Surgical blade abstract
A surgical blade remover is disclosed having an essentially wedge-shaped
support member which tapers from its front side to its back side.
The support has one or more mutually parallel latitudinal slots
open at one end and along their length extending from the front
side of the support into its interior. The slots are sized to receive
the tang of the blade holder while preventing the blade itself from
passing therethrough. The surface of the support member bordering
each slot is covered with an adhesive which holds the blade in place
as the blade holder is pivoted downward in the slot away from the
blade. When the hilt of the blade becomes detached from the holder,
as a result of this pivoting action, the holder is withdrawn from
the slot. The blade remains affixed to the adhesive on the support
and is retained for its disposal.
Surgical blade claims
What is claimed is:
1. A device for removing a blade having an opening therethrough
from a tang of a blade holder, said tang having an upraised projection
which extends through said opening to mount said blade on said tang
a support surface for supporting a blade flat against said surface;
means defining an elongate channel open to said support surface
and extending a substantial distance along said support surface,
said channel being open at one end and having a width less than
the width of said blade and more than the width of said tang, said
channel being of sufficient depth to receive said tang with the
end of said projection toward said channel open end disposed below
said support surface while said blade is held flat against said
support surface to permit said tang to be pressed down and pivoted
away from said support surface and thereby released from said blade,;
means for holding the blade against said support surface when the
tang is placed in said channel and pulled longitudinally relative
to the blade out the open end of the channel after the blade is
released from the tang but remains flat on said support surface.
2. A device suitable for placement on a rigid surface for removing
a blade from a tang of a blade holder comprising:
a compressible sheet having front and back edges and upper and
lower sides, said sheet having a latitudinal slot extending through
the front edge of said sheet into its interior, said slot being
open along the length thereof, said slot having a width greater
than the width of said tang and less than the width of said blade;
a substrate fixed to the lower side of said sheet and transversing
said slot, said substrate having a compressibility less than said
sheet, said front edge of the sheet having a sufficient height and
said substrate having a sufficient rigidity to allow said tang to
be detached from said blade by pivoting the holder downward away
from the blade without the rigid surface interferring with said
means for holding the blade against said upper side of said sheet
when the tang is placed within the slot and pulled longitudinally
relative to the blade after the blade is released.
3. A device for removing a blade from a tang of a blade holder
a sheet having a planar top surface covered with an adhesive and
a bottom surface, said sheet also having an elongate slot sized
to receive said tang while preventing the face of said blade from
passing therethrough; and
a pad attached to said bottom surface of said sheet and supporting
said sheet and blade against movement as said tang is pressed through
said slot and removed longitudinally from said slot.
4. A device for removing a blade having an opening therethrough
from a tang of a blade holder, said tang having an upraised projection
which extends through said opening to mount said blade on said tang
a support having an essentially planar surface large enough to
support the major portion of a blade flat on said support, said
support having an elongate slot open at one end and its length extending
from its open end at one side of the support into the interior of
the support, said slot being of a depth adaptable to receiving said
tang when the blade contacts said surface and to permit said tang
to be pressed down and released from said blade while said blade
remains flat on said surface, said slot having a width which is
less than the width of the blade and more than the width of the
means for holding the blade against said surface of the support
when the tang is placed within the slot and pulled longitudinally
relative to the blade after the blade is released.
5. A device for removing blades as defined in claim 4 further
a plurality of said slots having varying widths adapted to permit
tangs of varying sizes to fit therein while preventing the blade
attached to that tang from passing therethrough.
6. The device of claim 4 wherein said holding means is an adhesive
covering the surface of said support bordering said slot.
7. The device of claim 4 wherein said holding means is a flap pivotably
mounted to said support to fold against said support and over said
blade when said tang is placed within said slot.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein said flap has adhesive applied
to the side which contacts said blade.
9. The device of claim 5 wherein said slots are sequentially identifiable.
10. The device of claim 6 wherein said adhesive is covered with
a removable non-adhesive material.
