US 728883 A
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UNITED STATES Patented May 26, 1903.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. l28,883, dated May 26, 1903. Application filed July 29, 1902. Serial No. 117,480. (No model.)
To all wit/01.12l t may concern:
Be it knownthat I, ANDREW J. DOWNES, a citizen ofthe United States, residing at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, vhave invented certain Improvements in Electrothermic Instruments, of which the following is a specification.
My invention consists of certain improvements in electrically-heated forceps or other surgical instruments, and especially to those used in electrotherniic hzemostasis, the objects of my invention being to so construct such instruments as to provide for the heating of the same most eectively, to permit of the incasement of the electrically-heated resistance Within the jaw of the instrument and without the use of hard solder for sealing the chamber in which it is contained, to prevent exposure of -the electric conductors carried by the instrument, and to so dispose the terminals upon the instrument as to reduce to a minimum the length of conductor contained within the same. These objects I attain in the manner hereinafter set forth, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure l is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, of an electrically-heated surgical forceps constructed in accordance with my invention. Figs. 2 and 3 are similar views of other forms of forcepsembodying the invention. Fig. 4 is a view, partly in elevation and partly in section, of an electrothermic device for application to the jaw, blade, or other portion of a surgical forceps or otherV instrument for the purpose of heating the same. Fig. 5 is a transverse section on the line a a, Fig. l. Fig. 6 is a transverse section on the line b b, Fig. 3. Fig. 7 is a transverse section on the line c c, Fig. 4. Fig. 8 is a perspective view of the electricallyheated resistance strip or plate used in connection with the instrumentshown in Figs. l, 2, and 8; and Figs. 9 and l0 are transverse sections Villustrating certain modifications in the construction of the instrument.
In the manufacture of forceps and other instruments for use in electrothermic haemostasis and occlusion it is usual to heat one of the blades of the forceps by embedding therein an electrically-heated coil, plate, or bar held in place by a soldered cover-plate; but
in order to prevent the warping of the latter by the heat hard solder must be used'to retain it, and the heat necessarily employed in the soldering operation draws the temper of the forceps, and thereby seriously impairs the usefulness of the instrument. Moreover, the instruments for this purpose as heretofore made have had theinsulated electrical conductors extended along one of the handles of the instrument to the rear end ofthe same and exposed on the outside of the handle,-
where they are liable to injury and prove inconvenient, especially if they become heated during the use ot' the instrument. All these objections my invention overcomes and provides an instrument which is at once simple in construction and effective in use.
In Fig. l of the drawings, l and 2 represent the opposite jaws of a pair of surgical forceps, these jaws being pivoted together at 3 and each jaw havinga rearwardly-projecting handle 4, as usual. The upper jaw is recessed for the reception of a plate 5, of platinum or other metal of high resistance, which is intended to'vbe heated by the passage of an electric current through the same, thereby heating the jaw in which it is embedded, saidV plate being narrower than the recess containing it and being insulated from the metal of the jaw by means of strips 6 6 of mica or other insulating material disposed one above and one below the plate, as shown in Figs. l and 5. Instead of the plate 5 a coil of wire, a bent or waved. metallic strip, or other form of resistance may be used. Hence I will refer to this element simply as a` resistance The recess which contains thev resistance 5 and its insulating-strips 6 is closed by a plate 7, which forms part of the acting face of the jaw of the forceps and has beveled edges, which are overlapped by the correspondinglybeveled walls of the jaw, as shown in Fig. 5, whereby said plate 7 is held in position without the aid of solder or other cementing agent, although for the purpose of absolutely sealing the joint between t-he jaw and the plate 7 it is preferable to use a limited quantity of soft solder, which can he 'applied at such a low temperature that the temper of the metal of which the instrument is composed will not be drawn or otherwise injuriously aected thereby. j
In applying the cover-plate 7 the same may be slipped longitudinally between the undercut side portions of the jaw of the forceps, or said side portions need not be undercut in the first instance, but can be pressed or hammered inwardly over the beveled edges of the plate 7 after the latter has been inserted into its proper position.
