US20070215634A1 - Individual containers for use in medical pad warming units - Google Patents

Individual containers for use in medical pad warming units Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070215634A1
US20070215634A1 US11375878 US37587806A US2007215634A1 US 20070215634 A1 US20070215634 A1 US 20070215634A1 US 11375878 US11375878 US 11375878 US 37587806 A US37587806 A US 37587806A US 2007215634 A1 US2007215634 A1 US 2007215634A1
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Prior art keywords
container
interior cavity
opening
means
medical
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Abandoned
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US11375878
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Andrew Levin
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Marda Medical
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Marda Medical
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/44Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests having means for cooling or heating the devices or media
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45DHAIRDRESSING OR SHAVING EQUIPMENT; MANICURING OR OTHER COSMETIC TREATMENT
    • A45D2200/00Details not otherwise provided for in A45D
    • A45D2200/10Details of applicators
    • A45D2200/1009Applicators comprising a pad, tissue, sponge, or the like
    • A45D2200/1018Applicators comprising a pad, tissue, sponge, or the like comprising a pad, i.e. a cushion-like mass of soft material, with or without gripping means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/33Controlling, regulating or measuring
    • A61M2205/3368Temperature
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/82Internal energy supply devices
    • A61M2205/8206Internal energy supply devices battery-operated
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/82Internal energy supply devices
    • A61M2205/8262Internal energy supply devices connectable to external power source, e.g. connecting to automobile battery through the cigarette lighter
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2209/00Ancillary equipment
    • A61M2209/06Packaging for specific medical equipment

Abstract

The present invention is directed towards insulated, portable containers designed to for use with a medical pad warming unit; particularly towards containers able to readily dispense individual medical pads, and most particularly toward portable containers which includes a heating system able to provide thermal energy to the portable containers when remotely located from the medical pad warming unit.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed towards portable containers designed to for use in a medical pad warming unit; particularly towards an insulated, hand-held containers able to readily dispense individual medical pads, and most particularly toward portable containers which includes a heating means that is able to maintain the individual medical pads at the desired temperature without needing to return the container to the medical pad warming unit.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • More than 90% of patients that are admitted to clinical care facilities have a venipuncture procedure performed. Perhaps the most frequently encountered problem associated with introducing a needle into the vein of a patient is the inability to consistently access the vein on the first attempt. This common problem is due to the wide variety of factors including; phlebotomist's experience and skill, location of the access site, the caliber and condition of the target vein, vasoconstriction related to shock, fear or low temperature.
  • Prior to performing venipuncture, the phlebotomist typically sterilizes the patient's skin using commercially available disposable anti-microbial medical pads or gauze. Typically these medical pads means are packaged for single use within a fluid impermeable package containing a pad pretreated with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol or betadine. These individual packages are frequently used in hospitals, physician's offices, ambulances, nursing homes, health departments, laboratories and other clinical facilities. Often these medical pads are stored together in a portable container constructed for easy transport to the patient's bedside or within a vehicle (i.e., ambulance).
  • Additionally, these individual packages are often stored at room temperature prior to use. As soon as the alcohol is applied to the pad, it begins to evaporate and cool the pad. The pad becomes cool to the touch and its initial cooling is enhanced by the continued evaporation of the alcohol on the skin. The application of the pad is often uncomfortable for the patient and it tends to make the veins constrict under the skin, known in the art as vasoconstriction, thereby making the drawing of blood sample more difficult.
  • In addition, vasoconstriction has been linked to; increased frustration and anxiety of both the patient and the clinician, increased discomfort and potential for pain, an increased number of intravenous attempts and increase in accidental needle-sticks and additional time and equipment spent on multiple attempts.
  • Phlebotomists have long recognized the enhanced ease of venous access in many patients by warming the intended puncture site. Current methods include warming the intended access site with a towel, alcohol pads, betadine pads or compress which is first warmed in a microwave oven, blanket, radiant warmer (i.e., heat lamp), chemical warm pack or hot water. However, the method of warming medical pads via a microwave oven, heated water source, or radiant warmer is potentially dangerous due largely to the inability to precisely control the temperature range of the water source or microwave oven, thus, increasing the risk of burning the patient. In addition, most commercially available medical pads are enclosed in foil-lined packages, presenting a fire and/or explosion hazard when placed in a microwave. Blanket warmers are considered ineffective as these large pieces of equipment are not readily portable and hospital approved for use as a blanket only, as they can produce electrical injury/shock or interference with other medical equipment. The use of room temperature medical pads after application of a chemical warm pack over the intended access site can cause a vascoconstrictive effect and require additional venipuncture attempts.
  • The medical warming pad apparatus disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,316,750 to the present inventor (herein incorporated by reference in its entirety) has effectively solved these aforementioned problems utilizing a simple and elegant tabletop insulated case designed to keep medical pads warm and in a condition ready for application over a period of hours. The insulated case includes a cover, multiple internal containers and a source of controlled heat to warm the medical pads housed within the containers. A strategic analysis done by Harvard University using the insulated case disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,316,750 discovered an impressive time and cost savings of more than $35,000/year for a facility that performs only 10 venipuncture procedures a day. Thus, a decrease in the number of intravenous attempts is more economical due to higher patient turnover, not to mention the benefits derived from increased patient and clinician satisfaction.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
  • A variety of methods and procedures have been described in the prior art for disposable pad or towellets heating apparatus.