11. The device of claim 5 wherein said holding means is an adhesive
covering the surface of said support bordering said slots.
12. The device of claim 11 wherein said adhesive is covered with
a removable non-adhesive material.
13. The device of claim 12 wherein said removable material is selectively
removable from each slot.
14. The device of claim 4 wherein a portion of said slot is contoured
to compliment the shape of said blade.
15. The device of claim 4 wherein one side of said slot is notched
near said open end, said notch shaped to receive a portion of the
hilt of said blade to prevent said blade from moving with the holder
as it is withdrawn from the slot.
16. The device of claims 4 or 5 further comprising means for forming
an enclosure to encapsulate said blade after removal.
17. The device of claim 16 wherein said enclosure means comprises
a cover articulately connected to said support to permit said cover
and support to be foldable between a closed position and an open
position, said cover being transparent to permit the visual inspection
of removed blades when the cover and support are in the closed position.
18. The device of claim 4 wherein said support has an upraised
rib bordering said slot proximal said open end, said rib being a
pressure point against said blade when the tang is pressed down
to release it from the blade.
19. The device of claim 5 further comprising a cover articulately
connected to said support, said cover comprising a plurality of
strips, each strip sized to selectively cover a removed blade retained
on said support above said slots.
Surgical blade description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention is directed toward devices for removing surgical
blades from blade holders.
The scalpel, as a surgical implement, typically includes a handle
having a tang with an upraised portion that mounts a replaceable
blade. The handle, which can be resterilized, and is therefore reusable,
is typically produced in one of two sizes, i.e., No. 3 or No. 4.
The tang of a No. 3 handle is of a standard size to fit all sizes
of the smaller dissecting blades used for internal incisions. Similarly,
the tang of a No. 4 handle is of a standard size to fit all sizes
of skin blades which are used to sever the skin in the initial incision.
The width of the hilt of each of these surgical blades is fairly
Each blade has a longitudinal opening cut therethrough which is
adapted to slidably accommodate the upraised portion of the tang.
When the tang is slidably positioned to project through the opening
in the blade, the spring steel of the blade allows it to snap over
the projection of the tang, locking the blade on the handle.
The blades are not reusable, and therefore must be safely and efficiently
removed from the reusable handle. In order to remove the blade,
the rearward portion of the blade adjacent the opening, i.e., the
hilt, must be pried upward or distorted in order to clear the projection
of the tang. In the past, the surgical nurse has often accomplished
this task by using a forceps. With the tilt portion of the blade
pried over the top of the projection, the blade is then held by
an instrument, such as a forceps, and is slidably pulled off the
handle tang. Such manual removal of the soiled blade is not only
awkward, but also can be hazardous since the blade may carry viruses
or other infectious disease.
At the conclusion of surgery, it is also important that all blades
used be accounted for and discarded in a package which will not
permit removed blades to fall out.
U.S. Pat. No. 4120397 issued to Neumann, represents an attempt
to devise a blade remover which removes the blade and retains it
in a receptacle which can then be discarded. The device, while perhaps
an improvement over the manual forceps method, is not satisfactory
since it is awkward and frustrating to manipulate. Even after fully
understanding how the device is to be used, the blades are removed
with difficulty. Moreover, the construction of the device is expensive,
cumbersome and bulky.
There is therefore a definite need for a blade remover which quickly
and safely removes the blade which is inexpensive and which retains
the removed blade in a way that it can readily be accounted for
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The inventive surgical blade remover is formed of an essentially
wedge-shaped support having a front which slopes down to a lower
back portion. The support has a plurality of mutually parallel latitudinal
slots which extend perpendicularly from the front edge of the support
into its interior. The slots are open at their front end and along
In the preferred embodiment, two slots are designed to remove the
larger skin blades and four are designed to remove the smaller dissecting
blades. Each slot has a width which is less than the width of the
blade which it is designed to remove. Moreover, the length, depth,
and width of each slot is sufficient to receive the tang of the
particular handle attached to the blade to be removed.
