Title:
Disposable collection device for human waste
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disposable collection devices for human waste formed substantially of light weight, flexible polymeric sheets, are designed to slidingly fit over a standard, open ring toilet seat, most preferably forming an envelope which receives the toilet seat between upper and lower portions. A collection portion is disposed between portions of the envelope such that when the device is positioned on a toilet seat, the collection portion will extend downwardly permitting collection of human urine and/or feces from a patient. The collection portion preferably extends downwardly sufficiently to avoid splashing or other unnecessary contact between the patient and the waste being collected. Embodiments of the present invention advantageously comprise at least one removable collection portion. Embodiments of the present invention also comprise structures for substantially closing the collection portion after the waste has been deposited therein.



Inventors:
Battle, Mary (Bayshore, NY, US)
Taylor, Zena (Covington, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/409128
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/21/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YOUNKINS, KAREN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mary Battle (Bayshore, NY, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A disposable collection device for human waste comprising: an upper flexible, polymeric sheet and a lower flexible, polymeric sheet, said upper sheet connected to said lower sheet thereby defining an envelope comprising a rear opening, said envelope configured to receive an open-ring toilet seat having a top surface, with said upper sheet substantially covering said top surface; and a flexible polymeric collection portion generally disposed between portions of said envelope, and disposed generally centrally relative to a toilet seat when said device is positioned on a toilet seat, said collection portion extending below at least a portion of said upper sheet for collecting human waste.

2. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 wherein said collection portion is selectively separable from at least one other portion of said device.

3. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 wherein said collection portion is connected to another portion of said device with a tear line.

4. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 wherein said tear line is weakened to facilitate tearing.

5. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 wherein said tear line comprises perforations.

6. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 further comprising means for substantially closing said collection portion.

7. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 6 wherein said closing means comprises a drawstring for substantially closing said collection portion.

8. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 6 wherein said closing means is shielded from said collection portion when waste is being deposited in said collection portion.

9. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 3 further comprising means for substantially closing said collection portion and said closing means is not accessible from the top of said device when said device is positioned on a toilet seat and prior to separation from another portion of said device.

10. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 further comprising means for releasably securing said device to a toilet seat.

11. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 10 wherein said securing means comprises at least one velcro fastener.

12. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 further comprising a plastic seal for substantially closing said collection portion.

13. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 6 wherein said closing means comprises a removable lid.

14. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 13 wherein said collection portion comprises a semi-rigid container configured to sealing mate with a removable lid.

15. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 14 wherein said collection portion comprises a plurality of semi-rigid containers each configured to sealing mate with a removable lid.

16. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 wherein said collection portion comprises a semi-rigid container configured to sealing mate with a removable lid.

17. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 1 wherein said collection portion comprises a plurality of semi-rigid containers each configured to sealing mate with a removable lid.

18. A disposable collection device for human waste comprising: an upper flexible portion and a lower flexible portion, said upper portion connected to said lower portion thereby defining a closure, said closure comprising a rear opening, said closoure configured to receive a toilet seat having a top surface, with said upper portion substantially covering said top surface; and a collection portion disposed generally centrally relative to a toilet seat when said device is positioned on a toilet seat, said collection portion extending below at least a portion of said upper portion for collecting human waste.

19. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 18 wherein said collection portion is selectively separable from at least one other portion of said device.

20. A disposable collection device for human waste according to claim 18 further comprising means for substantially closing said collection portion.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Those skilled in the art of patient care realize that it is sometimes desirable to obtain a urine sample and/or a stool sample from a patient for analysis. When the patient is infirm, obtaining such a sample can be difficult.

It is, therefore, desirable to allow a patient to utilize a device attachable to a standard or portable toilet seat. While devices attachable to toilet seats have been previously disclosed, many such devices are cumbersome, require undesirable and extraneous handling of the sample collected by nurses and/or medical technicians, and can be expensive to manufacture.

It would, therefore, be desirable to provide collection devices for human waste which are inexpensive, easy to use and minimize the amount of handling required by medical personnel after human waste has been deposited in the device.

It would also be desirable to provide a device which enhances patient protection. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that infirm patients may be bedridden and have bed sores or other open wounds susceptible to infection. It would, therefore, be desirable to provide waste collection devices which enhance the protection of the patient.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The devices of the present invention are formed substantially of light weight, flexible polymeric sheets, for example plastic sheets having a thickness of about 0.4 ml to about 2.5 ml low density polyurethane and may be biodegradable. The devices of the present invention are designed to slidingly fit over an open ring toilet seat, most preferably forming an envelope having a rearwardly facing opening which receives the toilet seat within upper and lower portions and/or upper and lower sheets. A collection portion is disposed between portions of the envelope such that when the device is positioned on a toilet seat, the collection portion will extend downwardly permitting collection of human urine and/or feces from a patient. The collection portion preferably extends downwardly sufficiently to avoid splashing or other unnecessary contact between the patient and the waste being collected.

