The present invention relates to tubing, and more particularly to lighted tubing.
As known to those skilled in the art, medical tubing is commonly used in hospitals and medical settings. There are many accidents every year caused by patients, medical personnel, and visitors tripping over or otherwise dislodging undetected tubing at night. There are also documented deaths that have resulted from disconnected tubing and tubing that has been connected incorrectly. These accidents are unnecessary and unacceptable. At the same time, there are definitely problems with lighting the entire environment at night; patients often need rest, and many people are incapable of obtaining good rest in lit surroundings.
Lighted tubing and methods of securing medical tubing are disclosed herein. Lighted tubing of one embodiment includes an elongate wall defining an interior channel and a light source attached to the wall.
In an embodiment, lighted tubing for medical use is provided, including an elongate wall defining an interior channel for transporting a substance and a light source attached to the wall.
In an embodiment, lighted tubing for medical use is provided, including an elongate wall defining an interior channel for transporting a substance, a luminator, and a conductor adjacent to and extending from the luminator to conduct light produced by the luminator along the wall.
In an embodiment, a method of securing medical tubing is provided. The method includes the steps of providing medical tubing, providing a light source, attaching the light source to an elongate wall of the medical tubing, and the light source indicating the location of the wall in a dark environment. The elongate wall defines an interior channel for transporting a substance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIGS. 1 through 4 show pieces of lighted tubing in accord with various embodiments.
FIG. 5 shows a light source operatively connected to a clip in accord with an embodiment.
FIG. 6 shows the light source and clip of FIG. 5 without flanges.
FIG. la shows a piece of lighted tubing in accord with an embodiment.
FIG. 76 shows a sectional view of the piece of lighted tubing of FIG. la.
FIG. 8a shows a piece of lighted tubing in accord with an embodiment.
FIG. 86 shows a sectional view of the piece of lighted tubing of FIG. 8a.
FIGS. 9 through 12 show pieces of lighted tubing in accord with various embodiments.
FIG. 13 shows a sectional view of the light source and clip of FIG. 12. The clip is shown in a closed configuration.
FIG. 14 shows a sectional view of the light source and clip of FIG. 12. The clip is shown in an open configuration.
FIG. 15 shows a sectional view of the light source and clip of FIG. 12. The clip is shown in a closed configuration.
FIG. 1 shows a piece of lighted tubing 100 according to an embodiment. The lighted tubing 100 includes a light
5 source 110 and tubing 120 having an elongate wall 122 defining an interior channel 124 for transporting a substance. The tubing 120 is preferably medical tubing, i.e., oxygen tubing. While the tubing 120 is not limited to oxygen tubing, the tubing 120 is preferably a highly inert and flexible sterile
10 tubing for medical use. The tubing 120 may present a circular cross-section 125 or a cross-section 125 having another shape, such as oval or oblong, for example. The light source 110 allows the tubing 120 to be seen in the dark, preventing accidents caused by tripping over, dislodging, or
15 completely disconnecting unlit tubing 120.
The light source 110 is shown in FIG. 1 as a chemical coating 110a having glow-in-the-dark characteristics. Numerous phosphorescent paints 110a found in the marketplace today would be appropriate. After exposure to incident
20 radiation (light), some of these coatings 110a may emit light for up to twelve hours that can be seen by humans. Further, according to their manufacturers, some of these phosphorescent paints 110a can be charged millions of times and have a lifespan of over twenty years. These coatings 110a
25 can be obtained in various colors, and may be nearly transparent in lit surroundings.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the light source 110 may include a piece of tape 11 OA having glow-in-the-dark characteristics. The tape 1106 may have adhesive 111 attaching
30 the tape 1106 to the wall 122 (FIG. 2), or the tape may be a vinyl tape 1106 capable of being selectively affixed to the wall 122 through an electrostatic interaction (FIG. 3). If the tape 1106 includes the adhesive 111, the tape 1106 may be constructed of any of a variety of materials, including cloth,
35 plastic, metal, paper, and others. The tape 1106 may be manufactured from a material having glow-in-the-dark characteristics, or glow-in-the-dark characteristics may be added to the tape 1106, such as by adding the chemical coating 110a discussed above to the tape 1106.
40 As shown in FIG. 4, the light source 110 may include a heat-shrink material 110c having glow-in-the-dark characteristics. Somewhat similar heat-shrink materials are currently used with electrical cords. The heat-shrink material may be manufactured from a material having glow-in-the
45 dark characteristics, or glow-in-the-dark characteristics may be added to the heat-shrink material. Portion 112a represents the heat-shrink material 110c in an initial state, and portion 1126 represents the heat-shrink material 110c after heat has been added.
50 FIGS. 5 and 6 show a light source 110 that includes a luminator 113, i.e., a LED or a light bulb. The ruminator 113 is preferably a LED due to the negligible amount of heat produced by a LED, though other luminators 113 may be used. The luminator 113 is operatively connected to a clip
55 114. The clip 114 shown in FIGS. 5 through 9 is a sleeve 114a having an inner diameter 115 that is larger than an outer diameter of the elongate wall 122. The sleeve 114a presents first and second ends 116a, 1166, and an opening 116c extends from the first end 116a to the second end 1166
60 to allow the sleeve 114a to be selectively positioned about the wall 122, as shown in FIGS, la through 86. As shown in FIGS. 5, la, and 76, the sleeve 114a may include a respective flange 1160* extending outwardly from each side of the sleeve opening 116c so that a user may easily enlargen
65 the sleeve opening 116c and selectively position the sleeve 114a about the wall 122. Though not shown, the luminator 113 is in communication with a power source (i.e., a