in the hospital but at the manufacturer's side before delivery, sterilized package is always necessary. A blister pack is a container made of transparent resin from PS (polystyrene) or PET (polyethylene terephthalate) made with vacuum mold method, the counter is placed inside this package and sealed with sterilized papers such as Tyvek. Usually when an item is delivered to an operation area, blister packs or Tyvek or other external packaging are disposed on the site. There is very small possibility of blood staining on these packages, but even when the packages are stained, these can be disposed as medical waste. Convex and concave shapes are applied to the rim of the main body of the surgical suture needle counter, and when these shapes are combined with the shape on convex and concave shapes of the surrounding of the blister pack, the shape of the blister pack itself can cover the used needles, and so there will be more safety. This would also omit the situation of packing and disposing one needle at a time, which would decrease the total amount of waste.

[0018] The needle counter consists of the main body, a saucer plate to place the main body, and a lid, the main body is in a thin columnar or four-sides column shape made of flexible material, wherein needles can be pricked in order onto the multiple number of projections on the surface, made to facilitate counting. Each projection is numbered in serial, placed and fixed in advance on a disposable plate made of resin, and the base of the plate and the top of the lid have slip-proof adhesive sheets applied. After usage, the lid can be closed on top of the plate, and can be disposed as a sealed container.

[0019] Another possible form for this invention is that the surface of the main body does not have projections but have multiple numbers of holes applied, and needles can be dropped inside and counted. Each hole is numbered in serial.

[0020] Another possible form for this invention is that there are multiple numbers of slits applied instead of holes, and needles can be inserted into those slits. Each slit has a number in serial beside the slit.

[0021] The form of the slit is made so that the center and the right end is an insertion hole in a columnar or four-sided column shape.

[0022] Magnetic sheet, adhesive sheet or sponge is applied on the inside of the lid.

[0023] A hollow column is made in half-column shape cut vertically at the center, to be opened and closed by a hinge, and needle fixing part made of flexible material is fixed on the left half of the half column. There are partitions on the right half of the column for storing needles, and numbers to count the needles are marked at the bottom of each partition. When the right and the left halves of the column are closed, the overall shape become a whole column and is sealed, enabling disposal.

[0024] One half of the half-column does not have any partition or needle fixing part, and had magnet sheet, adhesive sheet of sponge pasted on the inside.

[0025] This invention is in a short columnar shape like a petri dish consisting of a holding plate and a lid, wherein the outside bottom side of the saucer plate has slip-proof adhesive sheet. The inside of the saucer plate is divided from the center radiation, forming needle storage space, and each needle storage space has numbers marked for counting, to enable counting and visual confirmation from above. Used needles are thrown into the needle storage space one by one, and the counter can be disposed after sealed.

[0026] The counter is structured so that the saucer plate and the lid can be rotated but should not separate. The lid has one or two divided windows for needle storage. The lid is rotated and a used needle can be thrown inside one by one from the window. The last needle storage space has the top part sealed, and the lid would not rotate to the fore or rear due to a stopper, and the counter can be disposed sealed.

[0027] The bottom of the saucer plate is made of transparent resin, so the content of the counter can be checked and confirmed when needles are counted and then sealed.

[0028] The inside of the bottom of the saucer plate has adhesive sheet or magnetic sheet applied, to fix the thrown-in needles.

[0029] This invention consists of an external case, a needle storage rotating body, and a rotating handle, wherein the outside of the bottom base of the external case has slip-proof adhesive sheet applied, the center axis located at the center of the inside of the external case pierces through into the columnar needle storage rotating body and stored therein. The inside of the needle storage rotating body is divided at the center in a radial form, forming needle storage spaces, the right and the left circular parts at the top of the column are blocked with a wall, the surrounding curved side is opened, and needles can be thrown in from the top of the external case towards the center of the needle storage rotating body. Windows to throw in the needles into the multiple needle storage spaces are made on top of the external case, and numbers for counting needles are marked on the curved surrounding of the needle storage rotating body for visual confirmation of the needles. The needle storage rotating body is connected with a rotating handle via the external case wall, and used needles are thrown inside the needle storage space by rotating the rotating handle. The top part of the last portion of the needle storage space is closed, and is structured not to rotate to the fore or rear with a stopper, so that the counter can be disposed in a sealed state.

[0030] The center axis of the needle storage rotating body is connected to a frame-moving lever via the external case wall, and the upper and lower movement of the frame-moving lever is restricted to one space of the needle storage space by the restriction projection that is fixed on the side of the external case. A push spring is set below the frame-moving lever, the side of the frame-moving lever has frame-moving projections to send out the division walls extended in a radial form of the needle storage space via the external ditch, and the tip end of the frame-moving projection is bent when proceeding downwards, the tip end maintains a perpendicular position to push up the division wall when moving upwards. The tip end of the isolation wall is in a small sphere form, and a catcher is applied in the inside of the external case to receive this sphere. When the frame-moving lever is pushed down, the needle storage space moves one by one.

