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Title:
DISPENSER APPARATUS AND METHOD OF USING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/040382
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A dispensing apparatus comprises a generally cylindrical housing, and attachment means adapted for attaching the housing to a support structure, such as an intravenous tubing line. The housing can contain a plurality of planar, interconnected items that are rolled up into a single roll. The interconnected items can be a plurality of individually packaged items, such as sanitizing wipes, in which the each individual package is attached to another individual package along a line of perforation. A rolling mechanism can be mounted in the housing that supports the roll of wipes thereon and facilitates rotation of the roll.

Inventors:
KRYSCIO, Renee, Januchowski (203 N. County Line Rd, Hinsdale, IL, 60521, US)
KRYSCIO, Kevin, P. (203 N. County Line Rd, Hinsdale, IL, 60521, US)
Application Number:
US2016/049220
Publication Date:
March 09, 2017
Filing Date:
August 29, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POKA YOKE, INC. (203 N. County Line Rd, Hinsdale, IL, 60521, US)
International Classes:
B65H16/00; B65D83/00; B65D83/08; B65D85/67; B65D85/671; B65D85/672
Foreign References:
US5897074A1999-04-27
US5439521A1995-08-08
US20030116582A12003-06-26
US20140291439A12014-10-02
US8511511B22013-08-20
US20110024578A12011-02-03
US3995582A1976-12-07
US3568635A1971-03-09
US20040004013A12004-01-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ASHLEY, Stephen, S., Jr. (Ashley Law Firm P.C, 10800 Sikes Place Ste. 10, Charlotte NC, 28277, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1 . An apparatus for dispensing a plurality of applicator wipes comprising:

(a) a generally cylindrical housing adapted for containing a roll of applicator wipes, the housing having a dispensing opening formed therein whereby an applicator wipe contained in the housing can be grasped and pulled out of the housing; and

(b) attachment means for attaching the housing to a support structure.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1 , further comprising a rolling mechanism positioned within an interior space of the housing and adapted for facilitating rotation of the roll of applicator wipes.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the housing defines first and second opposed longitudinal ends, and the rolling mechanism comprises a rod positioned in a first cavity positioned proximate the first end of the housing and a second cavity positioned proximate the second end of the housing.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the dispensing opening is defined by a dispensing lip extending outwardly from the housing, the dispensing lip comprising a first edge section and a second edge section in spaced apart relation and substantially parallel to the first edge section, the first and second edge sections defining a slit sized to receive a single applicator wipe there through.

0278/1 PCT Page 19

5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the dispensing opening is further defined by a first cut away section formed in the housing, the first cut away section in communication with the first edge section and defining a first exposed area of the housing adapted for receiving a first finger of a user.

6. The apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the dispensing opening is further defined by a second cut away section formed in the housing, the second cut away section in communication with the second edge section and defining a second exposed area of the housing adapted for receiving a second finger of a user.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the support structure comprises at least one selected from the group consisting of an intravenous tubing line, a cord, a string, a snap fastener, and a wall.

8. The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the attachment means comprises at least one attachment member extending outwardly from the housing and defining an arcuate cavity adapted for receiving and releasably engaging an intravenous tubing line.

9. The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the attachment means comprises at least one eyelet positioned on the housing.

0278/1 PCT Page 20

10. The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the attachment means comprises at least one attachment member extending outwardly from the housing and adapted for engaging a complimentary fastener attached to a wall.

1 1 . A dispensing apparatus comprising:

(a) a generally cylindrical housing;

(b) a roll comprising a plurality of connected individual packages contained within the housing, wherein each individual package is connected to another individual package along a line of perforation;

(c) a dispensing opening formed in the housing and adapted for dispensing one of the individual packages; and

(d) at least one attachment member adapted for attaching the housing to a support structure.

12. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 1 1 , wherein the housing defines first and second opposed longitudinal ends, and further comprising a rotatable rod positioned in a first cavity positioned proximate the first end of the housing and a second cavity positioned proximate the second end of the housing, wherein the rotatable rod supports the roll and facilitates rotation of the roll.

0278/1 PCT Page 21

13. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 1 1 , wherein each individual package contains at least one applicator wipe.

14. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 1 1 , wherein the dispensing opening is defined by a dispensing lip extending outwardly from the housing, the dispensing lip comprising a first edge section and a second edge section in spaced apart relation and substantially parallel to the first edge section, the first and second edge sections defining a slit sized to receive one of the individual packages there through and facilitating tearing of the individual package along the line of perforation.

15. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the dispensing opening is further defined by a first cut away section formed in the housing, the first cut away section in communication with the first edge section and defining a first exposed area exposing one of the individual packages contained within the housing, whereby a user can place a first finger on said one of the individual packages.

16. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the dispensing opening is further defined by a second cut away section formed in the housing, the second cut away section in communication with the second edge section and defining a second exposed area exposing said one of the individual packages contained within the housing, whereby a user can place a second finger on said one of the individual packages.

0278/1 PCT Page 22

17. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 1 1 , wherein the at least one attachment member comprises first and second attachment members positioned on the housing about 180 degrees from the dispensing opening, each of the first and second attachment members defining an arcuate cavity adapted for receiving and releasably engaging an intravenous tubing line.

18. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the housing defines first and second opposed longitudinal ends, and the attachment means further comprises a first eyelet positioned on the housing proximate the first longitudinal end and a second eyelet positioned on the housing proximate the second longitudinal end.

19. The dispensing apparatus according to claim 1 1 , wherein the at least one attachment member comprises an eyelet positioned on the housing, and further comprising a fastening device containing a retractable cord, wherein the retractable cord is attached to the eyelet.

0278/1 PCT Page 23

20. A dispensing apparatus comprising:

(a) a generally cylindrical housing comprising first and second body sections, the first and second body sections releasably attached to each other;

(b) a roll contained within an interior space of the housing, the roll comprising a plurality of connected individual packages;

(c) a dispensing opening formed in the housing and adapted for dispensing one of the individual packages; and

(d) wherein the interior space of the housing can be accessed by disengaging the first and second body sections.

0278/1 PCT Page 24

Description:
INTERNATIONAL PCT APPLICATION

Title

DISPENSER APPARATUS AND METHOD OF USING SAME

Cross Reference to Related Applications

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No.

62/21 1 ,148, filed August 28, 2015, and which is incorporated herein by reference.

Technical Field of Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a dispensing apparatus. One embodiment of the invention comprises an apparatus adapted for dispensing sterile wipes, such as pads soaked in isopropyl alcohol, which can be mounted on an intravenous (IV) tubing line. Another embodiment of the invention comprises a dispenser apparatus that can be attached to a person's clothing. Another embodiment of the invention comprises a dispenser apparatus that can be attached to a lanyard worn by the user. Yet another embodiment of the invention comprises a dispenser apparatus that can be mounted on a wall.

Background of Invention

[0003] Healthcare professionals routinely use sanitizing wipes to clean and disinfect areas of a patient's body to prevent infections. For example, prior to insertion of an

0278/1 PCT Page l intravenous line into a patient, the healthcare professional typically wipes the area of the patient's body that is to be pierced with a pad soaked with a disinfectant liquid, such as isopropyl alcohol. Generally, such pads are individually wrapped and stored at various places, such as drawers and cabinets. A supply of the wipes is typically maintained in each room in which they are to be used, or else the healthcare professional must remember to bring a supply with him or her into the room in which they are to be used on the patient. If the supply of wipes runs out, or the healthcare professional forgets to have a supply on hand, the healthcare professional must leave the room or unlock a stocked cabinet to find a container of wipes. This can require the healthcare professional to spend valuable time away from the patient and delay urgent medical treatment. In addition, known sanitizing wipes are typically individually wrapped in packaging that generally requires two free hands to open. Due to the nature of medical treatment, it can be difficult and cumbersome for a healthcare professional to dedicate both hands to the task of opening the packaging and removing the pad from the packaging.

Summary of Invention

[0004] Therefore, one object of the present invention is to provide a dispensing apparatus that can dispense individually packaged items, such as sanitizing wipes, and can be attached to a support structure, such as medical equipment used by healthcare professionals. Another object of the present invention is to provide a dispensing apparatus, in which a user can remove an individually packaged wipe from its

0278/1 PCT Page 2 packaging using only one hand. These and other objects of the invention can be achieved in various embodiments of the invention described herein.

[0005] One embodiment of the invention comprises an apparatus for dispensing a plurality of applicator wipes comprising a generally cylindrical housing adapted for containing a roll of applicator wipes, and having a dispensing opening formed therein such that an applicator wipe contained in the housing can be grasped and pulled out of the housing. The apparatus includes attachment means for attaching the housing to a support structure, such as an intravenous (IV) tubing line, a lanyard or a wall.