  • For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,867,939 to Moore et al., disclose a disposable pad for controlling body temperature at selected areas for application. The pad includes a flexible fluid conduit for passage of source fluids, whether hot or cold, and a soft, absorbent, flexible covering with a surface that will neither stick nor slide when applied, for example, to an open wound. The absorbent covering may act either as an applicator of medicaments in combination with the conduit for temperature control, or it may be wetted with a sterile fluid to enhance the heat transfer relation between the conduit and area of application, or it may act as an absorbent bandage or dressing or as a surgical sponge. Unlike the present invention, this apparatus requires the manufacture of a complicated water tight, serpentine conduit layer making it expensive to produce commercially.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,872,593 to Behringer discloses an apparatus for the storage and dispensing of packaged adhesive bandages and similarly shaped flat packaged units. The dispenser includes a drive unit that may be powered either manually or electrically. A weight is provided to exert downward pressure against the bandages toward the cartridge floor. The apparatus requires a removable cartridge to hold the stack of packaged adhesive bandages and the weight. The apparatus also requires a roller with an elastic following finger attached to the roller so that when the roller is rotated the following finger frictionally engages the lowermost bandage in the stack.
  • The instant invention does not require an elastic following finger, as this is difficult to rotate as the elastic finger frictionally engages the inside surfaces of the base as well as the bandages as it completes a revolution, therefore, requiring more applied torque. The actuator of the instant invention is a simple and elegant design that eliminates the need for additional following finger, making is more economical to manufacture.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,495,402 to Burdick et al., disclose a warmer for heating wet dressings and other articles disposed in a combined heating and storage compartment in stacked relation so that the bottommost article is dispensed through an opening is at a proper temperature.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,210,396 to Sanders discloses a baby wipe warmer apparatus to receive a baby wipe box therein to heat baby wipes and includes a container heater assembly. The wipe container assembly includes a container body member with a container lid member pivotally connected thereto. The container heater assembly heats all sides of the baby wipe box. The container lid member has connector members whereupon it can be sealed to the container body member though zipper members or VELCRO fasteners. The main lid body has a central dispenser opening that can be closed by VELCRO fasteners or pen to allow dispensing of baby wipes therethrough. However, these patents fail to disclose an actuator, disposed proximate the opening, that is able to frictionally engage and urge one of wet dressings through the opening.
  • None of aforementioned prior art teach or suggest a portable medical pad dispenser able to store and dispense medical pads as desired. In addition, no known prior art discloses a portable medical pad dispenser further comprising a heating means for maintaining medical pads therein at the desired temperature.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention makes use of a portable container adapted to store and dispense medical pads stored therein. The portable container is stored within a medical warming pad holding system. The container comprising a body with an interior cavity having an upper access opening, the interior cavity constructed and arranged to accept different types or sizes of medical pad therein. The container having a lid attached to the body for movement between a first position providing at least partial access to the interior cavity of the container in order that additional medical pads may be placed within the interior cavity, and a second position at which the lid
  • The opening is constructed and arranged to allow passage of at least one of the medical pads therein. Moreover, the opening can be located between either the junction of lid and one of the sidewalls, or between the junction of one of the sidewalls and the bottom panel. The container includes an actuator disposed proximate the opening and adapted to frictionally engage and urge one of the medical pads through the opening. Moreover, the container includes at least one biasing means disposed within the interior cavity and attached to the container body opposite the opening, whereby the at least one biasing means exerts a force urging the medical pads toward the actuator such that the medical pad nearest the actuator is dispensable through the opening upon operation of the actuator by the user.
  • In one embodiment, the interior cavity of the container can include multiple compartments formed by dividing the interior cavity. Each compartment can include different types of medical pads therein. For example, the interior can be divided into two separate compartments, wherein one compartment includes individual medical pads containing alcohol or betadine and the other compartment includes flexible bandages (i.e., BAND-AID, packaged gauze). This configuration can be particularly advantageous as the clinician will be able to first dispense an alcohol or betadine pad from the first compartment for sterilizing the patient's venous access access site, then after removal of the needle, the clinician is can dispense a flexible bandage from the second compartment for immediate application to the punctured access site.
  • In another embodiment, the portable container includes a heating means in thermal communication with the container body for providing heat and maintaining the medical pads at a desired temperature, while the individual container is located outside the medical warming pad case. The heating means can be either an electrically conductive wire in thermal communication with the container body, or a fluid conduit system that substantially surrounds the container body. Moreover, the power source used to operate the actuator and/or heating means can be from either conventional 110 V AC power supply or 12 V DC (e.g., battery, vehicle cigarette lighter).
  • Accordingly, it is an objective of the instant invention to teach a dispenser able to dispense medical pads and/or bandages of various sizes.
