Title:
Liquid dispenser apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liquid dispensing apparatus that enables liquid for drawing liquid from a bottle into an oral syringe without inverting the bottle includes a tubular cap member for insertion into the mouth of a bottle. The cap member defines upper and lower openings connected by a bore. The device includes an elongate tube having an upper end connected to the cap lower opening and a lower end positionable adjacent a bottom wall of a bottle. A plunger is positioned within the bore of the cap member and is movable between a retracted configuration that closes the tube upper end and an extended configuration positioned within the tube. The plunger also defines an aperture through which liquid from the tube may flow into the plunger when the plunger is at the extended configuration. Liquid may be drawn from the plunger when an oral syringe is inserted into the cap member.



Inventors:
Mckibbin, Travis (Olathe, KS, US)
Jensen, Nicholas L. (Olathe, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/804226
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/17/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
604/403
International Classes:
B65B3/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MAUST, TIMOTHY LEWIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A liquid dispensing apparatus for enabling liquid to be withdrawn from the interior of a bottle containing a liquid into an oral syringe without inverting the container, comprising: a cap member having a tubular configuration complementary to a configuration of a mouth of the bottle for a friction-fit insertion therein, said cap member defining upper and lower openings with an axial bore extending therebetween for fluid communication therethrough; an elongate tube defining open upper and lower ends, said tube upper end being connected to said lower opening of said cap member and said tube lower end resting on or adjacent a bottom wall of the bottle; a plunger situated in said axial bore between said upper and lower openings and configured for receiving a nozzle of the oral syringe, said plunger being movable between a retracted configuration that closes said tube upper end and an extended configuration positioned within said tube; and wherein said plunger defines an aperture through which liquid from said tube may flow into said plunger when said plunger is at said extended configuration.

2. The apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said plunger includes an upper portion having a generally funnel shaped inner configuration for selectively receiving the nozzle of the oral syringe and a lower portion having a tubular configuration defining said aperture, said lower portion extending into said tube at said extended configuration for enabling liquid to flow through said aperture into said upper portion of said plunger.

3. The apparatus as in claim 2 further comprising means for biasing said plunger toward said retracted configuration.

4. The apparatus as in claim 3 wherein said biasing means includes a diaphragm positioned atop said cap member surrounding said upper opening, said diaphragm being attached to said plunger and being stretched when said plunger is moved to said extended configuration upon insertion of the oral syringe nozzle, said diaphragm biasing said plunger to return to said retracted configuration when the oral syringe nozzle is removed.

5. The apparatus as in claim 1 further comprising a diaphragm positioned atop said cap member surrounding said upper opening, said diaphragm being attached to said plunger and being stretched when said plunger is moved to said extended configuration upon insertion of the oral syringe nozzle, said diaphragm biasing said plunger to return to said retracted configuration when the oral syringe nozzle is removed.

6. The apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said cap member includes: an outer wall having a configuration for bearing against an inner surface of the mouth of the bottle when the cap member is inserted therein; an inner wall connected to said outer wall and defining said upper and lower openings and said axial bore; and a top plate mounted atop said inner and outer walls, said top plate having a diameter larger than a diameter of said outer wall for stopping said cap member from being inserted past the mouth of the bottle.

7. The apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said cap member includes: an outer wall having a configuration for bearing against an inner surface of the mouth of the bottle when the cap member is inserted therein; an inner wall connected to said outer wall and defining said upper and lower openings and said axial bore; a top plate mounted atop said inner and outer walls, said top plate having a diameter larger than a diameter of said outer wall for stopping said cap member from being inserted past the mouth of the bottle; said apparatus further comprising: a diaphragm sandwiched between said top plate and said inner and outer walls, said diaphragm surrounding said upper opening and attached to said plunger, said diaphragm being stretched when said plunger is moved to said extended configuration upon insertion of the oral syringe nozzle, said diaphragm biasing said plunger to return to said retracted configuration when the oral syringe nozzle is removed.

8. The apparatus as in claim 4 wherein said diaphragm includes a rubber construction, said diaphragm being situated in said cap member for preventing liquid from spilling from the plunger when the oral syringe is received therein.

