US20090166306A1 - Delivery channel - Google Patents

Delivery channel Download PDF

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US20090166306A1
US20090166306A1 US12/346,991 US34699108A US2009166306A1 US 20090166306 A1 US20090166306 A1 US 20090166306A1 US 34699108 A US34699108 A US 34699108A US 2009166306 A1 US2009166306 A1 US 2009166306A1
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frame support
support
delivery channel
attached
medical instrument
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Abandoned
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US12/346,991
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David J. Ahearn
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Ahearn David J
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Ahearn David J
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Priority to US1782307P priority Critical
Application filed by Ahearn David J filed Critical Ahearn David J
Priority to US12/346,991 priority patent/US20090166306A1/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G15/00Operating chairs; Dental chairs; Accessories specially adapted therefor, e.g. work stands
    • A61G15/14Dental work stands; Accessories therefor
    • A61G15/16Storage, holding or carrying means for dental handpieces or the like

Abstract

The present invention is a delivery channel is configured movement while maintaining a consistent orientation of items attached thereto. The delivery channel includes a frame support with a front plate attached thereto. The front plate includes at least one means for holding a medical instrument and at least one control mechanism for the medical instrument. The at least one means for holding medical instrument and the at least one control mechanism are attached to the front plate to facilitate a consistent orientation during movement of frame support. A support body engages an aperture defined within the frame support and is configured for engaging a support post attached to an object. In operation, the at least one means for holding medical instrument and the at least one control mechanism are in a consistent orientation relative to one another during movement of the frame support.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is related to and claims priority from earlier filed provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/017,823, filed Dec. 31, 2007 and incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a new delivery channel or control box configured for movement while maintaining a consistent orientation of items attached thereto. In addition, the delivery channel provides a simple and convenient design for usage in a medical or dental office.
  • In the prior art, there exists a need for powered hand-pieces and suction utilities easily accessible to the doctor(s) and assistants performing a procedure on a patient. In the prior art, these hand-pieces are attached via an arm mounted to the patient chair, a side wall, a rear cabinet or to a central control unit via flexible umbilicals. On the central control unit, there are controls (speed, pressure, voltage, etc.) and gauges/digital displays which must be visible and manually accessible to the users. The hand-pieces, utilities, controls, control box and supply lines must be mounted in a manner allowing full function while taking up as little operatory room space as possible. The space concerns are particularly important in the zone immediately surrounding the patient.
  • Depending on whether the operator is right or left hand dominant, the specifics of the dental or medical procedure and the anatomy of the patient, there exists a need to change the orientation of the controls, gauges, and hand-pieces relative to the mounting cart. In the prior art, as illustrated in FIG. 1, this orientation change involves rearranging intersecting swing arms 40, 50 while managing a jumble of umbilical cords and hand-pieces. Ideally, it requires two operators to accomplish the change to avoid dropping and contaminating or damaging expensive hand-pieces.
  • During dental or medical operatory procedures, the operators must have ready access to hand-piece and suction utility control knobs. The ability to clearly see and operate these controls is essential to safe and efficient practice. Mistakes in initiation or adjustment of controls could have negative consequences, for the patient, the operator, or both, during operatory procedures. Similarly, there are gauges and digital readouts which must be easily and clearly visualized for safe and efficient operatory procedures.
  • In the prior art, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the control box 10 is mounted in a recessed location with intimate proximity to the underside of an overhanging work surface in units with remote hand-pieces or as part of a large, integrated unit behind the patient. For example, Dentalez Group manufactures a control unit or box 10 and cart 20 identified as their NextGen Carts, see FIG. 1, which illustrates how the control box 10 is mounted to a cart 20 in the prior art. This recessed, or behind the patient, location makes it impossible for the operator to actually see control knobs without bending over to peer under the work surface or turning around. In a normal, seated operatory position, it would be very easy for an operator to accidentally turn the wrong knob or actuate an unintended switch with unfortunate results. As with the control knobs, the recessed mounting location of the prior art makes it impossible for the operator to see essential gauges and digital displays while seated in their normal operatory positions.