  • Another objective of the instant invention is to teach a portable container able to accurately and reproducibly control the temperature of the medical pads housed therein.
  • It is yet another objective of the present invention to teach a disperser able to dispense at least two different types of individual medical pads (e.g., alcohol or betadine) and/or flexible bandages (i.e., BAND-AID).
  • Another objective of the instant invention is to provide a portable container that is economical to manufacture in that it has few components.
  • It is a further objective of the instant invention to teach a portable container able to warm the medical pads to a maximum temperature of about 131 degrees F. (55 degrees C.) and can be utilized on patients from neonates to geriatrics.
  • It is still another objective of the instant invention to provide one embodiment of the container having at least one easy to read LCD display able to show general operating instructions, cleaning instructions, calibration instructions, etc. In addition, the display can indicate to the user when container is empty and the “set” and “actual” temperatures of the container.
  • It is an additional objective of the instant invention to provide one embodiment of the container body having at least one control button or keypad.
  • It is a yet another objective of the instant invention to provide one embodiment of the container that includes a program or control logic able to receive inputs from the a key pad on the container body, such as the patient's age, wherein the program or control logic recommends an age appropriate temperature setting.
  • Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description, wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a stationary heated case used to house a plurality of insulated portable containers of the instant invention, wherein one the insulated containers is shown here removed from the case;
  • FIG. 2 a is an upper perspective view of one embodiment of the insulated portable container with attached lid in a first position thereby providing user access to the container's interior;
  • FIG. 2 b is an upper perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 2 a, demonstrating the attached lid in a second position precluding access to the container's interior with one medical pad extending from the container's opening;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiments in FIGS. 2 a-b, illustrating the medical pads biased against the actuator;
  • FIG. 4 is an upper perspective view of another embodiment of a gear-type actuator which can be used herein to urge medical pads through the container opening;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of a manual push-button type actuator which can be used herein to urge medical pads through the container opening;
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of yet another embodiment of an automated actuator which can be used herein to urge medical pads through the container opening;
  • FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the insulated portable container of FIGS. 1-2 b in thermal communication with an electrical heating system;
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram illustrating the interrelationship between the heating components and the power supply for the insulated portable container of FIGS. 1-2 b;
  • FIG. 9 is an view of the insulated portable container of FIGS. 1-2 b as seen from the top, the container in thermal communication with an fluid conduit heating system;
  • FIG. 10 is an upper perspective view of the container of FIGS. 1-2 b with hinged lid, inside a container holder, wherein the container body includes control buttons and displays;
  • FIG. 11 is an upper perspective view of the container of FIG. 10 demonstrating the user loading the container with additional medical pads;
  • FIG. 12 is yet another embodiment of the container as seen from the top, with multiple compartments constructed and arranged to house medical pads of various sizes.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Detailed embodiments of the instant invention are disclosed herein, however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific functional and structural details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1-12, wherein like elements are numbered consistently throughout, FIG. 1 illustrates an exploded perspective view of a stationary heated case 10 constructed and arranged to house a plurality of insulated portable containers 12, shown here with one portable container removed from the case. Each of the portable containers 12 are capable of storing a plurality of commercially available medical pads 14 (FIG. 2) of various sizes therein.
  • The heated case 10 includes internal heat source (not shown) used to provide controlled heat to the medical pads (e.g., alcohol pads, betadine pads, flexible bandages or the like). The portable containers 12 allow the user to readily transport the warmed medical pads to various locations, (e.g., patient's room, operating room, ambulance, etc.) Preferably, the medical pads are hermetically sealed containing a disposable, absorbent material impregnated with at least one anti-microbial component (e.g., alcohol, betadine, etc.,). However, the medical pads could include flexible bandages (i.e., BAND-AID), unpackaged pads, or gauze saturated with at least one anti-microbial component.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an upper perspective view of one embodiment of the portable container separated from the interior of the stationary heated case 10. By way of an overview, the portable containers include a container body 16 with an integrally formed actuator 20 for frictionally engaging and urging a medical pad through an opening 42 in the container, see FIG. 2 b. The interior of the container includes at least one biasing means 22 disposed opposite the opening, whereby the biasing means exerts a force urging the medical pads toward the actuator. In addition, the container includes an insulating lid 14 able to be positioned over the container opening.
  • Specifically, as shown in FIGS. 2 a-2 b the container comprises a body defined by a first end 26, a second end 28 in spaced apart relation along a longitudinal axis thereof, and at least two pairs of opposing insulated sidewall panels 30, 32, 34, 36 each of which are integrally attached to a bottom panel 38 located at the second end, thereby defining an interior cavity 40 with an upper access opening 42 (FIG. 2 b). The interior cavity 40 is constructed and arranged to accept at least one medical pad 14 therein.
  • The insulated lid 14 is attached to the container body for movement between a first position (FIG. 2 a) at which the lid provides at least partial access to the interior cavity such that the medical pads may be placed within said interior cavity, and a second position (FIG. 2 b) wherein the lid precludes access to the interior, thereby reducing possible contamination of the container's interior and provide additional insulation.
