Title:
Dosing Dummy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In order to provide a dosing dummy which is easy to use with one hand and easy to fill, the dummy comprises a teat (2) and an upper portion 4 which are releasably engaged in a connection zone, which is wide in a direction transverse to the delivery direction of the dummy relative to the minimum width of the teat (2) and the upper zone (4). A cup (15) is provided for holding the teat. At least one of the teat, the upper portion and the cup is graduated.



Inventors:
Drmolova, Gbolahan (Nr. Rochester, GB)
Application Number:
11/547019
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D35/38; A61J7/00; A61J11/00; A61J17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAYMAN, IMANI N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Iandiorio & Teska (Waltham, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A dosing dummy, for administering medicine to a child, comprising: a teat an upper portion, releasably engaging the teat in a connection zone, the upper portion being formed of elastically deformable material, the connection zone being wide in a direction transverse to the delivery direction of the dosing dummy compared to the minimum internal width of the teat and the minimal internal width of the upper portion, and a cup for receiving at least the teat or the upper portion. graduations being formed on at least one of the teat, the upper portion and the cup.

2. A dosing dummy according to claim 1, wherein the upper portion is releasably engageable with the teat by a snap fit connection.

3. A dosing dummy according to claim 1, wherein the upper portion is releasably engageable with the teat by a rotatable connection.

4. A dosing dummy according to claim 1, wherein the upper portion and the teat are connected by a flexible member.

5. A dosing dummy according to claim 1, wherein the cup is for receiving the teat and the upper portion releasably engaged with the teat, and holding the teat and the upper portion in a vertical configuration.

6. A dosing dummy according to claim 1, wherein the internal diameter of the connection zone transverse to the delivery direction of medicament is at least 1.5 times the least internal diameter of the teat.

7. A dosing dummy according to claim 1, wherein the cup comprises a teat hole closing formation.

8. A dosing dummy to claim 1, comprising at least two teats, each of which is engageable with the upper portion.

9. (canceled)

Description:

The present invention relates to a dosing dummy, for administering medicine to a child.

Up to a certain age, it is extremely difficult to administer medicine in measured doses to a child using a spoon, because the child is not normally still long enough. It has been realised in the past that medicine can be administered to a child by the use of a specially designed dummy which has a teat like that provided on a feeding bottle or pacifier. It is intended that the child, being familiar with the feeding bottle or pacifier, will suck on the administration device and thereby take the medicament housed in the administration device.

For example, in WO97/00062, a dosing dummy is disclosed which is made of elastic material which comprises a container and a teat formed together with a protection washer at a constriction. Further, WO98/44892 provides a medicine feeding device which includes a teat and a syringe like mechanism.

A number of problems may be encountered with prior art devices.

In the first place, it is desirable to avoid any structure which is heavy or awkward, because the child is likely to drop it or reject it. The relatively rigid structure of the syringe shown in WO98/44892 is not practical for this reason.

Secondly, the whole structure must be operable one handed by a person who is caring for the child.

In particular, all of the steps of preparing the device by loading it with a measured quantity of medicine, sealing it so that it is ready for use, and presenting it to the child must all be capable of being conducted with one hand, preferably without spillage of medicament. Once the child is suckling on the dummy, it is preferable that all of the contents can be expelled so that the carer knows that the whole dose has been administered.

The present inventor has realised that a major problem with some prior art dosing dummies is the narrowness of the passage between the container and the teat, which can give problems in measuring a dose of particularly viscous medicament into the teat or container.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a dosing dummy for administering medicine to a child, comprising:

    • a teat;
    • an upper portion, releasably engaging the teat in a connection zone, the upper portion being formed of an elastically deformable material;
    • the connection zone being wider in a dimension normal to the delivery direction than the narrowest part of the upper portion, and a cup for receiving at least the teat or the upper portion,
    • graduations being formed on at least one of the teat, the upper portion and the cup.