[0031] A display panel is connected to the outside rim of the first isolation wall, and the first display panel is in the same shape and size as the needle storage space to block the circumference. The display on the display panel connected to the first isolation wall is 1, the border between the display panels 2 and 1 are made in a thin form so that it can bend flexibly, and that structure continues thereafter. Each of the serial display panel is pulled into the triangular column display rotating body each time the needle rotating body rotates one frame, and blocks the circumference of the needle storage space while displaying a number.

[0032] The whole part of the needle storage rotating body and the side where the center axis of the external case runs are made of transparent resin, to enable visual confirmation of the content after sealing the counter.

[0033] The center axis is made of magnet, so that the thrown-in needles ca be fixed inside.

[0034] A hinge is applied at the top of the container wherein a package of suture threads with 8 detached needles, and a lid is connected. A slip-proof adhesive sheet is applied on the base of the counter, and a soft material is pasted on the inside of the container and also the inside of the lid to enable the needles to be pricked, and number are marked on the parts for counting the needles. When the lid is closed, the container is sealed and can be disposed.

[0035] Magnetic sheet is applied on the inside of the container and the lid, and numbers are marked for counting the needles.

[0036] Hinges are applied on both sides of the container wherein a package of suture threads with 8 detached needles, and a needle storage space in a small enough size to be contained inside the container is connected when the hinges are bent inwards, needle pricking fixing bodies are pasted on the side of the needle storage space on the right and the left sides, and numbers are marked on the bottom for counting the needles. When all the suture threads with 8 detached needles are used, the needle storage space on both sides are bent inwards to be contained inside the container, the lid is closed and the counter can be sealed.

[0037] Magnetic sheet is applied on the inside bottom of the needle storage space connected to both sides of the container, and numbers are marked on the part for counting the needles.

[0038] One of the hinges attached to the divided container is in a spherical form, and the other hinge is in a shape of two projections for sandwiching the sphere, thus when the container is closed after counting, the hinges are in gear and the container is sealed completely preventing easy opening. One sphere that projects in a slanting angle connected to one side or two sides that continues from the hinge, and a cup which receives that sphere matches each other when the divided container parts opens completely, and the container is in a temporary fixed state. The two parts of the divided container can be manufactured with mold-processing method from the same mold.

[0039] This invention consists of an external box, a bellows insole and a lid, wherein a bellows insole is placed inside a square external box, the two ends of the extending bellows insole is respectively connected to the inside and the front side walls of the external box. Numbers for counting needles are marked on the top part of the bellows insole. Slip-proof adhesive sheet is applied on the external bottom side of the external box and the external top part of the lid, and a material such as magnet for adhering and fixing needles is applied to the inside of the lid. After the needles are counted, the lid is placed on the external box, sealed and disposed.

[0040] Knobs made of flexible material are applied to the central top part of the bellows insole or on three points on top of the bellows insole when dividing the bellows in three equally. A hole is made in the center of the knob, a projection to fix the knob hole is made at the far end of the external box and at the side wall in the front side of the external box, to fix the knob onto the far end of the external box and on the side wall of the front side of the box.

[0041] The front half of the external box is in a drawer form, to acquire double amount of volume during usage.

[0042] Each of the trough of the bellows insole is bent inwards as peaks, each needle storage part is made in a pocket form, numbers are marked on the top parts of each of the bellows insole for counting needles, the bellows insole can be folded from the front and back at time of disposal, the bellows insole which is folded small can be put inside a small external box, the lid is closed, the counter is sealed and disposed.

[0043] Each end at the front and the back of the bellows insole is connected to the inside of the side wall of the small external box, and the side wall opposing to that has its bottom side connected to the base, while the top side is connected to one side of the lid. During usage when the bellows insole is extended and opened, the bottom side, the side wall and the lid all become flat in line with the base, and at the time of disposal the bellows insole can be folded from the front and back, then the side wall and the lid are raised respectively, and sealed.

[0044] A wall is made in the inside of the small external box to fix the central part of the bellows insole, so that the bellows insole can be extended from the center to front and back. When one side of the front side wall and the back side wall are connected to the base and when the bellows insole is extended open during usage, the front side wall, the base, the back side walls become flat and even, and at the time of disposal the bellows insole is folded from the front and back, the front side wall, the back side walls are raised, and can be sealed, the appearance of the counter after sealing is triangular column.

[0045] The pocket form needle storage parts are connected in multiple forms side by side in one line.

[0046] When manufacturing the bellows insole, slits are made on the top for peaks and on the bottom for the troughs from a sheet of paper or a plate of thin resin. Numbers are printed on the top parts of the bellows insole for counting the needles, the bellows insole can be folded in just one movement of hand from the front and back.

