Surgical blade abstract
A device is provided which is adapted for use in manually cleaning
a soiled segment of a surgical blade. The device includes a hollow
casing having a base portion and upwardly extending wall portions
that form an elongated slot in an exterior surface of the casing.
The slot is arranged so that the soiled segment of a surgical blade
may be inserted through the slot into the casing and may be moved
longitudinally of the slot. A compressible frictional media is disposed
within the hollow casing and is adapted to exert compressive frictional
force on the inserted surgical blade segment to effect cleaning
thereof when the blade is moved longitudinally of the slot.
Surgical blade claims
1. A device for use in cleaning a surgical blade soiled with adherent
liquid an non-liquid matter comprising a hollow casing having an
exposed surface provided with an elongated narrow slot sized to
accommodate and guide the soiled blade portion when the latter is
inserted at an acute angle through the slot and moved longitudinally
thereof, and a frictional medium disposed within said casing having
only a portion thereof aligned with said slot, being only accessible
to the blade portion through said slot, and extending the full length
of said slot; said medium resiliently engaging a concealed surface
of the casing circumjacent the slot and being adapted to exert a
compressive frictional force on the inserted soiled blade portion
to effect cleaning thereof when the angularly disposed, soiled blade
portion is moved longitudinally of said slot.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the hollow casing has a generally
cylindrical cross sectional configuration, and the exposed surface
of said casing is provided with upwardly extending guide flanges
defining the elongated narrow slot.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein the hollow casing is comprised
of a base portion and wall portions having upper and lower segments;
said lower wall segments extending upwardly and at a like acute
angle from the base portion and said upper wall segments extending
inwardly from the upper edge portions of said lower wall segments;
said upper wall segments being in substantially coplanar relation
forming the exposed surface of said casing.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein the lower wall segments extend
upwardly and at a like obtuse angle from the base portion.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein the hollow casing is comprised
of a resilient synthetic material formed so that said hollow casing
exerts compressive force on the frictional medium.
Surgical blade description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
When surgical blades such as knifes, scalpels, cautery blades and
the like are used in performing surgery, they often become soiled
with particles of tissue, blood, or other matter. These materials
can become firmly adhered to the blades and severely hinder their
further use in surgery. In addition, any blood or tissue dried on
to segments of the blades after surgery can be extremely difficult
to remove and may prevent the proper sterilization of the blades.
These problems have frequently been avoided by immediately wiping
the blades with disposable gauze or other cleaning materials during
surgery as the need arises. This procedure, however, requires that
the surgeon or his assistant interrupt the surgery to clean the
blades, using both hands and taking great care to avoid accidental
cuts or injuries. Such a cleaning procedure is not only very disruptive
to the surgery, but also requires a significant supply of readily
accessible gauze sheets and a convenient place to dispose of the
Attempts to solve this problem have included a device disclosed
in U.S. patent No. 4087878 which required the surgeon to insert
his blade into a casing through a slot to brush the blade against
setae members and then scrape the blade against the reinforced edges
of the slot as the blade was withdrawn. This device requires many
different parts including a base, a hollow casing, setae arranged
in a particular pattern, and a means for reinforcing the slot. The
surgeon, in addition, must ensure that the '878 device is correctly
aligned and that the soiled portion of the blade is carefully inserted
through the proper part of the slot so that the blade is both brushed
and scraped to obtain a complete cleaning action. Finally, this
device, at times, must be used repeatedly to consistently and completely
clean the soiled blades of all adhering tissue and blood.
Other cleaning devices are unsuitable for use with surgical blades
as they would damage or dull the sharp edges of the blades or would
not adequately clean the blades without a substantial disruption
of the surgery. In addition, none of these devices are actually
addressed to, suggest, or teach a solution to the problem of cleaning
surgical blades. These devices also require the assembly of many
different elements, including setae and rollers, before they may
be put into practice. The other cleaning devices of this general
type are disclosed in: Hall, U.S. Pat. No. 177394 (1876); Maibaum,
U.S. patent No. 885497 (1908); Gregory, U.S. patent No. 1732467
(1924); Robideau, U.S. Pat. No. 1901262 (1933); Swift, U.S. Pat.