  • The container body further includes an opening 42 (FIG. 2 b) constructed and arranged to allow passage of a least a portion of one of the medical pads outside the interior cavity such that the user can easily grip the external portion of the medical pad. In the embodiments of FIGS. 2 a-6, the opening is shown located between the lid and one of the sidewalls, however, the opening can be located between one of the sidewalls and the bottom panel for dispensing the medical pads proximate the bottom of the container (not shown).
  • FIGS. 3-6 illustrate different types of actuators that can be used in the instant invention. Each actuator is disposed proximate the opening 42 and constructed and arranged to frictionally engage and urge one of the medical pads therethrough.
  • In the embodiment of FIGS. 2 a-3, the actuator is shown as simply a roller 44 that partially extends into the interior cavity 40 of the container. The roller is formed from, or externally coated with a heat resistant elastic material designed to frictionally engage and urge the nearest of the medical pads through the opening upon counter-clockwise rotation of the external portion of the roller by the user's finger or thumb.
  • Examples of heat-resistant elastic material include, albeit not limited to, natural rubber, synthetic rubber, silicon, mixtures or combinations thereof. Moreover, the elastic material can include ridges or other means of gripping, such as knurling (not shown) that will allow the user to easily rotate the roller.
  • In an alternative embodiment not shown, the actuator 20 could comprise a lever that, like the roller, partially extends into the interior cavity. One end of the lever inside the cavity is coated with the heat-resistant elastic material to engage the medical pad. The user simply moves the external portion of the lever up to push the medical pads therethrough.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a different actuator as seen from an upper perspective view, the actuator 20 comprises a toothed member 46 shown as a first circular gear that partially extends into the interior cavity of the container. The first circular gear is rotatably attached to the inner surfaces of opposing sidewalls of the container by an axle 114. The first circular gear is in operable connection with a second circular gear member 48 also rotatably attached to the inner surface of the container by an axle 116. The second gear member is in turn, integrally connected via the axle 116 to elastic roller 44 like the one in FIGS. 1-2 b, whereby rotation of first gear by the user causes the second gear member to rotate and frictionally engage and urge the nearest of the medical pads through the container opening.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a manual push-button configuration. In this embodiment the toothed member 46 is depicted as a rod with a button portion 50 located external to, and outwardly biased by a spring 52 that acts against the exterior surface of the container body. The toothed member includes a toothed portion 54 located within the interior cavity, wherein the toothed portion engages and rotates a second gear member 48, rotatably attached to opposing sidewalls of the container by an axle 116, similar to FIG. 4. Thus, when the user manually presses the button portion toward the exterior surface of the container, (i.e. inwardly) a single medical pad is extracted from the container's interior.
  • The embodiments of FIGS. 4 and 5, are advantageous as these configurations reduce direct contact by the user into the interior cavity of the container, hence, reducing the likelihood of contaminating the medical pads contained therein. In the aforementioned embodiments of FIGS. 4 and 5, although not shown herein, the second gear member and roller could be formed as single a combination smooth and toothed roller, whereby the toothed member engages the toothed portion of the roller and the smooth portion acts to frictionally engage the medical pads.
  • In another embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the actuator is an elastic roller 44 similar to the aforementioned embodiments, the roller is operatively connected to an electric motor 56 in electrical communication through a circuit (not shown) with a power source (e.g., car battery, rechargeable batteries, 110/120 V) via a switch 58 partially located within the interior cavity of the container. The actuator is derived by the electric motor by a pulley 118 as well known in the art. The actuator further includes an interruption means 60 to interrupt the power from the power source to the electric motor. Preferably, the interrupting means is a pin 60 integrally attached to the roller and projects along the axis of rotation of the roller, whereby rotation of the roller through one complete revolution causes the pin to trip the switch 58 and open the circuit such that power to the motor is disrupted. Thus, when a medical pad is desired the user simply presses the switch inward thereby completing the circuit, which causes the roller to rotate one complete revolution and stop, automatically expelling a single medical pad.
  • All of the aforesaid embodiments herein include at least one biasing means 22 is disposed within the interior cavity. The biasing means are attached to interior surfaces of the container body opposite the opening. The biasing means exerts a force urging the medical pads toward the actuator 20 such that the medical pad nearest the actuator is dispensable through the opening upon operation of the actuator by the user. The biasing means is shown in FIGS. 1-6 as a helical spring, however, any functionally equivalent means of biasing the medical pads can be used, for instance, a leaf spring.
  • Further, the biasing means are attached to or retained within the container body by any means known in the art, for example, albeit not limited to, recesses, capture means, welding, adhesives, etc. The other end of the biasing means may be retained directly against the medical pads or against a follower plate 62, by any means of attachment known in the art. The follower plate is disposed within the interior cavity and sized to substantially extend the distance of the inner surface of the opposing sidewalls, such that the biasing means exerts a force between the container body and the follower plate.
  • In the embodiments of FIGS. 3-6, the lid 24 is attached to the container body by at least one pivot means shown here as hinges 64, however pins, axles or any other functionally equivalent structure known in the art can be used without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • Alternatively, as shown in FIGS. 2 a-2 b, the lid could be slidingly attached to first end 26 of the container body. In one embodiment, the upper periphery of one pair of opposing sidewalls includes a channel 66 constructed and arranged to receive the width of the lid 24, so that lid is readily translated by the user between a first position and a second position along the at least one pair of opposing sidewall channels.
