Title:
Disposable incontinence wipes and packaging
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable wipe packaging system includes at least one disposable wipe and a container for the wipe. The container is configured to provide a sealed container for the wipe before use. The container is also configured to be expandable after removal of the wipe and provide a sealable container for disposal of the wipe after use.



Inventors:
Graneto III, Joseph A. (Wildwood, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/105143
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/13/2005
Assignee:
Salus Corporation d/b/a JCP Medical
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/494
International Classes:
B65D81/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICK W. RASCHE (ST. LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disposable wipe packaging system comprising: at least one disposable wipe; and a dual seal container for said wipe, said container configured to provide a sealed container for said wipe before use utilizing a first seal, said container further configured to expand after removal of said wipe and to provide a re-sealable container for disposal of said wipe after utilizing a second seal.

2. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said wipe is moistened with one or more of a cleansing solution and a medication.

3. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said container is configured as a pouch, said pouch configured to be sealed with a zip type mechanism after insertion of used wipes.

4. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein to provide a sealed container for said wipe before use, said container is configured with a detachable seal removable from said container.

5. A system in accordance with claim 4 wherein said container is substantially rectangular and said detachable seal is configured to be removed from three sides of said container, allowing said container to be unfolded.

6. A system in accordance with claim 4 wherein said container is substantially rectangular and said detachable seal is configured to be removed from one side of said container.

7. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said container, is sized to contain a plurality of folded wipes and to contain the soiled wipes often use of the folded wipes.

8. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein said at least one disposable wipe has a dimension of about ten inches by about ten inches.

9. A system in accordance with claim 1 comprising five said wipes.

10. A system in accordance with claim 1 wherein when said container is in a sealed configuration, said container has a dimension of about 10.5 inches by about five inches.

11. A method of providing disposable wipes and a container configured for storage of the wipes and further configured for sanitary disposal of the wipes after they have been used, said method comprising: configuring the container with a resealable seal and a removable seal; folding the wipes to a selected size; inserting the wipes into a portion of a container; sealing at least the removable seal of the container; and folding the container to a size that approximates the disposable wipes stored within.

12. A method in accordance with claim 11 further comprising configuring the container to stand in an up-right position when in an opened state.

13. A method in accordance with claim 11 further comprising configuring the container to accommodate soiled wipes after the wipes have been used.

14. A method in accordance with claim 13 wherein the container is sized to accommodate all of the originally contained wipes after they have been soiled.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to packaging for disposable wipes, and more specifically to packaging that also accommodates disposal of the wipes.

Moistened, disposable wipes are well known. Typically such wipes are provided in a container that, for efficient packaging, contains a large number of such wipes. In one embodiment of this type of wipe and container, used wipes may be disposed of in a toilet, trash can, or other receptacle.

A particular embodiment of these wipes are commonly referred to as body bathing wipes because of their size and application. In hospital and nursing home applications, this larger size wipe is needed for the care of incontinent patients and residents. While it is efficient to also package such wipes in a container that can include a large number of such wipes, such a packaging solution also has drawbacks. First, in the hospital and nursing home settings, such a container may not be able to be used for multiple patients, due to concerns of nosocomial infections which leads to increased medical costs.

Another issue is the disposal of the used body bathing wipes. Such wipes are of a size and density that they cannot be flushed through most toiletry systems. Such used wipes are considered medical waste and, for at least infection control concerns, must be disposed of properly. Compounding these disposal and infection control problems is the odor that may emanate from such used wipes. It is believed that containers and packaging exist for single use applications, for example, packaging for a small number of such wipes. But again, for packaging efficiency, the package is sized to hold the specific number of unused wipes and these package types cannot be resealed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, a disposable wipe packaging system is provided that includes at least one disposable wipe and a container for the wipe. The container is configured to provide a sealed container for the wipe before use and to be expandable after removal of the wipe. The container is further configured to provide a sealable container for disposal of the wipe after use.

