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Title:
RELEASABLE CONNECTION ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/081499
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A releasable connection assembly for connecting tubing sections is disclosed. The assembly includes a male bayonet connector including a shaft having a distal end and a proximal end, and a female latch connector. The male bayonet connector includes a shaft having a distal end and a proximal end, and defining a lumen extending between the distal end and the proximal end. A rib extends radially from the distal end of the shaft. The female latch connector defines an exterior opening configured to receive at least part of the distal end and the rib of the shaft. A method of using a releasable connection assembly for connecting tubing sections is also disclosed.

Inventors:
LEWIS, Peter, D. (460 Deer Creek Ct, Loveland, CO, 80538, US)
NARAYANAN, Ravikumar, S. (2944 Stonehaven Drive, Fort Collins, CO, 80525, US)
CAIRNS, Richard, W. (1842 Sundance Drive, Longmont, CO, 80504, US)
PHIPPS, Riley, M. (612 Park Street, Fort Collins, CO, 80521, US)
Application Number:
US2017/058663
Publication Date:
May 03, 2018
Filing Date:
October 27, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NORDSON CORPORATION (28601 Clemens Road, Westlake, OH, 44145, US)
International Classes:
A61M39/10; A61M39/12; F16L37/098; F16L37/56
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011079226A12011-06-30
Foreign References:
US20050057042A12005-03-17
US20110204622A12011-08-25
EP2848280A12015-03-18
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AKHAVANNIK, Hussein (Baker & Hostetler LLP, 1050 Connecticut Avenue NW,Suite 110, Washington DC, 20036, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A male bayonet connector for connecting sections of tubing, the male bayonet connector comprising:

a first shaft including a first distal end portion comprising:

a first sealing surface configured to engage a female receiving member to create a fluid-tight seal;

a first annular channel proximal to the first sealing surface;

a first proximal portion proximal to the first annular channel; at least one rib extending radially at least partially along the first proximal portion; and

a first lumen being defined between the first sealing surface and the first proximal portion.

2. The male bayonet connector of claim 1, wherein the first annular channel is directly adjacent the first sealing surface.

3. The male bayonet connector of claim 1, wherein the first shaft further includes a first proximal end portion configured to engage a first section of tubing.

4. The male bayonet connector of claim 1 , wherein the at least one rib comprises a first rib and an opposing, second rib extending radially at least partially along the first proximal portion.

5. The male bayonet connector of claim 4, wherein the first rib and the second rib radially extend in a direct orthogonal to a longitudinal axis of the first shaft.

6. The male bayonet connector of claim 5, wherein the first rib and the second rib radially extend horizontally.

7. The male bayonet connector of claim 5, wherein the first rib and the second rib radially extend vertically.

8. The male bayonet connector of claim 1, wherein the male bayonet connector further comprises a grip, wherein the rib extends from the grip.

9. The male bayonet connector of claim 8, wherein the grip extends radially from the first shaft to define a flange around the first shaft.

10. The male bayonet connector of claim 9, wherein the flange defines an outer edge including a plurality of indentations for facilitating gripping of the grip.

11. The male bayonet connector of claim 8, wherein the grip comprises a tie-bar.

12. The male bayonet connector of claim 1, wherein the first annular channel is defined by a first distal sidewall that is perpendicular with respect to an axis of the first lumen, a first proximal sidewall having a first beveled edge, and a first bottom region connecting the first distal sidewall and the first beveled edge, with the first bottom region being concentric and recessed radially inward with respect to the first sealing surface.

13. The male bayonet connector of claim 12, wherein the first distal sidewall defines a surface for interfacing with a first latch structure within a female receiving structure to prevent removal of the male bayonet connector from the female receiving structure when the first latch structure engages the first annular channel.

14. The male bayonet connector of claim 1, further comprising a second shaft in parallel with the first shaft, the second shaft including a second distal end portion comprising: a second sealing surface configured to engage the female receiving member to create the fluid-tight seal;

a second annular channel proximal to the second sealing surface;

a second proximal portion proximal to the second annular channel;

a second rib extending radially at least partially along the second proximal portion; and

a second lumen being defined between the second sealing surface and the second proximal portion.

15. The male bayonet connector of claim 14, wherein a grip connects the first and second shafts.

16. The male bayonet connector of claim 15, wherein the first and second shafts are connected by a webbed portion of the grip therebetween.

17. A releasable connection assembly for connecting tubing sections, the releasable connection assembly comprising:

a male bayonet connector comprising:

a shaft including a distal end and a proximal end, the shaft defining a lumen extending between the distal end and the proximal end, and a rib extending radially from the distal end of the shaft, wherein:

the distal end of the shaft comprises a sealing surface with a constant outer diameter at least partially along its axial length, and an annular channel proximal of the sealing surface, and the proximal end of the shaft is configured to engage a first tubing section; and

a female latch connector comprising:

a proximal end defining an exterior opening configured to receive at least part of the distal end and the rib of the shaft,

a sealing member that is configured to contact the sealing surface of the distal end of the shaft, and

a distal end comprising a tube coupling configured to engage a second tubing section.

18. The releasable connection assembly of claim 17, wherein the exterior opening of the proximal end of the female latch connector defines a slot, wherein the slot is configured to receive at least part of the rib of the male bayonet connector.

19. The releasable connection assembly of claim 17, wherein the annular channel has an outer diameter that is smaller than the outer diameter of the sealing surface.

20. The releasable connection assembly of claim 17, wherein the annular channel is distally bound by a distal sidewall that is perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the lumen defined by the shaft.

21. The releasable connection assembly of claim 20, wherein:

the female latch connector further comprises a latch surface within the exterior opening, and

the distal sidewall is configured to interface with the latch surface when the male bayonet connector and the female latch connector are connected to prevent removal of the male bayonet connector from the female latch connector.

22. The releasable connection assembly of claim 20, wherein the annular channel is proximally bound by a chamfered or beveled edge that is angled with respect to the longitudinal axis of the lumen defined by the shaft.

23. The releasable connection assembly of claim 17, wherein the first tubing section is a tubing section of a blood pressure cuff.