[0006] According to another embodiment of the invention, a rolling mechanism is positioned within the interior of the housing, which facilitates rotation of the roll of applicator wipes.

[0007] According to another embodiment of the invention, the housing has first and second opposed longitudinal ends, and the rolling mechanism comprises a rod positioned in a first cavity positioned proximate the first end of the housing and a second cavity positioned proximate the second end of the housing.

[0008] According to another embodiment of the invention, the dispensing opening is defined by a dispensing lip extending outwardly from the housing. The dispensing lip comprises a first edge section and a second edge section in spaced apart relation and substantially parallel to the first edge section. The first and second edge sections define a slit sized to receive a single applicator wipe there through.

[0009] According to another embodiment of the invention, the dispensing opening is defined by a first cut away section formed in the housing. The first cut away section is

0278/1 PCT Page 3 in communication with the first edge section, and defines a first exposed area of the housing that can receive a first finger of a user.

[0010] According to another embodiment of the invention, the dispensing opening is further defined by a second cut away section formed in the housing. The second cut away section is in communication with the second edge section, and defines a second exposed area of the housing adapted for receiving a second finger of a user.

[0011] According to another embodiment of the invention, the attachment members can be releasably attached to a support structure, and the support structure can be an intravenous tubing line, a cord, a string, a snap fastener, or a wall.

[0012] According to another embodiment of the invention, the attachment means comprises at least one attachment member extending outwardly from the housing, and which defines an arcuate cavity sized and shaped to receive and releasably engage an intravenous tubing line.

[0013] According to another embodiment of the invention, the attachment means comprises at least one eyelet positioned on the housing.

[0014] According to another embodiment of the invention, the attachment means comprises at least one attachment member extending outwardly from the housing that is adapted for engaging a complimentary fastener attached to a wall.

[0015] Another embodiment of the invention comprises a dispensing apparatus comprising a generally cylindrical housing, and a roll of connected individual packages, in which each individual package is connected to another individual package along a line of perforation. A dispensing opening is formed in the housing and is adapted for

0278/1 PCT Page 4 dispensing one of the individual packages, and the housing includes at least one attachment member adapted for attaching the housing to a support structure.

[0016] According to another embodiment of the invention, the housing has first and second opposed longitudinal ends, and a rotatable rod is positioned in a first cavity positioned proximate the first end of the housing, and a second cavity positioned proximate the second end of the housing. The rotatable rod supports the roll of applicator wipes and facilitates rotation of the roll of applicator wipes.

[0017] According to another embodiment of the invention, each individual package contains a sanitizing wipe, antiseptic wipe, cleaning wipe, and/or moisturizing wipe.

[0018] According to another embodiment of the invention, the dispensing opening is defined by a dispensing lip extending outwardly from the housing, the dispensing lip comprising a first edge section and a second edge section in spaced apart relation and substantially parallel to the first edge section, the first and second edge sections defining a slit sized to receive one of the individual packages there through and facilitating tearing of the individual package along the line of perforation.

[0019] According to another embodiment of the invention, the dispensing opening is defined by a first cut away section formed in the housing. The first cut away section is in communication with the first edge section, and defines a first exposed area exposing one of the individual packages contained within the housing, such that a user can place a first finger, such as a thumb, on one of the individual packages.

[0020] According to another embodiment of the invention, the dispensing opening is further defined by a second cut away section formed in the housing. The second cut

0278/1 PCT Page 5 away section is in communication with the second edge section, and defines a second exposed area exposing one of the individual packages contained within the housing, such that a user can place a second finger, such as the user's index finger, on one of the individual packages.

[0021] According to another embodiment of the invention, first and second attachment members are positioned on the housing about 180 degrees from the dispensing opening. Each of the first and second attachment members include an arcuate cavity that is sized and shaped to receive and releasably engaging an intravenous tubing line.

[0022] According to another embodiment of the invention, the housing has first and second opposed longitudinal ends, and the attachment means includes a first eyelet positioned on the housing proximate the first longitudinal end and a second eyelet positioned on the housing proximate the second longitudinal end.

[0023] According to another embodiment of the invention, the apparatus includes a fastening device containing a retractable cord that is attached to an eyelet formed on the housing.

