Title:
GLOVE WITH ANTI-ROLL DOWN/ANTI-RUCKING CUFF
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glove comprises a hand portion and a wrist portion extending from the hand portion and terminates in a hand insertion opening. The wrist portion includes anti-roll down/anti-rucking means in the form of a band of friction enhancing material provided on a surface which, in use, will form the inside of the glove, whereby, in use, the friction enhancing portion contacts the sleeve of a garment worn by the user so as to increase friction against the wrist portion of the glove, thereby preventing roll-down/rucking of the glove. The friction enhancing material is applied prior to any finishing operation(s) which reduce(s) the residual tack of the glove material and is selected from a group of materials whose tack is substantially unaffected by the finishing operation.



Inventors:
Day, Jonathan (Chorley, GB)
Application Number:
12/532472
Publication Date:
03/04/2010
Filing Date:
05/24/2007
Assignee:
REGENT MEDICAL LIMITED (Irlam, Manchester, GB)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/161.7, 2/162, 2/167, 2/169
International Classes:
A41D13/12; A41D19/00; A41D19/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A glove comprising a hand portion and a wrist portion extending from the hand portion and terminating in a hand insertion opening, the wrist portion including a region of friction enhancing material applied to a surface of the wrist portion which, in use, will form the inside of the glove, the friction enhancing material having a degree of tack such that, in use, it will stick to the sleeve of a gown to prevent roll-down/rucking of the glove, the degree of tack of the friction enhancing material being substantially unaffected by exposure to a finishing operation performed on the glove in order to reduce its tackiness, whereby, in use, the friction enhancing portion may contact the sleeve of a garment worn by the user so as to adhere the wrist portion of the glove thereto, thereby preventing roll-down/rucking of the glove.

2. A glove according to claim 1 which is a surgical glove.

3. A glove according to claim 1, wherein the region of friction enhancing material is applied in a band having a width of 25-45 mm which is 0-10 mm from the cuff opening of the glove.

4. A glove according to claim 1, wherein the region of friction enhancing material extends entirely around the inner circumference of the wrist portion of the glove.

5. A glove according to claim 1, wherein the friction enhancing material is a pressure sensitive material which is activated, in use, by application of pressure to the surface thereof.

6. A glove according to claim 1, wherein a strip of material, in particular release material, overlies the region of friction enhancing material so as to protect it from being polluted after manufacturing but prior to use.

7. A glove according to claim 6, wherein the strip of overlay material has elastomeric properties which are substantially the same as the elastomeric properties of the materials of the glove such that the strip of material stretches and contracts with the underlying glove materials.

8. A glove according to claim 1, wherein a polymer coating is applied over a majority of the surface of the glove which facilitates easy donning of the glove, the polymer coating extending up to the friction enhancing material, at least part of the friction enhancing material being uncoated by the polymer coating.

9. A glove according to claim 8, wherein the polymer coating partially overlaps the friction enhancing material, by in particular the first 1-10% of the width of the friction enhancing material.

10. A glove according to claim 8, wherein none of the friction enhancing material is coated by the polymer coating.

11. A glove and gown assembly comprising a gown having an arm portion terminating in a cuff and a glove according to claim 1, whereby, in use, the friction enhancing portion may contact the sleeve of the gown so as to adhere the wrist portion of the glove thereto, thereby preventing preventing roll-down/rucking of the glove.

12. A method of manufacture of a surgical glove according to claim 1 comprising the steps of coating a former with material to form the glove, applying a friction enhancing material to the surface of the glove in the region of a wrist portion thereof, and carrying out a finishing operation to the whole of the glove to reduce its tackiness, the friction enhancing characteristic of the friction enhancing material being unaffected by exposure to the finishing operation.

13. A method according to claim 12, wherein the finishing operation is a chemical treatment process used to control and modify the surface grip of the glove.

14. A method according to claim 13, wherein the finishing operation comprises applying a non-powdered coating to the surface of the glove.

15. A method according to claim 12, including the further step of partially coating the glove in a polymer that enables easy-donning prior to carrying out the finishing operation.

16. A method according to claim 15, wherein the partial coating is carried out after application of the friction enhancing material, at least part of the friction enhancing material not being coated by the polymer.

17. A method according to claim 15, wherein the partial coating is carried out prior to application of the friction material, the polymer material extending all the way to the friction enhancing material.

18. A method according to claim 12, comprising the further step of applying a removable piece of liner material over the friction enhancing material to protect the friction enhancing material from pollution until ready for use.

Description:

The present invention relates to surgical gloves and the like and in particular to such gloves including anti roll down anti-rucking measures provided on the cuff of the glove.