  • In a dental or medical operatory environment, the linear counter, under counter, and wall space is very limited. The linear space within the, ergonomically acceptable, reach of the operator is especially restricted. In the prior art, illustrated in FIG. 1, control knobs 30 are oriented in a linear fashion. Their housing occupies approximately 16 to 22 inches of available space, albeit in an awkward location. Their hand-piece support arms/brackets 40, 50 with holders 42, 52 use an additional, approximately, twelve to eighteen inches (12 to 18 inches) of prime linear space.
  • A fundamental principle of Human Factors Engineering, coupled with sound ergonomic design, suggests that the reduction of control surface variables during complicated and/or stressful procedures reduces the likelihood of mistakes and reduces operator stress. For example, it would be difficult to operate an automobile safely if the brake and accelerator pedals sometimes swapped locations with each other. Similarly, during dental or medical operatory procedures, it is important to keep hand-pieces located at a consistent relationship to their control knobs/switches to minimize operator error.
  • In the prior art, as illustrated in FIG. 1, when the hand-pieces 60, 70 and suction utility support arms 40, 50 are swapped to accommodate right/left orientation changes, the relationship of the hand-pieces 60,70 to their control knobs or switches 30 is significantly reconfigured. In one orientation, a hand-piece control knob 30 might be the closest knob to that hand-piece 60, 70 and its resting location. In another orientation, that same control knob 30 might be six knobs away from the applicable hand-piece 60, 70. This varying physical relationship compounded by the visibility issues described above, increases operator stress and increases the likelihood of errors every time the orientation is changed.
  • In a dental or medical operatory environment, in order to function, hand-pieces and suction utilities 60, 70 must have an arm or umbilical connection from the terminal device to their origination control box 10. Ideally, these umbilical connections 80 should be short enough to minimize cord jumble and tangling while still being long enough to be conveniently usable by the operating operator.
  • In the prior art, as illustrated in FIG. 1, there are multiple problems regarding the design dictated umbilical lengths and their origination points. Their hand-piece umbilicals 80 need to be extremely long, approximately six feet or more, because of the fixed location of the control box 10. Another factor necessitating this extremely long length is the need to couple the umbilicals to the rear bottom of the control box 10 in order to clear the swinging support arms 40, 50. The umbilicals 80 need to be extra long to allow for the swinging support arms 40, 50 to move from an extreme left to an extreme right orientation. These long umbilicals 80 can drag on the operatory floor or entangle the operator's feet.
  • Additionally, in the prior art, these long supply lines are prone to developing bio-film. Bio-film is an undesirable organic growth which contaminates the insides of long supply line tubing. It is a significant problem in medical and dental equipment and poses health risks to patients. Mitigation requires time and expense. In the prior art, these small, bio-film prone, lines can be sixty to seventy-two inches long.
  • In the prior art, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the hand-piece umbilicals 80 attach independently to the control box 10. The umbilicals for the suction utilities 90, and other hand-pieces, are gathered at the distal end of their swinging support arm near the intersection with their resting holders. These umbilicals are gathered into a loom assembly 100, which routes them to the control box. This loom assembly 100 adds cost and makes it difficult to replace single umbilicals within the assembly.
  • Prior art systems, such as illustrated in FIG. 1, are integrated into a specific manufacturer's cart 20 or arm. They require significant unscrewing/unbolting and general disassembly of the cart for repair and/or replacement. This disassembly is beyond the usual expertise and available time of typical dental or medical staff. Alternately, the entire cart and delivery system can be taken out of service awaiting outsourced technical support or shipment to the manufacturer for repair. Shipping an approximately 3×2×2 foot unit is time consuming, inconvenient and costly. During the repair time, the entire unit is unavailable for use.
  • In view of the foregoing, there is a desire for a control unit for housing medical or dental devices that is configured for movement while maintaining a consistent orientation of items attached thereto. There is also a desire to provide enhanced access and visualization of controls and displays on the control unit. Another desire is to make hand-piece and control relationships consistent on the control unit. A further desire is to reduce flexible umbilical lengths and decrease the nuisance of hose tangle originating at the control unit. An additional desire is to eliminate hand-piece loom assemblies originating at the control unit. There is another desire to simplify control unit design for easier installation and repair.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An embodiment of the present invention preserves the advantages of prior art delivery channels. In addition, it provides new advantages not found in currently available delivery channels and overcomes many disadvantages of such currently available delivery channels.
