Title:
Surgicl Glove
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A surgical glove adapted to be worn by a user has a portion at the underside of the wrist area of the glove which is enlarged or expandable provides relief from pressure to the wrist of a user wearing the glove during use of the glove. A second enlarged or expandable portion positioned at the dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove further provides relief from pressure to the wrist of the wearer of the glove.



Inventors:
Shapiro, David D. (Highland Park, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/569027
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/09/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/162
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David Shapiro (Highland Park, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A surgical glove adapted to be worn by a user, said glove comprising a portion at the underside of and extending across the wrist area to include the area between the palm and forearm of the glove which is expandable, whereby said portion of the glove provides relief from pressure to the wrist area of the user wearing the glove.

2. The surgical glove of claim 1 wherein the said portion is located at the underside of the wrist area of the glove corresponding to the wrist area of the user above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the user.

3. The surgical glove of claim 1 comprising portions at the underside and dorsal side of the wrist area which are expandable, whereby said portions provide release from pressure to the wrist area of a user of the glove.

4. The surgical glove of claim 3 wherein said portions are located at the underside and dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove corresponding to the wrist area of the user above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the user.

5. The surgical glove of claim 1 wherein said portion is an enlarged portion of the material of the glove, whereby the portion at least partially does not remain in constant contact with the wrist of the user wearer during use of the glove.

6. The surgical glove of claim 5 wherein said portion is a baggy portion compared to the remaining material of the glove.

7. The surgical glove of claim 5 wherein the glove comprises a second enlarged portion of the material of the glove positioned at the dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove, whereby the second enlarged portion at least partially does not remain in constant contact with the dorsal side of the wrist of the user wearer during use of the glove.

8. The surgical glove of claim 7 wherein said portions are located at the underside and dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove corresponding to the wrist area of the user above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the user.

9. The surgical glove of claim 8 wherein said portions are located at the underside and dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove corresponding to the wrist area of the user above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the user.

10. The surgical glove of claim 9 wherein said portions are baggy portions compared to the remaining material of the glove.

11. The surgical glove of claim 5 wherein said portion is a circumferentially enlarged portion compared to the remaining material of the glove.

12. The surgical glove of claim 11 wherein the circumferentially enlarged portion is an outwardly extending bulge in the material of the glove.

13. The surgical glove of claim 11 wherein the glove comprises a second circumferentially enlarged portion of the material of the glove positioned at the dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove, whereby the second enlarged portion at least partially does not remain in constant contact with the dorsal side of the wrist of the user wearer during use of the glove.

14. The surgical glove of claim 1 wherein said portion comprises a plurality of pleats in the glove material, whereby is an enlarged portion of the material of the glove, whereby said pleats provide relief from pressure to the wrist area of the user wearing the glove.

15. The surgical glove of claim 14 wherein the glove comprises a second plurality of pleats in the glove material positioned at the dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove, whereby the second plurality of pleats provide relief from pressure to the wrist area of the user wearing the glove.

16. The surgical glove of claim 14 wherein said plurality of pleats in the glove material are positioned circumferentially about the wrist area of the glove.

17. A surgical glove adapted to be worn by a user, said glove comprising an enlarged circumferentially baggy portion at the underside of and extending across the wrist area to include the area between the palm and forearm of the glove, whereby said portion of the glove provides relief from pressure to the wrist area of the user wearing the glove.

18. The surgical glove of claim 17 wherein the glove comprises a second enlarged circumferentially baggy portion of the material of the glove positioned at the dorsal side of the wrist area of the glove, whereby the second enlarged portion at least partially does not remain in constant contact with the dorsal side of the wrist of the user wearer during use of the glove.

19. A surgical glove adapted to be worn by a user, said glove comprising a plurality of pleats in the glove material at the underside of and extending across the wrist area to include the area between the palm and forearm of the glove, whereby said pleats provide relief from pressure to the wrist area of the user wearing the glove.

20. The surgical glove of claim 19 wherein said plurality of pleats in the glove material is positioned circumferentially about the wrist area of the glove.

Description:

The present invention relates to surgical gloves, and more particularly to surgical gloves of elastomeric material having improved comfort and stress relief to the user, particularly at the wrist area.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Surgical gloves, particularly of elastomeric material, such as latex, are commonly and widely known. The gloves, in addition to use in surgical medical and dental examination and treatment procedures, are also used in many commercial and industrial applications, such as in the manufacture of shoes and in the manufacture and/or assembly of electronic equipment, for example, computer chips, which also require clean-room or almost sterile conditions to prevent contamination of the devices being assembled. The reference to “surgical gloves” herein is understood to apply to the above-described gloves used in the various applications.