The dosing dummy of the present invention has a number of advantages:

    • By forming the upper portion of an elastically deformable material, it can be squeezed to expel any medicament remaining in the upper portion. However, it remains light and simple in design.
    • By forming the connection zone so that it is wide in the direction normal to the delivery direction of the medicament, there is no tendency for medicament to be held up by bubbles or other constrictions. This means that the medicament can be dosed into the teat or upper portion very easily and can be very quickly and accurately measured into the teat or upper portion.
    • By forming the upper portion with a portion which is narrower than the connection zone, the bulk and weight of the upper portion, and the tendency to hold liquid is reduced, so that it is less likely to be dropped by the infant while suckling.
    • By providing a cup for holding the teat or upper portion, the teat or upper portion can be held in the correct configuration for dosing the medicament into the teat or upper portion by allowing a person to do this with just one hand.
    • The graduations allow a user to determine that the correct quantity of medicament has been placed in the dosing dummy.

The dosing dummy is formed of any suitable material. The teat and the upper portion are suitably formed of elastically deformable material. Any conventional deformable material used in the design of feeding bottles, pacifiers or other child care items may be used, for example elastomer such as silicone.

The delivery direction of the dosing dummy denotes the direction of bulk flow of medicament from the dummy to the infant's mouth. Commonly, the dosing dummy of the present invention will have axial symmetry, with the delivery direction corresponding to the axis of the dummy.

Preferably, the teat is generally the same in design as conventional feeding bottle or pacifier teats. It may be marked with graduations indicating fill volume, so that the amount of medicament fed in the teat can be measured.

Preferably, the teat has a hole which is larger than used in normal dummies. For example, it may be of diameter of at from 0.7 to 2.0 mm, preferably from 0.8 to 1.5 mm. Preferably, the teat hole is relatively large so that viscous fluids can be dosed effectively.

The teat, upper portion or both of them may be reusable.

The teat and the upper portion are releasably engaged in a connection zone. The connection zone may be formed between a teat connector and upper portion connector. Each of the teat connector and upper portion connector may be formed integrally with the teat or upper portion respectively, or they may each be formed separately and subsequently connected to the teat or upper portion, respectively. The connection may be by snap fitting, adhesive, thermal bonding or any other suitable form of bonding.

The teat connector and upper portion connector are releasably engageable with one another. They should form a substantially air and liquid tight seal, to resist leakage of medicament. They may engage by a snap fit formation, whereby a substantially air tight seal may be formed between the teat connector and the upper portion connector. A bayonet or other connection may be formed. Alternatively, they may be screwed together. In order for the upper portion connector and teat connector to be screwed together there must be at least one rotatable member. For example, the upper portion may be rotatable with respect to the teat. Alternatively, a rotatable collar may be provided which rotates with respect to both the upper portion connector and teat connector and engages threads formed on one or both of them.

Preferably, the teat connector and upper portion connector are urged together when engaged to form a liquid and airtight seal.

A conventional protector, comprising a shield which is larger than an infant's mouth may be provided, to prevent the dosing dummy being swallowed by a child. This may be formed integrally with at least one of the teat, upper portion, upper portion connector or teat connector. It may be formed separately and engaged with the connection zone.

In a preferred embodiment, the upper portion and the teat are connected by a flexible member such as a strap or cord. This allows the upper portion to be separated from the teat, for example for washing or for filling, but helps to prevent one member becoming lost with respect to the other. Where the teat and upper portion are connected by a snap fit mechanism, a simple flexible connector, for example formed of thermoplastic material, may be provided. It may be integral with each of the upper portion and the teat or it may be releasably connected to them in some way. Where the upper portion and the teat are rotatably engageable, the connector may comprise a rotatable collar which is formed on one of the teat and the upper portion, the rotatable collar being connected to a flexible connector which is connected to the other of the teat and the upper portion.

Graduations are formed on at least one of the upper portion, teat or cup, to indicate fill volume. Preferably, the graduations are formed on the teat, to indicate fill volume in the teat. Graduations may be formed on more than one of these components.

The upper portion may be provided with graduations for measuring, if necessary.