The upper surface of the support is covered with an adhesive which
borders each of the slots. A silicone treated paper is placed over
the adhesive and is perforated to allow its removal from all slots
at once or its selective removal from individual slots.
In order to remove a blade, one removes the peel-away paper from
the slot to be used. This selective removal of the paper exposes
a minimum surface area of adhesive, thereby decreasing the chance
that the operator's gloves or clothing will become snagged. Next,
the tang of the handle is inserted within the slot. Since the slot
is narrower than the blade, the blade will lie flat against the
adhesive surface of the support in overlapping fashion above the
slot. The handle of the holder is then pivoted downward. Since the
width of the slot is less than the width of the blade, the blade
is not permitted to move downward with the handle. This causes the
hilt portion of the blade to be pried upward until the opening in
the blade clears the upraised projection of the tang. Once the hilt
of the blade has cleared the tang projection, the handle is then
withdrawn from the slot, slidably removing the handle tang from
the blade. This removal is made possible by the adhesive which holds
the blade in its fixed position against the surface of the support.
The bladeless handle may then be resterilized for additional surgeries.
If desired, the slots may be numbered to provide a means for accurately
accounting for the number of blades used. In a preferred embodiment,
the support has an articulately connected cover which can be placed
over the support to encase the blades which remain retained by the
adhesive. The entire device can then be easily discarded without
danger to hospital personnel.
The device therefore permits the easy and quick removal of surgical
blades without requiring hospital personnel to physically contact
the blades themselves. The adhesive not only allows for the easy
extraction of the blade, but also retains the blade in its fixed
position for safe and efficient accounting and disposal thereof.
Since the device is lightweight, compact, and inexpensive to produce,
it is easy to manipulate in use and yet is economically disposable.
Moreover, the device is capable of removing the various sizes of
blades which are universally used.
In short, the device quickly and safely removes the various types
of blades, provides an efficient and reliable system for identifying
each blade, and simultaneously encapsulates the blades for their
prompt and safe disposal.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other advantages will be clarified in the discussion
below with reference to the following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the inventive
remover with its cover open and with the peel-away paper lifted
to fully expose one slot;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken through line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded view showing the tang of the blade holder
with a typical surgical blade aligned above the projection of the
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of a holder with attached
blade positioned above a removal slot;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view, similar to that of FIG. 2 having the
tang of the holder positioned within the slot and the attached blade
resting on the surface of the support;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view, similar to that of FIG. 5 in which
the blade holder has been pivoted downward to allow the hilt of
the blade to clear the projection of the tang;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the second
embodiment with the tang of the holder inserted within a slot and
being pivoted downward to detach the blade;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of an embodiment similar
to that shown in FIG. 1 but having articulately connected flaps
which pivot downward against the slot to keep the blade in its fixed
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of a modified
slot which is contoured to compliment the shape of the blade; and
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified slot having
a notch to receive a portion of the hilt of the blade to aid in
the blade's removal.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring to FIG. 1 a first embodiment of a blade remover 10 is
shown. The removal 10 has a base 12 of a generally rectangular shape.
The base 12 is advantageously made of a semi-rigid material, such
as cardboard or the like, to provide support. Mounted on the base
12 is a generally wedge-shaped support member 14. The support 12
has a front side 16 which is parallel to a back side 17.
As most clearly shown in FIG. 2 the support 14 has an upper surface
18 which has a flat portion 20 that is essentially parallel to the
base 12. The upper surface 18 then gradually slopes downward in
a sloping portion 22. The front side 16 of the support 14 therefore
represents the high portion of the wedge, while the back side 17
represents the low portion. The support 14 is advantageoudly formed
of a rigid material, such as polystyrene.
The support 14 is somewhat smaller than the base 12 so as to leave
a front portion 19 of the base which is not covered by the support
14. Attached to the underside of the front portion 19 is a strip
of transfer tape 21. The tape 21 is advantageously covered with
a peel-away silicone treated paper as is well known in the art.