  • The present invention is a delivery channel for a medical or dental office which features adjustable orientation. The delivery channel is configured for movement while maintaining a consistent orientation of items attached thereto. In addition, the delivery channel provides a simple and convenient design for a user in a medical or dental office.
  • The delivery channel includes a frame support having a front, back, top, and bottom surface. In one embodiment, the frame support is configured to be positioned along a horizontal axis. A cover is releasably attached to the top surface of the frame support to enclose components within the frame support.
  • A front plate is attached to the front surface of the frame support. The front plate includes at least one holder for a medical instrument along a vertical axis, at least one medical instrument, at least one control mechanism, and at least one electronic visual display. The holder for the medical instrument and the at least one control mechanism are attached to the front plate to facilitate a consistent orientation during pivotal movement of frame support Also, a back plate is attached to the back surface of the frame support.
  • A support body engages an aperture defined within the frame support. The support body is configured to facilitate movement of the frame support into any position. In one embodiment, the frame support may be moved into a position suitable for a left-handed or right-handed user. The support body is also configured for engagement with a support post attached to an object. In addition, the support body includes a releasable locking mechanism for securing the frame support to the support body.
  • In operation, the holder for the medical instrument, the at least one medical instrument, the at least one control mechanism, and the at least one electronic visual display are in a consistent orientation relative to one another during pivotal movement of the frame support.
  • It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a delivery channel is configured for movement while maintaining a consistent orientation of items attached thereto.
  • It is a further object of the present invention is to improve the proximity between an operator and delivery channel and reduce usage of linear space in a medical or dental office.
  • It is also an object of the present invention to provide enhanced access and visualization of controls and displays on the delivery channel.
  • Another object of the present invention is to reduce flexible umbilical lengths and decreases nuisance of hose tangle.
  • Furthermore, another object of the present is to provide a simple design for easier installation and repair.
  • Other objects, features and advantages of the invention shall become apparent as the description thereof proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The novel features which are characteristic of the delivery channel are set forth in the appended claims. However, the delivery channel, together with further embodiments and attendant advantages, will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prior art control box;
  • FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the delivery channel of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a top view of the an interior surface of the delivery channel of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4A is a front view of a front plate using an electronic visual display;
  • FIG. 4B is a front view of a front plate without an electronic visual display;
  • FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of delivery channel of FIG. 2 including a support body and support post;
  • FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the present invention of FIG. 2 including a support body attached to a mounting plate and support post;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the present invention of FIG. 2 including a support body engaging a cart;
  • FIG. 8 is a side view of the present invention of FIG. 2 secured to a cart with a work station;
  • FIG. 9 is a front top view of the present invention of FIG. 8;
  • FIG. 10 is a side view of the present invention of FIG. 8;
  • FIG. 11 is a side perspective view of the present invention of FIG. 8;
  • FIG. 12A-I is a series of top views of the present invention of FIG. 8 showing the movement of the present invention throughout its orientation arc; and
  • FIG. 13 is a flow chart outlining the method for removing the delivery channel of FIG. 2 from an object.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • As illustrated in FIG. 1, a prior art control unit 10 attached to a mounting cart 20 is disclosed for purposes of comparison to the delivery channel 200 of the present invention. The control unit 10 with mounting cart 20 is a complicated and inconvenient design for a user in a medical or dental office. In particular, the control unit 10 with mounting cart 20 of the prior art included long intersecting swinging arms 40, 50 with a jumble of umbilical cords 80, 90 and hand-pieces 60, 70 which may become entangled when moving the arms 40, 50 from a left to right hand orientation. In addition, the orientation of the controls and gauges 30 relative to the hand-pieces 60, 70 changes when the arms 40, 50 were moved from a left to right hand orientation.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2-12, the delivery channel 200 of the present invention is illustrated. As shown in FIG. 12, the delivery channel 200 is configured for movement while maintaining a consistent orientation of items attached thereto. The items that may be attached to the delivery channel 200 will be explained in detail below. In addition, the delivery channel 200 of the present invention provides a simple and convenient design for a user in a medical or dental office.