[0047] This invention consists of a main body and a lid, the top side of the square box is slanted from the rear towards the front, and flexible soft material is applied on the inside of the right and the left side walls and the center of the inside the main body in lengthwise in three lines. Numbers are marked on the top of the flexible soft material for counting the needles, and there are slits on the top or the sides for the needles to be pricked. Each numbered part is the space for each needle, divided by transparent resin partition plates, wherein the partition plates are raised so that the top part slants slightly towards to the rear side. The lid is made of transparent resin to enable visual confirmation of the content after closing the lid. Adhesive sheet is pasted on the outside base of the main body for slip-proof, and material such as magnet is applied on the inside of the base of the main body to adhere and fix the needles. After counting the needles, the lid is closed on the main body, then sealed and disposed.

[0048] In manufacturing this surgical suture needle counter, the main body and the lid is made of transparent resin with injection mold processing method, strips of lengthwise sponge with pre-printed numbers and pre-cut slits are inserted inside the main body in the right and the left side walls and in the center to be completed.

[0049] This invention consists of a main body and a lid, wherein adhesive acrylic foam is pasted inside the main body to fix the needles when needles are placed, and numbers to count the needles are marked on the surface of the adhesive acrylic foams. The lid is made of transparent resin, and when the lid is closed the needles are fixed between the adhesive acrylic foam and the lid.

[0050] The part on which needles are placed onto the main body is projected in an arch form, and holes for the arch is made on the adhesive acrylic foam to match the positions of the needles. Slits are made in the center of the arch, the needles are inserted inside the arch by pressing the center of the needle, and once the needles are inserted, the shape returns to the original arch form with its spring function. The lid is made in a concave form so that the arch part does not touch. This has the functions of fixing the needles accurately in their positions, and to prevent easy dropping of the needles.

[0051] Slits are made in advance around the marked numbers displayed on the surface of the adhesive acrylic foam, thus the foam connects onto the top of the pillar in a slightly light way when bonding onto the main body from the main body and the solid body mold projected pillar. When a used needle is returned onto the surgical suture needle counter, the number on the needle positions is peeled off, the sticker is then pasted onto the package of the used needle, thus the number of the opened needle and the used needle are matched accurately.

[0052] A package of unused suture needle is fixed on the top of a thin H shaped frame, wherein the bottom of the H shaped frame fixes the surgical suture needle counter. The lowest part of the surgical suture needle counter is made into a transparent led via a hinge, the transparent lid is fixed to the other side before and during usage, and after usage it is extended having the hinge as the axis, the transparent lid is adhered onto the adhesive acrylic foam, thus the used needle is caught and fixed. Furthermore after the adherence and fixing, the surgical suture needle counter can be slid out from the bottom of the H shape frame, taken out and disposed.

[0053] The main body and the lid is made of resin with injection mold, numbers are printed on adhesive acrylic foam, the surrounding of the number parts have slits applied in advance with Thompson blades, the main body and a projected pillar made in a solid body mold are adhered onto the top part of the pillar in a slightly light way when adhered onto the main body, and the number part can be peeled off.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0054] Hereafter, a description of the preferred embodiments of this invention is made in reference to drawings. FIG. 1 is a drawing of a surgical suture needle counter according to claim 1 depicting a needle counting part projecting respectively. The main body 1a utilizes heatproof urethane foam according to claim 5, the projection and the surrounding convex part of the needle pricking projection 5 are made with foaming mole according to claim 6 or with heat press processing according to claim 7. According to claim 7, the surrounding of main body 1a can be matched as convex part 4b with the concave part 4a at the surrounding of the external package blister 2, being able to be combined. At the outside of the concave part 4a around the external package blister 2, a sealer part is established to seal with sterilized paper 3. Main body 1a is placed inside the external package blister 2 and sterilized paper 3, then sterilized, and after usage, the main body 1a is matched together with external package blister and then disposed.

[0055] Drawing 2 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claim 2 where in the part that counts needles is in a form of having 7 respective concave shapes. Main body 1b has as its material heatproof urethane foam according to claim 5, cut out with press cut mold according to claim 8, and then pasted onto a paper on which numbers for counting needles are printed. According to claim 3, the surrounding of the main body is in a round form which can fit a petri dish 6 which is used in an operation room, and projections 8 for pulling out the main body and which can be bent are applied on one side of the surrounding. According to claim 4, these projections 8 are in a shape of a calyx reminding a person of a pineapple, and the color is green. The color of the urethane foam is made in a yellow, which enables this tool to entertain and relax people in the operation room within a cold atmosphere.

