Surgical blade abstract
A surgical blade remover for separating a surgical or scalpel blade
from a handle or holder includes a single "vee" shaped
slot or notch in a vertical standing plate for engaging the rear
portion of the surgical blade upon the downward movement into the
vee slot of the blade and the tang portion of the blade holder holding
the blade, thereby wedging a portion of the blade against the sides
of the vee forming the blade to be lifted off of the tang and ejected
therefrom as the tang is moved further downwardly and withdrawn
rearwardly out of the vee slot in a horizontal motion.
Surgical blade claims
What is claimed is:
1. A surgical plate remover for separating a surgical blade from
a blade holder with spring action comprising:
means for holding said plate in a relatively secured position;
a vee-shaped notch in an essentially flat section of said plate,
said notch being to engage the sides of said blade at the heel portion
thereof when said blade is inserted partially therethrough for springing
said blade off of said holder.
2. The blade remover of claim 1 wherein said plate is an upstanding
plate; and wherein said vee-shaped notch is in said upstanding plate.
3. The blade remover of claim 1 wherein said vee-shaped notch extends
from the top edge of said upstanding plate downwardly.
4. The blade remover of claim 2 wherein said vee-shaped notch has
an included angle of about from 3.degree. to 45.degree..
5. The blade remover of claim 3 wherein said vee-shaped notch is
approximately 13/4" deep.
6. The blade remover of claim 4 wherein said vee-shaped notch has
an included angle of approximately 33.degree..
7. The blade remover of claim 1 wherein said upstanding plate holding
means is a base plate welded to said upstanding plate.
8. The blade remover of claim 6 wherein said base plate and upstanding
plate are welded with an included angle of 70.degree. to 85.degree..
9. The blade remover of claim 1 wherein said upstanding plate holding
means includes a collection box having:
a bottom side;
a rear face;
a right and left sides; and
U-shaped guides extending vertically one each along the front end
of each of said right and left sides on the inside thereof, parallel
and facing one another;
wherein said upstanding plate is held vertically by said U-shaped
guides as the front face of said box.
10. The blade remover of claim 1 wherein said upstanding plate
holding means includes a collection box having:
a bottom side;
a rear face;
a right and left sides;
an inwardly projecting lip extending vertically along the front
edge of each of said right and left sides;
a top plate being slightly shorter than said bottom side and leaving
a space at the front of said box; and
a bumper block on the inner face of said bottom side near said
front and slightly positioned therefrom;
wherein said upstanding plate is held vertically in position as
the front face of said box by nesting against said pair of lips,
said block and said top plate.
11. A method of separating a surgical blade from a blade holder,
said blade having a center longitudinal slot engaging a foot mounted
on a tang projecting from said holder handle, wherein the heel portion
of said blade extends beyond the sides of the tang and foot, comprising
the steps of:
establishing a vee-shaped notch in a plate;
inserting said blade and holder partially into said notch to wedge
the sides said heel portion of said blade against the converging
sides of said notch;
drawing said handle and tang further into said notch toward the
vertex thereof to create a torque on said blade emanating from said
heel portion; and
pulling said handle and tang rearwardly out of said notch freeing
said blade from said tang to cause said blade to spring forward
off of said tang and out of said notch under said torque created
on said blade.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein said blade longitudinal slot
has a narrow portion contiguous with a wider portion, said wider
portion being near said heel of said blade; wherein said step of
rearward pulling of said handle and tang causes said blade slot
wider portion to slide adjacent said tang thereby freeing said blade
from said tang and permitting said spring forward movement.
Surgical blade description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to surgical knife or scalpel blade extractors
and removers, and particularly relate to that type of extractor
which will enable the doctor to free the blade from the tang of
a blade holder with a one-handed operation.
The blade removing tool of Grieshaber, U.S. Pat. No. 3172316
includes a handle having a pocket at one end with a pair of parallel
extending flange prongs. Each prong has a raised lip. A scalpel
blade holder holds the blade on the tang end of a handle.
The handle must be held by one hand while the blade removing tool
is held in the other hand. The blade is inserted into the pocket
and freed by an upward motion of the tool with respect to the blade
much like the operation of reverse direction nail pulling prongs.
