Syringe needle abstract
The combination of a syringe and needle cover that not only provides
protection for the needle prior to use of the syringe but also facilitates
the mating the syringe to a vial without exposing the needle to
the user until the syringe is filled and ready for injection. Advantages
include greater economy, convenience, simplicity and safety than
prior art devices.
Syringe needle claims
What is claimed is:
1. The combination consisting essentially of
a syringe having a barrel with a needle affixed to one end of the
said syringe barrel wherein said needle extends outward from said
syringe barrel and terminates in a tip suitable for injection,
a two-ended tubular sheath friction fitted at its first end completely
around the said needle end of said syringe, and
removable seal means affixed to the second end of the said sheath
wherein the said second end of the said sheath has internal configuration
means capable of providing a friction fit completely around the
top of a medicinal vial having a needle penetrable stopper on the
top said vial, wherein the said second end of said sheath extends
a short distance beyond the tip of the said needle when said first
end of said sheath is attached to said syringe and together with
the said seal completely encloses the said needle within the said
sealed sheath, and wherein the said sheath has an internal bore
large enough in diameter to enclose said needle and long enough
to enable the said tip of the said needle, after removal of the
said seal, to penetrate just inside the stopper of the said vial
when said vial is connected to the said second end of the said sheath
and thereby facilitate the substantially complete evacuation of
the contents of the said vial.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the first end of the said
sheath butts up against a stop on the barrel of the said syringe
and the second end of said sheath possesses a stop on its inside
surface capable of butting up against the top of the said vial.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein the sheath is composed of
an elastic material.
4. A device suitable for (a) covering a needle extending outwardly
from and affixed to one end of the barrel of a syringe wherein said
needle extends outward from said syringe barrel and terminates in
a tip suitable for injection and (b) connecting the said syringe
to the top of a vial having a needle penetrable stopper which seals
the top of said vial, said devices consisting essentially of a tubular
having a first end with internal bore means adapted to fit firmly
but removably over the needle end of said syringe,
having a second end with internal bore means adapted to fit firmly
but removably over the stoppered end of said medicinal vial,
having an intermediate passage between the first and second ends
of said sheath with an internal configuration large enough in diameter
to enclose said needle and long enough to permit said sheath to
extend just beyond the tip of said needle when said sheath is attached
to said syringe, and
having removable sealing means on the second end of said sheath
capable of fully enclosing said needle in combination with said
sheath and said syringe prior to attachment of said vial to said
5. The device of claim 4 wherein the length of said sheath is adjusted
to enable said needle to penetrate just inside the stopper of said
vial to permit the substantially complete evacuation of the said
vial when said sealing means is removed and the said sheath is connected
to said syringe and said vial.
6. The device of claim 4 wherein the said sheath is composed of
an elastic plastic material.
Syringe needle description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates primarily to a syringe and needle cover
combination that can more safely and conveniently be combined with
a vial containing a medicament for the purpose of filling the syringe.
Prior art syringe needles are usually covered with a simple cap
that is capable only of protecting the needle. To fill the syringe
with medicament, the cap is simply removed by hand and the needle
fitted manually into the stopper of a vial for the purpose of filling
the syringe with medicament. To fit the needle safely and conveniently
into the bull's eye on the stopper on the top of a vial, many devices
are already available in the prior art, including the syringe guide
of the present inventor described in U.S. Pat. No. 5240047. However,
these prior art devices are more complex and expensive to produce
than the present device. They even require more dexterity from and
incur more risk of injury to the user of the syringe. The user must
uncover the needle and insert it into a passageway of some kind
in order to guide the needle to the bull's eye, penetrate the stopper
with the needle and fill the syringe. Although such guides were
improvements over their predecessors, an exposed needle still requires
considerable dexterity and visual acuity to find a passageway and
penetrate the vial. Further reduction in the risk of injury or complexity
is still desirable especially for the visually or physically impaired,
inexperienced or distracted user of a syringe particularly since
accidental puncture of the skin with a needle can result in transmittal
of virus-infected blood. A need therefore exists for a more convenient,
simple, economical and safe device for filling a syringe.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The principal object of the present invention is to satisfy the
need for a more convenient, simple, economical and safe device to
provide a protective cover for a syringe needle and facilitate the
filling of a syringe from a vial containing a liquid medication.
The principal feature of the present invention is the provision
of a device that serves initially as a protective cover for a syringe
needle and thence insures that the needle or cannula of the syringe
can be inserted into a vial in a safe and easy manner for maximum
drug and minimal air extraction from the vial without risk of injury
to the user of the syringe.
Another feature of the present invention is the tubular sheath
structure that allows it to be carried separately for mating to
a syringe that already possesses a needle cover to facilitate mating
the syringe to a vial after the needle cover is removed.