24. The releasable connection assembly of claim 17, wherein:

the female latch connector further comprises a latch structure within an exterior enclosure;

the latch structure having a proximal end that defines the exterior opening configured to receive at least part of the distal end of the shaft; and

the latch structure being movable relative to the exterior enclosure to release the at least part of the distal end of the shaft.

25. A method of using a releasable connection assembly for connecting tubing sections, the method comprising:

receiving a male bayonet connector and a female latch connector in unassembled form, wherein:

the male bayonet connector comprises a shaft and a rib, the shaft comprising a distal end and a proximal end, the shaft defining a lumen extending between the distal end and the proximal end, the rib extending radially from at least part of the distal end of the shaft, the distal end of the shaft comprises a sealing surface with a constant outer diameter at least partially along its axial length, and an annular channel proximal of the sealing surface, the proximal end of the shaft being configured to engage a first tubing section, and

the female latch connector comprises a proximal end defining a receiving aperture configured to receive at least part of the distal end and rib of the shaft, a sealing member that is configured to contact the sealing surface of the distal end of the shaft, and a distal end comprising a tube coupling configured to engage a second tubing section; and

inserting at least part of the distal end and rib of the shaft into the receiving aperture so that the sealing member contacts the sealing surface of the distal end of the shaft to assemble the male bayonet connector and the female latch connector.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the female latch connector further comprises a latch surface within the receiving aperture, the method further comprising:

causing movement of the latch surface relative to the distal end of the shaft; and withdrawing at least part of the distal end and rib of the shaft from the receiving aperture to disassemble the male bayonet connector and the female latch connector.

Description:
RELEASABLE CONNECTION ASSEMBLY

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Patent Application No. 15/339,212 filed October 31, 2016, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

Technical Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to the field of medical devices used for the transport of both gaseous and liquid fluids and more specifically, to a male bayonet connector for creating a releasable air and fluid seal connection between one or more sections of tubing and a female latch connector.

Description of Related Art

[0003] Tubing sections, for example, medical tubing, must often be joined together to provide for gas and/or liquid fluid flow from one component to another. It is further often desirable to connect and disconnect tubing sections from one another. For example, when a patient's blood pressure is taken with an automatic blood pressure monitor, tubing from the blood pressure cuff (which is generally wrapped around the patient's arm) is connected to the tubing that is connected to the blood pressure monitor. To disconnect the cuff from the blood pressure monitor, it is desirable to merely detach the tubing section connected to the cuff from the tubing connected to the blood pressure monitor. Similarly, when providing intravenous fluids, it is often required to replace an empty fluid bag with a full fluid bag without removing the intravenous needle or stent from the patient. In order to switch between the first fluid bag and the second fluid bag, it is desirable to merely detach a tubing section connected with the fluid bag to the tubing section connected with the needle or stent placed intravenously in the patient, which can then be easily connected with a tubing section connected with the new fluid bag.

[0004] Existing tubing connectors are prone to leakage and unwanted disconnection when the patient is still receiving treatment via the connected tubes due to side-loads caused by the weight of the connected tubes and components, as well as accidental pulling of the tubes by the patient or medical personnel.

[0005] Furthermore, certain medical devices require the use of multiple tubes for supplying air or fluid between the patient and the device. For example, certain models of blood pressure monitors, such as the Dinamap Procare series, manufactured by General Electric, employ dual tubes for connecting the blood pressure cuff to the monitor. As such, a connector including multiple air passages for directing airflow between the tube segments is desirable, so as to avoid having to individually connect and disconnect multiple connectors when hooking or unhooking a patient to the monitor.

[0006] Furthermore, a new standard for tubing connectors, ANSI/AAMI/ISO 80369- 5:201x, applies to connectors and specifies allowable geometry limits, among other limitations. An objective of the standard is to eliminate accidental misconnects. As such, a connector that complies with the new standard is desirable.

[0007] The information included in this Background section of the specification, including any references cited herein and any description or discussion thereof, is included for technical reference purposes only and is not to be regarded subject matter by which the scope of the invention is to be bound.

SUMMARY

[0008] A male bayonet connector for connecting sections of tubing is disclosed. The male bayonet connector includes a first shaft including a first distal end portion. The first distal end portion includes a first sealing surface configured to engage a female receiving member to create a fluid-tight seal, a first annular channel proximal to the first sealing surface, a first proximal portion proximal to the first annular channel, at least one rib extending radially at least partially along the first proximal portion, and a first lumen being defined between the first sealing surface and the first proximal portion.

[0009] A releasable connection assembly for connecting tubing sections is also disclosed. The releasable connection assembly includes a male bayonet connector and a female latch connector. The male bayonet connector includes a shaft including a distal end and a proximal end, where the shaft defines a lumen extending between the distal end and the proximal end. The male bayonet connector also includes a rib extending radially from the distal end of the shaft, where the distal end of the shaft includes a sealing surface with a constant outer diameter at least partially along its axial length, and an annular channel proximal of the sealing surface. The proximal end of the shaft is configured to engage a first tubing section. The female latch connector includes a proximal end defining an exterior opening configured to receive at least part of the distal end and the rib of the shaft, a sealing member that is configured to contact the sealing surface of the distal end of the shaft, and a tube coupling configured to engage a second tubing section. [0010] A method of using a releasable connection assembly for connecting tubing sections is also disclosed. The method includes receiving a male bayonet connector and a female latch connector in unassembled form. The male bayonet connector includes a shaft and a rib, where the shaft includes a distal end and a proximal end, the shaft defines a lumen extending between the distal end and the proximal end, and the rib extends radially from at least part of the distal end of the shaft. The distal end of the shaft includes a sealing surface with a constant outer diameter at least partially along its axial length, and an annular channel proximal of the sealing surface, where the proximal end of the shaft i configured to engage a first tubing section. The female latch connector includes a proximal end defining a receiving aperture configured to receive at least part of the distal end and rib of the shaft, a sealing member that is configured to contact the sealing surface of the distal end of the shaft, and a distal end including a tube coupling configured to engage a second tubing section. The method also includes inserting at least part of the distal end and rib of the shaft into the receiving aperture so that the sealing member contacts the sealing surface of the distal end of the shaft to assemble the male bayonet connector and the female latch connector.