In another aspect, a method of providing disposable wipes and a container configured for storage of the wipes and further configured for sanitary disposal of the wipes is provided. The method comprises configuring the container with a resealable seal and a removable seal, folding the wipes to a selected size, inserting the wipes into a portion of a container, sealing the resealable seal and the removable seal of the container, and folding the container to an approximate size of the disposable stored within.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a folded container including a detachable seal, a resealable seal, and a number of incontinence wipes packaged therein.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container of FIG. 1 illustrating, in hidden view, the incontinence wipes stored therein.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the container of FIG. 1 illustrating removal of the detachable seal.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of the container of FIGS. 1-3 illustrating removal of the unused wipes stored therein.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of the container of FIGS. 1-4 illustrating the sealing mechanism for storage of used wipes.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of an alternative embodiment of a container which includes a detachable seal and a number of incontinence wipes packaged therein.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of the container of FIG. 6 with the detachable seal removed, and partially unfolded to reveal the incontinence wipes stored therein.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of the container fully unfolded.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a container 10 having a detachable seal 12 attached thereto, as well as a resealable seal 14. Container 10, as further described below, includes a number of moistened and/or medicated disposable wipes (not shown in FIG. 1) packaged therein. In one embodiment, the moistening is provided by a cleansing solution. In an alternative embodiment, a medication provides the moistening. As shown, detachable seal 12 is configured to be removable from one side of the substantially rectangular container 10, to allow access to the disposable wipes through resealable seal 14. Detachable seal 12 is torn from container 10 by a user. In alternative embodiments, detachable seal includes perforations through container 10 to allow for relatively easy removal or detachable seal 12 includes a strip (not shown) that is embedded in container, removal of which allows access to a resealable seal 14. In addition, or as an alternative, a notch 16 is formed in container 10 which allows a user to more easily remove detachable seal 12 and gain access to resealable seal 14.

As shown in FIG. 1, it is illustrated that container 10 is folded, for example, for shipment, storage, and/or warming. As such, a folded over portion 20 of container is not utilized for the storage of the wipes (not shown in FIG. 1). In one embodiment, folded over portion 20 may include an adhesive (not shown) which retains folded over portion 20 in place against a main body 22 of container 10. In such embodiment, the adhesive is of a strength which allows the user to separate folded over portion 20 from main body 22 of container 10. As further described herein, the folding of container 10 serves several purposes. One purpose for the folding is that the folding of container 10 allows for the insertion of container 10 into known, standard size warming units utilized within the medical care industry. In a specific example, such warming units have a dimension of about 1.25 inches high, about 4.5 inches wide, and about 9.75 inches deep. Such units may be utilized to maintain the contents of container 10 (e.g., the disposable wipes) at a temperature desirable for their use.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of container 10 with folded over portion 20 unfolded from main body 22. Unused incontinence wipes 30 are shown in hidden view as they are stored within container 10.

Now referring to FIG. 3, removal of detachable seal 12 allows a user to access resealable seal 14 which allows access into container 10 and disposable wipes 30 contained within. In the embodiment, and as further described below, the combination of folded over portion 20 and main body 22 provide container 10 with a cross-section substantially larger than unused wipes 30, which may be folded, and contained within.

Detachable seal 12 and resealable seal 14 are configured such that container 10 provides a hermetically sealed unit for storage of unused disposable wipes 30 until such time that they are used. As such, the wipes retain any medication or moistening liquids with which they were treated before container 10 was sealed at the place of manufacture.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of unused disposable wipes 30 being removed from container 10. FIG. 4 also illustrates a relative size of container 10 after unfolding. Also, once container 10 is unfolded, there is provided a larger container or pouch, which then provides an adequately sized container to accommodate the disposal of all of the originally contained wipes 30 after they have been soiled. With detachable seal 12 (shown in FIGS. 1-3) removed a user is able to open resealable seal 14 to access wipes 20.