[0024] Another embodiment of the invention comprises a dispensing apparatus comprising a generally cylindrical housing comprising first and second body sections that are releasably attached to each other, and a roll of individual packages contained within the interior of the housing. The user can access the interior of the housing by disengaging the first and second body sections. A dispensing opening is formed in the housing through which the individual packages are dispensed.

[0025] Another embodiment of the invention comprises an apparatus for dispensing

0278/1 PCT Page 6 sanitizing wipes that is adapted for being mounted on an intravenous (IV) tubing line. The apparatus comprises a housing for containing sterile, sanitizing wipes and attachment means for attaching the housing to the IV tubing line. The attachment means can comprise a pair of attachment members positioned at opposite ends of the housing that can be attached to the IV tubing line. The housing contains a plurality of packaged, releasably attached sterile sanitizing wipes, such as isopropyl alcohol pads, that are rolled onto a rolling mechanism positioned within the housing. The housing includes a slit opening through which the pads can be pulled through.

[0026] According to another embodiment of the invention, the pads are perforated, and the first pad on the roll can be pulled through the slit opening and torn along the perforation line, thereby providing a single pad opened from its packaging and ready for use, leaving the remaining pads within the housing.

[0027] Another embodiment of the invention comprises a wipes dispensing apparatus that is adapted to be attached to clothing worn by the user.

[0028] Another embodiment of the invention comprises a dispensing apparatus that is releasably attached to a lanyard that can be worn by the user.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0029] Figure 1 is a top plan view of a dispenser apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention;

[0030] Figure 2 is a bottom plan view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

[0031] Figure 3 is a front view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

0278/1 PCT Page 7 [0032] Figure 4 is a rear view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

[0033] Figure 5 is a side view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

[0034] Figure 6 is a perspective view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig 1 ;

[0035] Figure 7 A is a cross sectional view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 , taken along lines 7A-7A in Fig.6;

[0036] Figure 7B is a cross sectional view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 , taken along lines 7B-7B in Fig. 5;

[0037] Figure 8 is another perspective view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 , shown including a roll of applicator wipes contained in the dispenser apparatus;

[0038] Figure 9 is a perspective view of the roll of applicator wipes shown in Fig. 8;

[0039] Figure 10 is an environmental perspective view of dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

[0040] Figure 1 1 is another environmental perspective view of dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

[0041] Figure 12 is a perspective view of a dispenser apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention;

[0042] Figure 13 is another perspective view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 12;

[0043] Figure 14 is another environmental perspective view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 1 ;

[0044] Figure 15 is a top plan view of a dispenser apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention;

[0045] Figure 16 is a perspective view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 15;

[0046] Figure 17 is an exploded view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 15;

0278/1 PCT Page 8 [0047] Figure 18 is another exploded view of the dispenser apparatus of Fig. 15; and

[0048] Figure 19 is an environmental perspective view of a dispenser apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention.

Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments of Invention

[0049] A dispenser apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figures 1 -1 1 , and shown generally at reference numeral 10. The apparatus 10 comprises a substantially cylindrical housing 12, and attachment means adapted for attaching the housing 12 to a support structure, such as an intravenous (IV) tubing line 50, as shown in Figure 10.

[0050] The housing 12 is adapted for containing a plurality of planar, interconnected items that are rolled up into a single roll. The interconnected items can be a plurality of individually packaged items, such as applicator wipes, in which the each individual package is attached to another individual package along a line of perforation. As used herein, "applicator wipes" refers generally to any wipe, pad or like item made of paper, cloth, non-woven fibers or other suitable material that has been soaked, sprayed, bathed, saturated or otherwise treated with a liquid substance, such as a cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, or moisturizing solution, and can be used to apply the liquid substance to a person, animal or object.

[0051] The attachment means can be comprised of a pair of outwardly extending attachment members 30, 40 positioned proximate opposite ends of the housing 12, as shown in Figures 4 and 8. Each attachment member 30, 40 comprises an upper

0278/1 PCT Page 9 segment 31 , 41 , respectively, and a lower segment 32, 42, respectively. The upper segments 31 , 41 and lower segments 32, 42 together define an arcuate cavity 33, 43, as shown in Figures 4, 5, 6 and 8. The arcuate cavities 33, 43 are sized and shaped to receive and frictionally engage the IV tubing line 50, as shown in Figures 10 and 1 1 .