[0011] This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter. A more extensive presentation of features, details, utilities, and advantages of the present invention is provided in the following written description of various embodiments of the invention, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and defined in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a front isometric view of a male dual bayonet connector, a female latch connector, and tubing sections.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a rear isometric view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a rear elevation view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 1. [0018] FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the male dual bayonet connector, as connected to a female latch connector shown in FIG. 1.

[0019] FIG. 8 is a rear isometric view of the male dual bayonet connector and female latch connector in cross section of the connecting member taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 1.

[0020] FIG. 9 is an exploded rear isometric view of the female latch connector shown in FIG. 1.

[0021] FIG. 10 is a front isometric view of a latch structure of the female latch connector.

[0022] FIG. 11 is a side elevation view in cross-section of another embodiment of the male dual bayonet connector.

[0023] FIG. 12 is a side elevation view in cross-section of another embodiment of the male dual bayonet connector.

[0024] FIG. 13 is a side elevation view in cross-section of another embodiment of the male dual bayonet connector.

[0025] FIG. 14 is a rear isometric view of another embodiment of a male bayonet connector and female latch connector.

[0026] FIG. 15 is a rear isometric view of a male bayonet connector.

[0027] FIG. 16 is an exploded front isometric view of an alternative aspect of a male dual bayonet connector, a female latch connector, and tubing sections.

[0028] FIG. 17 is an assembled front isometric view of the male dual bayonet connector, the female latch connector, and tube sections shown in FIG. 16.

[0029] FIG. 18 is a rear isometric view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 16.

[0030] FIG. 19 is a cross sectional view of the male dual bayonet connector and the female latch connector taken along line 19-19 of FIG. 17.

[0031] FIG. 20 is a rear isometric view of an alternate aspect of a male dual bayonet.

[0032] FIG. 21 is a top plan view of the male dual bayonet connector shown in FIG. 20.

[0033] FIGS. 22 and 23 are rear isometric views of other alternate aspects of a male dual bayonet connector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0034] Male bayonet connectors, in conjunction with female latch connectors, may be used to releasably connect sections of tubing. In one embodiment, the male bayonet connector may have a single shaft portion defining a single lumen therethrough and an outer sealing surface that is configured to engage an inner surface of a female latch connector to form a gas and/or liquid fluid seal between the male and female components. The female latch connector may include a latching mechanism that engages a portion of the male bayonet connector so as to prevent removal of the male bayonet connector when connected with the female connector. In another embodiment, the male bayonet connector may have dual shafts, each defining a lumen therethrough. In altemative embodiments, the male bayonet connector may have three or more shafts defining three or more lumen. In embodiments of multiple lumen male bayonet connectors, a grip portion may be used to join the shaft portions, as well as tubing couplings that are configured to engage and retain multiple sections of tubing.

[0035] An exemplary environment for a male dual bayonet connector 102 is illustrated in FIG. 1. The environment may include a releasable connection assembly 100 and tubing sections 104(1)-104(4). The releasable connection assembly 100 may include the male dual bayonet connector 102 and a female latch connector 206. The male dual bayonet connector 102 may be connected with the female latch connector 206 as will be described further with respect to FIGS. 11-13.

[0036] Referring to FIG. 1, first and second tubing sections 104(1)- 104(2) may connect with respective tubing couplings 144(1)- 144(2) on the distal end of the female latch connector 206. Third and fourth tubing sections 104(3)-104(4) may connect with respective tubing couplings 154(1)-154(2) on the proximal end of the male dual bayonet connector 102. As will be described further below, the male dual bayonet connector 102 may be connected with the female latch connector 206 by inserting the distal end of the male dual bayonet connector 102 into receiving openings 205(l)-205(2) defined in the proximal end of the female latch connector 206. The orientations "proximal" and "distal" as used herein have been arbitrarily chosen, and are not meant to limit the present disclosure, but will follow the convention just described with reference to the ends of the female latch connector 206 and male dual bayonet connector 102.

[0037] The male dual bayonet connector 102 is illustrated in greater detail in FIGS. 2-6. The male dual bayonet connector 102 may include dual shafts 122(1)-122(2) connected by a grip 178. The dual shafts 122(1)-122(2) may extend from the proximal end of the male bayonet connector 102 to the distal end of the connector 102. As best seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, each of the dual shafts 122(1)- 122(2) may define a cylindrical lumen 107(1)- 107(2) for transporting fluid from the third and fourth tubing sections 104(3)-104(4) coupled with the male dual bayonet connector 102 to the first and second tubing sections 104(1)-104(2) coupled with the female latch connector 206 via corresponding cylindrical lumens 227(1)- 227(2) defined in the female latch connector 206. The dual cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2) of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) may be of substantially uniform diameter throughout the entire length of the dual shafts 122(1)-122(2) or, as best shown in cross-section in FIG. 3, may narrow or widen in diameter along the length of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) to include a smaller diameter section and a larger diameter section. In other embodiments, the diameter of the dual cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2) may be constant. In further embodiments, the portion of lumens 107(1)- 107(2) in the tubing couplings 144(1)- 144(2) may be radially offset with respect to the portion of the lumens 107(1)-107(2) along the length of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) to accommodate different tubing configurations. For example, the diameters of the dual cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2) may be larger and/or the tubing couplings 144(1)- 144(2) may be spaced further or closer apart than the dual shafts 122(1)- 122(2) to accommodate varying thicknesses of walls of tubing 104(1)- 104(2).

[0038] The dual lumen configuration of the male dual bayonet connector 102 allows for simultaneously connecting and disconnecting two or more tubes using a single connection assembly, rather than requiring a separate connection assembly for each tube. As such, the male bayonet connector 102 may provide more efficient connecting and disconnecting of tubes by reducing the amount of time required for medical personnel to hook and unhook a patient from medical equipment.

