Urine bag abstract
This invention provides a urine leg drainage bag supporter comprising
a waist encircling belt; a pouch for holding a urine bag, the pouch
being formed of front and back panels connected at the vertical
edges to define an opening in the top and bottom portions of the
pouch, the front panel being formed of a stretchable material to
firmly hold the bag within the pouch; a plurality of vertical straps
connecting the pouch to the belt; and a plurality of horizontal
straps extending from the pouch for encircling the leg of the wearer.
Urine bag claims
What is claimed is:
1. A pouch and support for a urine collection bag comprising:
a waist encircling belt having adjustable length;
a pouch for holding a urine bag, said pouch comprising front and
back panel means, the vertical edges and part of the bottom edge
of said front and back panel means being sewn together to define
a top opening and a centrally disposed bottom opening, said front
panel means being formed entirely of a stretchable material to hold
a urine bag firmly within said pouch and further to prevent a urine
bag from bulging at the bottom portion thereof as the bag is filled
a plurality of vertical straps connecting said pouch to said belt,
said vertical straps having variable lengths, and
top and botton leg encircling straps extending from the top and
bottom portions of said pouch, respectively, for encircling the
leg of the wearer, said leg encircling straps having adjustable
lengths and being provided with fastener means.
2. The supporter of claim 1 wherein each of said pouch encircling
straps is attached to the back panel of said pouch at two locations,
said locations being separated at a distance about equal to the
width of said back panel.
3. The supporter of claim 2 wherein additional stitches are provided
above the bottom edge stitches in said pouch to provide additional
support for the urine bag.
4. The supporter of claim 1 wherein said fastener means comprises
a slip buckle comprising hook and loop portions.
5. The supporter of claim 4 wherein each of the upper and lower
leg encircling straps has first and second free ends, the first
free end being fed through the loop portion of said slip buckle,
the hook portion of said slip buckle being connected to an elastic
band interposed between said back pane1 and said leg encircling
strap, said elastic band having a length shorter than said second
free end so that the second free end prevents said hook portion
from contacting the wearer's skin.
6. The supporter of claim 1 wherein the upper edge of said front
panel is provided with an elastic band.
7. The supporter of claim 6 wherein the front panel has a length
shorter than that of the back panel.
8. The supporter of claim 1 wherein said pouch is provided with
fastening means to which said urine bag can be attached.
9. The supporter of claim 1 wherein the belt and straps are made
of a woven material; the back panel, terry cloth; the front panel,
a knitted elastic material; and the fastener means, stainless steel.
Urine bag description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to urine leg drainage bag supporters. More
specifically, this invention is directed to belt-supported urine
2. Description of the Prior Art
Those individuals who are afflicted with certain urological diseases
so that the urinary tract is blocked or loses its ability to retain
the natural discharge of urine from the body are usually provided
with a device for collecting and storing the urine. A common method
comprises fitting the patient with an indwelling urinary bladder
drainage catheter which is connected by means of a long extension
tube to a vinyl urine collecting bag. The collecting bag is usually
carried by hand when the patient is in a standing position. When
the patient is in a sitting position or when the patient wishes
to free his/her hands, the bag is usually hung or otherwise attached
to a chair or table edge. As is apparent, this type of urine collection
device severely limits the type of clothing the patient can wear
in conjunction therewith. More importantly, the appearance which
such a device presents in public causes embarassment, anxiety and
emotional distress in the patient.
In another type of conventional urine collection device, a much
smaller vinyl collection bag is used. The bag is rectangular in
shape and is provided with an inlet in the top portion thereof and
a drain valve in the bottom. The open end of the indwelling urinary
bladder catheter is connected to the inlet of the bag which has
disposed therein a flutter valve for the prevention of back flow
of the urine into the body. The urine enters the bag through the
top inlet and is drained from the bag through the bottom twist valve
which is usually formed of a rigid plastic material. The bag usually
can hold about 300 ml of urine. The bag is normally held to the
thigh of the patient by means of two one-inch elastic rubber straps.
Although this type of collection device can be hidden from view
underneath of the patient's clothing, the device suffers from some
severe disadvantages. First, the rubber straps have the tendency
to curl up and roll down the patient's leg. This problem is intensified
as the bag becomes more filled with urine. Pulling or tugging of
the catheter causes pain, irritation and even bleeding in the bladder.
Second, the rubber straps if worn for an extended period of time
cause primary skin irritation due to the pressure, heat, friction
and lack of air circulation between the straps and the patient's
skin. Third, since the straps are elastic, they are incapable of
holding up the weight of the bag as it is filled with urine, even
if the straps lay flat against the patient's thigh and are positioned
high up on the thigh. Also as a consequence of the elastic nature
of the straps, the position of and tension on the straps must be
constantly adjusted as the bag fills with urine. On the other hand,
if the straps are stretched too tightly around the leg, this may
cause leg pain as well as restrict blood circulation in the leg.