No. 2121307 (1938); Calleo, U.S. Pat. No. 2202516 (1940); Chambless,
U.S. Pat. No. 2744276 (1956); Blackburn, U.S. Pat. No. 3428988
(1969); Fink, U.S. Pat. No. 3583018 (1971); Hauschild, U.S. Pat.
No. 3761984 (1973); Schabmuller, Dutch Pat. No. 57351 (1946 );
Royer, French Pat. No. 975037 (1950), Roze, British Pat. No. 290641
(1928); and Rosselet, German Pat. No. 27251 (1884).
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The object of the invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive
device that will more efficiently and effectively remove particles
of tissue, blood and the like from surgical blades. This is done
without the use of numerous parts including setae that must be arranged
in a pattern, or special reinforcing elements that must be consciously
utilized by the surgeon to obtain the maximum cleaning action. The
invention also does not require the careful placement of the surgical
blade into a particular portion of the slot formed on the device,
and each use cleans the blade more completely than is possible with
the prior devices.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a surgical blade
cleaning device that is compact and sturdy, and can be easily positioned
during surgery without interfering with the activities of the surgeon
or assisting personnel.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a single
surgical blade cleaning device that may be used repeatedly during
surgery and then may be easily discarded.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a surgical
blade cleaning device that may be used without significantly disrupting
the surgical procedure.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a surgical
blade cleaning device that allows the user to clean surgical blades
without contacting the soiled portion of the blade with his hands.
It is still a further object of the invention to provide a surgical
blade cleaning device that will accommodate a variety of types and
sizes of surgical blades.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description,
accompanying drawings, and appended claims.
One embodiment of the improved device for cleaning a soiled segment
of a surgical blade includes a hollow casing having a base portion
and upwardly extending wall portions that form an elongated slot
in an exterior surface of the casing. The slot is arranged so that
the soiled portion of a surgical blade may be inserted through the
slot into the casing and may be moved longitudinally of the slot.
A compressible frictional medium is disposed within the hollow casing
and is adapted to exert compressive frictional force on the inserted
surgical blade segment to effect cleaning thereof when the blade
is moved longitudinally of the slot.
For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference should
be made to the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective top view of one form of the surgical blade
cleaning device showing a soiled end segment of a surgical blade
disposed within the slot formed in an exterior surface portion of
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the embodiment taken
along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, enlarged perspective end view of a second
form of the improved cleaning device.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective side view of a third form of
the surgical blade cleaning device.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1
a preferred embodiment of the surgical blade cleaning device 10
is shown for use in cleaning a soiled segment S of a surgical blade
During surgery, a surgical blade often becomes soiled with particles
of tissue, blood, or other matter. It is necessary during the surgery
to repeatedly clean the blade of this material as soon a possible
so as to allow further unhindered use of the blade and to allow
the blade to be properly sterilized after surgery has been concluded.
The device 10 as shown in FIG. 1 includes an elongated casing 11
and a compressible frictional medium 12 disposed within the casing
11. The casing 11 is preferably extruded from a rigid aluminum material
or an inexpensive, semi-rigid, plastic material (e.g. Melamine resin)
and includes a base portion 13 and upwardly extending wall portions
14 and 15. The wall portions coact to form an elongated slot 16
on the upper exterior of the casing 11. The slot is disposed in
a substantially parallel relation with the longitudinal axis Y--Y
of the casing 11. The edges 14a and 15a of the wall portions defining
the slot 16 are usually disposed in a relatively spaced, substantially
parallel relation. If desired, however, the edges may converge from
one end of the slot so as to accommodate different size blades.
The soiled segment S of blade B is normally inserted into one end
of slot 16 (the wide end where the edges converge) and is moved
longitudinally thereof to the other end; but, if desired, the blade
segment S may be inserted into the slot at any point. The longitudinal
movement of the soiled segment S in the slot is also not limited
and may be in either direction along the axis Y--Y of the casing
The compressible frictional medium 12 is fixedly mounted within
casing 11 and extends at least the full length of the slot 16. The
medium is preferably formed of either dense wire clusters, abrasive
like sponge material, or the like. When the frictional medium is
disposed within the casing 11 it is in a compressed state either
because the medium is in a compressed state prior to its disposition
within the casing 11 and is retained in its compressed state by
the casing wall portions 14 and 15 or because the casing walls
are resilient and exert an inward compressive force against the
medium after its disposition therein. In either case, when the soiled
segment S of blade B is inserted into and moved longitudinally of
slot 16 the medium 12 will engage surfaces of the soiled segment
S and exert compressive frictional force against the segment surfaces
and effect cleaning thereof. The cleaning action ensures a consistent
and complete stripping or scraping of tissue or blood particles
from the soiled segment surfaces without dulling or damaging the
sharp edges of the blade B.
