US 2845173 A
Descripción (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)
July 29, 1958 A. J. LANGDON PACKAGE FOR STERILE ARTICLES Filed July 29, 1955 FIG. 2
INVENTOR. ARTHUR J. LANGDON BY I A ORNEYS United States PatentO PACKAGE FOR STERILE ARTICLES Arthur J. Langdon, East Hampton, Conn.
Application July 29, 1955, Serial No. 525,193
2 Claims. (Cl. 206-632) The present invention relates to the packaging of sterilized articles, and more particularly to an improved protective envelope for maintaining sterilized articles in a contamination free condition between the time of sterilization and time of use.
To preserve sterilized articles such as surgical instruments, dressings, sutures or the like in an uncontaminated or sterile condition, it has heretofore been proposed to enclose and seal such an article in an envelope of airimpervious material and to sterilize the envelope together with the article enclosed thereby, so that after sterilization the envelope protects the article from contamination by contact with nonsterilized objects or exposure to the air. When the article is to be used the envelope is opened usually by tearing or cutting off one end, and the enclosed article is dumped or pulled out through the opening thus formed. Although such a package provides good protection for the sterilized article up to the time when it is ready to be used, the exterior surface of the envelope is of course nonsterile, and when the envelope is torn or cut open, the non-sterile exterior surface frequently contaminates the edge of the opening through which the sterilized article is to be withdrawn. Since with such packages it is very difficult to withdraw the sterile article without its contacting the edge of the opening, contamination of the article by such contact is frequently likely to occur unless extreme care is exercised, and the excellent protection afforded the sterile article while in the package is likely to be completely nullified before the article can be put to use. Accordingly, the principal object of the present invention is to provide an improved envelope for protectively enclosing sterile articles which overcomes the foregoing disadvantages and prevents contamination of an article enclosed thereby during its removal therefrom.
Other objects will be in part obvious, and in part pointed out more in detail hereinafter.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereafter set forth and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a partly broken away front view of one form of an envelope constructed in accordance with the present invention, prior to loading and closing thereof; Figure 2 is a view of the envelope of Figure 1 after loading and closing thereof; Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 2 but showing the envelope during a preliminary stage in the opening thereof; and Figure 4 is a perspective view of the envelope of Figure 3 showing the final step in the opening thereof.
Referring to the drawing, and particularly Figures 1 and 2 thereof, a preferred form of package constructed in accordance with the invention consists of an envelope 2 which may be made of any suitable thin, flexible and air-impervious material, such as glassine paper. The envelope consists of two sections, a body section 4 and a 2,845,173 Patented July 29, 1958 closure section 6, which in the embodiment shown are separate before the envelope is closed.
Body section 4 is adapted to enclose the article to be sterilized and has 'a closed lower end 8, closed side edges 10, 12, and an open mouth 14 at its upper end through which the enclosed article is adapted to be withdrawn. The body section is of sufiicient size such that the top of the article enclosed will be spaced downwardly'from the mouth 14 and will therefore permit the upper portion of section 4 to lie flat.
The closure section 6 has a closed upper end 20, closed side edges 22, 24, and an open lower end 26, into which the open upper end of body section 4 is adapted to be inserted. According to the invention the side edges 22, 24 of closure section 6 are spaced apart substantially farther than the side edges 10, 12 of body section 4, so that the width of section 6 is greater than the width of mouth 14. To facilitate sealing closure section 6 shut, its inside surface is coated with a strip of adhesive 28 which extends entirely around the inside surface adjacent the lower end 26.
In the use of the envelope, the body section 4 is loaded with an article to be sterilized, and the envelope is closed by slipping closure section 6 over body section 4 and arranging the two sections so that the open mouth 14 of section 4 is spaced intermediate adhesive strip 28 and the upper end 20, and the sides of the mouth are inwardly spaced from side edges 22, 24 of closure section 6. The open lower end of the closure section is then sealed shut and sealed to the flat portion of body section 4 above the article enclosed therein on a locus spaced below mouth 14, as shown in Figure 2. Alternatively the closure section 6 may be sealed to body section 4 prior to loading of the package, and the package may be loaded through the lower end of body section 4 and that end sealed shut in any conventional Way. Thus when the envelope is closed section 6 forms a completely closed protective cover which wholly encloses the open end and mouth 14 of body section 4, which is united to the surface of body section 4 at a' locus spaced below mouth 14, and whose side edges and upper end are spaced from the corresponding edges of the enclosed part of body section 4.