The Grieshaber tool requires concentration in inserting the blade
into the narrow pocket and for springing the blade free of the tang
of the blade holder. The removal operation can present a possible
hazard if sufficient care is not taken to assure that the blade
is safely handled once free of the tang. Moreover, as it is the
upturned lip on each of the flat prongs which provides the ejection
force on the rear or heel of a blade, the blade must be considerably
inserted into the pocket. Any contamination on the blade comes into
considerable contact with the blade removing tool, and repeated
use of such tool without sterilization provides considerable surface
area for contaminating the tang and even the handle portion of the
blade holder from repeated use of the blade removing tool and thereby
carrying contamination to new blades.
Montelius, U.S. Pat. No. 3373491 shows a surgical knife of a
design suitable for use only with slot type blade holders. The expelling
tool has a toe portion which engages a receiving slot in the handle
for ejecting the blade. This structure requires a two handed operation
as both the ejecting tool and the blade holder must be manipulated
at the same time. Also, the ejecting tool comes in intimate contact
with both the blade and the blade holder and in repeated use can
pass on contamination.
Brimmer, U.S. Pat. No. 4106620 discloses a combination surgical
blade dispenser and surgical blade remover. The surgical blade is
of a more typical design and mounts on the tang of a blade holder.
This blade is removed from the tang by inserting the blade and tang
into an enclosure which has a blade removing foot having a pair
of rectangular projecting ears. The rear edge of the blade must
pass over the ears during a rearward movement of the blade holder
to be inserted between the rear edge of the blade and the tang.
Once the rectantular ears are wedged between the rear of the blade
and the tang the handle may be rotated to pry the end of the blade
free from the tang and then pulled out of the enclosure leaving
the blade behind.
While this removal structure allows for one hand operation, it
does require a considerable degree of manipulation to be certain
that the ears properly wedge under the blade sufficiently to pry
the blade from the tang. This manipulation, of necessity, must be
Gaskall et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4168777 shows a scalpel blade remover
and collector having a container with a sloping bottom and a rectangular
aperture having a shoulder section. A blade holder, with the blade
mounted onto the tang portion, is inserted through the aperture
and then downwardly so that the tang rests upon the lower wall of
the aperture. This springs the rear or heel of the blade upwardly
as the shoulders displace that portion of the blade. The blade holder
is removed rearwardly so that the upwardly displaced heel of the
blade catches against a downwardly projecting lip which extends
beyond the face of the container. This stops the movement of the
blade and allows it to be deposited within the container once the
blade holder is pulled free.
Magney, U.S. Pat. No. 4180162 shows a combination dispenser
and disposal cartridge for a surgical blade. This cartridge includes
a rectangular box having a rectangular aperture at one end. Removal
of a used blade is accomplished inserting the blade carried by the
tang blade holder through the aperture in the end of the wall until
the tip of the blade is engaged between a downwardly projecting
box and a rounded internal wall corner. This is a precise location
which must be searched for in order to wedge the point of the blade
to a precise location. The handle is then withdrawn rearwardly so
that a projecting wedge member comes to wedge between the heel of
the blade and the tang of the blade holder whereby the rear edge
of the blade is stripped off of the tang by abutting against a shoulder
keeping the blade within the box as the blade holder tang is removed
through the aperture.
This operation requires precise placement of the blade and blade
holder tang within the disposal cartridge and a precise placement
to pry the blade free from the tang portion of the blade holder.
A trial and error procedure would have to be practiced until the
ejection of the blade from the tang is complete.
Thompson, U.S. Pat. No. 4270416 shows a scalpel blade extractor
tool which is intended to be hand-held while the scalpel blade and
blade holder is manipulated within the extractor. A tang carrying
a scalpel blade including part of the handle connected to the tang
must be inserted through an aperture well into the extractor. The
bottom wall is cut away into a wedge shaped shoulder formation having
vertical side shoulders and a horizontal bottom wall. A downwardly
directed transverse wall is spaced rearwardly of the aperture.
The blade and holder are inserted into the aperture and then moved
downwardly so that the heel of the blade is displaced upwardly by
the shoulders. The blade holder is withdrawn rearwardly to cause
the then upwardly extending heel portion of the blade to intercept
the lower edge of the transverse wall which stops its motion and
separates from the tang of the holder.
