Title:
DISPOSABLE SLEEVE FOR ASSISTING IN VENOUS CATHETERIZATION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Certain embodiments pertain to a disposable sleeve for assisting in venous catherization that can be used in combination with a heater for protecting the patient's extremity from contamination by soiled heaters. The disposable sleeve also protects the heater from contamination by the patient.



Inventors:
Hewes, Karen (Stillwater, MN, US)
Augustine, Scott D. (Bloomington, MN, US)
Albrecht, Mark C. (Minneaoplis, MN, US)
Arnold, Randall C. (Minnetonka, MN, US)
Neils, Thomas F. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/537081
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61M5/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SHAY, DAVID M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disposable sleeve for assisting in venous catheterization, comprising: a flexible material forming a sidewall of an elongate, generally tubular cavity, the sidewall adapted to extend over the hand and forearm of a patient; a proximal edge forming a proximal opening to the cavity; a distal edge forming a closed end, the closed end trapping the hand when the hand and forearm are inserted into the cavity through the proximal opening; and perforated tear lines in the flexible material forming a tear strip, the tear lines running longitudinally from the proximal edge towards the distal edge.

2. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the tear lines terminate longitudinally short of the distal edge.

3. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the proximal edge extends at least 2 inches above an elbow when the forearm is inserted.

4. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein the flexible material comprises a water-resistant material.

5. The sleeve of claim 4, wherein the flexible material includes a fibrous polymeric material.

6. The sleeve of claim 4, wherein the flexible material includes a non-woven fabric.

7. A heating system for heating a forearm and hand of a patient for assisting in venous catheterization, the system comprising: a heater sized to generally surround the forearm and hand; a disposable sleeve adapted to fit within the heater, the disposable sleeve comprising: a flexible material forming a sidewall of an elongate, generally tubular cavity, the sidewall adapted to extend over the hand and forearm of a patient; a proximal edge forming a proximal opening to the cavity; a distal edge forming a closed end, the closed end trapping the hand when the hand and forearm are inserted into the cavity through the proximal opening; and at least one tear line in the flexible material, the at least one tear line running longitudinally from the proximal edge towards the distal edge.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the heater is positioned in close contact with the forearm and hand.

9. The system of claim 7, wherein the at least one tear line terminates longitudinally short of the distal edge.

10. The system of claim 7, wherein the proximal edge extends at least 2 inches above an elbow when the forearm and hand are inserted.

11. The system of claim 7, wherein the flexible material comprises a water-resistant material.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the flexible material includes a fibrous polymeric material.

13. The system of claim 11, wherein the flexible material includes a non-woven fabric.

14. A method for facilitating a venous catherization procedure at an extremity of a patient, the method comprising: inserting the extremity into a disposable sleeve to form a sleeve-protected extremity, the disposable sleeve comprising an open proximal edge, a closed distal edge, and a tear strip separated by perforated tear lines, the tear lines running longitudinally from the proximal towards the distal edge; inserting the sleeve-protected extremity into a heater; using the heater to apply heat to the sleeve-protected extremity; placing a tourniquet around an upper portion of the sleeve-protected extremity; removing the heater from the sleeve-protected extremity; removing at least part of the tear strip to expose the extremity; and and performing the venous catherization procedure on the extremity.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

The present application claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 60/722,241 entitled: DISPOSABLE SLEEVE AND ELECTRIC HEATER FOR ASSISTING IN INTRAVENOUS CATHERIZATION, filed on Sep. 29, 2005 and to provisional application Ser. No. 60/722,256 entitled: HEATING CUFF, also filed on Sep. 29, 2005, each being hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

RELATED APPLICATION

The present application is related to the following commonly assigned utility patent application, filed concurrently herewith, and which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety: HEATER FOR ASSISTING IN VENOUS CATHETERIZATION, Practitioner Docket No. 49278.2.6.2.

BACKGROUND

Catheterization of human veins with needles and catheters is a common medical procedure. Clinicians frequently need to access patients' veins in order to draw blood for laboratory testing or for placement of intravenous (IV) catheters, for the administration of medicines, fluids or blood.

Catheterization is typically accomplished by placing a rubber tourniquet around an extremity, for example a forearm, proximal to the planned point of catheterization. The tourniquet causes compression of the superficial veins without compressing the associated arteries. Therefore, the blood is pumped through the arteries past the tourniquet into the distal extremity. Since the veins are compressed, the blood is prevented from returning to the heart. The veins typically dilate due to the increased intravascular pressure and are thus more visible and easier to access with the needle or catheter. Once the dilated vein is identified, the skin is cleaned and usually numbed with a local anesthetic. The needle or catheter is then inserted into the dilated vein.

Catheterization can be difficult to accomplish in infants and children, obese patients, patients with darker skin, IV drug abusers and patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Additionally, any patient can be difficult to cannulate if he or she is cold, frightened, apprehensive or dehydrated. This commonly occurs in patients that are injured or are about to undergo surgery. In these situations, veins are actively constricted by the sympathetic nervous system and, therefore, will not dilate in response to an increase in intravenous pressure. Even the application of a tourniquet may not cause the veins to visibly dilate.