Prior to use, container 10 provides a sealed container for storage of new, unused wipes 30. In addition, container 10, when unfolded, is configured as a large pouch that includes a zip type sealing mechanism (e.g., resealable seal 14) which allows for quick and sanitary disposal of soiled wipes 30. In one specific embodiment, disposable wipes 30 are about ten inches by about ten inches and have a folded configuration within container 10 of about 10.5 inches by about five inches. In addition, when container 10 is unfolded, it has a size of about 10.5 inches by about eight inches, allowing for easy insertion of soiled wipes 30 as further illustrated below. Thus the folded portion of container 10 is about one-third to about one-half the size of the unfolded part of container 10.

In one embodiment, resealable seal 14, also referred to as a sealing mechanism, is similar to known zip type sealing mechanisms employed in a number of other applications, such as shredded cheese containers. The number of disposable wipes 30 within container 10 can vary. In particular embodiments, specific for a particular application, the number of wipes 30 can vary from one to ten. In one specific embodiment, five disposable wipes 30 are contained within a container 10. When preparing for use, a user may remove disposable wipes 30 by opening resealable seal 14 of container 10.

FIG. 5 illustrates container 10 with sealing mechanism 14 opened. In this configuration, container 10 forms a pouch for insertion of used wipes 40. In one embodiment, container 10 is fabricated from a material that provides enough support such that container 10 may stand upright, allowing a user to more easily dispose of used wipes 40. A suitable material for the manufacturer of container 10 is a plastic based material. Such a configuration of container 10 also helps reduce occurrences of medical waste accidentally contacting an outside of container 10. After insertion of used wipes 40 into container 10, the sealing mechanism 14 closed and the used wipes 40 are thus packaged and sealed therein for disposal.

As described above, container 10 provides sealed storage for wipes both before and after use. In one example, a user removes detachable seal 12 and accesses disposable wipes 30 through resealable seal 14. The user removes wipes 30 and configures container 10 such that resealable seal 14 is opened wide. As each wipe 30 is used, the user reinserts the used wipe 40 back into container 10. When the user completes the cleaning task, container 10 is resealed using resealable seal 14 with used wipes 40 inside. At this time the user may dispose of container 10 and any remaining unused wipes 20.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of an alternative embodiment of a container 100 having a detachable seal 102 attached thereto as well as a resealable seal 14. Container 102, as further described below, includes a number of the above described moistened and/or medicated disposable wipes 30 (not shown in FIG. 6) packaged therein. In one embodiment, the moistening is provided by a cleansing solution. In an alternative embodiment, a medication provides the moistening. As shown, detachable seal 102 is configured to be removable from three sides of the substantially rectangular container 100 to allow access to the disposable wipes through resealable seal 14. Removal of detachable seal 102 allows a user to unfold container 100 to reveal the disposable wipes contained within. In the embodiment, detachable seal 102 is configured such that container 100 provides a hermetically sealed unit for storage of the disposable wipes until such time that they are used. As such, the wipes retain any medication or moistening liquids they were treated with before container 100 was sealed.

Container 100 provides the same functionality as container 10 (shown in FIGS. 1-5), but also allows for an even larger container for utilization in the disposal of used wipes 40 (shown in FIG. 5) as further described below.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of container 100 with detachable seal 102 (shown in FIG. 6) completely removed. With detachable seal 102 removed, it is possible to unfold container 100 to access disposable wipes 30. As further described herein, container 100 serves two purposes. First, in conjunction with detachable seal 102, container 100 provides a sealed container for storage of new, unused wipes 30. Second, container 100, when unfolded, is configured as a large pouch that includes a zip type sealing mechanism 112.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of container 100 fully unfolded illustrating disposable wipes 30 and sealing mechanism 112. In one embodiment, sealing mechanism 112 is the same type of mechanism employed in a number of other applications, for example, in the common sandwich storage bags, and larger food storage bags. The number of disposable wipes 30 within container 100 can vary. In various embodiments, specific for a particular application, the number of wipes 30 varies from one to ten. In one specific embodiment, five disposable wipes 30 are contained within a container 100. When preparing for use, a user may remove disposable wipes 30, and open sealing mechanism 112 of container 100.

While the invention has been described in terms of various specific embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the claims.