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Title:
SURGICAL TRAY CORNER PROTECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/019233
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
A surgical tray corner protector includes a base, a side wall that extends from an outer edge of the base and support members extending from the top surface of the base to form a tray support surface, providing drainage and air flow.

Inventors:
CURNOW, Sam (650 Pleasant View Road, Chanhassen, MN, 55317, US)
AHRENHOLTZ, Ted, Eric (1100 Xenium Lane North Plymouth, MN, 55441, US)
Application Number:
US2006/030297
Publication Date:
February 15, 2007
Filing Date:
August 02, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
QUADION CORPORATION (1100 Xenium Lane North, Plymouth, MN, 55441, US)
GENERAL HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION (2844 Gray Fox Road, Monroe, NC, 28110, US)
CURNOW, Sam (650 Pleasant View Road, Chanhassen, MN, 55317, US)
AHRENHOLTZ, Ted, Eric (1100 Xenium Lane North Plymouth, MN, 55441, US)
International Classes:
A47B95/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOENCK, Alan, M. et al. (Kinney & Lange, PA. Kinney & Lange Building, 312 South Third Stree, Minnepolis MN, 55415-1002, US)
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Claims:

CLAIMS:

1. A comer protector for use with a surgical tray, the corner protector comprising: a base having a top surface and a bottom surface;

5 a side wall extending from an outer edge of the base; and a first plurality of support members extending from the top surface of the base to define a first support surface.

2. The corner protector of claim 1 wherein the first plurality of o support members define the first support surface in a single plane that is elevated from the top surface of the base.

3. The corner protector of claim 2 wherein the base is tilted with respect to the single plane of the first support surface.

4. The corner protector of claim 1 wherein the first plurality of 5 support members comprises a plurality of support ribs.

5. The corner protector of claim 4 wherein the plurality of support ribs comprises at least one center support rib.

6. The corner protector of claim 5 wherein the plurality of support ribs further comprises at least two side support ribs which fan o outward from the center support rib toward an outer edge of the base.

7. The corner protector of claim 6 wherein a height of each of the plurality of support ribs increases in a first direction so that the plurality of support ribs defines the support surface in a single support plane. 5 8. The corner protector of claim 6 wherein the center support rib and the side support ribs form about a 45 degree angle with respect to one another. 9. The corner protector of claim 1 , further comprising: a second plurality of support members extending from the 0 bottom surface of the base to define a second support surface.

10. The corner protector of claim 9 wherein the first and second plurality of support members are substantially aligned on the top and bottom surfaces of the base, respectively. 11. The corner protector of claim 9 wherein the second plurality of support members comprises a plurality of support ribs.

12. The corner protector of claim 1 , further comprising: a plurality of apertures extending though the base.

13. The corner protector of claim 1 wherein the corner protector is composed of a medical grade polymeric material.

14. The corner protector of claim 1 wherein the side wall has a generally square shape.

15. The corner protector of claim 1 wherein the apertures are interposed between the first plurality of support members. 16. The corner protector of claim 1 wherein the support members include a plurality of sloped support ribs adjacent the side wall, each of the plurality of sloped support ribs having a radius of curvature and having a portion that extends up at least a portion of the side wall. 17. A corner protector for use with a surgical tray, the corner protector comprising: a base having a top surface and a bottom surface; a side wall extending from an outer edge of the base; a first plurality of support members extending from the top surface of the base to define a first support surface; a second plurality of support members extending from the bottom surface of the base to define a second support surface; and a plurality of drainage apertures extending though the base.

18. The corner protector of claim 17 wherein the first support surface is located in a first plane and the second support surface is located in a second plane parallel to the first plane.

19. The corner protector of claim 18 wherein the base is tilted with respect to the first plane and the second plane.

20. The corner protector of claim 17 wherein the corner protector is composed of a medical grade polymeric material.

21. The corner protector of claim 17 wherein the first and second plurality of support members comprise a first plurality of support ribs and a second plurality of support ribs, respectively.