[0052] The housing 12 and the attachment members 30, 40 can be made of plastic or other suitable material. The attachment members 30, 40 can be integrally formed with the housing 12, to form a single unitary piece. The housing 12 and the attachment members 30, 40 can be made by injection molding, three dimensional printing, or other suitable method. Alternatively, the attachment members 30, 40 can be separate pieces attached to the housing 12 by an adhesive, or other suitable attachment means.

[0053] The housing 12 contains a plurality of individually packaged, releasably attached applicator wipes 20. The applicator wipes 20 can be sterile sanitizing wipes comprised of paper, cloth, non-woven fibers and/or other suitable material that is soaked in a disinfecting solution, such as a solution of 60-99% isopropyl alcohol in water. Other disinfecting solutions include a solution of 70% ethanol in water, and 3% hydrogen peroxide in water. Each wipe 20 is packaged in its own packaging, and the individual packages are connected to each other in linear fashion and rolled up into a single roll 21 , as shown in Figure 9. The plurality of individual wipe 20 packages are connected by lines of perforation 22, as shown in Figure 9.

[0054] The apparatus 10 can include a rolling mechanism that supports and facilitates rotation of the roll 21 of wipes 20. The rolling mechanism can comprise a rolling member, such as a rotatable rod 14, that is mounted in apertures 15, 17 formed at

0278/1 PCT Page 10 opposite ends of the interior of the housing, as shown in Figures 7A and 7B. The connected wipes 20 are rolled onto the rod 14 mounted inside the housing 12, as shown in Figure 7B.

[0055] The housing 12 includes a dispensing opening 16, shown in Figure 3, through which the wipes 20 can be pulled through. The dispensing opening 16 is defined by a dispensing lip section 19 formed on the housing 12 and extending outwardly therefrom, as shown in Figures 3 and 5. The dispensing lip 16 is located on the housing 12 about 180 degrees from the attachment members 30, 40, as shown in Figure 5. The lip section 19 comprises first and second spaced apart edge sections 24, 26, as shown in Figures 3 and 6. The edge sections 24, 25 are substantially parallel to each other and define a slit 25 sized to receive one of the packaged applicator wipes there through, as shown in Figure 10.

[0056] First and second cut away sections 28, 29 are formed in the housing 12. The first cut away section 28 is substantially "U" shaped and in communication with the first edge section 24, as shown in Figures 1 , 3 and 6. The second cut away section 29 is substantially "U" shaped and in communication with the second edge section 26, as shown in Figures 2, 3 and 6. Preferably, the first cut away section 28 is substantially deeper than the second cut away section 29, as shown in Figures 1 and 3. The first cut away 28 section provides an exposed area 18 that exposes the first applicator wipe 20 of the roll 21 of applicator wipes 20 contained in the housing 12, as shown in Figures 1 and 8. The second cut away section 29 provides a smaller exposed area 23, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The first exposed area 18 provides an opening where a user can

0278/1 PCT Page 11 place a finger, such as a thumb 61 , onto the lead off applicator wipe 20, and the second exposed area 23 allows the user to place another finger, such as the index finger 62, onto the opposite side of the lead off wipe 20, and the user can pull the lead off wipe 20 out of the housing 12 through the slit 16.

[0057] Once a single wipe 20 has been pulled fully out of the housing 12, the user can tear it off from the rest of the wipes 20 remaining within the housing 12 along its line of perforation 22, as shown in Figures 10 and 1 1 . The first and second edge sections 24, 26 provide stable surfaces against which the wipe 20 can be torn using only one hand, as shown in Figures 10 and 1 1 . This results in a single wipe 20 that is detached from the remaining connected wipes 20, with its packaging opened and ready for use.

[0058] The housing 12 can hold multiple pre-packaged wipes 20 perforated together in a single line and rolled onto the rolling member 14 that dispenses upon a person physically pulling a wipe 20 from the housing 12 and breaking the perforated tabs manually. The apparatus 10 can be a disposable, one-time use unit that is discarded when all wipes 20 within the housing 12 have been used.

[0059] The housing 12 can include a pair of eyelets 1 1 , 13 formed on the housing 12 at opposite longitudinal ends of the housing 12, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The eyelets 1 1 , 13 can be integrally formed with the housing 12 as a single unitary piece, such as by injection molding. Alternatively, the eyelets 1 1 , 13 can be separate pieces attached to the housing 12 by an adhesive, or other suitable attachment means.