Surgical gloves are designed with a smooth/slippery inner surface with the aim of making it easier for the wearer to don the glove. The gloves are designed to be worn over surgical gowns which were typically cotton based, but recently there have been significant advancements in the material for such gowns, including improvement in the impermeability of the materials achieved by treating the material with a hydrophobic moiety that improves the moisture repellent characteristics of the material. The materials from which surgical gloves are typically made have a tacky, adhesive quality, and in order to facilitate the fitting and removal of the gloves onto and from the hands of the user, the formed glove is treated or coated with a material which reduces the tack of or detackifies the surface thereof. However, an ongoing problem with existing glove and these newer gown designs is that the slippery surfaces of the gloves can give rise to a tendency for the cuff of the glove to move down the gown during use, exposing the woven cuff of the gown and hence presenting a risk of strike through of potentially infectious material.

In order to overcome this problem, gloves have been designed having textured wrist portions which are moulded into the material of the glove during the glove moulding process. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,095,293 discloses a moulded glove having a plurality of longitudinal channels moulded around the circumference of the wrist portion of the glove together with a plurality of circumferential grooves in the region of the mouth of the glove which is intended to operate to prevent roll down. However, this arrangement has the problem that the moulding of the grooves into the glove can cause a thinning of material around the wrist and cuff.

Applicants own earlier non-pre-published British patent application no. 0603438.3 discloses the use of masking material applied to an unfinished region of a glove cuff in order to mask the underlying material from the finishing operation and therefore maintain the tacky nature thereof. Subsequent removal of the masking material exposes the underlying tacky glove material which can then provide enhanced friction in contact with the sleeve of a gown.

According to the present invention there is provided a glove, in particular a surgical glove, comprising a hand portion and a cuff portion extending from the hand portion and terminating in a hand insertion opening, the cuff portion including a region of friction enhancing material applied to a surface of the cuff portion which, in use, will form the inside of the glove, the friction enhancing material having a degree of tack such that, in use, an increase in both the static and dynamic coefficient of friction at the glove-gown interface takes place, thereby preventing roll-down or rucking of the glove, the degree of tack being substantially unaffected by any finishing operations performed on the glove in order to reduce its tackiness, whereby, in use, the enhanced friction portion is contactable with the sleeve of a garment worn by the user so as to prevent roll-down or rucking of the glove.

A glove in accordance with the invention has the advantage that it provides an effective and reliable system for preventing roll down or rucking of the cuff portion of surgical gloves in a manner which also provides an additional barrier to prevent the ingress of matter between the cuff portion of the glove and the outer surface of the surgical gown.

Preferably, though not essentially, the friction enhancing material extends around the inner circumference of the cuff portion of the glove which may be in a band, so as, in use, to secure the glove to the sleeve of the garment around the entire periphery thereof. This has the advantage of anchoring the glove to the garment in a particularly secure and effective manner. However, the friction material may extend only partially around the cuff portion or may be applied as a discontinuous or broken band around the cuff portion.

The friction enhancing material may alternatively be a pressure sensitive material that displays a surface of moderate tack or no tack prior to its activation. Stimuli that result in activation of the material may include, albeit not exclusively, heat, gamma irradiation, specific wavelengths of light or exposure to certain chemicals which are present in the form of a gas. The material may also be microencapsulated. Once the glove is donned over the gown, the user applies pressure around the cuff area, which causes activation of the material, thereby rendering the cuff area tacky to an extent that the static and dynamic coefficient of friction at the glove-gown interface is increased i.e. providing friction enhancement with the gown.

Preferably, the friction enhancing material is polychloroprene, but other materials are also possible.

Additionally if required the friction enhancing material itself may be overlaid with a specific liner or release material, following the finishing operation, which protects the friction enhancing material, preventing it from sticking until required and from becoming polluted with dust, dirt etc, which might otherwise diminish its effectiveness, until ready for use whilst having a low adhesion to the friction enhancing material so as to be easily removable therefrom. The liner is then removed by the user once the glove has been fitted so as to expose the friction enhancing material for fastening to the sleeve of the gown. The liner material advantageously has identical or similar elastomeric properties to those of the glove so that it expands and contracts with the glove when stretched.

The friction enhancing material strip is formed of material which is separate from the glove material and applied to the surface of the glove at a suitable point after it has been formed, and possibly after a coating process whereby a suitable slip coating is applied to the glove before or after it has been fully dried or cured on line. The glove may or may not be then subjected to a finishing process with a suitable finishing material. The friction enhancing material may optionally be applied as either a solution, a gel, or in the molten state, with liner material or the like applied thereover as required to protect the friction enhancing material until ready for use.

In a particularly preferred embodiment, the friction enhancing material is spray applied using techniques familiar to those skilled in the art, and is of such formulation and suitable viscosity such that it is not destabilised and does not coagulate during spray application.

The present invention further provides a glove and gown assembly comprising a glove, in particular a surgical glove, comprising a hand portion and a cuff portion extending from the hand portion and terminating in a hand insertion opening, and a gown having an arm portion terminating in a sleeve, wherein the cuff portion of the glove has a region of friction enhancing material applied to a surface thereof which, in use, will form the inside of the glove, the friction enhancing material having a degree of tack such that, in use, it will stick to the sleeve of the gown to prevent roll-down/rucking of the glove, the degree of tack being substantially unaffected by a finishing operation performed on the glove in order to reduce its tackiness, whereby, in use, the friction enhancing material portion is contactable with the sleeve of gown so as to adhere the cuff portion of the glove thereto, thereby preventing roll-down/rucking of the glove.