22. The ' corner protector of claim 21 wherein the first and second plurality of support ribs are substantially aligned on the top and bottom surfaces of the base, respectively.

23. The corner protector of claim 22 wherein the plurality of drainage apertures are interposed between the first and second plurality of support ribs.

24. The corner protector of claim 23 wherein the first and second plurality of support ribs comprise a single center support rib extending longitudinally along a diagonal axis of the base and an equal number of side support ribs which fan outward from either side of the center support rib.

25. The corner protector of claim 24 wherein a height of each of the first plurality of support ribs increases in a first direction and a height of the second plurality of support ribs increases in an opposite direction so that the first plurality of support ribs defines the first support plane and the second plurality of ribs defines a second support plane.

26. The corner protector of claim 25 wherein the first support plane elevates a surgical tray and the second support plane elevates the corner protector.

27. A corner protector for use with a surgical tray, the corner protector comprising: a base having a top surface and a bottom surface, the base being composed of a fluid-impermeable material; and a side wall extending from an outer edge of the base; wherein the base is configured to drain moisture away from the side wall.

28. The corner protector of claim 27, wherein the base includes a plurality of drainage apertures extending therethrough.

29. The corner protector of claim 27, wherein the base includes a plurality of support members extending from the top surface to define a support surface that is elevated from the top surface of the base. 30. The corner protector of claim 29, wherein the support surface is located in a plane, and the top surface of the base is tilted with respect to the plane.

Description:

SURGICAL TRAY CORNER PROTECTOR

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a corner protector for a surgical tray. More specifically, this invention relates to a surgical tray corner protector comprising a base, a side wall which extends from an outer edge of the base, and support members extending from the base to form a tray support surface, providing improved drainage and air flow.

In hospitals, surgery centers, and other healthcare facilities, surgical instruments must be sterilized prior to use. Normally, surgical instruments are placed in a surgical tray, which is wrapped in a sterilization wrap to protect the instruments from subsequent contamination. The wrapped surgical tray is then inserted into an autoclave and sterilized.

After sterilization, the wrapped tray is placed on a storage shelf or cart until it is needed for a surgical procedure. When the surgical instrument sterilization tray is needed, it is delivered to the operating room. Before the surgical tray is unwrapped, the integrity of the sterilization wrap is inspected to ensure that it does not contain any rips, tears or holes. If the wrap is compromised, the instruments are considered contaminated and can not be used. Most sterilization wrap is susceptible to tearing and ripping.

Handling by hospital staff is the primary cause of ripping of sterilization wrap on a surgical tray. Many of the surgical trays used in healthcare facilities are heavy and/or have sharp corners. When the wrapped surgical tray is slid across a surface, instead of being directly lifted, the comers of the surgical tray can puncture the wrap, thus destroying the sterile environment in which the surgical instruments are stored.

If the sterilization wrap on a surgical tray is torn, the surgical instruments must be rewrapped and sterilized again, which results in reprocessing costs and takes up staff time. In addition, surgical procedures may consequently be delayed. Thus, there is a need in the art for a surgical tray corner protector that will prevent sterilization wrap surrounding a sterile

surgical tray from being ripped or torn by the corners of the tray, and, therefore, rendering the surgical instruments unsterile.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention prevents the sterilization wrap surrounding a sterile surgical tray from being compromised by rips and tears during transportation and storage. The present invention is a corner protector configured to be positioned against a comer of a surgical tray. The corner protector comprises a base, a side wall extending frdm an outer edge of the base, and support members extending from the base to form a support surface. In an exemplary embodiment, apertures extend through the base to allow additional air flow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a first embodiment of a surgical tray corner protector. FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the surgical tray corner protector of FIG. 1 ,

FIG. 3A is a top view of the surgical tray corner protector of FIGS. 1-2.

FlG. 3B is a side view of the surgical tray corner protector of FIGS. 1-2.

FIG. 3C is a bottom view of the surgical tray corner protector of FIGS. 1-2.