  • Conversely, it is contemplated herein that the outer periphery of the lid could include a channel constructed and arranged to receive a projection integrally connected to one pair of opposing sidewalls for translation between the first and second position along the projections (not shown). When the opening is located between the lid and the container sidewall, these embodiments allow the user to adjust the position of the lid to provide the desired sized opening to expel the medical pads housed therein.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 7-8, the portable containers of any of the aforementioned embodiments can further include a heating system with various heating means in thermal communication with the container body for maintaining the medical pads therein at a desired temperature when located outside the stationary heated case 2.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the heating means comprises an electrically conductive wire 72 embedded within, and substantially surrounding the container body 16. At least one of the sidewalls, bottom panel, follower or lid can made of, or comprise a thermally conductive layer (i.e., aluminum) well known to those skilled in the art. In addition, at least one of the sidewalls, bottom panel, follower or lid could made of, or comprise a thermally-insulated outer layer 70 well known in the art (i.e., plastic).
  • The heating system further includes a releasable connector means 74 and a means for supplying power 76 to the electrically conductive wire 72 via the releasable connector means. In one embodiment, the means for supplying power includes a power wire connected at a first end to the releasable connector means and a second end adapted to connect to a vehicle cigarette lighter to link the heating system to an automobile's 12 Volt DC power supply, as well known in the art. This configuration is useful when the container is transported in a vehicle (i.e., ambulance) and the temperature falls below that desired, for example 90° F. The releasble connector include an transformer/adapter so that the user can place the means for supplying power into a standard AC/DC electrical outlet (not shown) when not connected to a vehicle cigarette lighter.
  • In addition, the means for supplying power could include comprises a battery unit 78. The battery unit could be embedded within anywhere in the container body 16 such that it is accessible to the user via an access panel (not shown) and include the appropriate batteries. Preferably, the batteries would be rechargeable by the means for supplying power 76.
  • In particularly preferred embodiment the heating system of FIGS. 7-8, includes a temperature control means. The temperature control means includes at least one power switch 82 in electrical communication with the means for supplying power 76. The switch is positional between the open and closed position to regulate the flow of electricity to the electrically conductive wire 72. Moreover, the switch 82 can be located anywhere on the container body and can be configured to turn the heating means off when the container body is placed within the stationary heated case 2.
  • Preferably, the temperature control system includes at least one thermostat 102. The thermostat (only one is shown) is electrical communication with the means to supply power 76, switch 82, and at least one temperature setting means 84 in by electrical circuit shown in FIG. 8. The thermostat acts to regulate the supply of electrical current through the electrically conductive wire 72. That is, when the temperature measured by the thermostat inside the interior cavity rises above the desired temperature entered by the user through the temperature setting means 84, the thermostat interrupts the flow of electricity by opening the switch 82, breaking the connection to the conductive wire.
  • In alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 9, the heating means comprises a fluid conduit system in thermal communication with the container body. The conduit system includes conduit 120 embedded within the container (FIG. 9) or it can surround the outside of the container body (not shown). The fluid conduit system has a fluidic inlet 86 for receiving a heated fluid and a fluidic outlet 88 for discharging the heated fluid from the conduit system. The fluid conduit system includes a first connection means 90 for releasably attaching the fluid inlet to a supply hose 92 commonly found a vehicle engine coolant system (shown generally as 94) and a second releasable connection means 96 for releasably attaching the fluid outlet 88 with a return hose 98 found in the engine coolant system 94.
  • As with the electrical heating system described with respect to FIGS. 7-8, the fluid conduit system can include a temperature control means comprising a temperature control valve 100 located in fluid communication with the first connection means 90 and translates between an “open” and a “closed” position to regulate the flow of heated fluid through the conduit 120 based upon the output of at least one thermostat 102 inside the interior cavity. The temperature control means having at least one temperature setting means 84 in electrical communication with at least one of the thermostats 102.
  • As with the previous embodiment, the temperature setting means 84 is in electrical communication with a power switch 82 and the thermostat 102. This simple configuration allows the user to set and adjust the temperature control means to the desired temperature. Preferably, the temperature control system is liked to the vehicle cigarette lighter in electrical communication with an automobile's 12 Volt DC power supply to regulate the position of temperature control valve.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, any of abovementioned heating systems with the temperature setting means 84 can include least one control button or keypad located on the container body, wherein the user enters the desired temperature. An example of some control buttons include, albeit not limited to, a “SET” button 122, “UP” arrow button 124, “DOWN” arrow button 126 and “STANDBY” button 134.
  • The user can change the temperature in the following manner:
      • 1) Press “SET” button 122;
      • 2) Press “UP” arrow button 124 to increase temperature;
      • 3) Press “DOWN” arrow button 126 to decrease temperature;
      • 4) Press “SET” button when desired temperature displays on an liquid crystal display (LCD) 110;
  • wherein the LCD can prompt the user through the steps 1-4 above while indicating the “SET” temperature and the “ACTUAL” temperature.