The need for improvement in surgical gloves to provide comfort to the user in some respects has been recognized. For example, certain improvements have been made, such as providing an enlarged thumb ball area to provide comfort across the palm area of the hand, as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,907,870, issued Jun. 1, 1999 to Monroe et al. The patent provides a glove with an enlarged palm area and with a reduced-diameter cuff gripping the wrist or forearm of the wearer.

In certain surgical dental and industrial procedures which require the use of surgical gloves, the user must perform repetitive hand manipulations, often with the exertion of pressure by the fingers and hand. It has now been shown, in an unreported study, that repetitive hand manipulation, particularly in surgical procedures, requiring hand manipulation of instruments, including instruments causing vibration which may be transmitted to the surgeon's hand and wrist, more particularly surgeons performing spinal surgery on patients over several or more hours is likely to cause wrist stress-related problems, for example, carpal tunnel problems.

It is believed by the present inventor that the wrist-stress related problems among such surgeons using tight-fitting surgical gloves and other users of tight-fitting surgical gloves may be due, in large part, to the wearing of such gloves while performing procedures requiring manipulation of instruments requiring physical exertion of the hand over many hours. Thus there is a need for an improved surgical glove which provides relief from pressure to the wrist, particularly in the wrist area directly over the carpal tunnel, normally encountered in the wearing of surgical gloves which do not provide for such relief.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, one object of this invention is the provision of a surgical glove which includes a portion of the glove in the area of the inside, i.e., the underside or palmar side of the wrist above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament, which does not cause pressure to that area upon the wearer of the glove performing hand manipulation.

Another object is the provision of a surgical glove which includes portions of the glove in both the area of the inside, i.e., the underside or palmar side, and in the area of the outside, i.e., the dorsal or side opposite the palmar side, of the wrist which does not cause pressure to the underside (palmar side) of the wrist above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament upon the wearer of the glove performing hand manipulations.

Still another object of this invention is the provision of a surgical glove which includes a loosened, non-binding area circumferentially about the wrist area of the glove.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description and drawings.

The surgical glove of the present invention of elastomeric material, such as latex, or other material commonly used for such gloves, includes a portion which provides relief, i.e., eliminates pressure, to the wrist above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the wearer of the glove. As heretofore described, it has now been discovered that stress to the wrist of surgeons, particularly surgeons performing spinal surgery on patients over several or more hours is likely to cause wrist stress-related problems. It is believed that the surgical glove of the present invention fulfills the objects described above by providing an area of enlargement or an enlargeable area of the glove, at least in the area of the palmar side, i.e., the inside or underside of the wrist, which will be above the carpal tunnel and the palmar carpal ligament of the wearer of the glove.

In accordance with the invention, the area of enlargement of the glove material may be provided in the above-described area. The area of enlargement, in accordance with one embodiment of this invention, can be provided by forming an enlarged or baggy portion to the glove in the selected area. Surgical gloves, as is known, can be manufactured by applying latex or other elastomeric material, to a form, particularly the form of a hand, by dipping the form in the liquid material, or by spraying the material onto the form, and letting the material dry or cure to a solid condition. To prepare a glove in accordance with this embodiment of the invention, it is contemplated that the form will have a bulge or other enlarged configuration in the area of the form corresponding to the area above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of a wearer, so that the manufactured glove will have a baggy or loose portion above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the wearer upon the wearer donning the glove.

In another embodiment, the area of enlargement of the glove in the glove material also may be on the palmar side and on the outside, i.e., the side opposite the palmar or dorsal side in the same region of the glove as described above. Having the area of enlargement on both the palmar side and the outside or dorsal side is advantageous in that the glove may be worn on either the right hand or the left hand of the wearer. Thus, the surgical gloves of this embodiment may be packaged without the need for gloves to be packaged or the wearer selecting right-hand or left hand gloves. The gloves can be manufactured as described above, but with the form having bulges or other enlarged configuration corresponding to the above-described area on the palmar side and the area on the opposite or dorsal side of the form. The resulting glove will have baggy portions on the two opposing sides, allowing the glove to be worn on either hand, while providing relief from pressure to the wrist area above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the wearer of the glove on either hand.

In still another embodiment, the area of enlargement of the glove material may be provided circumferentially about the wrist area of the glove, for example, by forming a circumferential bulge in the form for the glove about the wrist area, and using the form in the above manufacturing process. The resulting glove will be wearable on either hand and will eliminate stress to the wrist area to the wearer of the glove.