  • The delivery channel 200 includes at least a frame support 220, a front plate 240, and a support body 260. The front plate 240 is attached to the front surface of the frame support 220 to provide an attachment surface for dental or medical control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596, displays 405, and holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 for a consistent orientation relative to one another. The support body 260 is a first tubular structure configured for engagement within a frame support aperture 225 defined within the frame support 220.
  • The delivery channel 200 may also include a cover 280, a back plate 300, hand-piece hangers 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570, hand-piece umbilicals 340, suction utility supports 320, suction utility umbilicals 360, and supply flexible umbilical 380, and a quick connect for supply flexible umbilical 640. It should be noted that the delivery channel 200 may be a combination of items disclosed above.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, the frame support 220 has a front, back, top, and bottom surface. In one embodiment, the frame support 220 is configured to be positioned along a horizontal axis or, alternatively, along an axis which provides adjustable movement of the frame support 220 about a vertical axis, horizontal axis, or both. The frame support 220, in one embodiment, is made of metal or any material which provides sufficient strength to house internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules.
  • A cover 280 is releasably attached to the top surface of the frame support 220 and the front 240 and back plates 300 to enclose the internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules within an interior of the frame support 220. The cover 280 or shell is an extruded aluminum channel configured to enclose all internal components, enhance structural rigidity and provide locator rails 282 for peripheral components. The cover 280 defines a cover aperture 285 respectively positioned relative to the aperture 225 defined within the support frame 220 for receipt of a support body 260.
  • To enhance the movement of the frame support 220, the frame aperture 225 and the cover aperture 285 may include a pivoting structure or an inner lining 225A, 285A. In one embodiment, the pivoting structure may include a second tubular structure secured within the frame 225 and cover aperture 285 having a diameter great than the diameter of the support body 260. The pivoting structure or inner lining 225A, 285A may be made of a material which facilitates engagement with the support body 260 to freely move the frame support 220.
  • Now referring to FIG. 3, the frame support 220 or chassis is a plate configured to facilitate mounting of internal plumbing, wiring and control modules as illustrated in FIG. 3. Note, FIG. 3 is merely an example of a internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules and not intended to be the sole configuration of the internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules. In one embodiment, the internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules is consolidated within the frame support 220 and continued through a supply flexible umbilical 380 which may be connected to a supply using a quick connect for umbilical 640. By mounting the internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules within the frame support 220 and through a supply flexible umbilical 380, it decreases the nuisance of hose or umbilical entanglement which is more convenient for the user. The frame support 220 may also provide support to liquid containers containing liquids, such as water, for resting or attaching thereto.
  • The back plate 300 is attached to the back surface of the frame support 220. The back plate 300 providing support and containment for internal plumbing, wiring, and control modules. In addition the back plate may define apertures 300A for moving wiring and plumbing out of the frame support 220.
  • Referring to FIGS. 4A-4B, the front plate 400, 500 provides an attachment surface for more than one configuration of dental or medical item including the following: control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596, electronic visual displays 405, switches, gauges, medical instruments 900, 910, 920 including hand-piece or suction utilities for use in a medical or dental office, medical instrument holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570, and valves. These dental and medical items are designed and configured on the front plate 400, 500 for a consistent orientation relative to one another during movement of the frame support 220 and provide convenience, access, and visibility to the user.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 4A, an electronic front plate 400 configuration includes an electronic visual display 405, various control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494 or knobs, and holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570. As illustrated in FIG. 4B, a non-electric front plate 500 configuration does not have an electronic visual display 405. These two configurations 400, 500 are examples of the various configurations of dental or medical items used for the front plate 240 and additional configurations are contemplated beyond these two examples. Also, the configurations of the front plate 240 are not limited to electric front plate 400 and non-electric front plate 500 and may include additional switches, control mechanisms, knobs, hand-piece or medical instrument holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570, visual displays 405, configurations, and orientation of those items which are consistent when moving the frame body 220 and provide convenience, access and visibility to a user.