When the paper is removed, the tape 21 can be used to anchor the
base 12 to a rigid support surface, such as a table, or table cover
upon which the device 10 is to be used. Thus, the tape 21 prevents
the device 10 from sliding or otherwise moving on the table surface
when using the device 10.
Referring to FIGS. 1 2 and 4 the support 14 has six slots 24
26 28 30 32 and 34 which extend from front side 16 into the
interior of the support 14. Two of the slots 2426 are sized to
receive the larger tang of a handle for the larger skin blades whereas
the remaining four slots 28303234 are sized to receive the smaller
tang of a handle for the smaller dissecting blades.
As most clearly shown in FIG. 4 the slot 26 extends through the
front side 16 of the support 14. The slot 26 is formed by a bottom
surface 35 a back wall 36 and side walls 38 and 40. The slot 26
is therefore open at its end adjacent the front side 16 and is open
along its entire length extending to the back wall 36. The side
walls 38 and 40 are generally parallel to each other along the length
of the slot 26 extending from the back side 36. However, at the
open end of the slot 26 the side walls 3840 diverge somewhat to
create a larger opening. Referring to the sectional view of the
slot 26 shown in FIG. 2 the bottom surface 35 of the slot 26 is
formed of a relatively flat portion 60 that extends into a downwardly
sloping portion 62 which extends into another relatively flat portion
64 terminating in the back wall 36.
In a like manner, the slot 28 is formed by a bottom surface 42
side walls 4446 and a back wall 48. The side wall 44 of the slot
28 and the side wall 40 of the slot 26 merge with the front side
16 of the support 14 in a semi-circular pattern.
Affixed to the upper surface 18 is a layer of tape 66 which is
covered with an adhesive on both its upper and lower surfaces. The
tape 66 extends from the back side 17 almost up to the front side
16. The tape 66 therefore essentially borders each of the slots
24 26 28 30 32 and 34.
Affixed to the top of the tape 66 is a removable peel-away paper
layer 68. The paper 68 extends from the back edge 17 of the support
14 past the front side 16 creating an overlapping portion 84. Advantageously,
the under-surface of the paper 68 which contacts the tape 66 is
treated with a non-adhesive material, such as silicone. This permits
the paper 68 to be easily removed from the adhesive tape 66. The
paper 68 has a longitudinal line of perforations 70. In addition,
the paper 68 has a series of mutually parallel latitudinal lines
of perforation located midway between each slot. It will be understood
that in FIG. 1 the lines of perforation between the slots 2426
and 2628 are shown as already having been severed. The three remaining
ones, 72 74 and 76 extend from the front edge of the paper proximal
to but not touching the longitudinal line of perforation 70. There
is thus a series of small portions 78 80 and 82 of the paper 68
which are not perforated between the longitudinal line of perforations
70 and the latitudinal perforations 72 74 and 76.
The latitudinal perforations, such as 72 74 and 76 form individual
strips of paper 86 88 90 92 and 94 which are centered over their
respective slots. In FIG. 1 the strip located above the slot 24
has already been removed. Each of the strips 86 88 90 92 and
94 has a rectangular opening 96 98 100 102 and 104 which is
approximately the width of each of their respective slots. If desired,
the rectangular openings 96 98 100 102 and 104 can extend forward
through the overlapping portion of the paper 84 so that the full
extent of each of the slots 24 26 28 30 32 and 34 is visible
when the paper 68 covers the tape 66.
Articulately connected to the base 12 is a cover 106. The cover
106 is approximately the dimensions of the base 12 and is advantageously
transparent. The cover 106 is attached to the base 12 by means of
a strip of adhesive tape 108. The tape 108 is affixed to the under
portions of the base 12 and the cover 106 in a book-binding type
fashion to form a hinge. If desired, the base 12 and the cover 106
may be integrally formed and mutually folded to form an enclosure.