9. A liquid dispensing apparatus for enabling liquid to be withdrawn from the interior of a bottle containing a liquid into an oral syringe without inverting the container, comprising: a cap member having a tubular configuration complementary to a configuration of a mouth of the bottle for a friction-fit insertion therein, said cap member defining upper and lower openings with an axial bore extending therebetween for fluid communication therethrough; an elongate tube defining open upper and lower ends, said tube upper end being connected to said lower opening of said cap member and said tube lower end resting on or adjacent a bottom wall of the bottle; a plunger situated in said axial bore between said upper and lower openings and configured for receiving a nozzle of the oral syringe, said plunger being movable between a retracted configuration that closes said tube upper end and an extended configuration positioned within said tube; wherein said plunger defines an aperture through which liquid from said tube may flow into said plunger when said plunger is at said extended configuration; a diaphragm positioned in said cap member and attached to said plunger for biasing said plunger toward said retracted configuration.

10. The apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said diaphragm is positioned atop said cap member adjacent said upper opening and is attached to said plunger, said diaphragm being stretched when said plunger is moved to said extended configuration upon insertion of the oral syringe nozzle, said diaphragm biasing said plunger to return to said retracted configuration when the oral syringe nozzle is removed.

11. The apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said plunger includes an upper portion having a generally funnel shaped configuration for selectively receiving the nozzle of the oral syringe and a lower portion having a tubular configuration defining said aperture, said lower portion extending into said tube at said extended configuration for enabling liquid to flow through said aperture into said upper portion of said plunger.

12. The apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said cap member includes: an outer wall having a configuration for bearing against an inner surface of the mouth of the bottle when the cap member is inserted therein; an inner wall connected to said outer wall and defining said upper and lower openings and said axial bore; and a top plate mounted atop said inner and outer walls, said top plate having a diameter larger than a diameter of said outer wall for stopping said cap member from being inserted past the mouth of the bottle.

13. The apparatus as in claim 12 wherein said diaphragm is sandwiched between said top plate and said inner and outer walls of said cap member, said diaphragm surrounding said upper opening and attached to said plunger, said diaphragm being stretched when said plunger is moved to said extended configuration upon insertion of the oral syringe nozzle, said diaphragm biasing said plunger to return to said retracted configuration when the oral syringe nozzle is removed.

14. The apparatus as in claim 9 wherein said diaphragm includes a rubber construction, said diaphragm being situated in said cap member for surrounding the tip of the oral syringe when the tip thereof is inserted into said cap member, whereby to prevent liquid from passing between said diaphragm and the oral syringe.

15. The apparatus as in claim 9 wherein a child-resistant cap may be releasably mounted atop the bottle when said cap member is inserted in the bottle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to liquid dispensers and, more particularly, to a liquid dispensing apparatus for use with a liquid medicine bottle for accurately dispensing liquid medicine from the bottle to an oral syringe without turning the container upside down.

Prescriptions for liquid medicines are frequently contained in bottles and must be drawn into an oral syringe to be dispensed to a patient, particularly in the case of liquid medicine for infants, toddlers, or other young children. The usual method for drawing liquid medicine into an oral syringe is to invert the bottle, puncture a seal in the top of the bottle or otherwise insert the tip of the syringe into a valve, and then draw a prescribed amount of liquid into the syringe. Upon removal of the desired amount of liquid medicine, the syringe may be withdrawn from the bottle and the bottle turned right side up for storage. Then the medicine may be delivered to the patient.

Bottles must be inverted before drawing out the liquid to avoid drawing a volume of air into the syringe or to dispense the final amount of liquid remaining in a bottle. Drawing air into the syringe is undesirable as it makes it difficult to determine whether the proper amount of liquid has been drawn in. The obvious disadvantage of failing to draw out all of the liquid in the container is that all of the medicine should be taken for the medical ailment and because the medicine may be quite expensive.

