Title:
Portable cold pack case for carrying medicine and medical accessories
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable cold pack case for carrying temperature sensitive medicines that are required to be refrigerated and for carrying related medical accessories for use in conjunction with these medicines. The case includes a clamshell housing having a fabric cover and including a pair side faces and a binder. The side faces are connected to the binder and separately hinged along the opposing side edges of the binder. A zipper extends around the edges of the side faces for defining and enclosing an interior space for the case within the housing. One or more sheets of refreezable refrigerant cubes that are encapsulated in clear plastic are mounted inside of the case. A removable panel including a pocket and straps for securing medical articles is releaseably attached to one of the inside surfaces of the case. An inner layer of thermal insulation having a flap of material formed into an insulating wall extends along and wraps around the interior periphery of the case. The refrigerant cubes on the ice sheets are encapsulated in a transparent material and are visible when said case is open to provide a pleasing appearance.



Inventors:
Fuchs, Mark D. (Mequon, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/639763
Publication Date:
06/19/2008
Filing Date:
12/15/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/570
International Classes:
F25D3/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ABSOLUTE TECHNOLOGY LAW GROUP LLC (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A portable cold pack case for carrying medicines that are required to be kept in a refrigerated state, comprising: a) a clamshell housing including first and second insulated side faces, a binder connected to said faces at hinges along its opposing side edges and a zipper extending around the edges of said faces for enclosing an interior space within said housing; b) a first ice sheet comprising a plurality of refrigerant cubes mounted on the inner side of said first side face and a second ice sheet comprising a plurality of refrigerant cubes mounted on the inner side of said second side face; c) a removable panel including a pocket for securing medicines articles to said panel; and d) an attachment for detachably securing said panel onto the inner side of one of said faces within said interior space of said housing.

2. The portable case of claim 1, wherein: said side faces include an inner layer of thermal insulation having a flap of material formed into an insulating wall extending along the inner sides of the periphery of the case.

3. The portable case of claim 1, wherein: said refrigerant cubes are encapsulated in a transparent material and are visible to provide a pleasing appearance when said case is open.

4. The portable case of claim 2, wherein: said side faces include an outside covering of nylon fabric and transparent liners extending over said ice sheets.

5. The portable case of claim 1, wherein: said attachment comprises a pair of matching straps having loop and hook constructions mounted onto said ice sheet and the inner side of one of said faces.

6. The portable case of claim 1, wherein: said pocket comprises web material, and said panel also includes a plurality of straps for securing additional medical articles.

7. The portable case of claim 1, wherein: said refrigerant cubes are formed into rows and are visible to provide a pleasing appearance when said case is open.

8. A portable cold pack case for carrying medicines and medical accessories that are required to be kept in a refrigerated state and medical accessories, comprising: a) first and second insulated side faces and a binder connected together at hinges along their side edges and a closure extending around the exterior edges of said faces for enclosing an interior space within said case; b) one or more ice sheets comprising a plurality of refrigerant cubes mounted on the interior side of at least one of said first side faces; c) an inner layer of thermal insulation extending along said side faces and binder and including a flap of material formed into an insulating wall extending along the inner sides of the periphery of the case adjacent to said closure; d) a removable panel including a pocket and one or more straps or sleeves for securing medicines or medical accessories; and e) an attachment for detachably securing said panel onto the interior side of one of said one or more ice sheets within said interior space of said case.

9. The portable case of claim 8, wherein: said closure includes a wide band of fabric and a zipper.

10. The portable case of claim 8, wherein: said refrigerant cubes are encapsulated in a transparent material and are visible to provide a pleasing appearance when said housing is open.

11. The portable case of claim 10, wherein: said pocket comprises web material, and said panel also includes a plurality of straps for securing additional medical articles.

12. The portable case of claim 8, wherein: said attachment comprises a pair of matching straps having loop and hook constructions mounted onto one of said ice sheets and the inner side of one of said faces.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to portable cold pack cases for conveniently carrying temperature sensitive medicines and the like in a refrigerated state along with the accessories required to properly use such articles.

Many medications must be maintained at a certain temperature or within a certain temperature range. If the temperatures of these medications are not maintained and controlled their effectiveness may be diminished or they may even change sufficiently so as to pose a health risk. Medications whose temperature must be maintained include insulin, and certain antibiotics, allergy serums, vaccines, benzodiazepines, and others. In particular, insulin, which must be administered daily or several times per day to diabetics, must be maintained at a temperature lower than about 86 degrees Fahrenheit; and if the temperature of insulin is allowed to exceed 86 degrees Fahrenheit its use can become unsafe.

Because of the need to have these medicines both readily available for use yet maintained at or below a fixed temperature, a variety of different types of temperature controlled carrying cases and packages have been available in the past. However, many have involved placing special cooling packages in conventional coolers which are bulky and awkward to carry. Carrying cases have also been available that use active cooling elements such as Peltier cooling, however, these devices are generally complex and expensive and usually need to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to maintain temperature.