  • Referring to FIG. 4A, the electric front plate 400 may have the following items attached thereto: an electric motor speed control 410, water volume control 420 for a hand-piece 900, 910, 920 positioned within right hand-piece holder 430, wet and dry control 440 for both left and right hand-pieces 900, 910, 920 positioned within respective left 450 and right 430 hand-piece holders, an optional third hand-piece holder 470, purge control (not shown), bottle water/line water selector 490, water volume control 492 for hand-piece positioned in left hand-piece holder 450, a left hand-piece auto reverse sensitivity control 494 and the electronic visual display 405 having an LED display 406, high/low speed range control 460 and manual forward/reverse switch 480.
  • In another embodiment, referring to FIG. 4B, the non-electric front plate 500 may have the following items attached thereto: a master on/off switch 510, water volume control 520 for hand-piece positioned in right hand-piece holder 530, wet/dry control 540 for hand-pieces 900, 910, 920, positioned in left 550 or right hand-piece holders 530, the right hand-piece holder 530 having wet control with fiber optic, an optional third hand-piece holder 570 including air control, left hand-piece holder 550 having wet control with fiber optic, bottle water/line water selector 590, water volume control 592 for hand-piece positioned in left hand-piece holder 550, and purge control button 596.
  • Referring to FIG. 5, the frame support 220 defines a frame aperture 225 and cover aperture 285 to facilitate engagement with the support body 260. In one embodiment, the support body 260 may, in one embodiment, be a tubular structure and the frame aperture 225 and cover aperture 285 configured to accommodate the shape of the tubular structure. Note, the support body 260, cover aperture 285 and frame aperture 225 may be defined with any shape suitable for facilitating movement of the frame support 220.
  • The support body 260 may engage the frame aperture 225 and cover aperture 285 using more than one configuration. In a first configuration, the support body 260 is releasably attached to the frame support 220 using a releasable locking mechanism 600. The releasable locking mechanism 600, when tightened, is secures the frame support 220 to the support body 260. In the first configuration, once the frame support 220 is secured to the support body 260 along a vertical axis A, the support body 260 rotates within a support post 620 to move the frame support 220 along a 360 degree orientation arc. Note, the releasable locking mechanism 600 may be a locking ring but the locking mechanism is not limited to the usage of a locking ring.
  • In a second configuration, the support body 260 engages the frame aperture 225 and cover aperture 285 to facilitate pivotal movement of the frame support 220 about the support body 260. The support body 260, for example, may be releasably attached to the support post 620. The support body 260, may be releasably attached to the support post 620 using means such as a releasable locking mechanism 600. In the second configuration, the support body 260 may move vertically along axis A and then releasably secured into a position along the axis A using the locking mechanism 600. Once the support body 260 is in a secured position, the frame support 220 pivotally moves about the support body 260 along a 360 degree orientation arc. As discussed above, the frame support 220 may pivot about the support body 260 or, in the alternative, the support body 260 pivots within the support post 620 to allow the frame support 220 to pivotally move about a 360 degree orientation arc.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, the support body 260 may be configured for engaging a support post 620 attached to or integrally formed with a stationary object. For example, the stationary object may be a wall, floor, building structure, equipment, or any other stationary object located in a medical or dental office. Optionally, a mounting plate 660 may be attached to a distal end of the support body 260 for mounting the support body 260 to an object.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, the support body 260 may be configured for engaging a support post 620 integrally formed or attached to a movable object. For example, the object may be a cart 840, cart 840 with a workstation 800, or any movable object used in a medical or dental office. Optionally, a mounting plate 660 may be attached to a distal end of the support body 260 for mounting the support body 260 to a work surface 820 of a workstation 800.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 8, the delivery channel 200 and support body 260 are configured for releasable attachment to a cart 840 having a cart post 830 and a workstation 800 having a work surface 820. For example, a cart disclosed in the Dental Delivery Platform of U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,129 (Aheam) may be used in conjunction with the delivery channel 200. In one embodiment, medical instruments or hand-pieces may be attached to the delivery channel 200 and rested or secured within the work surface 820 of a workstation 800.