Fourth, if the bag becomes too full and the straps fail, the bag
may fall, thus causing a spill out of the urine or inflicting severe
pain in the patient as the indwelling catheter is subjected to a
sharp outward pull.
Furthermore, the positioning of the urine bag flat against the
patient's thigh has numerous disadvantages. The large surface area
of the bag in constant contact with the skin can cause irritation,
chafing, itching and even infection. Small amounts of urine leaked
from the catheter/bag inlet connection can seriously complicate
the problem. As the bag fills, the urine is collected at the bottom
portion thereof, causing the bottom portion to bulge and forcing
the lower edge of the bag to curl inwardly, i.e. toward the patient,
which forces the rigid drain valve to press against the patient's
skin. This pressure increases as the bag becomes more filled. It
has also been found that when the bag, which usually has a capacity
of about 300 ml, is filled to about 75 ml, the weight becomes too
great for the rubber straps to hold the bag firmly which leads to
shifting or sliding of the bag and pain in the patient. This leads
to inefficient use of the bag volume. Moreover, continuous shifting
and moving of the bag are accompanied by constant pulling or tugging
on the catheter attached thereto. Such constant movement of the
catheter can produce irritation along the inner surface of the urinary
bladder which, in turn, may cause chronic bleeding. This bleeding
may directly contribute to infection of the bladder, prostate, urethra
and cystotomy stoma or opening. Because of the filling of the bag
and the increase in weight, the range of motion of the leg trunk
and body of the patient is progressively restricted. Even when the
patient is in a horizontal position, when the bag becomes half full,
it begins to shift and pull therewith the attached catheter which
leads to bladder spasms, pain, loss of sleep, etc. Furthermore,
when the bag is filled to capacity overnight, it will have shifted
to rest on the mattress. As a result, the bag is without any effective
support when the patient struggles to rise and empty the bag. Each
motion causes movement in the bag which is accompanied by sharp
pain as the bag pulls on the catheter which moves within the bladder
From the above description, it is clear that the conventional method
of securing a urine bag to the patient's thigh by means of elastic
straps is highly painful to the patient and needs much improvement.
The present invention is made to correct all of the above defects
found in connection with the conventional method.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention provides a urine leg drainage bag supporter comprising
a waist encircling belt, a pouch in which the urine bag is inserted,
and a plurality of horizontal straps extending from the top and
bottom portions of the pouch, the straps being for encircling the
leg of the wearer, the pouch being connected to the belt by means
of a plurality of vertical straps, all straps having adjustable
lengths. The pouch is formed of a front and a back panel, both panels
being sewn together on their side edges so as to define an opening
in the top and bottom of the pouch, respectively. The front panel
of the pouch is formed of a stretchable material in order to prevent
the urine bag from taking the shape of a tear drop, i.e. bulging
out at the bottom, as urine flows into the bag. By using a stretchable
front panel and special stitching in attaching the horizontal straps
to the top and bottom parts of the pouch, the bag is held firmly
within the pouch and the curling in of the bottom drain valve and
bulging in the bottom portion of the bag as it is filled are prevented.
This results in a urine leg drainage bag supporter which can be
comfortably worn by the patient for extended periods of time. The
pain and suffering associated with conventional urine bag carriers
are substantially eliminated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 shows the present urine leg drainage bag supporter as worn
by a patient.
FIG. 2 illustrates the front view of the present urine leg drainage
FIG. 3 illustrates the back view of the present urine leg drainage
FIG. 4 shows the cross-sectional view along line 4--4 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 shows the cross-sectional view along line 5--5 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 illustrates the cross-sectional view along line 6--6 in
FIG. 7 shows a conventional urine bag.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
According to the present invention, there is provided a urine leg
drainage bag supporter which supports, immobilizes and contains
the urine bag irrespective of the position of the wearer, the volume
of urine contained in the bag, the physical size of the wearer or
whether the catheter emerges from the bladder through the urethra
(the natural opening) or a cystotomy opening. The present invention
allows the wearer freedom of movement to enable him to participate
in any type of activity without fear of an accidental urine leakage
due to a sudden disconnection resulting from shifting of the bag.
Furthermore, the present carrier is so designed that it can be worn,
adjusted or removed easily.