FIG. 3D is a top perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a surgical tray corner protector. FIG. 4 is side perspective view of a surgical tray fitted with corner protectors.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of surgical tray corner protector 10. Surgical tray corner protector 10 includes base 12, side walls

14A-14B, center support rib 16, side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D\ and drainage apertures 20.

In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, surgical tray comer protector 10 has a generally square shape. Side wall 14A extends from a first edge of base 12 and side wall 14B extends from a second edge of base 12. Side walls 14A-14B meet at a corner of surgical tray corner protector 10, and are used to position surgical tray corner protector 10 against a corner of a surgical instrument sterilization tray (not shown in FIG.

1). Center support rib 16 extends from base 12 and runs diagonally from the junction of vertical side walls 14A-14B to the opposite corner of base 12. Side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' also extend from base12 and fan outward from center support rib 16. As shown in FIG. 1 , four side support ribs 18A-18D are located on a first side of center support rib 16 and four side support ribs 18A'-18D' are located on a second side of center support rib 16. Center support rib 16 and side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' form about a 45 degree angle with respect to each other. However, surgical tray comer protector 10 may comprise any number of central support ribs 16 and/or side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D', which may form varying angles with respect to each other.

In an exemplary embodiment, center support rib 16 and side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' are each about 0.375 inches in width. The height of center support rib 16 gradually increases as center support rib 16 extends from the junction of vertical side walls 14A-14B. In addition, the height of side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'- 18D' also increases as side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' extend from center support rib 16. In an exemplary embodiment, center support rib 16 has a length of about 4.244 inches and a height which increases from about 0.070 inches to about 0.269 inches. Side support ribs 18A and 18A' have a length of about 2.132 inches and a height which increases from about 0.208 inches to about 0.269 inches. Side

support ribs 18B and 18B' have a length of about 1.607 inches and a height which increases from about 0.162 inches to about 0.269 inches.

Side support ribs 18C and 18C have a length of about 1.082 inches and a height which increases from about 0.116 inches to about 0.269 inches. Finally, in the exemplary embodiment shown in F)G. 1 , side support ribs 18D and 18D' have a length of about 0.557 inches and a height which increases from about 0.070 inches to about 0.269 inches.

Center support rib 16 and side support ribs 18A-18D and

18A'-18D' define a support surface, which supports the weight of a surgical instrument sterilization tray and elevates the surgical tray from base 12. This prevents moisture from accumulating between the bottom surface of the surgical tray and base 12 during the sterilization process in the autoclave. In the exemplary embodiment shown, the heights of the ribs are tapered in a configuration that forms a support surface for a surgical tray in a horizontal plane, while base 12 tilts at an angle with respect to the horizontal plane. This allows moisture to drain along the angle of base 12. Also, in an exemplary embodiment, center support rib 16 and side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' are not in contact with each other, which further reduces the concern of moisture retention and improves the air circulation during the drying process.

Although the support members of surgical tray comer protector 10 have been described and shown as ribs, it should be understood that other suitable supporting structures are also possible for supporting a surgical tray above the surface of base 12. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1 , drainage apertures 20 are interposed between side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' and extend through base 12. Drainage apertures 20 allow water to drain away from the surgical tray and improve air circulation, which aids in the drying process. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1 , corner protector 10 has thirty drainage apertures, which are positioned in rows between side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D'.

However, the present invention may have any number of drainage apertures 20, which may form various configurations.