[0056] Drawing 3 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 10, 11 and 14. This consists of main body 9, saucer plate 10 for holding the main body, and lid 11, wherein the main body 9 is in a short columnar shape made of polyethylene foam made by foaming mold processing. Twenty holes 12 are applied on the surface, and needles are either dropped inside in a serial according to the numbers marked at the bottom of the holes 12 or by pricking the needles on the side walls for counting. Main body 9 is placed and fixed inside the saucer plate 10 in advance, and is sterilized together with lid 11 before usage. The material for main body 9 and the saucer plate 10 is resin material such as polypropylene or ABS so that the whole of the tool is made as disposable. Slip-proof adhesive sheet 13a, 13b are pasted on the base of saucer plate 10 and on the top of lid 11. The material of the adhesive sheets 13a and 13b are adhesive foaming polyethylene which is often used in mouse pads, securing the slip-proof effect, and also can prevent excessively strong adhesiveness and difficulties in peeling such as with a double-face tape. After usage, lid 11 is closed on top of the saucer plate 10 and the tool can be disposed as a sealed disposable tool. Magnetic sheet 16 is applied on the inside of lid 11, to hold large needles and spare razor blades.

[0057] Drawing 4 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 12 and 13. Multiple numbers of slits 14 are cut onto the surface of the main body to insert needles, and numbers in serial are marked on the sides of slit 14. As this does not take much space lengthwise, the whole tool becomes compact. The center and the right end of the slit 14 extend into a square insertion hole 5, and a needle can be inserted together with the tip of a needle holder. When a small needle is returned, the central insertion hole and the right side insertion hole are used separately, and two counts are done with one slit. When the needle is large, the insertion holes on both sides of the needle are used simultaneously, conducting two counts with one slit. In cases when a large needle is used, both insertion holes are used simultaneously, and the count for one needle is done with one slit.

[0058] Drawing 5 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 17, 18, 19, 20 and 34. A hollow column is divided vertically in half in the middle, and each half column is connected with a hinge and can be opened and closed. The left half of the half column has polyethylene needle fixing bodies 17a and 17b fixed, onto which returned needles are pricked. The right half of the half column has partitions for storing needles, and at the bottom of each partition, numbers are marked for counting the number of needles. When the right and the left sides of the two half columns are closed, the overall appearance becomes a columnar pillar, enabling compact sealing and disposal. Overall material is polypropylene, ABS and such resin material, processed with injection mold method to be made disposable. The hinge attached on the half columnar pillars on the left side is in a sphere 18, the hinge on the right side is in a projected form 19 that sandwiches the left side hinge. When the two half columns connect at the center the parts form a hinge, and when the right and the left sides of the two half columns are closed after counting the needles, the hinges when the two halves are connected in the center becomes a hinge, and when the left and the right sides are closed and matched together the hinge locks and is sealed completely and does not open easily. A sphere that project in a slanting angle are attached on the bottom right sides of the half columns, and a cup to receive the sphere is attached on the left side. When the two half columns are open completely, the two parts fit, and is in a temporary fixed state, and the needle counting procedure can be conducted in a stable manner. The right and the left side columns can be mold processed with the same mold enabling mass production at affordable cost.

[0059] Drawing 6 shows a surgical suture needle counter in a petri dish type short columnar form, consisting of saucer plate 20 and lid 11 according to claims 21, 22, 23 and 24. Slip-proof adhesive sheet is pasted onto the outside bottom of saucer plate 20. The inside of the saucer plate 20 is made into needle storage space 21 by dividing the space in a radial form from the center. Needle storage space 21 has numbers marked to enable visual confirmation from the top when counting the number of needles. The saucer plate and the lid are closely contacted and fixed so that these parts rotate but do not separate. Lid 11 has window 22 for two spaces of divided needle storage space, and the window is rotated one by one to throw in used needle inside the needle storage space 21 from the window 22. The last needle storage space 21 has the top part blocked, so it would not rotate to the fore or the rear due to a stopper, so that the counter can be sealed and disposed. The bottom of the saucer plate 20 is made of transparent resin, to enable the confirmation of the needles after the needle counting is finished and the container is sealed and closed. A magnet sheet is pasted on the inside of the base of the saucer plate, to fix and adhere the thrown in needles.