  • The support body 260 slidably engages within a cart post 830 of the cart base 840 along a vertical axis. Once the support body 260 is in a desired position within the cart post 830, a height adjustment mechanism 700 is used to secure the support body 260 in a position. In one embodiment, the support body 260 engages the support frame 220 using a releasable locking mechanism 600 to allow the support frame 220 and cover 280 to freely and pivotally rotate along a 360 degree orientation arc about the support body 260. It is also contemplated that the support body 260 may rotate within the cart post 830 to move the delivery channel 200 along a 360 degree orientation arc. At a distal end of the support body 260, a mounting plate 660 may be used to attach the support body 260 to an underside of the work surface 820.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, due to the rotating or pivotal movement of the delivery channel 200, umbilicals 340, 360 originate at the user interface end, or front plate 240. The front plate 240 provides a mounting surface for hand-pieces 900, 910, 920, medical instrument holders or hangars 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 with or without air actuated hanger valves 940. Medical instrument holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 with or without air actuated hanger valves 940 or umbilical 340, 360 are mounted approaching a lower margin of the front plate 240 or front surface of the frame support 220. The medical instrument holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 in one embodiment, are configured to hold the medical instruments 900, 910, 920 along a vertical axis B.
  • Since umbilicals originate at the front plate 240 or front surface of the frame support 220, an umbilical length 340, 360, in one embodiment, from at least one medical instrument 900, 910, 920 to the fluid connector 940 or valve is less than twelve (12) inches in length. In one preferable embodiment, the umbilical length is six to twelve inches (6 to 12 inches) long line length to provide sterile or medicated solution, liquids, or fluids. By reducing the line length as provided, it will reduce the likelihood of biofilm building up within the line.
  • Referring to FIG. 10, the supply flexible umbilical 380 is releasably attached at a first end to the frame support 220 to facilitate protection and consolidate connections between the frame support 220 and a source or supply. The supply flexible umbilical 380, at a second end, is positioned through a quick connect umbilical cover 640 (FIG. 11) to engage the connections between the frame support 220 and the source. It should be noted that the supply flexible umbilical 380 may have various shapes and sized depending upon the aperture within the frame support 220 and components or wiring contained with the supply flexible umbilical 380.
  • Referring to FIG. 11, the delivery channel 200 minimizes the linear space required for the control knobs or mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596, gauges, digital displays 405 and holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 by optimizing the placements on the front plate 240. The delivery channel 200 requires just seven inches (7 inches) of linear space. The delivery channel 200 defines a reduced linear profile to conserve space in an office space, preferably medical or dental. Also, due to the reduced linear profile, the delivery channel 200 can be rotated for optimal placement for left hand or right hand orientation (FIG. 12).
  • As mentioned above, the delivery channel 200 solves the problems of access and visibility in the prior art by grouping the medical instrument holders or hangars 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570, the medical instruments 900, 910, 920, the control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 and the at least one electronic visual display 405, gauges, valves 940, and other digital displays in an ergonomically and visually superior fashion on the exposed, front plate 240 of the frame support 220. In all positions within the frame support's 220 orientation arc, the front plate 240 or face plate and control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596, gauges, and displays extend out beyond the work surface 820. In all positions, while seated normally, the operator can see all control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 gauges, and displays 405 which would be utilized relative to the attached medical instruments 900, 910, 920 during an operatory procedure.
  • In operation, at least one medical instrument holder or hangar 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570, at least one medical instruments 900, 910, 920, the control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 and the at least one electronic visual display 405 are in a consistent orientation relative to one another during movement of the frame support 220 along a 360 degree orientation arc. As explained above, the frame support 220 can pivot about a 360 degree orientation arc to provide a user any desired position while maintaining a consistent orientation of dental or medical items (holders, hand-pieces or instruments, control mechanisms, visual displays, gauges, valves etc.) attached to the front plate 240. The delivery channel 200 for housing medical or dental operatory devices thereby improves the proximity between an operator and delivery channel 200.
  • Referring to FIGS. 12A-I, the delivery channel 200 may be moved into a position suitable for a left-handed or right-handed user or any position desired by the user. The delivery channel 200 addresses the need for right/left reorientation by its ability to rotate about a central post 620 or axis A as discussed above. The majority of the hand-pieces 900, 910, 920 and all of the integrated control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 and gauges rotate or move in place with the delivery channel 200 to maintain a consistent orientation. As well as the extremes of right and left orientation, the design of the delivery channel 200 and its reorientation mode allows for selection of infinite location possibilities within its adjustment arc while maintaining full access to the control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596, medical instruments 900, 910, 920, medical instrument holders or hangars 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 and displays 405.