Various devices have been proposed in the art for drawing liquid from a bottle, such as those proposed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,230,112, 4,493,348, and 4,128,098. Although assumably effective for their intended purposes, these devices have not entirely eliminated the need to invert the bottle to avoid withdrawing air into an oral syringe or to ensure that all of the medicine is withdrawn from the bottle.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a liquid dispenser apparatus for use with a bottle of liquid that enables the liquid to be drawn into an oral syringe without inverting the bottle. Further, it would be desirable to have a liquid dispenser cap that enables liquid to be drawn into the syringe without withdrawing any air. In addition, it would be desirable to have a liquid dispenser cap that enables all of the liquid in a bottle to be withdrawn from the bottle without inverting the bottle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, a liquid dispenser device according to the present invention includes a cap member having a tubular configuration complementary to a configuration of a mouth of a bottle for a friction-fit insertion in the mouth thereof. Thus, the cap member may be selectively inserted and removed from the mouth of the bottle as desired, such as between doses of medicine. The device includes an elongate tube having an upper end connected to a lower opening defined by the cap member and a lower end that may be positioned adjacent a bottom wall of a bottle when the cap member is inserted into the bottle. Further, a plunger is positioned within an axial bore of the cap member between upper and lower openings thereof, the plunger being movable between a retracted configuration that closes the tube upper end and an extended configuration extending into the tube. The plunger also defines an aperture through which liquid from the tube may flow into the plunger when the plunger is at the extended configuration. When inserted into the mouth of a bottle, a traditional child resistant cap may be placed on the mouth of the bottle.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a liquid dispensing apparatus for enabling liquid to be drawn from a bottle into an oral syringe without inverting the bottle and syringe.

Another object of this invention is to provide a liquid dispensing apparatus, as aforesaid, in which liquid may be drawn from the bottle without drawing air into the syringe.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a liquid dispensing apparatus, as aforesaid, that enables substantially all of the liquid in a bottle to be withdrawn by an oral syringe without inverting the bottle.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a liquid dispensing apparatus, as aforesaid, that may be conveniently attached to and removed from the mouth of a bottle.

A further object of this invention is to provide a liquid dispensing apparatus, as aforesaid, that is economical to manufacture.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a liquid dispensing device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention in use with a bottle and an oral syringe;

FIG. 2a is another perspective view of the liquid dispensing apparatus as in FIG. 1 without the oral syringe;

FIG. 2b is an isolated view on an enlarged scale of a portion of the apparatus and bottle taken from FIG. 2a;

FIG. 3a is a fragmentary view of the apparatus as in FIG. 2a with a portion of the bottle and cap member removed;

FIG. 3b is an isolated view on an enlarged scale taken from FIG. 3a showing apparatus nested in the mouth of the bottle;

FIG. 4a is a perspective view of the liquid dispenser apparatus as in FIG. 3a with the oral syringe inserted;

FIG. 4b is an isolated view on an enlarged scale taken from a portion of FIG. 4a illustrating the plunger in a extended configuration and the syringe in a ready configuration;

FIG. 5a is another perspective view of the liquid dispenser apparatus as in FIG. 3a with the oral syringe inserted;

FIG. 5b is an isolated view on an enlarged scale taken from a portion of FIG. 5a illustrating the plunger in an extended configuration and the oral syringe in a withdrawal configuration; and

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the liquid dispensing apparatus as in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A liquid dispenser apparatus 10 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1 through 6 of the accompanying drawings.

The liquid dispenser apparatus 10 includes a cap member 12 having a generally tubular configuration complementary to a configuration of a mouth of a bottle 7, such as a bottle containing a liquid medicament. More particularly, the cap member 12 may include an outer wall 14 having a tubular or cylindrical configuration for slidably bearing against an inner surface of the mouth of the bottle 7 when the cap member 12 is inserted therein. The outer wall 14 presents a diameter slightly smaller than a diameter of the inner surface of the mouth of the bottle 7 such that the outer wall 14 fits therein in a relatively tight friction-fit relationship. In this preferred embodiment, it should be understood that a conventional child-resistant cap (not shown) may be mounted atop the bottle 7 for safety reasons. Alternatively, the cap member 12 may include a threaded configuration (not shown) that can be coupled to the bottle 7 in a more traditional manner. The cap member 12 further includes an inner wall 16 connected to the outer wall 14 and defining opposed upper 18 and lower 20 openings. The inner wall 16 also defines an axial bore 22 connecting the openings.

The cap member 12 includes a top plate 24 mounted atop the outer 14 and inner 16 walls, the top plate having a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the outer wall 14 as well being larger than a diameter of the inner surface of the mouth of the bottle 7 (FIGS. 2b and 6). In use, the top plate 24 acts as a stop to prevent over-insertion of the cap member 12 into the mouth of a bottle 7 and also aids a user in removing the cap member 12 therefrom. The top plate 24 defines an upper opening that registers with the upper opening 18 defined by the inner wall 16 for receiving a nozzle 9b of an oral syringe 9a therein, as will be described in more detail later.