The collection devices of the present invention advantageously comprise at least one removable collection portion. Embodiments of the present invention also comprise means for substantially closing the collection portion after the waste has been deposited therein. Embodiments of the invention also advantageously provide a protective barrier between the user and the commode.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 in a different configuration.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an exploded, cross-sectional view of a portion of the collection portion of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a partially exploded, perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a rigid container and groove supports of another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Various embodiments of the present invention comprise disposable collection devices for human waste. According to one preferred aspect of the present invention, the devices comprise a relatively thin flexible polymeric sheet which is designed to fit over a conventional toilet seat, and a flexible polymeric collection portion generally disposed below portions of the aforementioned sheet. According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, a flexible polymeric material comprises an upper portion and a lower portion which collectively form an envelope for receiving a toilet seat. The “envelope” portion of the device is particularly adapted to receive a conventional open-ring type toilet seat simply by sliding the envelope portion over the right and left segments of the toilet seat. The “envelope” is open in the rear to allow the device to be slid over a toilet seat. While this “envelope” can have other openings, it is most desirable if the envelope forms a sealed barrier between the patient and the toilet seat to minimize patient contact with the seat and the need to clean the toilet seat after use.

The devices also comprise a collection portion, also preferably comprising a flexible polymeric section. The collection portions of the present invention are advantageously selectively separable from the portion of the device which receives the toilet seat and which shields the patient from the toilet seat when a patient is seated on the device/toilet seat. While it is not essential to the practice of the present invention to have a lower sheet which entirely surrounds the toilet seat, for purposes of cleanliness, keeping the patient from any undesirable exposure, and for minimizing the need to clean the toilet seat after use, it is most desirable to provide an envelope which substantially surrounds all but the very rear of the toilet seat.

According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1-3, the illustrated disposable collection device comprises an upper sheet 10, a lower sheet 20 a collection portion 50, a perforated tear line 60, drawstrings 70, 72 and lid 80. Additionally, this illustrated embodiment comprises a front attachment strap 90 in the form of a velcro closure. This embodiment of the present invention is designed to slidingly receive an open-ring type toilet seat (shown in phantom in FIGS. 1 and 2) between upper sheet 10 and lower sheet 20. While the top portion 10 and the lower portion 20 are referred to herein as “sheets”, these portions can be integrally formed, more similar to a bag or can be formed of two or more individually formed portions which are subsequently joined in any desired manner. According to this illustrated embodiment, other than the drawstrings and the velcro, the entire device is formed of a thin plastic sheet, preferably having a thickness of about 0.4 to about 2.5 mls.

For purposes of collecting a specimen, this illustrated embodiment of the present invention comprises a collection portion 50 which extends below the upper sheet 10. The collection portion 50 advantageously extends sufficiently below the toilet seat to avoid splashing or other undesirable contact between the waste collected and the patient. This illustrated embodiment also comprises means for separating the collection portion from the rest of the device. While this embodiment comprises a perforated tear line 60, other non-illustrated embodiments for the present invention comprise other structure for selectively separating the collection portion from the rest of the device, such as a releasable adhesive, hook and loop fasteners, or zip-lok closure(s).

After the patient has made a deposit, the flexible lid 80 can be placed over the collection portion and a drawstrings 70, 72 pulled either before or after the collection portion 50 is separated along the perforated tear line 60. The patient sample can then either be readily discarded separately, transferred to another container, or transferred as is to a testing site.

Regardless of whether collection portion has been separated from the remainder of the device, after use the entire device can be rolled up for disposal. Front flap 90 and one or more rear flaps (not shown) can be used to secure the device in the rolled configuration. The flaps can be formed of plastic, Velcro, or the like and can comprise an adhesive surface.

According to other embodiments of the present invention illustrated in FIGS. 4-6, the sheet portions are substantially similar to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, but the collection portion 150 is provided with semi-rigid receptacles 160, 165, each accompanied by a lid 161, 166, respectively. These semi-rigid containers are also advantageously selectively removable from the sheet portion of the collection portion 150 e.g. along tear lines 180 shown in FIG. 5 or via a releasable adhesive 190 generally illustrated in FIG. 4. Alternatively, for added support, the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 5 comprises rigid or semi-rigid supports 175 which extend under flange portions of the semi-rigid containers. The supports 175 can be provided with channels 177, as shown in FIG. 6 for slidingly receiving the flanges 168 of a receptacle 165.

According to one embodiment fo the present invention, at least a portion of the device is formed of a material which is suitable for disposal by flushing into the public or private sewage system. For example, according to one embodiment, the collection portion of the device can be flushed down a toilet. According to another embodiment, the entire device can be acceptably flushed down a sewage system. Still other embodiments are advantageously bio-degradable.

While the Figures illustrate a standard open-ring commode, the various embodiments of the present invention can be used with other commodes, such as portable commodes and commodes designed for toddlers, e.g. potty seats.