[0060] Drawing 7 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29. This consists of external case 23, needle storage rotating body 24, and frame-moving lever 25, and a slip-proof adhesive sheet is pasted on the outside bottom of the external case 23. The center axis located at the side center of the external case 23 pierces through the center of the circle of the columnar needle storage rotating body 24, and the inside of the needle storage rotating body 24 made into needle storage space divided with partitions from the center in a radial form. The circular parts on the right and the left parts at the top of the column are blocked with a wall, the surrounding cur5ve side is open, and needles can be thrown in towards the center of needle storage rotating body 24 from the top of external case 23. A multiple number of windows from which needles are thrown inside are made at the top of the external case. The center axis of needle storage rotating body 24 is connected with frame-moving lever 25 via the wall of the external case 23. The upward and downward movement of the frame-moving lever 25 is restricted by the restriction projections 26a and 26b which is fixed onto the front part of the external case 23. A push spring is set below the frame-moving lever 25, and when that spring is pressed, it tries to move upward with the force of the spring. The side of the frame-moving lever 25 has frame sending projection 27 that sends out isolation walls which extends in a radial way of the needle storage space via the ditch of the external case, and this frame-moving projections 27 has its tip end bent when moving downward, and has its end in a perpendicular angle when moving upward and presses up the isolation wall. The tip end of the isolation wall is made into a small sphere, there are catchers to receive these spheres at the inside of the external case 23, and when the frame-moving lever 25 is pushed down, the needle storage space moves on one by one. A display panel 28 is connected to the outside of the first isolation wall, and the first display panel 28 is made in the same shape and size to block one partition space of the needle storage space. The display of the display panel connected to the first isolation wall is “1”, and this shows the number of needles to be counted. The border of the display panel 2 and 1, which displays the continuing number “2” is made in a thin structure so that the border will bend flexibly. The same structure continues on one by one, and respective display panel 28 is pulled into the triangular display rotating body 24 each time the needle storage counting body 24 turns one frame, and the panel 28 blocks the outside circumference of the needle storage space displaying the number of needles. The side where the needle storage body 24 and the center axis of the external case 23 is made of transparent resin, enabling the confirmation of the content after sealing the tool. The center axis is made of magnet, to fix the thrown in needles inside and not go outside.

[0061] Drawing 8 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 30, 31 32, 33 and 34. In a case when a large amount of same thread is utilized in one surgical operation, in many cases a multi-package 29 in which 8 needle and detached thread is attached are utilized. The drawing shows the package of same thread with 8 detached needles with suture thread being stored in a container in the size where the package 29 can be stored. This form enables the 8 detached needle and suture needles 29 to be contained inside a containable size container, preventing counting mistakes as it easier to count the returned needles after use and to count the needles such that when 8 needles are used, then 8 needles are disposed, preventing counting mistakes. A hinge is attached on the top part of this container, and a lid is connected. Slip-proof adhesive sheet is pasted on the outside bottom of the container. Polyethylene material to fix needles with slits shown in Drawing 4 is pasted on the inside of the lid. As in the Drawing 5, one of the hinges is in a spherical form, and the other part is made into two projected forms to sandwich the other sphere. When the counting of the needle is done and the container is closed, and when the hinges are fit, the container is sealed completely and would not open easily. Slanting projected spheres are attached on the container and also on right side top of the lid, and the cup to receive the sphere is attached on the lower part. The two parts fit each other when the container is completely open, being in a temporary fixed state stabilizing the needle counting procedure. The container and the lid can be mold processed with the same mold.

[0062] Drawing 9 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 35, 36 and 37. This consists of external box 30, bellows insole 31, lid 32 and drawer 37, and the bellows insole 31 is placed inside the square external box 30, and then both ends of the bellows insole 31 that extends out are connected to the side wall at the far end of the external box 30 and to the front side wall of drawer 37. The depth of drawer 37 equals the depth of external box 30, being in a structure to acquire double space when storing and counting the needles. The material of the bellows insole 31 is either paper or thin resin, and number for counting needles is printed on the top center peak parts of the bellows. Paper-made or resin made knobs 35 are attached to the center top parts of the bellows insole 31. A hole is made at the center of knob 35, and there are projections 36a and 36b to fix the hole of the knob at the top of external box 30 and at the bottom center of drawer 37, enabling the knob to be fixed onto the top of external box or onto the bottom part of drawer 37. With this structure the bellows insole 31 can be placed closer to either the top part or lower part, enabling more space for counting needles, and the procedure can be conducted more easily. Slip-proof adhesive sheet 33 is pasted onto the outside bottom of external box 30. When adhesive foam polyethylene which is frequently used in mouse pads is used as the material of this adhesive sheet 33, secure slip-proof effect can be obtained, and can also avoid situations where the adhesiveness is too strong and peeling off cannot be done easily like with a double face tape. Magnetic sheet is pasted on the inside of the lid 34 to hold and maintain large needles and razor blades. The counter itself is sterilize and is disposable, the material of the external box 30 and drawer 37 is resin, such as polyethylene or ABS. After usage, the drawer 37 is stored inside the external box 30, then lid 32 is closed on the top, and the container can be disposed as a sealed container.