Several existing U.S. patents describe examples of temperature control medicine carrying cases that may be considered to be representative of the related prior art including U.S. Pat. No. 4,429,793 to Ehmann, U.S. Pat. No. 4,738,364 to Yeager, S., U.S. Pat. No. 5,704,223 to MacPherson et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,956,968 to Grabowski, U.S. Pat. No. 6,253,570 to Lustig and U.S. Pat. No. 6,935,133 to Keeter et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,429,793 to E. G. Ehmann discloses a pocket-sized traveling case for storing insulin. The case includes thermally insulated front and back covers pivotally attached to each other by a central binder. The case may be opened and closed by a zipper. The inside of the back cover is provided with an elastic upper strap formed into a pair of loops, which can receive insulin bottles, and an elastic lower strap which holds a container of freezing material.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,738,364 to Yeager discloses a portable medicine protector for maintaining the temperature of medicine stored inside of the protector. The protector comprises a hollow walled container that has a cavity formed therein. The container is filled with a freezable liquid. A cavity is formed inside of the container for receiving medicine. An outer casing is disposed around the container. The outer casing includes a layer of pliable foam insulating material.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,705,223 to MacPherson et al. discloses a portable thermoelectric cooling medicine kit. The medicine in the kit is held in vials that cooled by a Peltier heat pump in thermal contact with the vials. The kit further includes medical supplies and components that are Velcro-attached to the lining of the kit.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,956,968 to Grabowski discloses a portable cold pack for cold storage and transporting of medicinal vials placed on a holder. The cold pack has a hollow, thin-walled housing and a base having a socket depression therein for receiving the holder. The hollow walls of the housing contain a refreezable liquid for providing cooling.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,253,570 to Lustig discloses a traveling bag for carrying temperature sensitive medications, such as insulin, that includes a sensor monitoring the interior temperature and an exterior display showing the temperature so measured. The interior of the bag includes a compartment for storing medications, an assembly for holding insulin injection pens and a compartment for holding a container of freezing material.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,935,133 to Keeter et al discloses a temperature controlled medicine carrying case having an insulated housing having front and back covers, interior compartments and straps for holding medicines and medical articles and a zipper closure. The carrying case includes a pouch for holding a suitable refrigerant material that can frozen prior to use of the case.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a portable cold pack case for carrying medicines that are required to be kept in a refrigerated state and associated medical accessories. The case includes a clamshell housing including a pair of side faces and a binder. The side faces are hinged along the opposing side edges of the binder and a zipper extends around the edges of the side faces for enclosing an interior space within the housing and case. A first ice sheet including refrigerant cubes is mounted on the inner side of the first side face and a second ice sheet including refrigerant cubes is mounted on the inner side of the second side face. A removable panel including a pocket and straps for securing medical articles including medicines and the like is removeably attached to one of the interior surfaces of one of said faces within said interior space of said housing. The side faces include an inner layer of thermal insulation having a flap of material formed into an insulating wall extending along the inner sides of the periphery of the case. The refrigerant cubes on the ice sheets are encapsulated in a transparent material and are visible to provide a pleasing appearance when the case is open. The case includes and is protected by an exterior covering of nylon fabric while transparent liners extending over and protect the ice sheets.

It is can object of the present invention to provide an improved portable cold pack case for carrying medicines and medical accessories that is compact, convenient and easy to use.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a cold pack case that has a pleasing visual appearance featuring visible refrigerant cubes when the interior of the case is open to view.

It is further object of the present invention to provide a cold pack case that allows the medicine and medical articles to be stored on a panel that can be removed from the case and used outside the case or transferred to a different freshly frozen case.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a cold pack case that has a simple design including a thermal insulation layer that wraps around the interior space of the case.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 provides an elevated perspective view of the portable cold pack case for carrying medicines and medical accessories in accordance with the present invention showing the case in its closed configuration.

FIG. 2 provides an elevated perspective view of the case shown in FIG. 1 for carrying medicines and medical accessories in accordance with the present invention showing the case in its open configuration with its interior open to view.

FIG. 3 provides a plan view of the storage panel for use with the case shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 for carrying medicines and medical accessories in accordance with the present invention illustrating the storage features of the case.