With reference to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the present urine
bag carrier 110 as worn by a patient 112. As shown in further detail
in FIG. 2 the present carrier comprises a belt 210 for encircling
the waist of the wearer. The ends of belt 210 are provided with
a fastener means. As shown in FIG. 2 one of belt 210 is fixed to
the hook portion 212 of a slip buckle whereas the other end is fed
through the loop portion 214 of the buckle. Although a slip buckle
is shown in FIG. 2 any other fastener means which can be easily
and conveniently fastened and unfastened can also be used. The belt
may be formed of any suitable material. A 11/2 inch wide all cotton
orthopedic belting has been found to be the most preferred material
for belt 210 since it is strong enough to support the filled bag,
and can be laundered easily, and is non allergenic. A stainless
steel slip buckle is preferred because it offers convenient fastening
and unfastening, does not cause skin irritation, is most reliable
and is lightweight.
Connected to belt 210 are two vertical straps 216 and 218. One
end of these vertical straps extends down the back panel of pouch
220 and is stitched to the top portion of pouch 220. The other and
free end is fed through the loop portion of a slip buckle 222. Also
fed through the loop portion of buckle 222 is a separate movable
cotton orthopedic belt loop 224 which encircles belt 210 so that
vertical straps 216 and 218 are suspended from belt 210. The above
described method of suspending straps 216 and 218 from belt 210
is given as the preferred method.
Vertical straps 216 and 218 serve to suspend pouch 220 and belt
210 and support the weight of the pouch and the urine bag contained
therein. By using the slip buckles, the length of the vertical straps
can be varied to suit patients of different body lengths. It has
been found that 1 inch wide orthopedic woven belting is the preferred
material for use as vertical straps 216 and 218. Such material provides
the most comfort and least amount of distortion under varying conditions
of filled bag volume and body position of the patient.
Pouch 220 has the general configuration of a rectangle and is of
sufficient size to hold a conventional vinyl urine bag, as shown
in FIG. 7 which has the same shape. The pouch comprises front panel
226 and back panel 228. The panels are sewn together along the vertical
side edges by side stitchings 230 and 232 and partially along the
bottom edge by bottom stitches 234 and 236. As a result, top opening
238 and bottom opening 240 which is disposed about the center of
the bottom edge are formed in pouch 220. Top opening 238 which extends
across the entire width of the pouch is adapted for easy insertion
of the urine bag into the pouch. As to bottom opening 240 it is
for the projection therethrough of drain valve 704 (FIG. 7) provided
at the bottom of conventional urine bag 701.
Attached to back panel 228 are a plurality of straps. As has been
described above, vertical straps 216 and 218 are sewn or otherwise
attached to the top portion of a back panel 228. Below the vertical
straps, upper horizontal strap 242 is attached to the back panel.
Near the bottom of the back panel, lower horizontal strap 244 is
sewn to the back panel. The manner in which the upper and lower
straps are attached to the back panel is described in detail hereinbelow.
To secure conventional urine bags having thereon button-holes to
the back panel, two buttons 244 are provided near the top of, usually
about two inches from the top edge of the back panel. For those
urine bags which are formed with buttons therein (706 in FIG. 7),
two tabs 246 each having a button-hole 248 are provided to suspend
and stabilize the vinyl urine bag as it hangs within the pouch.
One end of tab 246 is sewn to the top edge of back panel 228 as
shown in the drawing.
Since back panel 228 forms the surface which comes in constant
contact with the patient's skin, the material used to form the back
panel must be carefully selected in order not to irritate the skin.
To this end, it has been found that terry cloth is the preferred
material because of its softness, absorbancy and durability.
Front panel 226 is formed of a stretchable material, suitable examples
being polyester knit fabrics. Elastic band 250 is sewn to the top
edge of front panel 226. Through the top opening defined by back
panel 228 and elastic band 250 on front panel 226 the vinyl urine
bag is inserted in pouch 220. As has been mentioned, a central opening
in the bottom part of pouch 220 is provided for the projection therethrough
of the drain valve in the vinyl urine bag. Additional reinforcing
stitches 252 and 254 are used to sew together the front and back
panels to render additional support for the urine bag as it is filled.
As shown in FIG. 2 reinforcing stitches 252 and 254 comprise stitchings
which are set apart from edge stitches 234 and 236 to define areas
in which both front and back panels 226 and 228 are sewn together.
The distance between reinforcing stitches and edge stitches is usually
from about 10 to 15% of the length of back panel 228. For a pouch
for carrying a conventional size urine bag, this distance is about
1 to 11/2 inches.
The use of a two-way stretchable material as front panel 226 is
of primary importance in the present invention. The stretchable
front panel serves the following purposes:
(1) to allow the pouch to accommodate a larger volume of urine
which can be collected in the urine bag.
(2) To hold the urine bag firmly within the pouch irrespective
of the amount of urine contained therein. This is an extremely important
function since without the stretchable front panel, the bag can
shift as it is filled which will pull on the catheter connected
thereto and cause pain in the patient. In addition, since the front
panel is stretchable, uniform pressure is exerted on the front of
the urine bag which prevents the urine bag from bulging at the bottom
as it is filled. Hence, curling of the bottom portion of the bag
towards the patient is eliminated.