[0063] Drawing 10 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 41, 42 and 43. The two ends of each of the trough part of the bellows insole 31 is bent inwards as peaks, forming a pocket like shape for storing needles, and the pockets line up in two rows sideways. Numbers are printed for counting needles, at the top part of each of the bellows insole 31. A wall to fix the center part of bellows insole 31 onto the inside of the small external box side wall 38, then the bellows insole 31 extends from the center to the front and back, and the counting procedure can be conducted. Each of the sides of the front side wall 39 and the back side wall 40 is connected to the bottom, and when the bellows insole 31 is stretched and extended during usage, the front side wall 31, the bottom side and the back side wall 40 all becomes flat, and when at the time of disposal, the bellows insole 31 is folded from the front and the back, the front side wall 39 and the back side wall 40 are raised, the projections and the holes are matched together for sealing. As shown in Drawing 11, the appearance after sealing becomes like a triangular pillar. The tool itself is a sterilized disposable item, and the material of the small external box 38 is resin material such as polypropylene or ABS. The bellows insole 31 has slits on the top part of a piece of paper for the troughs and the bottom part for the peaks, with a structure of being able to be in bellows insole form by sandwiching by one touch from the front and back, enabling easy and affordable method.

[0064] Drawing 12 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 44 and 45. This consists of main body 41 and lid 42, wherein the material of the main body 41 and lid 42 is resin material such as polypropylene or ABS, made with solid body mold with injection molding method. The square box type main body 41 is structured to have the side to be in a slant having the front side higher and the back side lower, improving the user's visual confirmation of the needles. Lengthwise sponge 43a, 43b, and 43c are attached on the inside side walls of the main body 41 and in the center of the main body in three rows. Polyethylene or polyurethane foam being the material for the sponge 43a, 43b, and 43c is appropriate for pricking and inserting needles. White or yellow color is used for distinguishing needles easily. Numbers to count needles are marked in serial on the top side of sponge 43a, 43b, and 43c, all being 1 to 15 on both the right and the left sides, having the same printing for cost reduction. Slits are made on sponge 43a, 43b and 43c, to enable needles to be inserted from the top or the side, fixing the needles. Needles can be inserted from the right on the left side sponge 43a, needles can be inserted from the left on the right side sponge 43c, needles can be inserted from both right and left sides on the center sponge 43b, considering the usage by a left-handed user, and also enabling the counting of a maximum of 60 needles utilizing all the side walls in the case of small needles. Each of the number part has space for one needle, and divided with transparent resin partition 44. Partition 44 is molded as one part together with the main body 41 connected to the base of the main body with the top part of the partition being slightly slanted to the far end. When needles are dropped into the main body from the gaps of the partition 44 and not insert the needles on sponge 43a, 43b, or 43c, the dropped in needles are stored in phases in a slightly slanted state, and the number of the needles can be confirmed visually through the transparent resin partition 44 at one glance. The lid is made of transparent resin, and when the direct supporting nurse after hand washing counts the number of needles, the counter can be safely handed to the indirect supporting nurse who work outside the operating room with the counter in a sealed state, and also it is possible for the nurse who work outside of the operating room to reconfirm the number of needles by looking down on the counter from the top of the lid. Slip-proof adhesive sheet 45 is pasted onto the outside bottom of the main body 41. Adhesive foam polyethylene which is frequently used in mouse pads should be the material of the adhesive sheet 45 for secure slip-proof effect, and can avoid excess adhesiveness and difficulty in peeling off as in a double face tape. Adhesive fixing material such as magnetic sheet is pasted on the inside bottom of the main body 41 to adhere and fix the needles, to prevent needles to scatter even when the needle counter is toppled over by accident. The overall tool is sterilized and disposal, and after the needles are counted, the lid is placed on top of the main body, then sealed and disposed.

[0065] Drawing 13 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 46, 47, 48 and 49. This consists of injection molded resin-made main body 46 and lid 47, and adhesive acrylic foam 48 is pasted on the inside of the main body 46. As the surface of adhesive acrylic foam 48 has sucker-like adhesive surface, needles do not fall even when the main body 46 is turned upside down. Slits are made in advance with Thompson blades around the numbers printed on the surface of adhesive acrylic foam 48, and the main body and the projected pillar which is made with solid body mold method, is connected onto the top part of the pillar in a slightly light way. When used needles are returned to the suture needle counter, the number on which the needle is placed is peeled off, and the sticker is stuck onto the used needle package, and when lid 47 is closed, the needle is closely fixed between the adhesive acrylic foam 48 and lid 47, and it is possible for a nurse working outside the operation room can visually reconfirm the number of needles, and can dispose the needle counter in a safe manner. The part on which the needle is placed on the main body 46 is projected in an arch form 49, and a hole is made for the arch projection 49 on the adhesive acrylic foam 48. The center part of the arch projection has slits, and by pressing the center part of a needle and insert the needle into the arch projection, the arch shape is returned with its spring feature once the needle is inserted. Lid 47 is made in a concave form to prevent the arch projection 49 to touch and contact, and also to accurately fix the position of the needles, and to prevent needles to easily fall off. Slip-proof sheet 50 is pasted on the bottom of the main body 46. Adhesive acrylic foam is effective as on the top surface.