[0039] The proximal ends of the dual shafts 122(1)- 122(2) may each include a coupling end 156(1)- 156(2) shaped as a frustum tapering toward the proximal end for coupling with the third and fourth tube sections 104(3)-104(4) (as seen in FIG. 1). As best seen in FIGS. 4 and 6, the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2) may include a flattened region 159(1)-159(2) toward the proximal ends of the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2), i.e., at the smaller diameter of the frustum. The proximal ends of the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2) may further define a chamfered edge 157(1)-157(2). The exact angle of the chamfered edge 157(1)-157(2) may vary. For example, the chamfered edge 157(1)-157(2) may be between 30-55 degrees. In other embodiments, the proximal ends of the coupling ends 156(1)- 156(2) may be rounded or perpendicular to the flattened region 159(1)-159(2). The overall tapered configuration of the coupling ends 156(1)- 156(2), including the flattened regions 159(1)- 159(2) and chamfered edges 157(1)-157(2) of the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2), may facilitate the insertion of the third and fourth tubing sections 104(3)-104(4) over the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2) of the dual shafts 122(1)-122(2).

[0040] The distal ends of the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2), i.e., at the larger diameter of the frustum, may be adjacent to a coupling shaft portion 160(1)- 160(2) that may have a first portion 161(1)-161(2) having a narrower outer diameter than that of the distal end of the coupling end 156(1)-156(2), as well as a second portion 162(1)-162(2) that gradually widens in outer diameter toward the grip 178. As such, the coupling shaft portions 160(1)-160(2) may, in some embodiments, vary in outer diameter along the length of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2), but in other embodiments, may have a substantially uniform outer diameter that may be narrower than the distal end of the coupling end 156(1)- 156(2). The difference in outer diameters between the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2) and the first portions 161(1)-161(2) of the coupling shaft portions 160(1)- 160(2) may result in an annular shelf that functions as a coupling barb 158(1)- 158(2) for retaining the third and fourth tubing couplings 104(3)- 104(4).

[0041] The distal ends of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) may define a sealing portion 121(1)- 121(2) including a flattened sealing surface 123(1)-123(2). As will be described in further detail below, each sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) may engage a respective sealing

member 270 (as shown in, e.g., FIGS. 11-13) in the female latch connector 206 to create a fluid-tight seal between the male dual bayonet connector 102 and the female latch

connector 206. The distal end of the sealing portion 121(1)-121(2) may be rounded, as shown in FIGS. 4, 2 and 6, or, in other embodiments, may be chamfered or perpendicular to the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2).

[0042] The shafts 122(1)-122(2) may also include proximal portions 165(1)-165(2) defining a proximal shaft portion 166(1)-166(2) that extends toward a grip 178. The proximal shaft portions 166(1)- 166(2) may have the same outer diameter as the sealing portion 121(1)-121(2). In one embodiment, the proximal shaft portions 166(1)-166(2) may have a uniform outer diameter. In other embodiments, the proximal shaft portions may have an outer diameter that is either larger or smaller than the outer diameter of the sealing portion 121(1)-121(2).

[0043] The shafts 122(1)-122(2) may also each include an annular channel 124(1)-124(2) between the proximal portions 165(1)-165(2) and the sealing portions 121(1)-121(2) that provides for locking of male dual bayonet connector 102 with the female latch connector 206. As shown in FIG. 3, the annular channels 124(1)-124(2) include a bottom region 135(1)- 135(2) that has a smaller outer diameter than the outer diameter of the sealing portion 121(1)- 121(2). The distal end of each annular channel 124(1)-124(2) is bounded by a distal sidewall 103(1)-103(2) perpendicular to the axes of the cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2). The depth of the annular channels 124(1)- 124(2) is defined by the difference between the radius of the sealing portion 121(1)-121(2) and the radius of the bottom region 135(1)-135(2). [0044] As best shown in the top and side views of the male dual bayonet connector 102 in FIGS. 4 and 6, the proximal end of each annular recess 124(1)- 124(2) may be defined by a chamfered or beveled edge 101(1)-101(2). The beveled edge 101 (1)-101 (2) may define an angle with respect to the axes of the cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2). For example, the surface defined by each beveled edge 101(1)-101 (2) may form a 45-degree angle with respect to the axes of the cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2). The beveled edge 101(1)-101(2) interfaces with the proximal side of the latch plate 200, which forces the male dual bayonet connector 102 proximally and holds the perpendicular sidewall against the latch plate 200 of the female latch connector 206 in the annular channels 124(1)-124(2). This interface reduces movement of the male dual bayonet connector 102 with respect to the female latch connector 206 and thereby reduces wear of the sealing member 207 in the female latch connector 206. In other embodiments, beveled edges 101(1)-101 (2) may be perpendicular to the axes of the cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2), may be curved, or alternatively, may define any other angle between 0 and 90 degrees.

[0045] The length Dl of the sealing surfaces 123(1)-123(2) of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) as shown in Fig. 3 may bear a relationship to the distance D2 from the perpendicular sidewall 103(1)-103(2) of the annular channels 124(1)-124(2) to the grip 178. In one embodiment, the ratio of the length Dl of the sealing surfaces 123(1)-123(2) to the distance D2 from the perpendicular sidewall 103(1)-103(2) to the grip 178 may be such that a side-load force of up to 10 lbs, as imparted on the male bayonet connector 102, will not break the seal between the sealing surfaces 123(1)-123(2) and the sealing member 270 in the female connector 206. For example, in some implementations, the ratio of the length Dl to the distance D2 may be between 0.889 and 1.105.

[0046] A sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) that is proportionally substantially the same or longer with respect to the distance D2 from the annular shelf 103(1)-103(2) to the grip 178 may provide significant lateral support for the shafts 122(1)-122(2) when the male dual bayonet connector 102 is inserted into the female latch connector 206. This proportionality of the length of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) operates to increase resistance to side-load forces and prevent uneven force distribution along the sealing mechanism 270, such as when axial forces are applied to either the male dual bayonet connector 102 or the female latch connector 206. For example, the length of the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) may allow for better lead-in alignment of the male dual bayonet connector 102 with the female latch connector 206. In addition, the length of the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2), when interfaced with a comparatively long supporting surface within the female latch connector 206, may further resist axial movement of the male dual bayonet connector 102 when connected to the female latch connector 206. The reduction of axial movement of the male dual bayonet connector 102 inside the female latch connector 206 may help resist the sealing member 270 from pinching or slipping off the distal end of the shaft 122(1)- 122(2) and sustain contact between the interior surface of the sealing member 270 and the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) to maintain a fluid-tight seal.