The present invention still further provides a method of manufacture of a surgical glove comprising the steps of coating a former with material to form the glove, applying a friction enhancing material to the surface of the glove in the region of a cuff portion thereof, and carrying out a finishing operation on the glove which produces a smooth surface thereof whilst maintaining the tacky characteristic of the friction enhancing material.

Application of the friction enhancing material preferably takes place onto the wrist portion of the glove that has not been subjected to a finishing operation that produces a smooth surface thereof.

The method may also include the step of using of a ‘mask’ to control and confine the application of friction enhancing material to discrete areas of the glove surface, with the masking material being optionally a suitably absorbent material so as to minimise the opportunity for the friction enhancing material spray to re-bound and disturb the air flow/fluid flow from the spray gun.

In a further advantageous development the friction enhancing material is chilled prior to application to avoid evaporation and the formation of a surface film prior to application.

In order that the invention may be well understood, there will now be described some embodiments thereof.

A surgical glove according to the invention comprises integrally formed hand and cuff portions, the cuff portion terminating in a hand opening by means of which a user may insert a hand into the glove. The glove is manufactured according to normal procedures familiar to those experienced in the art using a former or mould on outer surface of which is formed a film of elastomeric material, such as latex, by straight or coagulant dipping, that is by dipping the former into a solution, after which the former is subsequently dipped into natural or synthetic latices, causing a reaction which results in coagulation of the material, forming a film on the former surface. The film is then dried before being peeled from the mould.

Provided on the cuff portion of the glove is a thin band of friction enhancing material, preferably polychloroprene (Neoprene-RTM), which extends around the circumference of the cuff, substantially parallel and proximate to the hand opening. Some, but not complete drying of the material, which is preferably latex, takes place before application of the polychloroprene, which is preferably applied using a specialised spray process. The polychloroprene applied by the spray process may form a film that is continuous or discontinuous in nature. The polychloroprene is preferably applied in a band of width of 25-45 mm which is 0-10 mm from the cuff opening (bead) of the glove. However, it is possible that the polychloroprene could be applied over a much larger area and could be sprayed over the entirety of the glove at this stage.

The polychloroprene is separate to the material(s) of the glove and has a tacky quality, at least with respect to the material(s) of a sleeve of a gown with which it is intended to be used, that tacky quality being substantially unaffected by any finishing operations applied to the material of the glove for any purpose, eg to reduce its level of tackiness.

Following application of the polychloroprene, a drying process may be used to dry the polychloroprene, after which the former may be dipped into a polymer coating that facilitates ‘easy-donning’ of the glove during use. More particularly, the glove may be dipped so that a region of the glove extending from the cuff opening is left un-coated by the polymer. More particularly, the glove may be dipped so that the polymer coating overlaps the polychloroprene material to a small degree, in particular only about the first 1-10% of the area of the band of polychloroprene material, the effective area of the polychloroprene material being left uncoated. This is the only stage in the manufacturing process where care is taken to ensure that the area on the glove to which polychloroprene has been applied remains, to a greater extent, uncoated or untreated.

The glove may be then subjected to manufacturing processes which are known to those skilled in the art, that is drying via heat treatment and subsequent leaching operations. The glove is then removed from the former before further processing may be performed on the glove eg chemical treatment processes to both control and modify the surface grip of the film, to modify the donning characteristics and to reduce residual chemical and particulate levels in or on the resultant glove. These finishing operations are performed on the whole glove, and include a suitable slip coating being applied to the whole glove, the surfaces of the glove being treated, for example chemically and/or with a non powdered material the result of which produces a smooth finish thereon. The adhesiveness of the friction enhancing material (polychloroprene) is, however, unaffected by this finishing operation so that its adhesion to the sleeve of a gown is maintained.

Following the finishing operation, the friction enhancing material may if required be overlaid with a release material so as to protect it from dust and dirt or the like until it is ready for use.

When the glove is ready for use, the user fits the glove onto the hand with the friction enhancing material on the inner surface and the cuff portion positioned to overlap the outer surface of the sleeve of the gown worn by the user. The friction enhancing material in the cuff region then acts so as to increase the static and dynamic coefficient of friction at the interface between the glove and gown. This results in the cuff of the glove being secured on the outer surface of the sleeve of the gown in a manner that prevents roll-down/rucking thereof.

In an alternative embodiment, the polychloroprene may be applied at a later stage in the manufacturing process than in the previous embodiment, in particular following dipping in the polymer that enables ‘easy-donning’, rather than prior to dipping in this polymer. This would result in there being no overlap between the polychloroprene coating and the donning aid polymer.

In an alternative solution to the problems addressed by the present invention, the adhesive material may be applied after the finishing operation rather than prior to it. In this embodiment, it is less important that the adhesive material be unaffected by the finishing operation.