Referring to FIG. 3 an end portion of a blade holder 110 having
a handle 112 with a forwardly extending tang 114 is shown. Located
between the handle 112 and the tang 114 is a recess 116 which is
formed by an angled longitudinal surface 118 a flat surface 120
and a vertical surface 122. The recess 116 forms an upraised projection
124 on the tang 114. The forward-most portion of the tang 114 has
a longitudinal groove 113 which extends from the front edge of the
tang about a third of its length on each side.
A blade 126 is shown having a forward cutting portion 128 and a
rearward hilt portion 130. The blade 126 has a back edge 132 which
is angled to abut the angled longitudinal surface 118 of the handle
112. The hilt portion 130 has a projecting point 134 which is directed
toward the cutting direction of the blade. The blade 126 has a centrally
located rectangular opening 136 extending therethrough. It will
be understood that the blade holder 110 and the blade 126 as described,
do not form a part of the invention, and are well known in the art.
In order to mount the blade 126 on the blade holder 110 the groove
113 on the tang 114 slidably engages the edges of the opening 136.
The tang 114 is then slidably moved, with the aid of the groove
113 up to the forward-most portion of the opening 136. During this
sliding process, the blade 126 is somewhat distorted from its planar
configuration. As the upraised projection 124 of the tang 114 begins
to fit within the opening 136 the hilt portion of the blade 130
snaps down into the recess 116. When the blade 126 is mounted, the
hilt portion 130 rests against the flat surface 120 of the recess
116. Moreover, the back edge 132 of the blade 126 abuts the longitudinal
surface 118 of a handle 112. The complimentary contour of the back
edge 132 and the longitudinal surface 118 requires that when the
blade 126 is correctly mounted, the cutting portion 128 will always
be directed toward the left.
Referring to FIGS. 4 5 and 6 the use of the slot 26 of the device
10 to remove the blade 126 will now be described. This description
is exemplary of using any of the slots 24 26 28 30 32 or 34
to remove any type of surgical blade. The width of the slot 26 must
be less than the width of the blade 126 but greater than the width
of the tang 114. Moreover, the length of the slot 26 must be sufficient
to accommodate the length of the tang 114. Finally, the depth of
the slot 26 i.e., the height of the walls 38 40 must be sufficient
to accommodate the height of the tang 114 and prevent the handle
tang 114 from interferring with the bottom surface 35 of the slot
26 when the handle 112 is pivoted to remove the blade. The slots
24 26 28 30 32 and 34 are of two basic sizes. The slots 24
26 have a width less than the width of a skin blade and a width,
length, and depth sufficient to accommodate the tang of a skin blade
holder. Similarly, the slots 28 30 32 and 34 have a width slightly
less than that of a dissecting blade, and a width, depth, and length
sufficient to accommodate a dissecting blade holder. An approximate
range of blade widths is from about 1/8 inch for a dissecting blade
to about 3/4 inch for a skin blade. The range of tang sizes is from
about 1/2 inch.times.1/16 inch (width).times.1/16 (height) for a
No. 3 tang to about 1 inch (length).times.1/4 inch (width).times.1/4
(height) for a No. 4 tang. The size of the slots will be somewhat
larger than the particular tang to provide adequate clearance.
In order to expose the adhesive surrounding the slot 26 the paper
strip 94 is removed. In using the device 10 the operator may remove
each individual paper strip 86 88 90 92 or 94 as each respective
slot is used. In this alternative, the surface area of tape 66
which is exposed, is kept to a minimum. This, therefore, helps prevent
the operator's gloves or clothing from becoming snagged by the adhesive
on the tape 66. Alternatively, the operator may remove all of the
paper strips, i.e., 86 88 90 92 or 94 by simply tearing the
longitudingal line of perforation 70. The areas of imperforation,
such as 78 80 and 82 prevent the individual paper strips, such
as 86 88 90 92 from becoming detached before the entire line
of strips is removed.
In the configuration, as shown in FIG. 1 the paper would normally
be peeled away by pulling up against the front portion 84 of the
paper 68. Alternatively, a longitudinal crimp can be made in the
paper 66 adjacent the back edge 17. This forces the rearward-most
portion of the paper 68 upward so that it may be conveniently grasped
The blade holder 110 is then inserted into the slot 26 with the
projection 124 projecting upward. In this configuration, the cutting
portion 128 will be facing to the left.