Eldridge et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4344532 shows a surgical blade
remover having a plurality of blade holder tang sized slots in a
plate. A layer of adhesive material is positioned on the top surface
of the plate. A blade is removed by dropping the tang of the blade
holder into the slot and then pressing it downwardly so that the
blade which projects sidewards beyond the tang is forced off of
the tang and adhered to the top surface of the plate. The tangs
may then be withdrawn from the slot leaving the blade adhered to
the top plate. A raised rib position adjacent to the edge of a slot
may be utilized as a pressure point for springing the heel of a
blade off of a tang to assist blade removal. Otherwise the top surface
of the plate is tapered to provide a deeper recess where the heel
of the blade would normally rest allowing a pivoting of the tang
of the blade holder away from the blade.
The Grieshaber and Montelius blade removing tools require an intricate
manipulation by both hands of the doctor.
The Brimmer et al., Gaskell, Magney and Thompson blade extractors,
while capable of being mounted to a surface so that a blade may
be removed with one hand operation, require a manipulation of the
blade and blade holder to a point where upon a rearward movement
of the blade holder tang the blade is pried from the tang of the
holder. The operation requires a certain amount of intricate and
possibly time consuming manipulation to catch the rear or heel of
Eldridge, Jr., et al. show a surgical blade remover which is large
and cumbersome as it has but a single use for each blade removing
All of the prior art blade removers are complicated structures
themselves, each having plural components, plural shoulders and
requiring intricate manufacturing, forming and assembly. Such complicated
structures with their various faces, shoulders, and crevices and
lips are difficult to keep clean.
What is desired is a simple structure which is economical to manufacture
and easy to keep clean which can be utilized to extract surgical
and scalpel blades from a blade holder tang with a simple operation
and without intricate manipulation.
An object of the present invention is to provide simple structure
which is usable as a surgical blade removing tool.
Another object of this invention is to provide such a blade removing
tool which can be mounted on a fixed surface and which will enable
simple single hand operation for removing the surgical blade.
A further object is to provide such a blade removing tool which
does not require intricate manipulation for blade removal.
An even further object of this invention is to provide such a blade
removing tool which does not require the tang of the blade holder
to come in contact with the blade removing tool.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The objects of this invention are realized in a scalpel blade removing
tool for use on a commonly available blade and blade holder. The
tool is capable of free standing or of being affixed to a mounting
surface so that the blade can be removed from the tang of a blade
holder with one hand operation.
An upstanding plate carries a vee shaped slot or notch of sufficient
dimensions and specific included angle to bear against the heel
of a surgical blade and to wedge in the notch while allowing the
narrower tang portion of the blade holder to drop below.
The vee slot permits blade carrying tang to be moved downwardly
into the vee until a resistance is felt which lifts the heel of
the blade off of the tang which tang then is moved downwardly and
rearwardly thereby freeing the blade from the tang. The blade springs
forward from the torque imparted on it by the releasing action.
The vee is deep enough so that the tang may be pulled out of the
notch without touching the side walls thereof.
The vee notch containing upstanding plate may be held in position
by a base plate or by being incorporated as a face of a collection
box, which collection box may or may not have a closed top.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The features, advantages and operation of the invention will be
readily understood from a reading of the following detailed description
in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals
refer to like elements and in which:
FIG. 1 shows a surgical blade and blade holder commonly known as
a scalpel blade in disassembled form.
FIG. 2 shows the blade removal tool in its simplest form.
FIG. 3 shows a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 shows the blade remover vee notch plate held upright and
forming one end of a collection box, this collection box having
an open top.
FIG. 5 shows a further embodiment of the invention with the blade
removal plate carrying the vee notch held upright and formed as
an end wall of a collection box, this collection box having a covered
FIG. 6 shows a side view of the blade removal tool of FIG. 5 from
a side view showing the removal and collection operation when the
blade bearing handle is inserted into the vee and withdrawn.
FIG. 7 shows the removal operation with the apparatus of FIG. 6
from a different perspective view.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
A surgical blade remover tool is used for removing sugical or scalpel
blade inserts from surgical blade holders. A very common type of
surgical blade and blade holder is shown in FIG. 1. A broad flat
handle portion 11 is contoured for ease of grip and handling. A
narrow neck portion 13 extends from the end of the handle 11. This
neck portion 13 leads to a single tang 15 having a tapered foot
17 mounted thereon and extending along a portion of the length of
the tang 15 from its free end.
The surgical blade 19 includes a knife edge 21 extending from the
point to the heel 23 of the blade 19. A slot is formed in the center
portion of the blade 19 and has a narrow section 25 at the edge
21 end and a wider section 27 at the heel 23 end. The narrow slot
section 25 is of a dimension to fit tightly against the foot 17
on the tang 15. The wider slot section 27 is slightly wider and
longer than the foot 17.