(3) To offer the convenience of less frequent emptying of the bag
due to increased usable volume therein.
To summarize, by using a stretchable front panel for the pouch,
the urine bag is completely immobilized and bulging therein is eliminated.
This leads to comfortable use of the urine collection system.
As shown in FIG. 2 front panel 226 has a length shorter than that
of back panel 228 so as to provide easy access to buttons 244. However,
front panel 226 should have such a length so that elastic band 250
does not restrict flow through the butterfly valve 708 (FIG. 7)
provided in conventional vinyl urine bag 702. Preferably, front
panel 226 has the length shown in FIG. 2 i.e. top elastic band
250 partially covers buttons 244. By using such a length, elastic
band 250 presses against the inlet tube of the urine bag to immobilize
and stabilize same. In addition, elastic band 250 allows easy and
convenient visual inspection of the urine bag.
Upper and lower horizontal straps 242 and 244 are attached to back
panel 228 for encircling the patient's leg so as to immobilize pouch
220. Upper strap 242 is attached to back panel 228 at two locations
252 252 and at a distance equal to the width of back panel 228
so that stretching of the back panel is eliminated since strap 242
is made of a nonstretchable material. The first free end of strap
242 is fed through the loop portion 256 of a slip buckle. The hook
portion 258 of the slip buckle may be provided on the second free
end of strap 242. The following structural design is preferred since
it is more comfortable to the patient. Hook portion 258 is attached
to elastic band 260 which is folded over itself and interposed between
back panel 228 and strap 242 the layers then secured by stitching
261 (see FIG. 5). A loop is preferred for the purposes of durability
and strength. The length of folded elastic band 260 is shorter than
the second free end of strap 242 so that strap 242 extends beyond
hook portion 258. As a result, none of the metal portion of the
slip buckle comes in contact with the patient's skin when strap
242 is encircled around the patient's leg. By using elastic band
260 the length defined by the looped strap can be varied so that
the patient can change from a sitting to a standing position or
vice versa without adjusting the length of the horizontal straps.
Similarly, lower horizontal strap 244 is attached to back panel
228 at locations 262 and 264 separated by the width of back panel
228 which prevents stretching of the back panel. The loop portion
266 of a slip buckle is provided on one free end of strap 244. The
hook portion 268 of the buckle may be provided on the second free
end of strap 244. It is preferred to use the structural hook design
described above for the upper strap. That is to say, hook portion
268 is attached to elastic band 270 which is folded over and stitched
between lower strap 244 and back panel 226. The second free end
of strap 244 extends beyond elastic band 270 to prevent the slip
buckle from coming into contact with the patient's skin when strap
244 is encircled around the patient's leg. The elastic band also
permits stretching of the looped strap 244.
Both upper and lower horizontal straps are made of orthopedic woven
belting. The upper strap has a width of 11/2 inch and the lower
strap, 1 inch. Both horizontal straps 242 and 246 serve to anchor
and stabilize the pouch to the upper and lower thigh of the patient.
The straps prevent the pouch from shifting due to weight increase
resulting from the constantly increasing urine volume. The pouch
is permitted to flex but not shift in response to continuous changes
in trunk and leg position.
FIG. 3 shows the back view of the present urine leg drainage bag
supporter. As can be readily seen, straps 242 and 244 extend beyond
hook portions 258 and 268 of the slip buckles.
FIG. 4 shows the distribution of urine along the vertical axis
of the urine bag as it is being filled. Due to the presence of stretchable
front panel 226 the urine is prevented from collecting in the bottom
portion of urine bag 802. In addition, drain valve 804 of urine
bag 802 is prevented from curling toward the patient to cause discomfort.
The stretchable front panel, reinforced stitches and anchoring lower
strap 244 to back panel at 262 and 264 all contribute towards the
elimination of curling.
FIG. 6 illustrates the construction of the lower end of the present
carrier. As shown in FIG. 6 lower horizontal strap 244 is attached
to back panel 228 at 262 and 264. Centrally disposed opening 240
is formed between front panel 226 and back panel 228.
As one skilled in the art would readily appreciate, the dimensions
of the belt, straps and pouch can be varied in order to fit patients
of various sizes and are not limited to those described above. The
straps and belt are usually made of woven orthopedic belting. As
can be readily seen, the materials used in forming the carrier should
be easily cleaned or laundered and should not cause irritation to
the patient's skin. Hence, the back panel is preferably made of
woven terry cloth (nonstretch) or towel-like material so that irritation
to the patient's skin from constant contact therewith is eliminated.
The front panel is preferably formed of a knitted polyester material.
As to fastener means, stainless steel slip buckles are preferred.