After closing, the envelope with the article inside is sterilized by autoclaving or other suitable process, thus rendering sterile not only the enclosed article and interior surfaces of the body section 4, but also the portion of the exterior surface of body section 4 enclosed by closure section 6 as well as the periphery of mouth 14 and the interior surfaces of closure section 6. Thereafter the sealed envelope may be stored until ready for use, the article enclosed thereby being protected from contact with the outside air, and thus maintained in a sterile condition.
To open the package the upper end of closure section 6 is severed by tearing or cutting a line 30 spaced above the mouth 14, and the sides of section 6 are also severed on lines 32, 34 laterally outwardly spaced from the sides of the mouth and extending to a point below the mouth. To facilitate quick opening, closure section 6 may be provided with a draw string, not shown, of the type used for example to open bandage Wrappers. Opening of section 6 as described forms a pair of flaps 36, 38 whose peripheral edges are outwardly spaced from the mouth and which may thus be conveniently grasped without touching the mouth, and separated by peeling them back relative to body section 4 to expose and distend the mouth. The enclosed article may then be readily removed by inverting the envelope 2 or by means of sterile forceps or the like.
With this arrangement it may be seen that the periphery or edge of the mouth 14 is physically isolated from contact with the external surfaces of the envelope, during opening of the envelope or thereafter, by the portion of the interior surface of the flaps 36, 38 intervening between the periphery of the flaps and body section 4, andby. the external surfaces of the portion of body section f1 previously enclosed within closure section t5. Since these intervening surface areas are sterile, it may be seen that the periphery of the mouth is thus completely isolated from contamination and Will be maintained in a sterile condition, and no contamination of the enclosed sterile article can occur, even if the enclosed article should wipe the edge of the mouth during its removal from the envelope. r 7
Thus it may be seen that an envelope constructed according to the present invention is not only convenient and easy to use, but affords a substantially improved degree of protection from contamination toarticles enclosed thereby during removal therefrom.
As many changes could be made in the above construction and many apparently widely different embodiments of this invention could be made without departing from the scope thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the language used in the following claims is intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
1. A disposable envelope for containing an article in sterile condition, said envelope being composed of thin flexible air-impervious material and comprising a body section adapted to receive a sterile article and having sealed side and bottom edges and an open mouth at its upper end, and a closure section adapted to telescope over the upper end of the body section and having sealed side and top edges, the closure section being sufiiciently greater in width than the body section and of sufficient length so that with the closure section telescoped over the body section and sealed thereto and to itself along a locus extending laterally of the closure section and spaced downwardly from said mouth the closure section may be severed along the sides and top thereof to provide a pair of flaps on opposite sides of said mouth with the side and top edges of the flaps sufficiently spaced from said mouth to permit separation of said flaps to expose said mouth without any contaminating contact therewith.
2. In the combination of a disposable envelope and a sterile article'contained within the envelope, said envelope being composed of thin flexible air-impervious material and comprising a body section in which the article is received, said body section having sealed side and bottom edges and an open mouth at its upper end, and a closure section having sealed side and top edges telescoped over. the upper end of the body section and sealed to, itself. and to the body section along a locus extending laterally of the closure section and spaced downwardly from said mouth, the side and top edges of the closure section being spaced outwardly of the side edges and mouth of the body section sufficiently to permit severing of the closure section along the side and top thereof to provide a pair of flaps on opposite sides of said mouth with the top and side edges of the flaps spaced sufliciently from said mouth to permit subsequent separation of the flaps to expose said mouth without any contaminating contact therewith.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 175,171 Rurnpp Mar. 21, 1876 1,217,818 Peterson Feb. 27, 1917 2,371,521 Heywood et al Mar. 13, 1945 2,611,483 Adams Sept. 23, 1952
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