It has been known that application of heat to the skin of an extremity, such as a forearm, helps to reduce vasoconstriction and dilate veins. Heaters have been developed that can be applied to an extremity. Many of these heaters are applied in direct contact with the extremity and must be cleaned between patients to avoid cross-contamination. A patient's bodily fluids may contaminate the heater, and therefore it must be cleaned before the heater is used on the next patient. The cleaning of medical equipment is both expensive and inefficient.

There is a need for an improved method of applying heat to an extremity that is safe, clean, easy to perform, and prevents-cross contamination. There is also a need for a disposable sleeve that can be used in conjunction with a heater to protect the patient from cross-contamination.

SUMMARY

Certain embodiments pertain to a disposable sleeve for assisting in venous catherization that can be used in combination with a heater for protecting the patient's extremity from contamination by soiled heaters. The disposable sleeve also protects the heater from contamination by the patient. The disposable sleeve can also be used separately from the heater.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is top view of a disposable sleeve according to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of a disposable sleeve and heater according to an embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of a disposable sleeve and tourniquet according to an embodiment; and

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a disposable sleeve in an open configuration according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following detailed description is exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the following description provides practical illustrations for implementing exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

A disposable sleeve is provided for use in conjunction with a heater to assist in venous catherization. FIGS. 1-4 illustrate a disposable sleeve 400 according to certain embodiments. The sleeve 400 can be made of an inexpensive, disposable material and can be used with any heater known in the art. In many cases, the heater is one that fits in close contact with an extremity. Heaters in close contact with the extremity are more likely to cause cross-contamination if the heater is not cleaned. In some embodiments, the sleeve is used with a heater according to any of the embodiments described in concurrently filed U.S. patent application for HEATER FOR ASSISTING IN VENOUS CATHETERIZATION, Practitioner Docket No. 49278.2.6.2.

The sleeve 400 can be tube-shaped or truncated conical-shaped and includes a proximal edge 54, a distal edge 55, a side edge 52 and a side edge 53. In some cases, the proximal edge 54 is open and the distal edge 55 is closed. The sleeve 400 can also be long enough to accommodate the entire forearm of a patient and extend at least 2-3 inches above the elbow when the forearm and hand are inserted. With reference to FIG. 2, the extension above the elbow allows a tourniquet 60 to be placed over the sleeve 400 above the elbow, protecting the arm from microbial contamination from the tourniquet and preventing uncomfortable hair pulling by the tourniquet.

The sleeve 400 can be made from many flexible, inexpensive and water-resistant materials. In some cases, the sleeve 400 is made of fibrous polymeric materials that include but are not limited to materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, rayon, nylon or cellulose, are suitable for this purpose. These fibrous materials can be extruded into a non-woven fabric or several layers of non-woven fabric laminated together such as SMS (spun-bond, melt-blown, spun-bond), or are a layer of non-woven fabric that is laminated to a layer of polymeric film.

The sleeve 400 can be made from two layers of the fibrous material that are bonded along each side edge 52, 53 and at the distal edge 55. Alternately, the sleeve can be made from a single piece of fibrous material that has been folded and then bonded along one side edge 52 or 53 and along the distal edge 55. The bonding can be a simple heat seal or it can be a more complex ultrasound or radio frequency bond. Alternately, the bond can be an adhesive.

The sleeve 400 can have one or more perforated tear lines running longitudinally from the proximal edge 54 towards the distal edge 55. In the illustrated embodiments, two perforated tear lines 58a, 58b are provided adjacent to each other to form a tear strip 59. In some cases, the tear lines 58a, 58b run all the way to the distal edge. In other cases, the tear lines 58a, 58b do not run all the way to the edge, but leave a closed distal edge when the tear strip 59 is removed. In other embodiments, only a single tear line is provided.

The use of the sleeve 400 will now be described with reference to a forearm and hand. As shown in FIG. 1, before applying a heater to a forearm, the patient's forearm and hand 50 are inserted into the proximal edge 54 of the sleeve 400 so that the hand reaches the closed distal edge 55. As shown in FIG. 2, the sleeve-protected forearm and hand 50 are then placed into a heater 70 and heating is performed. The heater 70 can be any heater known in the art and can include a heater in any of the embodiments described in concurrently filed U.S. Patent Application for HEATER FOR ASSISTING IN VENOUS CATHETERIZATION, Practitioner Docket No. 49278.2.6.2.

The clinician can place a tourniquet 60 around the arm, for example, around the exposed proximal portion of the sleeve positioned on the upper arm of the patient. The clinician can then remove the heater from the patient. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the tear strip 59 in the sleeve can be partially or fully removed by pulling it from the distal edge, opening the upper side of the sleeve and exposing the patient's hand without disrupting the tourniquet. The IV is then started in the usual fashion. As shown in FIG. 4, the lower side of the sleeve remains underneath the hand and serves as a water-resistant drape that collects any blood spilled during the IV procedure. Once the IV is successfully started, the tourniquet is removed and the remaining tear strip is also removed so that the sleeve can be removed without dislodging the IV and tubing.