  • Moreover, the program or control logic can receive inputs entered by these control buttons or keypad such as the patient's age, wherein the program or control logic shows the recommend an age appropriate temperature setting on the LCD. The program or control logic could also include a non-volatile memory means used to store and display general operating instructions, cleaning instructions, inspection and maintenance instructions or other additional instructions.
  • Moreover, the container can include a plurality of LCDs or different colored LEDs that indicate when the desired “set” temperature entered by the user, is reached and an “actual” temperature, as measured by the thermostat 102. For example, a green LED 130 will light when the temperature control means is on and warming to desired temperature. A yellow LED light 132 indicates the container's interior has reached the desire temperature.
  • Furthermore, as shown in FIGS.7 and 9, the interior cavity can include a position sensor 112 situated proximate the opening and arranged to detect the follower 62 once it reaches a location near the opening. The position sensor can be electrical communication with the control logic/program which can then display “REFILL” or the like on the LCD 110, thereby indicating to the user that container is empty or nearly empty of medical pads.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, the heating system could further comprise a container holder 80 constructed and arranged to retain the container body 16 in a substantially vertical, or upright position. The holder is constructed and arranged such that is can be either mounted within an automobile or placed on a tabletop. Furthermore, the holder can be adapted to house the releasable connector means 74 to provide electrical communication to the heating system and/or rechargeable batteries from the means for supplying power 76.
  • In another embodiment shown in FIG. 12, the portable container can dispense different types of medical pads therein. For example, the interior cavity can be divided into a plurality of separate compartments 104, 106 constructed and arranged to accept different types of medical pads. The compartments each having an actuator 20A, 20B located proximate an opening to the exterior, to frictionally engage and urge one of the medical pads contained in the compartment through the opening.
  • Each of the compartments includes at least one biasing means 52 disposed therein, opposite the opening. This design allows the user to transport two different medical pads therein. For instance, the clinician can first dispense an appropriate anti-microbial medical pad from a first compartment of the container that is used to swab the venous access site prior to performing venipuncture. Next, the clinician can dispense a flexible bandage contained in a second compartment of container to protect the access site.
  • Moreover, any of aforementioned embodiments of the container can include an indention 134 molded into the container body proximate the opening for receiving the user's finger or thumb during the dispensing operation, see for example FIG. 2 a-b.
  • As shown in FIG. 11, when loading any of the disclosed embodiments with additional medical pads, the user can merely place the lid at the second position and use one of their fingers (i.e., thumb) to urge the biasing means and/or follower toward the sidewall of the container to which it is attached. The other hand can then place the new medical pads in the cavity between the follower and the opening.
  • It is to be understood that while a certain form of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not to be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings/figures. One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as those inherent therein. The embodiments, methods, procedures and techniques described herein are presently representative of the preferred embodiments, are intended to be exemplary and are not intended as limitations on the scope. Changes therein and other uses will occur to those skilled in the art which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and are defined by the scope of the appended claims. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention as claimed should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. Indeed, various modifications of the described modes for carrying out the invention which are obvious to those skilled in the art are intended to be within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (26)

  1. 1. A portable container adapted to store and dispense medical pads housed therein, said portable container capable of being stored within a medical warming pad holding system, said container comprising:
    a body defined by a first end, a second end in spaced apart relation along a longitudinal axis thereof, and at least two pairs of opposing sidewall panels, each of said sidewall panels being integrally attached to a bottom panel at said second end, thereby defining an interior cavity, said interior cavity constructed and arranged to accept at least one medical pad therein;
    a lid attached to said body for movement between;
    (1) a first position at which said lid provides at least partial access to said interior cavity of said container in order that additional medical pads may be placed within said interior cavity; and
    (2) a second position at which said lid substantially covers said interior cavity;
    an opening being constructed and arranged to allow passage of at least one of said medical pads enclosed within said interior cavity to a location whereby at least a portion of said medical pads extend outside said interior cavity, said opening located between either said lid and one of said sidewalls, or one of said sidewalls and said bottom panel;
    an actuator disposed proximate said opening, said actuator constructed and arranged to frictionally engage and urge one of said medical pads through said opening; and
    at least one biasing means disposed within said interior cavity and attached to said container body opposite said opening, whereby said at least one biasing means exerts a force urging said medical pads toward said actuator;
    wherein said medical pad nearest said actuator is dispensable through said opening upon operation of said actuator by the user.
  2. 2. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, further comprising at least one follower plate disposed within said interior cavity and sized to substantially extend the distance of the inner surface of said opposing sidewalls, wherein said at least one biasing means exerts a force between said container body and said at least one follower plate to push said medical pads toward said opening.
  3. 3. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, wherein said lid is attached to said container body by at least one pivot means.
  4. 4. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, wherein the upper periphery of said at least one pair of opposing sidewalls includes a channel constructed and arranged to receive the width of said lid, whereby said lid is readily translated by the user between said first position and said second position along said at least one pair of opposing sidewall channels.