[0060] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the dispenser apparatus 10 can be attached on the IV line 50 near the port site. The apparatus 10 should be attached on

0278/1 PCT Page 12 the IV line 50 at a position where the apparatus 10 does not impede extensive view of the flowing fluid in the IV line 50, and does not pinch the tubing thereby impeding flow of the IV line 50. The apparatus 10 should be positioned such that it is highly visible and conveniently located to the source of use (port area). The apparatus 10 should be attached at a position on the IV line, in which it can be easily added and removed from IV line 50.

[0061] The apparatus 10 can be used for every patient with an initial IV placement connected to an IV bag and tubing, and other applications as per the discretion of the healthcare professional. The dispenser apparatus 10 can be referred to and marketed as an "l-Wipe". The outside packaging of the pre-packaged wipes 20 can be labeled with "l-Wipe". Either portions or the entirety of the housing 12 and the packaging of the wipes 20 can have a distinctively bright color, such as red, to draw attention to the healthcare professional and remind him or her to stop, disinfect, inject. For patient advocacy purposes, there can also be other items with "l-Wipe" printed on them to reinforce the message to the healthcare providers of the importance of wiping ports and other sterilizing applications.

[0062] The dispenser apparatus 10 allows convenient access to alcohol wipes for the healthcare professional on IV tubing to reduce the risk of infection and increase productivity. The apparatus 10 supplies disinfecting wipes 20, and also provides a more convenient and hard stop reminder for healthcare professionals to think about the safe IV infusion practice of wiping the port for fifteen seconds prior to injecting a medication. The apparatus 10 can also be used for sterilization applications other than IV infusion.

0278/1 PCT Page 13 [0063] A dispenser apparatus according to another preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figures 12 and 13, and shown generally at reference numeral 100. The dispenser apparatus 100 comprises a generally cylindrical housing 1 12 identical in structure to the housing 12 of the previously described dispenser apparatus 10. In addition, the apparatus 100 includes a fastening member 150 that is connected to the housing 1 12, and is adapted for attaching to clothing or other support structure.

[0064] The housing 1 12 contains a plurality of packaged, releasably attached applicator wipes 120. Each wipe 120 is packaged in its own packaging, and the individual packages are connected to each other in linear fashion. The plurality of individual wipe 120 packages are connected by perforated lines. The connected packaged wipes 120 are rolled onto a cylindrical rolling member positioned inside the housing 1 12. As shown in Figure 13, the first wipe 120' on the roll can be pulled through the dispensing opening 1 16 and torn along the perforation 122, which connects the first wipe 120' to a second wipe 120 still contained within the housing 1 12.

[0065] The fastening member 150 contains a retractable cord 154, as shown in Figures 12 and 13. An end of the retractable cord 154 can be attached to a snap fastener 152 that is received through the either one of the eyelets 1 1 1 , 1 13 on the housing 1 12 of the dispenser 100, thereby connecting the housing 1 12 to the fastening member 150.

[0066] The fastening member 150 includes attachment means for releasably attaching the fastening member 150 onto the clothing of a user. The attachment means can be an adhesive, a spring loaded clip, a pin, one or more magnets, or other suitable fasteners. The fastening member 150 can also be attached to items other than clothing.

0278/1 PCT Page 14 [0067] The retractable cord 154 is housed within the body of the fastening member 150, and the exposed end of the retractable cord 154 is attached to the snap fastener 152, as shown in Figures 12 and 13. The retractable cord 154 can be pulled out of the fastening member 150, as shown in Figure 13. This allows for freedom of movement of the apparatus 100, while still remaining connected to the clothing of the user. For example, the attachment member 150 can be attached to the chest area of the user, and when the user needs a wipe 120, the user can grasp the dispenser housing 1 12, and pull the housing 1 12 to a position that is comfortable for removing a wipe 120.

[0068] When all wipes 120 in the dispenser housing 1 12 have been used, the housing 1 12 can be detached from the snap fastener 152, and discarded. A new dispenser housing 1 12 with a fresh supply of wipes 120 can then be attached to the snap fastener 152. As such, the dispenser housing 1 12 can be disposable, while the attachment member 150 is reusable.