FIG. 4 provides a plan view of the back side of the panel shown in FIG. 3 and the inner side of the back face of the case illustrating how the panel is removeably mounted onto the back face of the case in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the case along lines 5-5 of FIG. 1 showing the internal construction of the case in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, a portable case 10 for carrying medications and medical supplies is shown in its closed position and includes a clam shell housing 12 having a front face 14 and a back face 16 that pivot around fabric hinges 20 and 22 on opposing side edges of a central binder 18 that connects the two faces together. The case 10 includes a wide-band zipper 28 that is attached to and runs along the outer perimeters of the faces 14 and 16 and binder 18 and acts as a closure and forms an enclosing panel with respect to the interior of the case defined by the housing 12. The case also includes a canvas carrying strap 30 and latch 32 attached to the outside of the binder 18. The outer sides of the faces 14 and 16 and binder 18 are covered by a layer 34 of durable nylon fabric. The face 16 includes a small accessory pocket 38 with a zipper on the exterior of the face 16. The case 10 has a compact design and size suitable for storage in a briefcase, a purse or the pocket of a large coat.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the portable case 10 is shown with the zipper 28 unzipped and the faces 14 and 16 pivoted into an open position around the binder 18 so that the interior space of the case 10 is open to view. The inner sides 44 and 46 of the faces 14 and 16 of the case 10 are open for access and use. The inner side 44 of the front face 14 includes an ice sheet 50 having a plurality of refrigerant filled cubes 52 deployed in rows 54 and permanently attached and built into the front face 14 of the case 10. The ice sheet 50 is mounted over a thin sheet 56 of thermal insulation and is covered by a transparent plastic liner 58 that can be easy cleaned. The refrigerant cubes 52 are visible to the user whenever the case 10 is open. The sheet 56 of thermal insulation is folded along the edges of the ice sheet 50 to form a flap 55 of material running along the periphery of the inner side 44 of the case 10 that functions as an insulating wall for the interior space of the case 10. The inner side 46 of the back face 16 includes a storage panel 60 for retaining medicines and medical accessories that is releaseably attached to the back face 16 of the case 10 on top of a second ice sheet 70 (not shown in FIG. 2).

Referring now to FIG. 3, the storage panel 60 includes a pocket 62 made of web material for retaining medicines and medical accessories such as needles, alcohol swabs and bandages, a cinched elastic strap 64 formed into loops for retaining syringes and medicine bottles such as insulin doses, and a thinner elastic strap 66 for miscellaneous use. The panel 60 is covered with nylon fabric extending over a rigid planar plastic plate and is gathered and attached at the seams 68.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the inner side 46 of the back face 16 underneath the panel 60 includes an ice sheet 70 having a plurality of refrigerant filled cubes 72 permanently attached and built into the face 16 of the case 10. The ice sheet 70 is mounted over a sheet 76 of thermal insulation and is covered by a transparent plastic liner 78 that can be easy cleaned. The refrigerant cubes 72 are visible when the case is open and the storage panel 60 is removed. The sheet 76 of thermal insulation is folded along the edges of the ice sheet 70 to form a flap 75 of material running along the periphery of the inner side 46 of the case 10 that functions as an insulating wall for the interior space of the case 10. Straps 80 having hook and loop constructions such as Velcroâ„¢ material along their surfaces and are adhered onto the liner 78 over the ice sheet 70. Matching hook and loop straps 82 are adhered onto the back 84 of the storage panel 60 whereby the panel can be removeably attached to the inner side 46 of the back face 16.

Referring now to FIG. 5, the case 10 is covered by the fabric layer 34 which extends around the outside of the case including the exterior of the faces 14 and 16 and binder 18. The faces 14 and 16 and binder 18 include rigid reinforcing plates 94, 96 and 98 which help define the form of the case 10 and may be comprised out of material providing a further degree of thermal insulation. The sheets 56 and 76 of thermal insulation extend from the faces 14 and 16 into the binder 18 and are part of a larger whole sheet 90 which extends around the case 10. The sheets 56 and 76 also include the flaps 55 and 75 that wraps around and forms an insulating wall that helps to provide further thermal insulation to the interior of the case 10. The ice sheets 50 and 70 include base layers 102 and 104 and the transparent top layers 106 and 108 defining the cubes 52 and 72 in which refrigerant material such as distilled water or brine solution having a lower freezing point is encapsulated. The transparent liners 58 and 78 run across and over the top side of the ice sheets 50 and 70. The panel 60 is removeably attached by the hook and loop straps 80 and 82 to the liner 78 and the top of the ice sheet 70. The zipper 28 extends around the outer edge of the case 10. The fabric layer 34, insulation layer 90 and zipper 28 are gathered to, sewn together and secured at the seams 110.

The portable case 10 provides a compact cold pack for storing medicines and medical accessories so they can be carried from place to place and quickly and conveniently accessed. The case 10 may be placed in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator to freeze the refrigerant cubes and taken out when needed with a minimum of effort in preparing the case 10 for use. The panel 60 including any medical articles stored on it may be conveniently removed from the case 10 at any time and may be replaced into the case 10 or a different case including freshly frozen refrigerant at any time as required for use or to continuously maintain medicines in a refrigerated state. Once the panel 60 is loaded into the case 10 the case may be conveniently stored in a briefcase or coat pocket so as to be inconspicuous but ready for use.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the specific embodiments described above, it should be recognized that changes may be made in the form and details of the invention as described without departing from spirit of the invention or the scope of the claims.