The patent's inventors are Carr, Ian (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "In U.S. Pat. No. 5,139,489 a vacuum tube holder has attached thereto a protective needle housing which is pivotable to cover an exposed needle of a double-ended needle assembly threaded to the vacuum tube holder. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,154,285, a needle protection housing is mounted to the neck of the vacuum tube holder by means of a collar, so that the housing is rotatable with respect to the neck of the vacuum tube holder. For both of the devices disclosed in the '489 and '285 patents, prior to use and shipping, the double-ended needle is capped at both ends.
"Conventionally, a double-ended needle is shipped in a container that covers both ends of the needle. The container is taped with a piece of paper, or other sealing material, to provide evidence that it has not been tampered with prior to use. There has not been any tampering if there is no tear on the paper seal when a phlebotomist takes the double-ended needle out of the container and threads it to the vacuum tube holder or Vacutainer holder. Thus, to use the devices disclosed in the '489 and '285 patents, a user has to first remove the double-ended needle from its container and then thread the double-ended needle to the vacuum tube holder. Moreover, the user has to carry both the double-ended needle and the vacuum tube holder as separate units. The disclosures of the '489 and '285 patents are incorporated by reference herein."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention vacuum tube holder assembly is shipped as a single piece, with the various components preassembled. The vacuum tube holder is a molded one piece component that includes an elongate needle cover that integrally extends from the neck of the body of the vacuum tube holder. At the junction where the elongate needle cover meets the neck of the holder, there is a thinning out of material such as for example by a circumferential notching thereat. When a predetermined torque force is applied to the needle cover relative to either the neck or the body of the vacuum tube holder, the needle cover is readily removed or separated by the twisting motion. Once removed, the needle cover could not be reattached to the neck of the vacuum tube holder. Accordingly, a built in tamper evident seal is provided for the vacuum tube holder of the instant invention, in that a user knows that the vacuum tube holder has been tampered with if the needle cover is missing or is hanging loosely from the neck of the body of the vacuum tube holder.
"A needle hub assembly specifically manufactured to be a component of the vacuum tube holder assembly is press fit through the opening of the vacuum tube holder body towards the neck of the vacuum tube holder. The needle hub of the needle hub assembly has a dimension that allows it to mate to the aperture of the neck of the vacuum tube holder which is smaller than the opening of the vacuum tube holder. At the needle hub of the needle hub assembly there are formed two catches that are movable transversely to the needle hub when biased. To enable the transverse movements for the catches, respective through slots are formed in the needle hub behind each of the catches. As the needle hub is press fit to the neck of the vacuum tube container, the catches would first compress, since they are in contact with upward sloping ramps at the inside wall of the neck, in order to pass the aperture of the neck. When the needle hub is pushed sufficiently far into the neck of the vacuum tube holder, openings or orifices formed on the opposite sides of the neck enable the catches, upon mating with those orifices, to return to their original shapes as they latch onto the orifices. Once the catches latch onto their respective orifices at the neck of the vacuum tube holder, the needle hub assembly is fixedly retained within the vacuum tube holder.
"There is a raised boss or protuberance circumferentially formed at the outer surface of the neck of the vacuum tube holder. Rotatably mounted to the protuberance is a collar having an internal groove that mates to the protuberance. The tolerances provided for the internal groove of the collar and the protuberance about the neck of the vacuum tube holder during the molding process are such that the friction between the internal groove of the collar and the protuberance would hold the collar in place so long as an external torque force is not applied thereagainst. The collar is therefore not freely rotatable about the neck of the vacuum tube holder. Hingedly connected to the collar is a needle protection housing. Integral hooks are provided in the housing.
"The vacuum tube holder assembly therefore includes the vacuum tube holder, the needle hub assembly fitted into the holder and the needle protection housing rotatably mounted to the neck of the vacuum tube holder. The opening at the end of the vacuum tube holder to which a vacuum tube or fluid container is insertable during use may be covered by a seal so that the vacuum tube holder assembly may be readily sterilized and shipped without any need for additional packaging.
"To assist in the removal of the needle cover from the body of the vacuum tube holder, a finger grasp ring in the form of a wing nut is coupled to the needle cover, at a desired location therealong, for example at the proximal portion thereof. The wing nut, as its name implies, may have a number of wings extending from its outer wall so as to enable a user to readily grasp the wings of the wing nut with her fingers and apply a torque to the wing nut to remove the needle cover from the neck of the body. By providing the wing nut to the needle cover, the circumferential notching at the junction where the needle cover meets the neck of the holder could be thickened to thereby prevent any inadvertent breaking off of the needle cover from the neck during shipping or handling. The predetermined torque for separating the thickened notched junction has been determined to be greater than approximately 60 ounce inches. But by grasping and twisting the wing nut, a user only needs to exert a torque force substantially similar to, or not greatly exceeding, that used for the non-wingnut embodiment vacuum tube holder assembly, in order to break the thickened notched junction."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Carr, Ian; Schlerf, Christian; Torris, William T.; Clements, Glynn; Brown,
Keywords for this news article include: Legal Issues,
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