[0047] The length of the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) further allows for positioning the sealing member 270 away from the distal end of the shaft 122(1)- 122(2), so as to prevent the sealing member 270 from slipping off of the distal end of the shaft 122(1)-122(2) during engagement of the male dual lumen connector 102 with the female latch connector 206. For example, when interfacing with a supporting region in the female latch connector 206 that extends past the sealing member 270 toward the distal end of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2), the engagement of the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) and the female supporting region may resist axial misalignment of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) under side-loading, thus significantly reducing the possibility of generating a leak path. This serves as an improvement over bayonet designs where the majority of axial support for the shafts is provided at the distal end of the male connector, making these designs much more susceptible to axial and side-loading.

Accordingly, the length Dl of the sealing portions 121 (1)-121 (2) of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) may be selected so as to optimize the stability of the male dual bayonet connector 102 when connected with the female latch connector206.

[0048] The male dual bayonet connector 102 may also include a grip 178, a portion of which may extend between the dual shafts 122(1)- 122(2) to connect the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) of the connector 102. In one embodiment, as best shown in FIGS. 7-11 , the grip 178 includes two generally circular flanges 167(1)-167(2) that surround the shafts 122(1)-122(2) and that are concentric with the axes of the cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2). The flanges 167(1)- 167(2) may be connected via a webbed portion 146 formed between the flanges 167(1)- 167(2), and may have a larger outer diameter than the other portions of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102. As such, the grip 178 may function as a stop for preventing over-insertion of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) into the female latch connector 206, and further as a guide for ensuring that the shafts 122(1)-122(2) are fully inserted into the female latch connector 206.

[0049] As illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 10, the webbed portion 146 may define a recessed area 168 between the flanges 167(1)- 167(2) to allow for easy gripping of the male dual bayonet connector 102 when manipulated by a user. In addition to improving the grip of the male dual bayonet connector 102, providing a recessed area 168 in the webbed portion 146 between the flanges 167(1)-167(2) may further serve to reduce the amount of material required to manufacture the grip 178, thereby decreasing the overall cost associated with manufacturing the male dual bayonet connector 102. In alternate embodiments, there may not be a recessed area between the flanges 167(1)-167 (2) and the perimeter of the grip 178 may be in the form of an oval track with flat sidewalls.

[0050] The webbed portion 146 also provides a further benefit, in that it allows for optimal positioning of the lumens 107(1)- 107(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102 with respect to one another. In particular, the webbed portion 146 allows for positioning of the lumens 107(1)-107(2) so that the space between the central axes of the lumens 107(1)-107(2) can be maximized to allow for convenient connection and removal of both individual and webbed tubes, i.e., tubes connected with an intermediate web along their length, without modifying the tubing. In one embodiment, a distance D3 between the axes of the lumens 107(1)-107(2) may be between approximately 1.695 to 2.035 times the length D2 between the perpendicular sidewall 103(1)-103(2) and the grip 178. Additionally, a wider webbed portion 146 may position the lumens 107(1)-107(2) further apart and may help prevent tangling of the attached tubing, while a narrower webbed portion 146 would position the lumens 107(1)-107(2) closer together. A wider webbed portion 146 may alternatively allow for thicker-walled tubing to be attached to the male dual bayonet connector 102 by providing sufficient clearance for thicker tube walls. Accordingly, the width of the webbed portion 146 may be varied according to the specifications of the tubing being attached to the male dual bayonet connector 102.

[0051] Additionally, the outer edge 198 of the grip 178 may include one or more evenly-spaced indentations 188 to further facilitate gripping of the male dual bayonet connector 102 by a user. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2-6, the outer edge 198 of the grip 178 includes twelve (12) evenly-spaced indentations 188, with each ring 167(1)- 167(2) including six (6) indentations 188, and a recessed webbed portion 146 extending between the rings 167(1)- 167(2). However, the exact number, shape, and size of the indentations 188 are not critical so long as the grip 178 provides an enhanced gripping surface for the user. As such, in other embodiments, the number, shape, and size of the indentations 188 along the grip 178 may vary.

[0052] Another function of the grip 178 is to provide proper lead-in alignment of the male dual bayonet connector 102 with the female latch connector 206, thereby allowing for proper insertion of the male dual bayonet connector 102 into the female latch connector 206. Furthermore, the grip 178 ensures axial alignment of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) with the receiving openings 205(l)-205(2) of the female latch connector 206 during engagement, so as to allow for even distribution of the pressure applied by the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) against the sealing member 270 to prevent leakage around the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2), as well as deformation and/or uneven wearing of the sealing member 270 over time.

[0053] In a further embodiment, a flat projection (not shown) may extend between the proximal portions 165(1)-165(2) of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) to provide greater structural rigidity to the male dual lumen connector 102. The length and thickness of the projection may vary depending upon design requirements or constraints or with the relative durometer of the material used to form the connector 102. The projection may or may not be connected to the webbed portion 146 of the grip 178.

[0054] One embodiment of a female latch connector 206 that may be connected to the male dual bayonet connector 102 is illustrated in FIGS. 8-10. The female latch

connector 206 may include an exterior enclosure 209 defining two openings 205(l)-205(2) for receiving the dual shafts 122(1)-122(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102. As shown in FIG. 7, the female latch connector 206 may further include a latch plate

structure 200 defining two receiving apertures 203(l)-203(2) that are axially aligned with the exterior openings 205(1)-205(1) of the assembled female latch connector 206, so as to receive the shafts 122(1)-122(2).