[0069] A dispenser apparatus according to another preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figure 14, and shown generally at reference numeral 200. The dispenser apparatus 200 comprises a dispenser housing 212 attached to a lanyard 250.

[0070] The housing 212 is identical in structure to housing 12 of the previously descripted dispenser apparatus 10. The housing 212 contains applicator wipes 220 perforated together in a single line and rolled onto a rolling member that dispenses upon a person physically pulling a wipe 220 from the housing 212 and breaking the perforated tabs manually.

[0071] The dispenser housing 212 is attached to the lanyard 250 by running the lanyard

0278/1 PCT Page 15 250 through the eyelets 21 1 , 213 formed on the housing 212, as shown in Figure 14. Alternatively, the lanyard 250 can include a fastener, such as an alligator clamp, that engages one of the eyelets 21 1 , 213 of the housing. The lanyard 250 can be worn around the neck of a healthcare professional. The lanyard 250 can also be used to carry other items, such as a hospital identification tag 270. The dispenser housing 212 can be disposable. As such, when all wipes 220 have been used, the dispenser housing 212 can be removed from the lanyard 250, and replaced with a new housing having a fresh supply of wipes 220.

[0072] A dispenser apparatus according to another preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figures 15-18, and shown generally at reference numeral 300. The dispenser apparatus 300 is identical in structure to the previously described apparatus 10, except that dispenser apparatus 300 comprises a housing 312 that is comprised of a pair of releasably attached body sections 312a, 312b having complementary fasteners 301 , 302, as shown in Figures 17 and 18.

[0073] Each housing body section 312a, 312b includes complementary fasteners adapted for releasable engagement to each other. As shown in Figures 17 and 18, the body sections 312a, 312b have outwardly extending pins 301 and complementary apertures 302 positioned within the interior of the body sections 312a, 312b such that the pins 301 are received and frictionally engaged in the apertures 302 when one body section 312a is properly positioned on the other body section 312b. As such, when all applicator wipes 320 have been removed from the apparatus 300 the housing 312 can be opened by pulling apart body sections 312a, 312b, and a new roll of applicator wipes

0278/1 PCT Page 16 can be positioned therein.

[0074] The apparatus 300 can include a rolling mechanism comprising a rotatable rod 314 mounted in apertures 315, 317 formed at opposite ends of the interior of the housing, as shown in Figure 17, which supports and facilitates rotation of the roll of applicator wipes 320. When a roll of wipes 320 has been exhausted, the housing body sections 312a, 312b can be separated and the rod 314 removed from the housing 312. A new roll of wipes is positioned on the rod 314, which is placed back onto the apertures 315, 317, and the housing body sections 312a, 312b are joined together again by the engagement of the complementary fasteners 301 , 302.

[0075] A dispenser apparatus according to another preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figure 19, and shown generally at reference numeral 400. The dispenser apparatus 400 is adapted for attachment to a wall 450, as shown in Figure 19. The dispenser apparatus 400 comprises a housing 412 that is structurally similar to the previously described housing 12, except that the housing 412 includes attachment members 430, 440 that are adapted to engage fasteners 452 mounted on a wall. As shown in Figure 19, knobs 452 can be mounted on the wall, and each of the attachment members 430, 440 can include a cavity shaped and sized for receiving the knobs 452. As such, the attachment members 430, 440 are slid onto the knobs 452 protruding outwardly from the wall 450, thereby attaching the dispenser apparatus 400 to the wall 450. The dispenser apparatus 400 dispenses a plurality of applicator wipes 420.

[0076] While embodiments of the invention are described above as being used to dispense sanitizing wipes for use in the medical field, the invention is not so limited.

0278/1 PCT Page 17 Embodiments of the invention described above can dispense a variety of applicator wipes adapted for applying a variety of substances, such as insect repellent, sunscreen, aloe, moisturizing creams, lens cleaner, nail polish remover, cuticle oil, perfume, essential oils, makeup remover, shampoo, hair oil, hair gel, dish soap, deodorant, and personal lubricant. Also, the invention is not limited to use with wipes and the like. Embodiments of the invention described above can be used to dispense a variety of packaged items, such as blotting papers, clothing refreshers and condoms.

[0077] A dispenser apparatus and method of using same is described above. Various changes can be made to the invention without departing from its scope. The above description of the embodiments and best mode of the invention are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not limitation— the invention being defined by the claims and equivalents thereof.

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