The base portion 13 of the casing 11 is preferably of a planar
configuration and has a marginal portion 13a thereof extending laterally
outward a substantial distance beyond the wall portions 14 and 15.
The size of the base portion 13 relative to the entire casing 11
provides stability to the device when it is resting on a table top
or other suitable surface. Apertures 13b may be provided at the
corners of the marginal portion to allow clamping or pinning of
the device to a solid or fabric surface.
The upwardly extending wall portions 14 and 15 of the casing 11
are preferably formed so that they curve inwardly to give the casing
11 a generally cylindrical cross-section as can be seen in FIG.
2. The edges 14a and 15a of the wall portions adjacent slot 16 are
also preferably formed as upwardly extending flanges as shown in
FIG. 2 and act to aid the surgeon's placement and longitudinal movement
of the soiled segment S of the blade B within the slot 16 to ensure
a complete cleaning action.
In a modified construction of the device 110 shown in FIG. 3 the
upwardly extending wall portions 114 and 115 have lower segments
114b, 115b, and upper segments 114c, 115c. The lower segments extend
upwardly and at a like angle .alpha. from a base portion 113. The
angle .alpha. is preferably acute, but need not be so. The upper
segments 114c, 115c extend towards one another from the upper edges
of segments 114b, 115b and are in substantially coplanar relation
so that the casing 111 has a generally trapezoidal cross-section,
see FIG. 3.
Disposed on the interior surface of lower segments 114b, 115b are
inwardly directed flanges F that act to secure a compressible frictional
medium 112 within the casing interior. As with the device 10 shown
in FIG. 1 the edge portions 114a and 115a of the wall portions
114 and 115 defining a slot 116 of the device 110 are formed as
upwardly extending flanges, and the base portion 113 is of planar
configuration with marginal portion 113a thereof extending laterally
outwardly a substantial distance beyond the wall portions. The marginal
portion 113a may be provided with apertures 113b.
The underside of the base portion 113 may be provided with depending
protuberances 113c which facilitate mounting the device on a bedside
railing, tray, surgical clamp, or like object. In the illustrated
embodiment, the protuberances are in a substantially parallel relation
and aligned with slot 116.
In a modified device 210 shown in FIG. 4 the wall portions 214
and 215 extend upwardly from a base portion 213 and are formed in
the shape of right triangles. The longest or hypoteneuse sides of
walls 214 and 215 are adjacent the slot 216. The device 210 may
also be provided with an upwardly extending end panel 217 opposing
slot 216 and delimited by the walls 214 and 215. The base portion
213 may also have a marginal portion 213a extending outwardly a
substantial distance beyond the walls 214 and 215 to give the device
stability and may have apertures 213b so that the device may be
fixed to a table top or other such surface. With device 210 the
soiled blade segment 5 is preferably moved downwardly and outwardly
along the slot 216. Upon reaching the bottom of the slot the blade
is pulled outwardly from the slot.
Thus, it will be seen that a simple and inexpensive surgical blade
cleaning device has been provided that will more efficiently and
effectively remove particles of tissue, blood and the like from
surgical blades. This is done without the use of numerous parts
including specially arranged setae or reinforcing elements that
must be consciously utilized by the surgeon. The invention does
not require the careful placement of the surgical blade into a particular
portion of the slot formed on the device, and the blade may be cleaned
in either direction of the slot. The invention is compact and sturdy,
and can be conveniently positioned during surgery. It may be used
repeatedly without significantly disrupting the surgical procedure
and may require the use of only one hand. Nor is the user endangered
by possible contact with the blades during cleaning. The device
will also accommodate a variety of types and sizes of surgical blades
and is readily disposable.