FIG. 5 shows the tang 114 inserted within the slot 26. In this
position, the blade 126 rests against the adhesive 66 which borders
the slot 26.
In order to remove the blade 126 from the tang 114 the handle
112 is pivoted downward within the slot 26. In this position, as
shown in FIG. 6 the underside of the handle 112 will essentially
rest against the flat surface portion 60 of the slot 26. Although
the handle 112 pivots downward, since the blade 126 has a greater
width than the slot 26 the blade remains affixed to the adhesive
66. The handle 112 is pivoted downward until the vertical surface
122 of the tang 114 no longer is engaged within or above the opening
136. With the vertical surface 122 of the tang 114 free of the blade
126 the handle 112 is slidably removed from the slot 26 in the
direction shown by the arrow in FIG. 6. The tape 66 prevents the
blade 126 from moving as the handle 112 is removed. In the entire
blade removal process, the blade 126 is not touched by the operator.
Thus, the device 10 provides an extremely safe mechanism to remove
the surgical blades.
Once removed, the handle 112 can be reused. The blade 126 is retained
in its fixed position on the tape 66. After each of the slots 24
26 28 30 32 and 34 has been used to remove a blade, the cover
106 can be placed over the tape 66 and the entire device 10 containing
the removed blades can be disposed of. The device 10 therefore not
only efficiently and safely removes the blades, but also provides
a mechanism to retain and encase the blades after removal in a form
in which they can be easily disposed of.
Advantageously, the front portion 19 of the base 12 can be printed
so that each slot is numbered. This provides a system for strict
accountability of each blade used and removed during a surgical
Referring to FIG. 9 an alternative embodiment for providing a
means to hold the blade against the upper surface 18 of the support
14 is shown. Hingedly located along the rearward portion of the
upper surface 18 is a series of multi-layered flaps 138 140 and
142. Each of the flaps 138 140 and 142 has a lower-most layer
144 which is formed of a peel-away paper whose upper side 146 is
treated with a non-adhesive material, such as silicone. The middle
layer of the flaps 138 140 and 142 is a tape 148 having both sides
covered with an adhesive similar to the tape 66 shown in the embodiment
of FIG. 1. Affixed to the top surface of the tape 148 is a top layer
150 which is advantageously made of a more rigid material, such
as polystyrene. It may be of a more flexible material, however,
as shown in FIG. 10.
Each flap 138 140 142 is hingedly connected to the support 14
by means of a strip of tape 152 which runs longitudinally along
the back side 17 of the support 14. The tape 152 allows the flaps
138 140 142 to be folded downward against the slots 24 26 28
30 32 34. The length of the tape 148 is designed so that when
the flap 138 140 or 142 is folded downward, against its respective
slot, the tape 148 will not cover any portion of the slot. This
prevents the tape 148 from contacting the tang 114 of the handle
112. The paper 144 is then sized to cover the entire surface area
of the tape 148. The top layer 150 of each flap 138 140 or 142
is of a longer length than the tape 148. The longer length of the
top layer 150 allows it to cover a much larger portion of the blade
126 including that portion which surrounds the upraised projection
124 when the blade holder 110 is inserted within one of the slots.
The use of the flap 138 will now be described. After a blade holder
has been inserted within the slot 34 the peel-away paper 144 is
removed from the tape 148. With the adhesive tape 148 exposed, the
flap 138 is folded downward against the blade. Next, the blade handle
will be pivoted downward to free the hilt portion of the blade from
the upraised projection on the tang of the handle. The operator
will then press down against the portion of the top layer 150 which
covers the tape 148. Since the top layer 150 is composed of a rigid
material, such as styrene, the operator's hand is protected from
the blade itself. The blade handle is then withdrawn from the slot
34 and the blade is retained above the slot 34 by means of the tape
Referring to FIG. 10 an alternative embodiment of the contour
of the slots 24 26 28 30 32 and 34 is shown. As shown in FIG.