[0066] Drawing 14 shows a surgical suture needle counter according to claims 46, 47 and 50. Unused suture needle package 52 is slid along the rails on both sides at the top part of the thin H shape frame 51, and when the frame is lowered to the center part, the width is thinned down and locked. The lowest part of the surgical suture needle counter part becomes transparent lid 53 via the hinge, the transparent lid 53 is turned to the back getting inside the rail ditches on both sides before and during usage. When the lid is pushed upward, the width is thinned down and is locked. Adhesive acrylic foam is pasted on the top part, and adheres and fixes used needles after passing through the arch projection 49. When the fore mentioned unused needle is actually used and needles are returned one by one by the surgeon, needles are returned on the lower surgical suture needle counter. The drawing shows an 8 needle package of suture needles, and when 8 needles are used, 8 needles are returned, and the procedure is completed by counting the needles per package. After usage, the counter is extended to the front side centering the hinge, the transparent lid 53 is adhered onto the surface of adhesive acrylic foam 48, used needles are caught and fixed. Furthermore, after the adhesive fixing of the needles, the surgical suture needle counter part can be taken off by sliding the part from the bottom part of H shape frame 51, then the counter can be disposed in a compact way by handling the top part can be handled as resin disposal matter, and the lower part as metal disposal matter.

[0067] As in the above description, this invention enables the following effects.

[0068] As the part that counts the needles is protruded respectively or is made in a concave shape, such form prevents needles from moving around, and as the needles are pricked from the sideways angle, it is easier to prick the needles and also such a form is easier to dispose.

[0069] By having the main body shape to be in a circle spherical shape, it can be placed inside a petri dish used in any operating room, and this would not need to have a separate space for a needle counter. Also in facilities where needles are counted without using surgical suture needle counters, the needles are placed directly inside a petri dish and counted, and in these cases there will be less resistance in transition to using such surgical suture needle counter.

[0070] The flexible projections at one side of the counter are made in a calyx-like form reminding a person of fruits or vegetables, and the counter is colored in relation to such image. The tool counter in an operation room is full of metallic tools with blood, letting out a cold impression, but such form and color reminding a person of fruits or vegetables would have the effect of bringing peace of mind and relaxation to nurses.

[0071] The material of the surgical suture needle counter is in a material which endures the temperature and pressure of the autoclave sterilizer (high pressure steam sterilizer), and which does not easily deform or deteriorate. In an operation room, autoclave sterilization is done generally to sterilize tools and utensils, and a petri dish as previously referred is also sterilized inside an autoclave without placing anything inside the dish. When a surgical suture needle counter is placed inside a petri dish and sterilized, that would lead to cost reduction of the sterilization, and the counter and the dish can be used immediately after opening the petri dish. Also the external packaging and its procedure will turn unnecessary for the manufacturer's side and therefore would realize some cost reduction.

[0072] Material will be of foam material and such, and the overall shape and the part which the needles are to be count will be in a concave and convex shape made of foam molding process or heat press processing, enabling affordable mass production.

[0073] Foam material are cut out with mould and then pasted onto a paper on which numbers for counting the needles are printed, and by doing so the overall manufacturing cost can be made affordable, and to minimize the initial investment for ramping of product production.

[0074] By applying convex and concave shapes on the surrounding of the main body of the surgical suture needle counter, such shape would fit with the convex and concave shapes on the surrounding of the blister pack which is the external packaging at the time of shipment, and thus the counter can be disposed after use, the shape of the blister pack itself covers the used needles and the safety is increased. Also such a design would not require any packaging material for disposing one needle by itself, and this would contribute to decreasing the total volume of disposals.

[0075] By utilizing a sealed type container, safety during counting and at the time of disposal is increased, and the function and shape of preventing needle pricking taccidents to occur. With the slit type, petri dish type or needle storage rotating body type, needles are inserted vertically so the counter would not require much space, and the surgical suture needle counter itself will be made compact. Also with these shapes, there is no need for nurses to re-hold needles, and nurses can count and dispose needles after receiving used needles from surgeons in a speedy manner.

[0076] In the case of a slit type, as insertion holes are combined, there is no need to change the size of the surgical suture needle counter depending on the size of the needle. With magnetic sheet, adhesive sheet with sponge pasted inside the lid of the container, both large needles and small needles can be handled at the same time.

[0077] By having the base and the side of the container to be made of transparent resin, the content can be confirmed even after the needle counting is done and the container sealed.

[0078] With the type wherein an 8 detached needle attached to suture thread, this would enable a counter that would speed up the needle selection and count the needle inside the same container.

