News Column

Patent Issued for Infusion Check Valve for Medical Devices

September 12, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Health & Medicine Week -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx journalists, a patent by the inventor Winsor, Chris (Overland Park, KS), filed on February 14, 2013, was published online on August 26, 2014 (see also Nexus Medical, LLC).

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8814849, is Nexus Medical, LLC (Lenexa, KS).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to infusion devices used for the administration of various fluids and medications to patients. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention are directed to an infusion check valve assembly for an intravenous catheter.

"The use of intravenous devices for the administration of parenteral and other fluids to patients is a common practice. A variety of devices for such purposes have been proposed in the past, such as a simple length of tubing having a fitting on one end for making connection with a source of fluid (e.g., a bottle or flexible bag), while the other end is provided with a needle or catheter that may be inserted into the vein of a patient. A persistent problem with prior infusion devices is referred to as fluid reflux, or the tendency for fluids, such as blood or medication, to be drawn into the infusion apparatus. Fluid reflux can occur in prior art devices, for example, when a gravity supply fluid source is empty, when medication is infused through an adjacent component, or when a cannula is removed from a septum or port.

"Prior art pressure-activated infusion devices that reduce fluid reflux using a flexible valve are problematic due to design and manufacture-related issues. Flexible valves may often times mechanically invert within the internal passage of the valve housing due to elevated back pressure. Upon such an inversion, the flexible valves may be forced into a permanently open position, thus permitting blood or other unwanted fluids and medication to reflux back through the valve. Prior art check valves, such as certain types of disc valves, used to reduce or restrict fluid reflux typically require high cracking pressures for incoming fluids to open and pass through the valves. In certain applications, high cracking pressures may be acceptable. However, in other applications, lower cracking pressures may be necessary. To reduce the cracking pressures in prior art check valves, the valves are often designed with large diameters, such that the valves present enough surface area to reduce the cracking pressures to acceptable levels. Although such prior art check valves may assist in reducing fluid reflux, because of the increased size of the valves, they may be inefficient, and often times impractical, for the intravenous administering of fluid and medication.

"There is accordingly a need in the art for improved intravascular devices equipped with a check valve component that eliminates the possibility of fluid reflux, while providing for the efficient administration of medical fluids."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Embodiments of the present invention are directed to an intravascular check valve assembly that restricts fluid reflux in a proximal direction, while maintaining a low cracking pressure for fluids to be introduced through the assembly in a distal direction.

"An aspect of the present invention concerns an intravascular check valve assembly that controls fluid flow in distal and proximal directions. The assembly broadly includes a valve case and a flexible pressure-actuated flow control valve. The valve case includes attached proximal and distal case portions, with the distal case portion positioned closer to a patient when the device is in use and a proximal case portion opposite and extending away from the distal case portion. The case portions present respective spaced apart fluid ports and a fluid passageway extending between the ports. The flexible pressure-actuated flow control valve is disposed along the fluid passageway to control fluid flow therethrough. The valve includes a central valve wall having at least one slit at a distal end of the wall, with the wall presenting distal-facing and proximal-facing surfaces. The proximal case portion of the valve case includes an axially-extending boss that distally projects from the proximal case. The boss includes a portion of a distal end that engages at least a portion of the proximal-facing surface of the flow control valve. The boss includes one or more channels positioned adjacent to a radial-most edge of the boss, such that the channels fluidly connect the fluid port of the proximal case to the proximal-facing surface of the flow control valve. The valve wall flexes to open the at least one slit in response to a fluid flowing in a distal direction through the channels of the boss and through the valve. The valve wall compresses against the boss and closes the slit in response to a fluid flowing in a proximal direction, thereby preventing fluid flow through the valve assembly in the proximal direction.

"Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the embodiments and the accompanying drawing figures."

For more information, see this patent: Winsor, Chris. Infusion Check Valve for Medical Devices. U.S. Patent Number 8814849, filed February 14, 2013, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Nexus Medical, Nexus Medical LLC.

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Source: Health & Medicine Week

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