10 the upper surface 18 bordering the slot 26 has a recess 154
which is of the general shape of a skin blade. The recess 154 has
a notch 156 which is shaped to compliment the most rearward portion
of the cutting portion 128 of the blade 126. The function of the
recess 154 is therefore two-fold. First, the recess 156 denotes
to the operator the direction and precise position which the blade
should take in the removal process. Secondly, the recess 154 and
particularly the notch 156 serves to hold the blade in its position
as the handle 112 is removed from the slot 26. Thus, in this modification,
the use of adhesive tape, such as 66 or 148 may be eliminated.
If desired, the flaps 138 140 and 142 as shown in FIG. 9 may
be used to further hold the blade in its fixed position above the
slot. Again referring to FIG. 10 the upper surface 18 has a recess
which borders the slot 28 and is shaped to compliment a dissecting
blade. The recess 158 has a notch 160 which receives the most rearward
portion of the cutting edge of a dissecting blade.
Referring to FIG. 11 the side wall 38 of the slot 26 is shown
having a notch 162. The notch 162 is formed by cutting or forming
a V-shaped recess into the upper surface 18 that borders the slot
26 along the side wall 38. The notch 162 has side surfaces 164 and
166. When the blade 126 is to be removed, the projecting point 134
is positioned within the notch 162. The surface 164 of the notch
162 abuts the back edge 132. When the handle 112 is removed from
the slot 126 the surface 164 prevents the blade from moving outward
with the handle.
As shown in FIG. 11 the upper surfce 18 may have an upraised rib
167 bordering the slot 26 at its oepn end to provide a pressure
point against the lower surface of the hilt 130 of the blade 126
to increase the ease in removing the blade.
Referring to FIG. 7 an alternative embodiment 168 of the device
is shown. The embodiment 168 has a base 170 which is generally rectangular
in shape and is advantageously made of a material, such as cardboard
or the like. The base 170 is thus quite similar to the base 12
as shown in FIG. 1. Affixed to the base 170 is a generally wedge-shaped
support member 172. The support member 172 has a front side 174
and a back side 176 which are generally parallel.
The longitudinal length of the support 172 is about the same as
that of the base 170. However, the width of the support 172 is smaller
than the base 170 thereby leaving a front portion 178 of the base
170 which is exposed. The front portion 178 is, in turn, composed
of a first section 180 and a second section 182. The first section
180 which is proximal to the support member 172 has imprinted
thereon a sequential series of numbers for identifying the various
blades removed as discussed above. The second section 182 is foldably
connected to to the first section 180. Affixed to the upper surface
of the second section 182 is a foam strip 184 which essentially
covers the entire upper surface area of the second section 182.
Before the device 168 is used, the second section is in a relatively
planar position with the first section 180 as shown in phantom in
FIG. 7. However, when the device is to be used, the second section
182 is folded underneath the first section 180. In this position,
the strip of foam 184 will rest against the surface upon which the
device 158 is used, such as a table. The function of the foam strip
184 is to elevate the front portion of the support member 172. The
foam strip 184 may provide a greater downward slope to the support
member 172 from the front side 174 to the back side 176 and, in
addition, allows the support member 172 to be formed in the shape
of a rectangular box, if desired, as opposed to a wedge.
The support member 172 is advantageously formed of a foam, such
as an open-celled styrofoam or polyethylene foam. Such a foam is
somewhat compressible and yet still provides needed rigidity for
the device 168. Alternatively, the support member 172 may be formed
of a more rigid material such as styrene. Attached to the upper
surface of the support member 172 is a second layer of foam 186.