  5. 5. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, wherein the outer periphery of said lid includes a channel constructed and arranged to receive a projection integrally connected to at least one pair of opposing sidewalls, whereby said lid is readily translated by the user between said first position and said second position along said at least one pair of opposing sidewall projections.
  6. 6. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, wherein said actuator comprises a roller which partially extends into said interior cavity, wherein said roller is composed of an elastic material that frictionally engages and urges the nearest of said medical pads through said opening upon rotation of the external portion of said actuator.
  7. 7. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, wherein said actuator comprises a toothed member which partially extends into said interior cavity, said actuator further comprising a roller with integrally connected gear member, said gear member in operable connection with said toothed member, whereby movement of said toothed member by the user causes said gear member to rotate and said roller to frictionally engage and urge the nearest of said medical pads through said opening upon rotation of the external portion of said actuator.
  8. 8. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 7, wherein said toothed member is a rod with button portion located external to, and outwardly biased against said container body and a toothed portion located within said interior cavity, wherein said toothed portion engages and rotates said gear member when said button portion is pressed inwardly by the user.
  9. 9. The individual portable container as set forth in claim 1, wherein said actuator includes a roller operatively connected to an electric motor in electrical communication with a switch, said roller includes a pin projecting therefrom, whereby rotation of said roller through one complete revolution causes said pin to trip said switch so that power to said motor is disrupted, thereby automatically expelling a single individually-packaged medical pad.
  10. 10. A portable container with corresponding heating system adapted to store, dispense and maintain medical pads housed therein at the desired temperature, said portable container capable of being stored within a medical warming pad holding system, said container comprising:
    a body defined by a first end, a second end in spaced apart relation along a longitudinal axis thereof, and at least two pairs of two opposing sidewall panels, each of said sidewall panels being integrally attached to a bottom panel at said second end, thereby defining an interior cavity with an upper access opening, said interior cavity constructed and arranged to accept at least one medical pad therein;
    a lid attached to said body for movement between;
    (1) a first position at which said lid provides at least partial access to said interior cavity of said container in order that additional medical pads may be placed within said interior cavity; and
    (2) a second position at which said lid substantially covers said access opening;
    an opening being constructed and arranged to allow passage of at least one of said medical pads enclosed within said interior cavity to a location whereby at least a portion of said medical pads extend outside said interior cavity, said opening located between either said lid and one of said sidewalls, or one of said sidewalls and said bottom panel;
    an actuator disposed proximate said opening, said actuator constructed and arranged to frictionally engage and urge one of said medical pads through said opening;
    at least one biasing means disposed within said interior cavity and attached to said container body opposite said opening, whereby said at least one biasing means exerts a force urging said medical pads toward said actuator; and
    a heating system including a heating means in thermal communication with said container body for providing thermal energy to said medical pads housed with said container body;
    wherein said medical pad nearest said actuator is dispensable through said opening upon operation of said actuator by the user.
  11. 11. The portable container as set forth in claim 10, wherein said heating system further includes,
    a means for supplying power to said heating means in series with a switch that translates between an open and a closed position to regulate the flow of electricity to said heating means, and a releasable connector means,
    wherein said heating means is an electrically conductive wire in thermal communication with said container body.
  12. 12. The portable container as set forth in claim 11, wherein said means for supplying power comprises an electrically conductive line adapted to connect at a first end to said releasable connector means and a second end adapted to connect to a vehicle cigarette lighter.
  13. 13. The portable container as set forth in claim 11, wherein said means for supplying power comprises an electrically conductive line adapted to connect at a first end to said releasable connector means and a second end adapted to connect to a standard 110/120 VAC electrical outlet.
  14. 14. The portable container as set forth in claim 11, wherein said means for supplying power comprises batteries.
  15. 15. The portable container as set forth in claim 11, wherein said means for supplying power comprises rechargeable batteries.
  16. 16. The portable container as set forth in claim 11, wherein said heating system further comprises a container holder for housing said releasable connector means in electrical communication with said means for supplying power and retaining said container body substantially upright therein.
  17. 17. The portable container as set forth in claim 11, wherein said electrically conductive wire is embedded within, and substantially surrounds said container body.
  18. 18. The portable container as set forth in claim 10, wherein said heating system further includes a temperature control system comprising:
    a switch in electrical communication with means for supplying power which translates between an open and a closed position to regulate the flow of electricity to said heating means; and
    at least one thermostat that extends into said interior cavity and said at least one thermostat being in communication with said switch means for maintaining said interior cavity at a desirable temperature by regulating the flow of electricity to said heating means.
  19. 19. The portable container as set forth in claim 18, wherein said temperature control system further includes at least one LCD display that shows a “set” temperature and an “actual” temperature, said display located on the outer surface of said container body.
  20. 20. The portable container as set forth in claim 18, wherein said temperature control system further comprises at least one temperature setting means located on said container body and allows the user to set said temperature control system to the desired temperature.
  21. 21. The portable container as set forth in claim 10, wherein said heating means comprises a fluid conduit system that substantially surrounds said container body, said fluid conduit system comprising a fluidic inlet for receiving a heated fluid and an fluidic outlet for discharging said heated fluid.