The top face of the foot 17 is slightly wider than its base which
meets the tang 15. The wide walls of this foot taper from this wider
width to the narrower width. This taper is used to wedge the surgical
blade 19 tightly on the tang 15.
FIG. 2 shows the blade removal tool as an upstanding plate 29 of
1/8" to 3/32" thick stainless steel plate. The plate 29
is approximately 21/2"0 to 3" high and 3 to 31/2 long.
It is welded to a base plate 31 of the same material, which is
approximately 2" wide and the same length as the upstanding
plate 29. A pair of screws 33 extend through the base plate 31 for
mounting the base plate to a fixed surface. A vee notch 35 is cut
in the top edge of the upstanding plate 29 to extend approximately
1 to 13/4" vertically downwardly from the top edge and to have
an included angle of from 30.degree. to 45.degree.. While the included
angle, the angle at which the two edge of the notch meet, can vary
to less than 30.degree. or more than 45.degree., for those types
of surgical blades 19 and blade holders 11 most commonly found in
the marketplace, and includes an angle of about 30.degree. to 35.degree.
Base plate 31 is welded to the upstanding plate 29 so that the
upstanding plate 29 is canted to extend upwardly at an angle "A",
which is in the range of about 70.degree. to 85.degree. from horizontal
It is often desirable to provide a collection box for used surgical
blades 19 so that the doctor need not handle a loose blade nor subject
himself or others to the hazard of a contaminated blade. FIG. 4
shows a rectangular collection box 37 having a bottom 39 rear 41
and side walls 4345 respectively. A U-shaped guide 47 extends along
the open edge of each of side walls 4345 from the bottom 39. The
collection box 37 is approximately 41/4" long, 31/4" wide
and 31/4" high.
A face plate 49 which is approximately 3" wide and 31/2"
high, is inserted to be held by a pair of U-shaped guide 47 to form
the front face 49 of the box 37. This face plate 49 has the same
vee notch 35 cut in its top edge and extending downwardly.
The front face 49 has the vee notch 35 extending at the center
thereof from its top edge downwardly a distance of approximately
13/4". The opening across the vee notch 35 at the top edge
of the face plate 49 is approximately 1" long. The included
angle of the vee notch 35 is approximately 33.degree.. The walls
of the collection box 37 as well as the face plate 49 bearing the
vee notch 35 can all be made of the same material. As an example
this material can be 1/16" to 3/16" stainless steel sheet.
The U-shaped guides 47 can be made of similar material. Construction
can be by standard sheet forming procedures and assemblies, such
as welding and stamping.
Collection box 37 can have its top closed in with a top plate 51
FIG. 5. In this instance, each of the side walls 43 45 can have
an inwardly turned lip 53 55 respectively, which extends inwardly
along the front face of each side 43 45. In this embodiment, FIG.
5 the pair of U-shaped guides 47 can be eliminated with the addition
of a small rectangular block 57 mounted at the forward edge of the
The face plate 49 is inserted behind the pair of lips 53 55 and
in front of the block 57 to be held securely in position by those
members, as well as by the forward edge top plate 51.
FIG. 6 shows a side elevation of the closed collection box 37 embodiment
of FIG. 5 showing the surgical blade holder 11 with the blade 19
being inserted through the vee notch 35 and moved downwardly. This
downward movement wedges the heel of the blade 19 against the converging
side walls of the vee notch 35 to exert a force on the heel of the
blade 19 enabling the blade 19 to move along the tang 15 to align
the larger slot 25 with the foot 17 whereby as the holder 11 is
withdrawn out of the box 37 rearwardly and downwardly the foot 17
completes its alignment with the wider slot 25 portion of the blade
19 freeing the blade 19 to spring forward and slightly upwardly
into the collection box 37 from the torque asserted on it.
FIG. 7 shows the blade removal operation of FIG. 6 from a front
An alternate structure embodying the invention can include any
plate having a vee-shaped notch in it and being associated with
any of a plurality of containers. As an example it is possible to
use a commercially available glass or plastic jar with a screw on
type metal lid, or a fiber or reinforced plastic lid. The lid would
contain the vee-shaped opening.
Changes may be made in the above described invention without departing
from the intent, scope or method of operation thereof. It is intended,
therefore, that the above description be read in the illustrative
sense and not be interpreted as limiting the invention.