An adhesive is applied to the upper and lower surfaces of the layer
186. The layer 186 is advantageously composed of a foam which has
a finer cell structure and is more compressible than the foam of
the support member 172. Polyethylene has been found to be acceptable
for the layer 186. Thus, it should be understood that the surface
172 and the layer 186 may be formed of a single layer of foam. Moreover,
to add more rigidity, a layer of styrene may be interposed between
the support 172 and the layer 186. Advantageously, the styrene layer
overlaps the front side 174 of the support 172 to permit this overlapping
portion to be folded down over the front side 174. The layer 186
has a series of latitudinal slots 188 190 192 194 196 and 198
which extend from the front side 174 of the support member 172 into
the exterior of the device. The relative size and shape of each
of the slots 188 190 192 194 196 and 198 is essentially identical
to that of the slots 24 26 28 30 32 and 34 shown in FIG. 1.
A sheet of peel-away paper 200 which can be treated with silicone,
covers the foam layer 186. It should be understood that the paper
layer 200 may take any of the forms as described for the embodiment
shown in FIG. 1.
The device 168 has a cover 202 which is formed from a series of
strips 203 205 207 209 211 and 213. The cover 202 is articulately
connected to the underside of the base 170 by means of a strip of
tape 204. The strips 203 205 207 209 211 and 213 are sized
to cover the slots 188 190 192 194 196 and 198 respectively
when the cover 202 is folded. Thus, when a scalpel with attached
blade is positioned in one of the slots, the corresponding strip
may be folded over the blade in a similar fashion to that described
above for the top layer 150 shown in FIG. 9. The strips therefore
protect the user's hand as the blade is moved. Moreover, the strips
allow the user to selectively cover the adhesive surrounding each
slot as each slot is used. Thus, the exposed tapes surrounding each
slot can be immediately covered to prevent the adhesive from snagging
gloves, clothing or the like.
The device 168 is used substantially in the same manner to remove
blades as described above. Since the upper surface of the foam layer
186 is covered with an adhesive, the flaps 138 140 and 142 as
shown in FIG. 9 are not required. However, it should be understood
that if desired, such flaps could be used in the configuration shown
in FIG. 7. The contour of each of the slots 188 190 192 194
196 and 198 may also take any of the forms shown in FIGS. 10 and
The embodiment shown in FIG. 7 has been found to be quite effective
in removing surgical blades from their holders. The softness of
the foam layer 186 allows the blade to make a slight depression
therein which, in turn, aids in retaining the blade as the handle
is detached. The support 172 which traverses each of the slots 188
190 192 194 196 and 198 offers a resistance to this blade depression
thereby preventing the table upon which the device rests from interfering
with the user's hand which is manipulating the blade holder as the
blade is detached.
The depth of all slots, in all embodiments described thus far,
is sufficient to receive the tang of the blade holder. However,
with the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 the depth of the slot may be
reduced. As shown in FIG. 8 the slot 188 in its normal state,
is not of a sufficient depth to receive the entire tang 114 of the
blade handle 112. However, since the foam support 172 is compressible,
the operator, by placing a downward force on the tang 114 can depress
the bottom surface of the slot thereby increasing the depth of the
slot so that it may receive the tang 114. Thus, although in its
normal state the slot 188 is not of a sufficient depth to receive
the tang 114 it may be adapted to a sufficient depth. The depth
of the slot 188 as shown in FIG. 8 is not the preferred depth
since depressing the support 172 makes it somewhat more difficult
to remove the blade.
It should also be understood that if desired, it may be possible
to use a depressible material, such as a highly compressible foam,
instead of the slots 188 190 192 194 196 and 198. That foam
would have to have sufficient depressibility that upon compression,
the slot formed is large enough to receive the tang of the blade
It should also be understood that the supports 14 or 172 of any
of the embodiments described above may be articulately connected
to a hinged surgical instrument receptacle, as disclosed in applicant's
pending application, Ser. No. 162026 filed June 23 1980 which
is herein incorporated by reference. In this configuration, the
covers 106 and 202 could be eliminated. The blade remover could
be packaged within the receptacle, removed from the receptacle for
use by pivoting the remover so that its base rests against the table,
and pivoted back into the receptacle after use for disposal.