  22. 22. The portable container as set forth in claim 21, wherein said fluid conduit system further comprises a first connection means for releasably attaching said fluid inlet to a supply hose in a vehicle engine coolant system and a second releasable connection means for releasably attaching said fluid outlet with a return hose in said engine coolant system.
  23. 23. The portable container as set forth in claim 22, wherein said heating system further includes a temperature control system comprising:
    a temperature control valve located in fluid communication with said first connection means which translates between an open and a closed position to regulate the flow of fluid to said fluid conduit system; and
    at least one thermostat that extends into said interior cavity and having adjustment means for maintaining said interior cavity at a desirable temperature, said thermostat being connected to the vehicle electrical system and regulating the supply of electrical current to said temperature control valve for translating said temperature control valve between said open and closed position.
  24. 24. The portable container as set forth in claim 23, wherein said container body further comprises a LCD display that shows a “set” temperature and an “actual” (operating) temperature.
  25. 25. The portable container as set forth in claim 23, wherein said temperature control system further comprises at least one temperature setting means located on said container body and allows the user to set said temperature control system to the desired temperature.
  26. 26. A portable container adapted to store and dispense different types of medical pads therein, said portable container capable of being stored within a medical warming pad holding system, said container comprising:
    a body defined by a first end, a second end in spaced apart relation along a longitudinal axis thereof, and at least two pairs of two opposing sidewall panels, each of said sidewall panels being integrally attached to a bottom panel at said second end, thereby defining an interior cavity with an upper access opening, said interior cavity divided into a plurality of separate compartments each compartment having a corresponding opening, wherein each of said compartments are constructed and arranged to accept different types of medical pads therein;
    a lid attached to said body for movement between;
    (1) a first position at which said lid provides at least partial access to said interior cavity of said container in order that additional medical pads may be placed within said interior cavity; and
    (2) a second position at which said lid substantially covers said access opening;
    at least one opening being constructed and arranged to allow passage of at least one of said medical pads enclosed within each said compartment of said interior cavity to a location whereby at least a portion of said medical pads extend outside said interior cavity, said opening located between either said lid and one of said sidewalls, or one of said sidewalls and said bottom panel, said opening;
    one actuator in communication with each of said at least compartment and located proximate said opening, said actuator constructed and arranged to frictionally engage and urge one of said medical pads contained within each of said compartments through said at least one opening; and
    at least one biasing means disposed within said each one of said compartments and attached to said container body opposite said at least one opening, whereby said at least one biasing means exerts a force urging said medical pads toward said actuator;
    wherein said medical pad nearest said actuator is dispensable through said opening upon operation of said actuator by the user.
US11375878 2006-03-15 2006-03-15 Individual containers for use in medical pad warming units Abandoned US20070215634A1 (en)

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PCT/US2007/006582 WO2007106578A3 (en) 2006-03-15 2007-03-15 Individual containers for use in medical pad warming units

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US20140253519A1 (en) * 2013-03-08 2014-09-11 Michael David Expandable diameter stylus
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US20160236506A1 (en) * 2015-02-14 2016-08-18 Kristin Michelle Davis Writing Instrument Having A Replaceable Sleeve
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US20080230554A1 (en) * 2007-03-23 2008-09-25 Randolph Maryann Chewing gum dispenser
US20080308571A1 (en) * 2007-04-10 2008-12-18 Ehud Rattner Adhesive Bandage Dispenser
US20110114660A1 (en) * 2007-11-15 2011-05-19 Sca Hygiene Products Ab Dispenser for absorbent articles
US8785819B2 (en) 2008-04-25 2014-07-22 Stephen J. Madigan Device for heating products used in sexual activities
WO2009132323A2 (en) * 2008-04-25 2009-10-29 Madigan Stephen J Device for heating products used in sexual activities
WO2009132323A3 (en) * 2008-04-25 2010-02-04 Madigan Stephen J Device for heating products used in sexual activities
US20110174798A1 (en) * 2008-04-25 2011-07-21 Madigan Stephen J Device for Heating Products Used in Sexual Activities
US9427120B1 (en) * 2011-07-28 2016-08-30 Kenny D. Valentine System and method for creating currency rain
US20140253519A1 (en) * 2013-03-08 2014-09-11 Michael David Expandable diameter stylus
US9463412B2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2016-10-11 Makefield Llc Dispensing systems with supplemental functions
US20140277707A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-09-18 Makefield Llc Dispensing systems with supplemental functions
US20160051100A1 (en) * 2013-03-28 2016-02-25 Sca Hygiene Products Ab Sheet product dispenser
US20150088235A1 (en) * 2013-09-25 2015-03-26 Marda Medical, Inc. Device and method for warming and sterilizing skin for vein access
US20160236506A1 (en) * 2015-02-14 2016-08-18 Kristin Michelle Davis Writing Instrument Having A Replaceable Sleeve

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Owner name: MARDA MEDICAL, FLORIDA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LEVIN, ANDREW;REEL/FRAME:017689/0403

Effective date: 20060201