[0079] The container is structured in a way that one part of the hinge is in a spherical form, and the other part is in a two-projection form sandwiching the sphere, therefore when the container is closed after the needle counting and when the hinges are fit together, the container becomes completely closed and it cannot be opened easily. The sphere that projects out in a slanting angle connected to either one or two ends that continues from the hinge, and the cup which receives the sphere fits when the two divided container parts are fully opened, being in a temporary fixed state, and thus the procedure is stabilized. Also it is possible to manufacture the two divided container parts with the same mold in mold processing method, which leads to cost reduction.

[0080] As a bellows insole is introduced and the needles are inserted vertically, the counter does not take much space, and the surgical suture needle counter itself can be made compact. A nurse would not have to re-hold the needle but can count and dispose the needles in the same state as being passed on by a surgeon, preventing needle pricking accidents. Also there is no need to prepare different types of counters depending on the size of needles. By bending both ends of the bellows insole and connecting multiple numbers of insoles the insole itself becomes stable, there being no need for any external frame. The bellows insole can be opened widely without being obstructed by any external frame when the insole is extended, enabling needles to be easily dropped into the counter and also to confirm the needles. At time of disposal, the insole can be folded and sealed at its minimum size and the volume of the disposal is decreased greatly.

[0081] By placing three lengthwise sponges in the right, left and the center, this tool is easy to use for left-handed nurses, and when the size of needles is small a large amount of needles can be counted and handled utilizing all the side walls. When the tool is used so that needles are dropped inside the slit of slanted transparent resin partition plates, the needles can be stored in a slightly slanted angle in different levels, the number of needles can be confirmed at one glance as the top part of the main body is slanted forward. A nurse does not have to re-hold the needle, and can speedily count and dispose needles in the state of needles being passed by the surgeon. This invention realized easier visual confirmation of each needle although the volume size of the surgical suture needle counter is small. Also there is no need to prepare different counters according to the size of needles. By having the lid to be made of transparent resin, the direct assisting nurse in charge of washing in the operation room can pass on the needles after counting, in a sealed state safely to the indirect assisting nurses in charge of non operating room matters, and furthermore non operating room nurses can re-confirm the number of needles from upon the lid. Also the manufacturing method of the main body to be made in solid body mold method that requires just simple insertion of sponges reduces the manufacturing cost, and enables affordable surgical suture needle counter.

[0082] By pasting adhesive acrylic foam on the inside, the needles would not fall out even when the main body of the counter is turned upside down after simply placing the needles, due to the surface sucker adhesive effect. The adhesive acrylic foam sheet is contacted inside the main body having one part of the sheet lifted up slightly enabling the number parts to be cut out, the number parts can be pasted onto the used needles and the number of used needle can be matched definitely with the number of needles opened from the package. The transparent resin lid closely fixed needles in between the adhesive acrylic foam when the lid is closed, the number of the needles can be re-confirmed the non operating room nurses, and the counter can be disposed safely. The arch-shaped projection enables the needle position to be accurately fixed and prevents the needles from falling out easily.

[0083] Packages of unused suture needles are set and fixed on the top part of the H shape frame, the surgical suture needle counter is set and fixed on the lower part, and thus the counting of the used and returned needles and the number of needles opened from the package matches each time. Furthermore, the surgical suture needle counter can be slid and taken out from the lower of the H shaped frame, disposing can be done in a compact way as the upper part to be disposed as resin disposals, and the lower part handled as metal disposals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0084] FIG. 1 is an external drawing of a surgical suture needle counter projections onto which needles are pricked, and can be combined with blisters to be disposed.

[0085] FIG. 2 is an external drawing of a surgical suture needle counter having a concave part to store needles, in a round shape that can be stored inside a petri dish, having a calyx that reminds a person of a pineapple.

[0086] FIG. 3 is an external drawing of a round petri dish type surgical suture needle counter.

[0087] FIG. 4 is an external drawing of a square petri dish type slit style surgical suture needle counter.

[0088] FIG. 5 is an external drawing of a half-circle type surgical suture needle counter.

[0089] FIG. 6 is an external drawing of a round petri dish type surgical suture needle counter with a lid.

[0090] FIG. 7 is an external drawing of a needle storage rotating body type surgical suture needle counter.

[0091] FIG. 8 is an external drawing of an 8-detached suture needle package type surgical suture needle counter.

[0092] FIG. 9 is an external drawing of a drawer type surgical suture needle counter.

[0093] FIG. 10 is unfolded drawing of a triangular column type surgical suture needle counter.

[0094] FIG. 11 is an external drawing of a triangular column type surgical suture needle counter.

[0095] FIG. 12 is an external drawing of a slanted type surgical suture needle counter.

[0096] FIG. 13 is an external drawing of an adhesive fixing type surgical suture needle counter.

[0097] FIG. 14 is an external drawing of an H shape frame surgical suture needle counter.