The dosing dummy of the present invention comprises a cup, for receiving the teat, the cup being for receiving the dosing dummy comprising the teat engaged with the upper portion. Preferably, the cup is for holding the dosing dummy comprising the teat engaged with the upper portion in a vertical configuration. The cup can serve as a holder for moisturising material, for example water, for keeping the teat moist while it is not in use. The cup may be formed of transparent material, so that the dosing dummy can be loaded while it is in position in the cup, graduations on the teat being read by the user through the cup.

The cup may incorporate a teat hole closing formation. The teat hole closing formation is preferably configured so that, when the teat is received in the cup, the teat hole closing formation engages and closes the teat hole to prevent leakage of medicament while medicament is being dosed into the teat. For example, there may be a projection from the base of the cup. The base may be configured to contact and close the teat hole in use.

The cup may have any suitable shape. It is preferably formed with a flat bottom so that it can be placed upon a flat surface. It may comprise a round sided body or a flat sided body.

Preferably, the present invention provides a kit, comprising a cup, an upper portion and at least two different teats, each of which is engageable with the upper portion and with the cup.

In this way, different sizes of teat may be provided for different dosing quantities. Teats having different teat hole sizes can be provided for medicaments of different viscosity.

The cup may be engageable with the teat itself or with a structure to which the teat is connected. For example, it may be engageable with the teat connector, a collar or with a protector for example in the form of a shield.

The cup may be engageable with the teat or other part of a dosing dummy by any suitable connection, for example a snap fit connection. Preferably, the cup forms a substantially airtight seal with the teat and/or upper portion.

The cup may be formed of any suitable material, preferably a transparent material, for example a relatively hard, clear plastic material, such as polyacrylate.

Where a teat hole closing formation is provided in the cup, the teat hole closing formation prevents leakage of medicament while the medicament is being dosed into the teat. Once the upper portion is connect to the teat, further leakage of the medicament through the teat hole will be resisted as the volume contained within the teat and upper formation is closed. The teat and upper portion can then be withdrawn from the cup for use without the medicament being spilt.

Operating structures, for example protruding clips or lips may be provided, for the user to engage with their finger or thumb, to ease operation of the dosing dummy, for example during separation of the components.

The internal diameter of the connections zone transverse to the delivery direction of the medicament is preferably at least 1.5 times (preferably at least 2 times) the least internal diameter of the teat and preferably at least 1.5 times (preferably at least 2 times) the least internal diameter of the upper portion.

Dosing volumes are preferably in the range 5-20 millilitres. Preferably, the teat has a volume sufficient to contain the whole volume of the dose. Accordingly, the teat preferably has a volume in the range 5-20 millilitres.

The dosing dummy may be provided with a carrying handle. The carrying handle may be fixed to any part of the dummy, being preferably attached to the upper portion or to a protector. It may be fixed to the cup. The handle may be formed of flexible material. It may be connected to the dummy by a hinge arrangement.

The present invention will be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a dosing dummy according to a first embodiment of the invention

FIG. 2 is a side view of a dosing dummy according to a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic cross sectional view through the dosing dummy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic cross sectional view through the dosing dummy of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a schematic cross sectional view through a third embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the socket connector of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a dosing dummy according to the invention, generally designated 1. It comprises a teat 2 of conventional construction and outline. The teat is connected to a teat connector 3 and to a protector 3a of large diameter, for preventing a child from swallowing the dosing dummy 1.

The dosing dummy 1 further comprises an upper portion 4 for comprising an elastically deformable body which is connected to an upper portion connector 5 of rigid plastic material.

Graduations 9 are provided for indicating the volume of liquid contained in the teat 2 when it is in a vertical position, as shown in FIG. 3.

The upper zone connector 5 can be snap fitted to the teat connector 3 by engagement of concentric projections 6 with corresponding projections (not visible in FIG. 1) on the inside of the upper portion connector 5. The upper portion 4 and the teat 2 are connected by a flexible thermoplastic member 7 so that they do not become separated, but can be engaged and disengaged at will. A thumb piece 8 is provided on the upper portion connector 5 so that a user can easily separate or connect the parts with a one handed operation.