[0055] The female latch connector 206 may further define two cylindrical lumens 227(1)- 227(2) that extend through the female latch connector 206. In one embodiment, the cylindrical lumens 227(l)-227(2) of the female latch connector 206 are positioned so that when the female latch connector 206 and the male dual lumen connector 102 are connected, the female lumens 227(1)-227(1) are axially aligned with at least a portion of the male cylindrical lumens 107(1)- 107(2) to facilitate fluid flow between the connected male and female connectors 102 and 206. In other embodiments, sections of the lumens 107(1)- 107(2) and 227(1 )-227(2) of the male 102 or female 206 connectors may be offset with respect to one another. Additionally, the female latch connector 206 may include two tubing couplings 254(l)-254(2) that are each configured to engage a section of

tubing 104(1)-104(2), as shown in FIG. 1. The tubing couplings 254(l)-254(2) of the female latch connector 206 may be similar in configuration to the male tubing couplings 156(1)- 156(2)

[0056] The latch plate structure 200 of the female latch connector 206 is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. As best seen in FIG. 10, latching surfaces 201(1)-201(2) may be formed along the bottom walls of the receiving apertures 203(l)-203(2) of the latch plate

structure 200. In one embodiment, the latch plate 200 may be resiliently biased upward to lift the latching surfaces 201 (1)-201(2) so as to interface with the annular channels 124(1)- 124(2) in the male dual bayonet connector 102. For example, as the shafts 122(1)-122(2) are inserted through the apertures 203(l)-203(2), the latch plate 200 may be biased downward to lower the receiving apertures 203(l)-203(2) to accommodate the outer diameter of the shafts 122(1)-122(2). In one embodiment, the receiving apertures 203(l)-203(2) may each be defined by a chamfered edge 207(1 )-207(2) that is angled to facilitate the insertion of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) through the receiving apertures 203(l)-203(2) of the latch structure 200. The distal face of the latch plate 200 may define distal latching edges 21 1(1)-21 1(2) that may interface with the annular shelves 103(1)-103(2) of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) to prevent the shafts 122(1)-122(2) from being removed from the female latch connector 206.

[0057] The latch surfaces 201(1)-201 (2) may be operably coupled to a release mechanism 215 for disengaging the latch surfaces 201(1)-201(2) from the male dual bayonet connector 102. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1 , 9 and 10, the release mechanism 215 may be a button that, when depressed, may lower the latch plate 200 so that the latch

surfaces 201 (1)-201 (2) may clear the annular channels 124(1)- 124(2), allowing for removal of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) from the receiving apertures 203(l)-203(2) of the female latch connector 206.

[0058] The female latch connector 206 may further include a sealing member 270 that engages the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) of the dual shafts 122(1)-122(2) to form a fluid- tight seal between the female receiving portion 206 and the male dual bayonet connector 102. The sealing member 270 may be made from an elastomeric material that may enhance the sealing interface between the female sealing member 270 and the sealing surface 123(1)- 123(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102.

[0059] As best shown in FIGS. 11 -13, illustrating the female latch connector 206 connected to the male dual bayonet connector 102, the configuration of the sealing member 270 within the female receiving portion 206 may vary according to different embodiments of the female receiving portion 206. As shown in FIG. 9, in one embodiment, the sealing member 270 may be an over-molded seal 272 that extends along the entire length Dl of the sealing portion 121(1)-121(2) so as to cover the entire sealing surface 123(1)- 123(2), as well as forming and end seal with the distal end of the male dual bayonet connector 102. In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 10, the sealing member 270 may be an over-molded seal 274 that may cover only a portion of the length Dl of the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2). In yet another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 11, the sealing member 270 may include an O-ring 276 that has a point contact with the sealing

surface 123(1)-123(2). The O-ring 276 may be seated within a recessed area 275 defined by the female latch connector 206.

[0060] To connect the male dual bayonet connector 102 with the female latch connector 206, the dual shafts 122(1)-122(2) may be inserted through the openings 205(1)- 205(2) (shown in FIG. 1) defined in the exterior enclosure 209 of the female latch connector 206 and the apertures 203(l)-203(2) defined by the latch plate structure 200. Insertion of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) through the apertures 203(l)-203(2) of the latch plate structure 200 causes the latch plate 200 to lower due to the interaction between the rounded distal ends 177(1)-177(2) of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) and the chamfered edges 207(l)-207(2) of the latch surfaces 201 (1)-201(2).

[0061] Once the shafts 122(1)-122(2) are inserted far enough so that the latch surfaces 201 (1)-201(2) are positioned below the annular channels 124(1)- 124(2), the latch plate structure 200 may lift so that at least a portion of the latch surfaces 201 (1)-201 (2) is at least partially seated within the annular channels 124(1)- 124(2). As best shown in cross section in FIGS. 9-11 , the beveled edges 101 (1)-101 (2) defined by the annular channels 124(1)-124(2) may be angled to oppose the angle defined by the chamfered edges 207(1 )-207(2) of the latch surfaces 201 (1)-201 (2), thereby preventing lateral movement of the male dual bayonet connector 102 with respect to the connected female latch connector 206.

[0062] The distal latching edges 211 (1)-21 1(2) of the latch plate 200 may interface with the perpendicular distal sidewall 103(1)-103(2) of the annular channels 124(1)-124(2) so as to prevent removal of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) from the female receiving portion 206. The perpendicular distal sidewalls 103(1)-103(2) resist disengagement from the latch plate 200 under longitudinal and axial loads. In one embodiment, the distal latching edges 211 (1)- 211(2) of the latch face 200 may oppose the perpendicular distal sidewalls 103(1)-103(2) defined in the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) to provide a greater axial retention force, as well as the ability to lock the male dual bayonet connector 102 with the female receiving portion 206 from the bottom of the shafts 122(1)-122(2), as opposed to the sides of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2). This bottom locking feature further lessens the distance required for lowering the latch plate 200 to release the male dual bayonet connector 102, thereby improving the overall ergonomic design of the female latch connector 206 and minimizing the insertion force required for inserting the male dual bayonet connector 102 into the female latch connector 206. [0063] The elongated sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) of the shafts 122(1)-122(2) may allow for positioning of the sealing mechanism 270 away from the distal end of the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2). As discussed above, this may help prevent the sealing mechanism 270 from pinching or slipping off from the distal end of the shaft 122(1)- 122(2), and to sustain contact between the interior surface of the sealing mechanism 270 and the sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) to maintain a fluid-tight seal when axial forces are applied to either of the connected the male dual bayonet connector 102 or the female latch connector 206. In some embodiments, such as when the female latch connector 206 includes an O-ring 276 or partial molded seal 274, the female latch connector 206 may include an additional supporting surface 216 that is positioned around the distal end of the shafts 122(1)- 122(2) for providing additional axial support for the shafts 122(1)- 122(2), and further preventing deformation of the sealing mechanism 270.