  • The delivery channel 200 eliminates these stress and error causing factors by maintaining the same physical relationship or consistent orientation between the hand-pieces 900, 910, 920 or medical instruments, their medical instrument holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 and their control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 or knobs/switches in all orientation positions as illustrated in FIG. 12A-I. The items are also attached to maintain a consistent orientation during pivotal movement of the frame support 220. The hand-pieces 900, 910, 920, their medical instrument holders 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570, and their control knobs/switches or control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596, as well as the gauges and displays 405, all transition as one unit while moving the frame support 220 through its orientation arc. For example, as the frame support 220 is moved through its orientation arc, the control knob or control mechanism 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 for hand-pieces 900, 910, 920, may be above and to the left or right of the respective holder 430, 450, 470, 530, 550, 570 and umbilical attachment point of hand-piece 900, 910, 920.
  • Referring to FIG. 13, the delivery channel 200 has a simple design for easier installation and repair. A method for removing or attaching the delivery channel 200 is provided below. First, the delivery channel 200 slides onto a support post 830 of multipurpose carts 840, workstations 800 or wall mounted arm. The delivery channel 200 can be removed by lifting off the work surface 800, which may or may not be attached to the support body 260 using a mounting plate 660, loosening a locking ring 700 and sliding the delivery channel 200 off of or out of the post 830. The umbilical connections to the hand-pieces 900, 910, 920, and sources are then disconnected via couplings or other means. The approximate time involved for disconnection is approximately 10 minutes or less. As a result, a replacement delivery channel 200 can be installed in a similar amount of time and the dental or medical procedure can continue.
  • In another embodiment, the method 1000 for removing the delivery channel 200 of the present invention involves the following steps. The first step 1010 is providing an object having a support post 830 attached thereto. Next step 1020 is providing a delivery channel 200 including a support body 260 engaging a frame aperture 225 defined within the frame support 220. The support body 260 is configured for engaging a support post 830 attached to the object, or cart 840, to facilitate pivotal movement of the frame support 220. Thereafter, a user slides the support body 260 from the support post 1030. If necessary or desired, an optional releasable locking mechanism 600 for securing the frame support 220 to the support body 260 must be loosened to remove the frame support 220 from the support body 260.
  • It should be noted, the invention disclosed herein, addresses the issues involved with freestanding cart 840 or arm mounted applications but is applicable to other mounting variants, as well. In a preferred embodiment, the delivery channel 200 is approximately 7×3×26 inch unit.
  • In view of the foregoing, the delivery channel 200 for housing medical or dental operatory devices improves the proximity between an operator and delivery channel 200 and reduces usage of linear space. The delivery channel 200 also converts simply from right to left hand orientation. The delivery channel 200 also provides enhanced access and visualization of control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 and displays 405 on the delivery channel 200. The delivery channel 200 also coordinates hand-pieces 900, 910, 920, and their control mechanisms 410, 420, 440, 460, 480, 490, 492, 494, 510, 520, 540, 590, 592, 596 to make their relationship consistent on the delivery channel 200. In addition, the delivery channel 200 reduces flexible umbilical lengths and decreases the nuisance of hose tangle. The delivery channel 200 also minimizes or eliminates usage of hand-piece loom assemblies. Furthermore, the delivery channel 200 has a simple design for easier installation and repair. Overall, the delivery channel 200 reflects a significant improvement over prior art control units 10 used in the medical or dental industry.
  • Therefore, while there is shown and described herein certain specific structure embodying the invention, it will be manifest to those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements of the parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (19)

1. A delivery channel, comprising:
a frame support having front, back, top, and bottom surfaces;
a front plate attached to the front surface of the frame support, the front plate including at least one means for holding a medical instrument and at least one control mechanism for the medical instrument;
the at least one means for holding a medical instrument and the at least one control mechanism for the medical instrument are attached to the front plate to facilitate a consistent orientation during movement of the frame support;
a support body engaging an aperture defined within the frame support, the the support body configured for engaging a support post attached to an object to facilitate movement of the frame support; and
whereby the at least one means for holding the medical instrument and the at least one control mechanism for the medical instrument are in a consistent orientation relative to one another during movement of the frame support.
2. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein a back plate is attached to the back surface of the frame support.
3. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the support body and the support post are configured to facilitate pivotal movement of the frame support.
4. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the front plate includes at least one electronic visual display.
5. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the frame support is configured to pivot for either right-handed or left-handed orientation.
6. The delivery channel of claim 1, further comprising:
a releasable locking mechanism for securing the frame support to the support body.
7. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the support body is a tubular structure.
8. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the post is attached to a movable object selected from a group consisting of: cart, cart with a workstation, or any movable object used in a medical or dental office.
9. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the post is attached to a stationary object selected from a group consisting of: wall, floor, structure attached within a building, equipment, or any other stationary object located in a medical or dental office.
10. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the frame support defines a reduced linear profile to conserve space.
11. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the frame support has a length sufficient to extend beyond a work surface of an object.
12. The delivery channel of claim 1, further comprising:
a cover releasably attached to the top surface of the frame support.
13. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the frame support is configured to pivotally move about the support body.
14. The delivery channel of claim 13, wherein the aperture defined within the frame support includes a pivoting structure or inner lining to facilitate pivotal movement of the frame support about the support body.
15. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the support body is configured to rotate about the support post.
16. The delivery channel of claim 1, wherein the support body is configured to slidably move within the support post.
17. A delivery channel, comprising:
a frame support having front, back, top, and bottom surfaces, the frame support configured to be positioned along a horizontal axis;
a cover releasably attached to the top surface of the frame support;
a front plate attached to the front surface of the frame support, the front plate including at least one means for holding medical instruments along a vertical axis, at least one medical instrument, at least one control mechanism, and at least one electronic visual display,
the at least one means for holding a medical instrument, the at least one control mechanism for the medical instrument, and the at least electronic visual display are attached to the front plate to facilitate a consistent orientation during pivotal movement of the frame support;
a back plate attached to the back surface of the frame support;
a support body engaging an aperture defined within the frame support, the support body configured for engaging a support post attached to an object to facilitate pivotal movement of the frame support; and
whereby the at least one means for holding a medical instrument, the at least one control mechanism for the medical instrument, and the at least one electronic visual display are in a consistent orientation relative to one another during pivotal movement of the frame support.
18. A method for removing a delivery channel from an object, comprising:
providing an object having a support post attached thereto;
providing a delivery channel, comprising:
a frame support having front, back, top, and bottom surfaces, the frame support configured to be positioned along a horizontal axis;
a cover releasably attached to the top surface of the frame support;
a front plate attached to the front surface of the frame support, the front plate including at least one means for holding medical instruments along a vertical axis, at least one medical instrument, at least one control mechanism, and at least one electronic visual display,
the at least one means for holding medical instrument, the at least one medical instrument, the at least one control mechanism, and the at least electronic visual display are attached to the front plate to facilitate a consistent orientation during pivotal movement of the frame support;
a back plate attached to the back surface of the frame support;
a support body engaging an aperture defined within the frame support, the support body configured for engaging a support post attached to the object to facilitate pivotal movement of the frame support; and
sliding the support body from the support post.
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising:
the delivery channel further comprising:
a releasable locking mechanism for securing the frame support to the support body.
releasing the locking mechanism; and
removing the frame support from the support body.
US12/346,991 2007-12-31 2008-12-31 Delivery channel Abandoned US20090166306A1 (en)

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US20130001180A1 (en) * 2011-06-29 2013-01-03 Stout Christopher A Sterile rack for contraceptive procedure
WO2015047455A3 (en) * 2013-03-15 2015-06-04 ProShield LLC Multifunctional enclosure system for medical probes and method of use
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EP3202388A1 (en) * 2016-02-03 2017-08-09 XO Care A/S Dental instrument bridge with novel input unit
EP3202387A1 (en) * 2016-02-03 2017-08-09 XO Care A/S Dental instrument bridge with novel display

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