Other embodiments of this invention include providing the glove with areas of relief corresponding to the glove area above the carpal tunnel and palmar carpal ligament of the wearer of the glove, or in the area just described and in the area on the opposite side of the glove, or circumferentially in the wrist area, by forming pleats in the glove material in those areas. An example of pleats are areas of additional glove material in the form of ribs and elongated valleys, which can be formed on the hand form to be used in the manufacture of the glove, thereby forming corresponding areas of ribs and valleys in the desired areas of the gloves.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a surgical glove in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a left side view of the surgical glove shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a left side view of a surgical glove in accordance with another embodiment, which is similar to the glove shown in FIG. 1, the dorsal or rear view being the same as the elevational view;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of another embodiment of a surgical glove in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 5 is a left side view of the surgical glove shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of still another embodiment of a surgical glove in accordance with this invention; and

FIG. 7 is an elevational view of another embodiment of a glove in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a surgical glove 10, shown as worn by a wearer on the left hand, having an enlarged portion 12, i.e., additional material, in the area below the thumb 14 and the thumb ball area 16. Enlarged portion 12 can be a generally circular or oval enlargement or bulge which can be formed in the wrist area of the glove as heretofore described. Where enlarged portion or bulge 12 is an oval configuration, the larger axis can be positioned transversely to the length direction of the glove or longitudinally along the length direction of the glove. Enlarged portion 12 provides relief to the carpal tunnel and the transverse carpal ligament of the wearer upon the wearer donning the glove, thereby providing relief to stress caused to the wearer's wrist upon the wearer performing manipulations of the hand, for example, in spine surgery over several or more hours.

Surgical glove 10 further includes a forearm gripping portion 18, which terminates in a cuff, to grip the glove to the wearer's forearm to prevent contamination of the area about the glove from any substance or contamination on the hand within the glove. Additionally the gripping portion 18 prevents any substance or contamination on or outside the glove or the upper forearm of the wearer from reaching the hand, wrist and lower forearm area of the wearer within the glove.

Another embodiment, which is illustrated in FIG. 3, is identical to glove 10, in FIG. 1, but with a second enlarged portion 20 on the dorsal side of the glove opposite to portion 12. In this manner, glove 10 with portions 12 and 20 can be worn on either the right or left hand, it being understood that in such case what is shown as thumb 14 in FIG. 1 is identical to the little finger, so that the glove can be worn on either hand with either portion 12 or portion 20 over the wrist area. In this manner, the relief to the wrist area against stress will be increased as compared to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate another embodiment of the invention wherein the surgical glove 30 has an enlarged portion 32 which surrounds the wrist area of the wearer of the glove. Portions which are identical to portions of glove 10 in FIG. 1 have identical reference numerals and are not further described for the sake of brevity. Enlarged portion 32, circumferentially surrounding the wrist area, provides even further relief from stress which would otherwise be applied to the carpal tunnel and transverse carpal ligament of the wearer, and allows the glove to be worn on either the right or left hand of the wearer. As in the previous embodiments, the enlarged portion 32 can be formed by having a corresponding enlargement on the form utilized to manufacture the glove as described above.

Still another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 6 wherein the surgical glove 40 includes a portion 42 in the wrist area of the glove, portion 42 being in the form of pleats 44, namely ribs 46 and valleys 48 which can flex and stretch in the direction transverse to and at angles to the direction of the ribs 46 and valleys 48. The enlarged portion 42 can be formed in the glove by having corresponding ribs and valleys in the form utilized in the manufacture of the glove. The pleats in the portion 42 act as an enlarged portion with the effect of portion 12 in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, without the baggy look and feel of portion 12. The ribs 46 and valleys 48 resemble and may be termed as a bellows, and act as a bellows, expanding when stretching forces are applied in the transverse direction to the ribs and valleys, but returning to its original shape when stretching forces are released.

As shown in FIG. 7, in another embodiment of the invention, the glove 50 includes a portion 52, similar to portion 42 of glove 40, but with the pleats 54, with ribs 56 and valleys 58 in a direction transverse to the direction of pleats 44 of glove 40. The same advantages attained by glove 40 with pleats 44 described above apply to glove 50 due to pleats 54, which expand to relieve pressure which would otherwise be applied to the carpal tunnel and transverse carpal ligament.

The use of the gloves of the present invention with the enlarged or expandable portion in the area of the glove which corresponds to the wrist area above the wearer's carpal tunnel and transverse carpal ligament, is believed to be effective to relieve pressure thereon caused by the glove in the wrist area pressing on that area upon the wearer's manipulation on the hand.

While several particular embodiments of the surgical glove of the invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications can be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects.





 
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