[0064] To remove the male dual bayonet connector 102 from the female receiving portion 206, a user may depress the release mechanism 215 to lower the latch plate 200 until the latch surfaces 201(1)-201(2) clear the annular channels 124(1)-124(2). Once the annular channels 124(1)-124(2) are cleared, the male dual bayonet connector 102 may be easily disengaged from the female latch connector 206.

[0065] FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate a single-lumen embodiment of the male bayonet connector 301. In this embodiment, the male bayonet connector 301 may include a single shaft 303, and a single lumen 305 extending through the length of the shaft 303. Similar to the male dual bayonet connector 102, the proximal end of the male bayonet connector 301 may include a coupling end 306 for connecting with a tubing section. The tubing coupling 306 may have a configuration similar to the coupling ends 156(1)-156(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102 illustrated in FIGS. 2-6. The shaft 303 may further include a coupling shaft portion 331 similar to the coupling shaft portions 160(1)-160(2) of the male bayonet connector 102, and a proximal shaft portion 366 similar in configuration to the proximal shaft portions 166(1)-166(2) of the connector 102. The distal end of the male bayonet connector 301 may include a sealing surface similar to the flattened sealing surface 123(1)-123(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102 illustrated in FIGS. 2-6, as well as an annular channel 324 that is configured similar to the annular channels 124(1)- 124(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102. In addition, the male bayonet connector 301 may include a ring-shaped grip 311 including a plurality of indentations 313 along the outer edge thereof. In one embodiment, the grip 311 of the male bayonet connector 301 may include ten (10) indentations. [0066] As shown in FIG. 14, the female connector 409 may include a latch plate structure that is similar to the latch plate structure 200 of the female latch connector 206. The latch plate of the female connector 209 may include a single aperture for receiving the shaft 303 of the male bayonet connector 301. Additionally, the female connector 209 may include a sealing mechanism similar to the sealing mechanisms 270 shown in FIGS. 9-11. When connected, the latch plate may interface with the annular channel of the shaft 303, and the sealing mechanism may interface with the male sealing surface in a manner similar to that previously described with respect to FIGS. 11-13. Other embodiments of male bayonet connectors and female latch connectors may include any number of lumens, barbs, and associated shaft portions, as appropriate for the medical procedure being performed.

[0067] FIGS. 16 through 19 illustrate another embodiment of a releasable connection assembly in which each of the components may take a different form. While there are a limited number of embodiments described, these specific embodiments are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure as otherwise described and claimed herein. Modifications and variations from these embodiments exist. It should be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific details set forth in the examples.

[0068] FIGS. 16 and 17 illustrate an exploded front isometric view and an assembled front isometric view of a releasable connection assembly 400, respectively, according to an aspect of this disclosure. The releasable connection assembly 400 includes a male dual bayonet connector 402, tubing sections 404(l)-404(3), and a female latch connector 506. The first and second tubing sections 404(l)-404(2) may connect with respective tubing couplings 454(l)-454(2) (See FIG. 18) on the proximal end of the male dual bayonet connector 402. The third tubing section 404(3) may connect with a respective tubing coupling (not shown) on the distal end of the female latch connector 506. The male dual bayonet connector 402 may be connected with the female latch connector 506 to allow fluid communication between the first and second tubing section 404(l)-404(2) and the third tubing section 404(3).

[0069] The female latch connector 506 may include an exterior enclosure 509 that defines a first exterior opening 505(1) and second exterior opening 505(2). The two exterior openings 505(l)-505(2) may be located at the proximal end of the female latch connector 506, and configured to receive distal ends of dual shafts 422(1) and 422(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 402, respectively.

[0070] The first exterior opening 505(1) may include a first perimeter 510, a first slot 511(1), and a second slot 511 (2). The first perimeter 510 may extend circumferentially about a first center of the first exterior opening 505(1). The first slot 511(1) and the second slot 511 (2) may extend radially outward from the first perimeter 510. In an aspect, the first slot 511(1) may be spaced 180 degrees from the second slot 511 (2) about the first perimeter 510.

[0071] The second exterior opening 505(2) may include a second perimeter 512, a third slot 511(3), and a fourth slot 511(4). The second perimeter 512 may extend circumferentially about a second center of the second exterior opening 505(2). The third slot 511(3) and the fourth slot 511 (4) may extend radially outward from the second perimeter 512. In an aspect, the third slot 511 (3) may be spaced 180 degrees from the fourth slot 511 (4) about the second perimeter 512.

[0072] In alternative aspects, each of the first and second exterior openings 505(l)-505(2) may include fewer or more slots extending from their respective first and second perimeters 510 and 512. Each of the slots may be spaced at various distances from each other slot along their respective perimeter.

[0073] FIG. 18 illustrates the male dual bayonet connector 402, according to an aspect of this disclosure. The dual shafts 422(1 )-422(2) may extend from a proximal end of the male bayonet connector 402 to a distal end of the connector 402. The dual shafts 422(l)-422(2) may be connected by a grip 478. The proximal ends of the dual shafts 422(l)-422(2) comprise the tubing couplings 454(l)-454(2). Each of the dual shafts 422(l)-422(2) may define a cylindrical lumen 407(l)-407(2) for transporting fluid from the first and second tubing sections 404(1 )-404(2) coupled with the male dual bayonet connector 402 to the third tubing sections 404(3) coupled with the female latch connector 506. Each of the dual cylindrical lumens 407(1 )-407(2) may be shaped and dimensioned similar to the dual cylindrical lumens 107(1)-107(2) of the male bayonet connector 102.

[0074] The distal end of the dual shafts 422(l)-422(2) includes sealing surfaces 423(1)- 423(2), annular channels 424(1 )-424(2), ribs 425(l)-425(4), and rib surfaces 426(1 )-426(2). The rib surfaces 426(l)-426(2) are proximal to the sealing surfaces 423(l)-423(2), and the annular channels 424(l)-424(2) are positioned between the rib surfaces 426(l)-426(2) and the sealing surfaces 423. The sealing surfaces 423(l)-423(2) and the annular channels 426(1)- 426(2) may have configurations substantially similar to the sealing surfaces 123(1)-123(2) and the annular channels 126(1)-126(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 102 as described above.