The structure shown in FIG. 2 is similar to that shown in FIG. 1 and like parts are given like reference numerals in the figures.

However, instead of having a snap fit structure, the dosing dummy 10 of FIG. 2 is engaged by screwing the upper portion 4 into connection with the teat connector 3. Screw threads 11 are provided on the outside of the teat connector 3 and on the inside of the upper portion connector 5. A flexible member 13 is provided, which is connected to a collar 14 which is rotatably mounted on the teat connector, is provided for preventing the upper portion becoming lost with respect to the teat 2.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic cross sectional view through the dosing dummy 1 of FIG. 1. It can be seen that the dosing dummy is held in position in a transparent cup 15, so that the dosing dummy 1 is held in a vertical position and so that a user can see the graduations on the side of the teat 2.

It can be seen in FIG. 3 that the teat connector 3 is formed separately from the teat 2 and they are subsequently joined together permanently at a junction 16. Similarly, the upper portion 4 and the upper portion connector 5 are formed separately and subsequently permanently joined at a junction 17.

It can also be seen that the protector 3a is formed on the underside with snap fit formations 18 which form a snap fit connection with corresponding formation 19 at the top of the cup 15, so that the dosing dummy can be held firmly in the cup 15.

The axis XX defines the direction of feed of medicine from the dummy. It can be seen that the connection zone defined by the connectors 3 and 5 has a greater internal diameter y than the internal diameter z of the teat 2 and the minimum internal diameter x of the upper portion 4.

FIG. 4 is a schematic cross sectional view through the FIG. 2. It corresponds in detail to the schematic cross sectional view in FIG. 3 and like parts are numbered in corresponding manner.

The method of operation of the dosing dummy 1 according to the present invention is as follows:

In a first step, the dosing dummy 1, 10 is placed in a vertical position so that it is securely engaged by the snap fit formations 18,19 in the cup 15.

In a second step, the upper portion 4 is disconnected from the teat 2 by forcing them apart (in the case of FIG. 3) or by unscrewing the upper portion with respect to the teat 2 (in the case of FIG. 4).

The medicine is then loaded into the teat 2. The dose can be measured by using the graduations 9 on the teat 2, which are visible through the transparent cup 15.

Loading is very easy and there is a minimal tendency for medicament to be blocked or held up in upper parts of the dosing dummy, because of the wide diameter of the connection zone.

Thereafter, the upper portion is re-engaged with the teat by the snap fit mechanism in the case of FIG. 3 or by screwing in the case of FIG. 4. The dummy is then ready for use.

FIG. 5 shows a schematic cross sectional view through a third embodiment of the invention. The design of the cup, teat and upper portion generally correspond to the first embodiment and like components are given like reference numerals and will not be described further.

However, in FIG. 5, the connection between the teat connector and the upper portion is formed by a bayonet fitting, comprising a pair of projections 21 which have enlarged heads. The upper portion 4 comprises a bayonet socket connector 22. As shown in FIG. 6, the bayonet socket connector 22 comprises a pair of holes 23 each comprising a large diameter section 24 and a small diameter section 25. In order to engage the upper portion 4 with the connection zone 20, the large diameter portions 24 are aligned with the enlarged heads of the projections 21 so that the heads pass through the large diameter portions 24 until the projections stand above the top of the socket connector 22. The socket connector 22 is then rotated for a small distance so that the small diameter portions 25 grip the stems of the projections 21. The undersides of the enlarged heads of the projections 21 are designed to contact the top of the socket connector 22 and force it into a tight engagement with the connection zone 20, forming a seal.

The cup 15 further comprises a projection 19 which is configured so that, when the teat 2 is placed in configuration in the cup 15, the projection 19 contacts the teat hole 26 to seal it. The teat hole 26 will be of diameter in the range 1.0-1.5 mm.

The present invention has been described above by way of example only and modifications can be made within the spirit of invention which extends to equivalents of the features described. The invention also consist in any individual features described or implicit herein or shown or implicit in the drawings or any combination of any such features or any generalisation of any such features or combinations.





 
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