When the resistance 5 is in the form of a platinum plate, it may have at each end a short strip 8, preferably of copper or other metal which is a good conductor of electricity, (see Fig. 8,) one of these copper strips being in contact with the metal of the jaw 1 and plate 7, as shown in Fig. 1, so as to have electrical connection therewith, and with the projecting terminal post 9 on said jaw, while the other strip 8 is connected to or forms part of an insulated conductor 11, which is in electrical connection with another terminal post 10, said conductor 1l passing through a tunnel 12, formed in the jaw 1 and leading to an opening in the back of said jaw, which opening is provided with an insulating-plug 13, whereby the terminal post 10 is insulated from the jaw. When, therefore, the opposite terminals of an electrical generator or supply are applied to the posts 9 and 10, current will be caused to pass through the resistance 5 and the same will become highly heated and will transmit its heat to the jaw 1, with which it is connected. l
By the use of the laterally-projecting terminal posts 9 and 10 the necessity of carrying an electrical conductor to the end of one of the handles of the instrument is avoided, the convenient application and removal of the terminals of the su pply-conductors is permitted, and the length of conductor intervening betweenv the post 10 and the end of the resistance 5, and consequently thelength of tunnel needed for its reception, can be reduced to any desired extent.
The laterally-projecting terminals may be located at any desired point on the jaw or handle, the location of the same at the proximal portion of the jaw reducing to a minimum the movement of the terminals caused by the opening and closing of the jaws.
In the instrument shown in Fig. 2 the recess for the reception of the resistance 5 is formed in the back of the jaw 1 instead ofin the face of the same; but otherwise the construction of the instrument is substantially the same as shown in Fig. 1.
Certain of the features of my invention may be embodied in an instrument in which the terminal posts are at the end of one of the handles, such an instrument being shown in Fig. 3, on reference to which it will be observed that the conductor 11 is contained in a tunnel 12, which is formed in the back or inner side of the handle 4 of the instrument and is closed by a beveled plate 14, similar to that which closes the chamber` containing the resistance 5. In this instrument .also I have shown a screw 15 as a means of providing electrical connection between the strip 8 at the outer end of the resistance 5 and the jaw 1, said strip 8 being insulated from said jaw except through the connection ai'orded by the screw. An instrument of this character is not open to the objection of one having the insulated conductor on the outside of the handle, for in the improved instrument the conductor is entirely out of lthe way and does not interfere with the free use or proper sterilization of the instrument and is not likely to cause inconvenience by becoming heated, since the tunnel can be deep and the conductor can be large and can have a heavy insulating-covering, thus preventing the production or transmission of any considerable degree of heat.
The instrument shown in Figs. 4 and 7 is an electrothermic device intended for applying heat to the jaws of forceps or other instruments not provided with special heating appliances. This device consists of a block 1'6, having its under face recessed for the reception of a U-shaped resistance 17, insulated from the block except as to one of its terminals and having the other terminal connected to an insulated post 10 on the block, the chamber which contains the bar 17 and its insulating-plates 6 being closed by a plate 18, having opposite beveled edges which are overlapped by the beveled sides of the block, as shown in Fig. 7, so as to effectually retain the plate 1S in its proper position. In the present instance the plate 18 is recessed for adaptation to the rounded back of the jaw of the forceps; but it may be otherwise shaped, as the use to which it is to be put may suggest. In any case, however, the device constitutes, in effect, an enlargement or continuation of the jaw, and is therefore intended to be included in the term jaw in such of the claims as apply to such device.
The edges of the various cover-plates used in the different forms of instrument which I have described may be T-shaped or otherwise undercut instead of beveled, as desired, an instance of such construction being shown at 7a in Fig. 9, and the overlapping portions may be formed upon the plate instead of upon the jaw in some cases, such construction being illustrated at 7b in Fig. 10.
Having thus described my invention, I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent- 1. In an electrothermic instrument for surgical use, the combination of the jaw of the instrument, an electrical resistance contained in a recess therein, and a plate closing said recess and having beveled or other undercut edges, substantially as specified.
2. The combination in an electrothermic instrument for surgical use, of a jaw having an electrical resistance contained in a recess in the acting face of the jaw and a plate closing said recess and having undercut edges, substantially as specified.
3. In an electrothermic instrument for sur- ICO IIO
gical use, the combination ot the jaw having an electrical resistance contained in a recess therein, an external terminal post, a tunnel formed in the metal ot' the instrument, and a conductor contained in said tunnel and connecting said external terminal post with the resistance in the jaw, substantially as specified.
4. In an electrothermic instrument for Surgical use, the combination of the jaw having an electrical resistance contained therein, and laterally-projecting terminal posts having connection with the terminals ot said resistance, substantially as specied.
5. In an electrothermic instrument for Surgical use, the combination of the jaw having: an electrical resistance contained therein, with projecting terminals at the proximal portion of said jaw, substantially as specified.
Intestimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification in the presence of two subscribing Witnesses.
ANDREV. J. DOWNES.
F. E. BEcH'roLD, WILL. A. BARR.