Still another feature of the present invention is to allow the
user to have an unobstructed view of the contents of the vial, the
markings on the syringe and the location of the needle in the vial
to assure proper filling of the syringe.
In addition the present invention is especially advantageous for
use by the elderly, the physically impaired, the inexperienced,
those required to act quickly and even those who have only one hand
available for filling a syringe.
The principal component of the present invention is a tubular sheath
in which (1) one portion is adapted to securely yet removably receive
the needle end of a syringe, (2) the opposite portion of the sheath
is adapted to securely yet removably receive the needle-penetrable
stopper on a vial and (3) the intervening tunnel or passage is adapted
to enclose the needle and enable the sheath to extend just beyond
the tip of the needle after attachment to a syringe. One stop, preferably
in the form of an annular ring, is preferably positioned on the
outside of the syringe barrel and a second stop is preferably positioned
on the inside of the vial end of the sheath. Together the two stops
are positioned just far enough apart to allow the syringe and the
vial cap to fit inside the sheath to securely but removably mate
the syringe and vial to the sheath and at the same time permit the
needle to penetrate just past the inside surface of the vial stopper.
In the most preferred embodiment of the present invention the above-described
tubular sheath is attached to the needle end of a syringe and the
opposite end of the sheath is covered with a removable seal. An
adhesive seal, like those used inside the cap of many food products,
is suitable for this purpose. Thus the sealed sheath functions as
a needle cap and preserves the sterility and physical integrity
of the needle prior to use. Once the seal is removed the sheath
is ready for attachment to a vial allowing the uncovered needle
to penetrate the stopper in the vial for the purpose of filling
In another embodiment of the present invention the tubular sheath
is attached to the needle end of a syringe and a cap is fitted over
the end of the needle into the narrower passageway inside the sheath.
The cap is firmly but removably fitted inside the sheath and is
long enough to enable the user to grip the cap between his or her
fingers. The combination of the sheath and the cap completely encloses
the needle to maintain its sterility and physical integrity until
the cap is removed prior to attachment of the sheath to a vial for
filling the syringe.
After filling the syringe following use of the foregoing embodiments
of the invention, the sheath and vial are preferably separated from
the syringe as a unit. The syringe is then ready for use and subsequent
disposal in the usual manner. Similarly the sheath can be separated
from the vial and discarded or reused.
The invention will be better understood and further objects and
advantages thereof will become more apparent from the ensuing detailed
description taken in conjunction with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the tubular sheath 4;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line II--II of
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the tubular sheath 4 attached
to a syringe 2 with a adhesive seal 18 on the unattached end;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line IV--IV of
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the tubular sheath 4 device
attached to a syringe 2 and vial 6;
FIG. 6 is cross-sectional view taken along the line VI--VI of FIG.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the tubular sheath 4 attached
to a syringe 2 with a needle cap 20; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along line VIII--VIII of
FIG. 9 provides two views of each, of the three types of seal--18
38 40--that can be used on the vial end 34 of the sheath 4.
The figures are not drawn to exact scale.
Reference numerals in drawings
4 Tubular sheath
8 Syringe plunger
10 Syringe barrel
14 Vial stopper
16 Metal cap on vial
18 Adhesive type seal
20 Needle cap
22 Stop on syringe
24 Vial stop on inside of tubular sheath
26 Tip of needle
30 Pull tab for adhesive type seal
32 Syringe holding portion of the tubular sheath
34 Vial holding portion of the tubular sheath
38 Plug type seal
40 Cap type seal
FIGS. 1 and 2 depict the tubular sheath 4 in elevational and cross-sectional
presentations of the principal component of the present invention.
It could be useful as a separate and distinct product to users of
a syringe for repeated use only if a syringe were fitted with a
cap that covers the needle and includes a structural modification
not depicted in the drawings that would permit sheath 4 to fit over
the needle cover onto the barrel of the syringe. The needle cap
would then have to be removable without removing the sheath 4.'
The sheath per se is more useful to manufacturers to use as a component
of assemblies such as depicted in FIGS. 3 and 7
FIGS. 3 and 4 depict the combination of syringe 2 tubular sheath
4 and adhesive seal 18. A plug 38 or a cap 40 could also be substituted
to seal the vial end 34 of sheath 4. In this embodiment of the invention
the adhesive seal 18 must be removed before attaching the tubular
sheath 4 to the vim 6 as depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6. The vial and
syringe holding portions 32 and 34 of the tubular sheath 4 generally
consist of a cylindrical shape conforming to the cylindrical shape
of conventional syringes and vials such as 2 and 6. Other shapes
are also possible as long as the contact surfaces of the syringe
2 tubular sheath 4 and vial 6 can form a firm but removable attachment
to each other as depicted. The external shape of the tubular sheath
4 is even less critical to the present invention. A degree of elasticity
in the tubular sheath 4 would allow the tubular sheath 4 to be slightly
expanded to provide a suitable friction-fit when attached to syringe
2 and vial 6. The tubular sheath 4 can be formed of a suitable material,
such as either opaque or semitransparent plastic preferably possessing
a degree of elasticity.
