US 3004681 A
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1961 c. w. JINKENS EIAL 3,004,681
TWO POSITION CAP Filed Sept. 18. 1959 INVENTORS CHARLES W. Jl/V/(EIVS CHARLES CRAIG WALDBILL/G BYZZZ Z 2 l2 ATTORNEYS This invention relates to a plastic container which has provisions whereby its interior may be stenlized, and further provisions to maintain it in the sterilized state.
ates n ent Specifically, this invention is a container for a surgical swab or the like whereby a specimen on the swab may be preserved in an uncontaminated condition. Devices of this nature have their primary use in hospitals or the like for taking cultures or specimens for later laboratory analysis. The container must be absolutely sterile before use and be capable of being completely sealed after use so that the culture or specimen is preserved without contamination or evaporation.
It is an objective of this invention to provide a container having a two-position cap whereby a sterilizing agent may be injected into said container while the cap is in a first position, and said container being sealed when the cap is in its second position.
A further objective of this invention is to provide a container made of an inexpensive plastic which is unbreakable and non-reactive with inexpensive sterilizing agents such as ethylene oxide gas.
It is another objective of this invention to provide an evaporation proof container for storing medical specimens and the like.
It is one of the specific objectives of this invention to provide a container of the type described having a cap section capable of supporting a surgical swab.
Further objectives and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following description and claim wherein the construction, arrangement and cooperation of the several parts of the container are set forth.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 shows the assembled container with portions broken away;
b FIG. 2 shows the container enclosed in a cellophane FIG. 3 shows the cap section removed from the container tube;
FIG. 4 shows the container in its sealed position;
FIG. 5 is a view along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the cap along the line 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing the con- :tainer tube within the cap in the unsealed position; and
FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 7 with the cap sealing the container.
Referring now to the drawings, the numeral 10 indicates the assembled container of this invention. The container 10 is comprised of an elongated tubular element 12 and a cap 14. The tubular element and cap are made of a relatively clear plastic such as polystyrene, which will permit a visual inspection of the contents of the container. The container of this invention is normally shipped to the user in a cellophane bag such as 16, which is heat sealed at 18. This permits a user to tell at a glance whether the swab within the container has been used or not.
The tubular section 12 is more or less of a test tube design and is closed at its end 20 and has an annular outwardly extending lip 22 at the mouth end thereof.
The two-position cap 14 is adapted to slide over the lip 22 to close the container. The cap 14 is comprised generally of a top section 24 and a skirt section 26. The
3,004,681 pat n e o r. 17, 19s1 2 skirt section 26 defines the base opening 27 of the cap which is further defined by an inwardly extending flange 28. Approximately midway along the interior ofskirt section 26, and spaced from flange 28, is an annular groove 30. Annular groove 30 is defined by flanges 31 and 35. A second groove 33, parallel to groove 30 is defined by flanges 31 and 28. The opening 27 has ap proximately the same circumference as the outer circumference of tube 12, and a circumference less than that of the outside circumference of lip 22. The resiliency of the cap permits the flange to snap over the lip to the position of FIG. 7. However, the cap will not come off the container unless enough pressure is applied to snap the flange past the lip. The adjoining surfaces of the lip and flange are tapered at 23 and 29 respectively to aid in cap removal.
Spaced circumferentially about the interior of the skirt section 26 are the longitudinal recesses 32 and 34. The recesses 32 and 34 extend through the flange 28 and extend toward but terminate at a point spaced from annular groove 30. The cap is completed by the swab-receiving chuck 36 and the bracing members 40, 41, 42 and 43. The chuck 36 has a recess 46 to removably receive an end of a conventional swab stick 48 which has a piece of cotton 50 or the like attached to its other end.
Referring now to FIG. 7, the container can be seen in its unsealed or open position. The cap remains on the container but is prevented from coming off because of the cooperation between flange 28 and lip 22 as described above. As seen in FIG. 7, this permits the recesses 32 and 34 to be in communication with the interior of tube 12.
The containers are packaged in a cellophane bag with the cap in the open position. They are then placed within a large chemical retort. Air is evacuated from the retort and the sterilizing agent is introduced. The agent penetrates the cellophane and reaches the interior of the container and sterilizes it. The flow of gas is indicated by arrows 52 and 54. The packaged container is then removed from the retort and will remain sterilized indefinite- 1y, because the cellophane, although permeable to the agent, is substantially impervious to air.
The actual user of the container after removing the cellophane package 18, removes the cap and places the culture or specimen on the swab. The swab is then inserted into the tube and the cap is pushed all the way to the sealed position shown by FIG. 8. This permits the lip 22 to extend beyond the recesses 32 and 34 and be received in annular groove 30. The container is then in its sealed or closed position. The outer periphery of lip 22 is slightly greater than the interior diameter of groove 30. This holds the cap positively to the tube in an air-tight sealed position. The culture is maintained in this sealed container until it can be analyzed in the laboratory.
To re-use the container the swab stick 48 is replaced by an unused stick and the container is sterilized again by the procedures outlined above.
In a general manner, while we have in the above description, disclosed what we deem to be practical and efiicient embodiments of our invention, it should be well understood that we do not wish to be limited thereto, as there might be changes made in the arrangement, disposition and form of the parts without departing from the principle of the present invention as comprehended within the scope of the accompanying claim.
A two position resilient cap co-axially supporting a swab stick within an elongated test tube of a type having an outwardly extending lip about tis open end, comprising in combination, a top section, a skirt integrally connected at one end with said top section, a first annular wa er 3' inwardly directed flauge dciiains an. ensuin at the e her end of said skirt and said first flange having an interior periphery less than the exterior periphery of said lip, 21 se n nn raw rd rcl r ote flange p ed. from aid first flange an av n na periph ry slihsta i yth sam as s id st. flan e, sai inner per pher e sii subs an a ly qual to th out per p ery of aid test time, aid first and s co fl ng s efin n a firs annu ar groove therebetween, a third flange spaced from said see,- nd flange and defining a second annular groove, the bottoms of said first and second annular: grooves having a circumference approximately equal to the greatest circumference of said lip, said skirt having a longitudinal recess extending from said opening through said flange and partially through the bottom of said first groove, said cap 15 2,877,918
References Cited in the file. of; this patent UNI ED STATES P TENTS Furenne June 8, 1948 2 ,63Q,912 Warner Mar. 10, 1953 2,738,091 'M'attox Mar. 13, 1956 2,820,564 Solomon Jan. 21, 1958 2,835,246 Boettger May 20, 1958 Gardner n Mar. 17, 1959
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