The liquid dispensing apparatus 10 further includes an elongate tube 26 having opposed upper 28 and lower 30 open ends. The upper end 28 of the tube is connected to the lower opening 20 of the cap member 12 (FIGS. 3a and 6). When the cap member 12 is positioned on a bottle 7, the lower end 30 of the tube 26 may be situated on or adjacent to a bottom wall 8 of a bottle 7.

Further, the liquid dispenser apparatus 10 includes a plunger 32 situated in the axial bore 22 of the cap member 12 between the upper 18 and lower 20 openings of the cap member 12 (FIGS. 3b and 6). The plunger 32 includes an upper portion 34 having a generally cylindrical outer configuration sized for slidable movement within the axial bore 22 between a retracted configuration (FIG. 3b) and an extended configuration (FIGS. 4b and 5b), these configurations to be described in more details below. In addition, the upper portion 34 includes a generally conical or funnel-shaped inner configuration capable of receiving an oral syringe nozzle 9b. The plunger 32 also includes a lower portion 36 extending downwardly from the upper portion 34 and having a closed bottom, the lower portion being capable of extending into the tube 26 at the extended configuration. The lower portion 36 defines at least one aperture 38 for receiving liquid from the tube 26 into the upper portion 34 when the plunger 32 is moved to the extended configuration (FIGS. 4b and 5b).

At the retracted configuration, the plunger 32 closes the upper opening of the tube 26 such that liquid from the bottle 7 is not communicated into the plunger 32 or inadvertently spilled (FIG. 3b). At the extended configuration, the lower portion 36 of the plunger 32 is extended through the upper open end 28 of the tube 26 such that liquid in the tube 26 may enter the lower portion 36 through the aperture 38. Liquid in the plunger 32 may then be drawn up into the nozzle 9b of the oral syringe 9a. FIGS. 5a and 5b illustrate the oral syringe 9a in a configuration in which liquid is being drawn up through the tube 26, plunger 32, and syringe nozzle 9b. It is understood that insertion of the oral syringe 9a into the cap member 12 causes the plunger 32 to be moved from the retracted configuration (FIG. 3b) to the extended configuration (FIG. 4b).

The liquid dispenser apparatus 10 further includes a means for normally biasing the plunger 32 toward the retracted configuration. More particularly, the biasing means includes a diaphragm 40 positioned atop the cap member 12 surrounding the upper opening 18 thereof. The diaphragm 40 is attached to the plunger 32 such that it is stretched downward when the plunger 32 is moved from the retracted configuration to the extended configuration, such as when an oral syringe nozzle 9b is inserted into the cap member 12 and pushed down upon the plunger 32. Preferably, the diaphragm 40 is constructed of a resilient flexible material such as rubber although other materials having elastic properties would also be suitable. When the oral syringe 9a is removed, the diaphragm 40 returns to its normal configuration allowing the plunger 32 to return to the retracted configuration.

In use, the liquid dispenser apparatus 10 may be used to draw liquid, such as liquid medicine, from a bottle without inverting the bottle. Specifically, the cap member 12 of the apparatus 10 may be inserted into the mouth of a bottle 7 in a friction fit relationship. When securely inserted, the lower end 30 of the tube 26 will be positioned on or very near the bottom wall 8 of the bottle 7 such that most if not all of the liquid may be drawn out (FIG. 3a). The nozzle 9b of an oral syringe 9a may be inserted through the upper opening 18 of the cap member 12 and into the upper portion 34 of the plunger 32 (FIG. 4b). Pressure by a user upon the oral syringe 9a will cause the plunger 32 to move slidably within the cap member bore 22 from the retracted configuration (FIG. 4b) to the extended configuration in which the lower portion 36 of the plunger 32 extends into the tube 26 (FIG. 4b).

As shown in FIG. 5b, a user may then operate the oral syringe 9a to suction liquid through the tube 26 into the plunger 32 and into the oral syringe 9a. While liquid may need to at first be primed into the tube (and thus air is drawn into the oral syringe 9a, this is then subsequently unnecessary. In other words, when the oral syringe 9a is withdrawn following initial priming, the closed end of the plunger lower end 30 seals the tube 26 in a vacuum relationship such that the tube 26 remains full of liquid ready for the next dose/draw. Accordingly, the bottle 7 never needs to be inverted so as to prevent air from being drawn into the oral syringe 9a.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.