[0075] The rib surfaces 426(l)-426(2) extend from the grip 478 to the annular channels 424(1 )-424(2). Each of the rib surfaces 426(l)-426(2) includes a pair of ribs 425(l)-425(4) that extend radially outward. For example, rib surface 426(1) includes the ribs 425(1)- 425(2). Each of the ribs 425(l)-425(2) extend radially from the rib surface 426(1). In an aspect of this disclosure, each of the ribs 425(l)-425(2) extend in radially opposite directions from the rib surface 426(1), and each of the ribs 425(l)-425(2) may be coupled to the grip 478. In a similar manner, the rib surface 426(2) includes the ribs 425(3)-425(4). Each of the ribs 425(3)-425(5) extend radially from the rib surface 426(2). In an aspect of this disclosure, each of the ribs 425(3)-425(4) extend in radially opposite directions from the rib surface 426(2), and each of the ribs 425(3)-425(4) may be coupled to the grip 478.

[0076] FIG. 19 is a cross sectional view taken along line 19-19 of FIG. 17 illustrating the male dual bayonet connector 402 positioned within the female latch connector 506. The ribs 425(3)-425(4) of the male dual bayonet connector 402 and the slots 511 (3)-511 (4) of the female latch connector 506 are configured such that the ribs 425(3)-425(4) may fit within the slots 511 (3)-511 (4) when the male dual bayonet connector 402 is coupled to the female latch connector 506. Similarly, ribs 425(l)-425(2) and the slots 51 1 (1)-511 (2) are configured such that the ribs 425(l)-425(2) may fit within the slots 51 l(l)-511(2). The coupling of the ribs 425(l)-425(4) within the slots 51 l (l)-51 1(4) may provide added support to the sealing surfaces 423(l)-423(2), which may prevent the seal between male dual bayonet connector 402 and the female latch connector 506 from leaking during side-loads. The female latch connector 506 may include o-rings 530 that extend about the sealing surfaces 423(l)-423(2) of the male dual bayonet connector 402 to further prevent leaking.

[0077] It will be appreciated that the male bayonet connector may include any number of ribs having various configurations. For example, FIGS. 20 and 21 illustrate a rear isometric view and a top plan view, respectively, of an alternate aspect of a male dual bayonet connector 602. The male dual bayonet connector 602 includes dual shafts 622(1 )-622(2). The distal ends of the dual shafts 622(l)-622(2) include sealing surfaces 623(l)-623(2), annular channels 624(1 )-624(2), ribs 625(l)-625(4), and rib surfaces 626(l)-626(2). The rib surfaces 626(l)-626(2), the sealing surfaces 623(l)-623(2), and the annular channels 624(1)- 624(2) may have configurations substantially similar to the rib surfaces 426(1 )-426(2), the sealing surfaces 123(1)-123(2), 423(l)-423(2), and the annular channels 126(1)- 126(2), 426(1 )-426(2), respectively, of the male dual bayonet connectors 102, 402 as described above. Each of the ribs 625(l)-625(2) may extend radially in a horizontal direction from the rib surface 626(1), and each of the ribs 625(3)-625(4) may extend radially in a horizontal direction from the rib surface 626(2). Each of the ribs 625(l)-625(4) extend in radially opposite directions from the rib surfaces 626(1 )-626(2), and may be coupled to a grip 678. [0078] The ribs 425(l)-425(4) and 625(l)-625(4) may also have various shapes, such as a circular recess or socket. In an aspect of this disclosure, the ribs 425(l)-425(4) and 625(1)- 625(4) may extend a distance of less than .084-.094 inches from the grip 478 towards the distal end of the dual shafts 422(1 )-422(2).

[0079] It will be appreciated that the male bayonet connector may include various aspects of the grip. For example, FIGS. 22 and 23 illustrate rear isometric views of alternate aspects of male dual bayonet connectors 702 and 802, respectively. Each of the male bayonet connectors 702 and 802 include a grip 778 that may extend between dual shafts 722(1)- 722(2) to connect the shafts 722(1 )-722(2) of each respective connector 702 and 802. The grip 778 may be, for example, a tie-bar.

[0080] It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that variations and alternative embodiments may be made given the foregoing description. Such variations and alternative embodiments are accordingly considered within the scope of the present invention.

[0081] As used herein, lumen refers not only to its definition, but also refers to an opening, aperture, or other passageway. The fluid referred to herein can be gaseous, liquid, or other state of material that is flowable through a tube (i.e., granular). In addition, while generally described above as sealed when connected together, the connector structures may be sealed or unsealed. The connection between the male dual bayonet connector and female latch connectors and their respective tube sections can be by means other than a barbed fitting, for example, but not limited to, threaded, press-fit without a barb, John Guest fitting, ferrule, and panel mount.

[0082] All directional references (e.g., upper, lower, upward, downward, left, right, leftward, rightward, top, bottom, above, below, inner, outer, vertical, horizontal, clockwise, and counterclockwise) are only used for identification purposes to aid the reader's understanding of the example of the invention, and do not create limitations, particularly as to the position, orientation, or use of the invention unless specifically set forth in the claims. Joinder references (e.g., attached, coupled, connected, joined, and the like) are to be construed broadly and may include intermediate members between a connection of elements and relative movement between elements. As such, joinder references do not necessarily infer that two elements are directly connected and in fixed relation to each other.

[0083] In some instances, components are described with reference to "ends" having a particular characteristic and/or being connected with another part. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the present invention is not limited to components which terminate immediately beyond their points of connection with other parts. Thus, the term "end" should be interpreted broadly, in a manner that includes areas adjacent, rearward, forward of, or otherwise near the terminus of a particular element, link, component, part, member or the like. In methodologies directly or indirectly set forth herein, various steps and operations are described in one possible order of operation, but those skilled in the art will recognize that steps and operations may be rearranged, replaced, or eliminated without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0084] The above specification, examples and data provide a complete description of the structure and use of exemplary embodiments of the invention. Although various

embodiments of the invention have been described above with a certain degree of particularity, or with reference to one or more individual embodiments, those skilled in the art could make numerous alterations to the disclosed embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of this invention. Other embodiments are therefore contemplated. It is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative only of particular embodiments and not limiting. Changes in detail or structure may be made without departing from the basic elements of the invention as defined in the following claims.