FIG. 5 depicts a syringe 2 attached to a vial 6 by the tubular
sheath 4 of the present invention. FIG. 6 depicts the same combination
in somewhat enlarged cross section revealing the needle 12 penetrating
through the vial stopper 14. The tip of the needle 26 is positioned
so that it is capable of extracting the entire contents of the vial
6 when the vial 6 is tipped up to extract the contents from the
vial 6 into the syringe. FIG. 6 also reveals the metal cap 16 which
helps to hold the stopper 14 firmly in place inside the neck of
vial 6. The metal cap 16 also has an opening which forms a bull's
eye at the center of the stopper 14. When the tubular sheath 4 is
fitted onto the vial 6 it's configuration assures that the needle
12 will contact and penetrate the vial stopper at the bull's eye.
FIG. 6 also illustrates the proper length of the tubular sheath,
namely sufficient to enclose the needle prior to use and allow the
needle during use to penetrate the stopper 14 to the proper depth
and yet provide a firm but removable grip on the syringe 2 and the
vial 6. The inside configuration of the ends of the sheath 4 are
designed to provide a friction fit on the syringe 2 at one end and
the top of the vial 6 at the other end. The stops 22 and 24 are
positioned to provide sufficient depth to accomplish the desired
grip on the syringe 2 and vial 6. Instead of providing stops as
depicted, one stop could be provided on the inside of the sheath
4 for attachment over the barrel 10 of the syringe 2 and another
stop could be provided on the neck of the vial 6 The essential
feature is that both the syringe 2 and the vial 6 are firmly but
removably fitted into the ends of sheath 4 and the sheath 4 provides
sufficient additional length to extend past the tip 26 of the needle
12 when attached to the syringe 2. The stop 22 depicted on the syringe
barrel 10 is preferred primarily because syringes possessing that
structure are already available commercially albeit the stop is
intended for use to butt up against the open end of a conventional
cap to enclose and protect the needle. One end of a conventional
cap is closed and obviously cannot be used to mate with a vial like
the product of the present invention.
A different embodiment of the invention is depicted in FIGS. 7
and 8. Syringe 2 is affixed to sheath 4 with a needle cap 20 fitted
on the inside of the passage between the syringe holding 32 and
vial holding 34 portions of sheath 4 over the tip 26 of needle 12
as most clearly shown in FIG. 8.
FIG. 9 depicts the three types of seals--18 38 and 40--that can
be used alternatively in an assembly such as depicted in FIG. 3.
The preferred commercial embodiment of the present invention is
depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4. A somewhat less preferred embodiment
of the present invention is depicted in FIGS. 7 and 8. The embodiment
depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 is most useful as a component for manufacturers
of syringes to use to complete such assemblies as illustrated in
FIGS. 3 and 7. The principal advantage envisioned for this last
embodiment if sold to and used by consumers is the economy of using
the sheath 4 several times with syringes especially designed for
use with sheath 4. In this embodiment the user also has the option
of using a syringe without using the sheath on those occasions when
the sheath seems unnecessary. In all three depicted and described
embodiments the present device can be used more economically and
easily with much less risk of accidentally puncturing and possibly
infecting the user or the patient. While the ease of use is most
important for inexperienced or physically and visually impaired
users, even those not so impaired are sometimes distracted, tired
or hurried and would thereby benefit from use of the present invention.
The operation of the version of the invention depicted in FIGS.
3 and 4 is simple. The user merely removes the seal 18 draws the
proper amount of air into the syringe, fits the top of the vial
6 into the open end of the tubular sheath 4 until the vial 6 is
firmly seated and fills the syringe 2 in the conventional manner,
namely by injecting the air from the syringe 2 into the vial with
the tip 26 pointed down and then reversing the tip 26 up and filling
the syringe 2. The vial 6 which still attached to sheath 4 is separated
from syringe 2 which is then ready for injection. The vial 6 can
be separated from sheath 4 separately.
The operation of the version of the invention depicted in FIGS.
7 and 8 differs only in removal of the needle cap 20 before attachment
to the vial 6 and extraction of the medicinal liquid from the vial
6 into the syringe 2.
The operation of the version depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 differs
in the requirement of attachment of the sheath 4 preferably by the
manufacturer to the syringe 2 and thence following the foregoing
steps for whatever embodiment of the invention is manufactured.
The foregoing relates essentially to preferred exemplary embodiments
of the present invention, it being understood that other embodiments
and variants thereof are possible within the scope of the invention
as defined by the legal scope of the appended claims.