Surgical tray corner protector 10 is reusable and may be comprised, for example, of any suitable medical-grade polymeric material, such as silicone (40 Shore A Durometer Millable Silicone, in particular). This type of fluid-impermeable material further aids the ability of surgical tray corner protector 10 to resist the accumulation and retention of moisture, and allows surgical tray corner protector 10 to be reused multiple times without degradation of the material of the comer protector.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of surgical tray corner protector 10, which includes base 12, vertical side walls 14A-14B, drainage apertures 20, center support rib 22, and side support ribs 24A- 24D and 24A'-24D'. As described with respect to FIG. 1 , vertical side wall 14A extends from a first edge of base 12 and vertical side wall 14B extends from a second edge of base 12. In an exemplary embodiment, center support rib 22 and side support ribs 24A-24D and 24A'-24D' on the bottom surface of base 12 are substantially aligned with respect to center support rib 16 and side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' on the top surface of base 12 (shown in FIG. 1 ) and in effect form a mirror image of each other (although this correspondence is not necessary in all embodiments). Center support rib 22 and side support ribs 24A-24D and 24A'-24D' are also each about 0.375 inches wide and are not in contact with each other in an exemplary embodiment.

In contrast to center support rib 16, the height of center support rib 22 gradually decreases as center support rib 22 extends outward from the junction of vertical side walls 14A-14B. In addition, the height of side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' also decreases as side support ribs 24A-24D and 24A'-24D' extend outward from center support rib 22. In the exemplary embodiment, center support rib 22 has

a length of about 4.244 inches and a height which decreases from about 0.269 inches to about 0.070 inches. Side support ribs 24A and 24A' have a length of about 2.132 inches and a height which decreases from about 0.269 inches to about 0.208 inches. Side support ribs 24B and 24B' have a length of about 1.607 inches and a height which decreases from about 0.269 inches to about 0.162 inches. Side support ribs 24C and 24C have a length of about 1.082 inches and a height which decreases from about 0.269 inches to about 0.116 inches. Finally, in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 2, side support ribs 24D and 24D' have a length of about 0.557 inches and a height which decreases from about 0.269 inches to about 0.070 inches.

Center support rib 22 and side support ribs 24A-24D and 24A'-24D' define a support surface, which elevates comer protector 10 from a surface on which it is resting. This increases air flow and prevents moisture from accumulating between the bottom side of base 12 and the surface on which comer protector 10 is resting during the sterilization process in the autoclave. In an exemplary embodiment, the heights of the ribs are tapered in a configuration that forms the support surface in a horizontal plane, while base 12 tilts at an angle with respect to the horizontal plane. This allows moisture to drain along the angle of base 12. Also, in an exemplary embodiment, the plane of the bottom support surface (defined by center support rib 22 and side support ribs 24A-24D and 24A'-24D' shown in FIG. 2) is parallel to the plane of the top support surface (defined by center support rib 16 and side support ribs 18A-18D and 18A'-18D' shown in FIG. 1).

FIG. 3A is a top view of surgical tray comer protector 10, which illustrates exemplary dimensions of surgical tray corner protector 10. As described with respect to FIG. 1 , in one exemplary embodiment, corner protector 10 has a generally square shape (although other shapes are contemplated in other embodiments, such as a generally rounded shape for an embodiment designed to be used with surgical

trays having rounded corners). Corner protector 10 has a length of about 3 inches, as represented by line A, and a width of about 3 inches, as represented by line B. In addition, in the exemplary embodiment, as represented by line C, the distance between the radii of drainage apertures 20, which are adjacent to each other, is about 0.525 inches.

FIG. 3B is a side view of surgical tray corner protector 10, which illustrates exemplary dimensions of surgical tray corner protector

10. In the exemplary embodiment shown, vertical side wall 14A tapers from a height of 1 inch at its highest point, which is represented by line D, (and at which it adjoins to vertical side wall 14B, as shown in FIG. 1) to a height of 0.375 inches at its lowest point.

FIG. 3C is a bottom view of surgical tray corner protector 10, which illustrates exemplary dimensions of surgical tray corner protector 10. In the exemplary embodiment shown, thirty drainage 5 apertures 20 are interposed between side support ribs 24A-24D and 24A'-24D'. As such, five rows of drainage apertures 20 are formed on either side of center support rib 22. As represented by line E, in a first row containing five drainage apertures 20, the distance from a first side of the first drainage aperture 20 to a first side of the fifth drainage 0 aperture 20 is about 2.132 inches. As represented by line F, in a second row containing four drainage apertures 20, the distance from a first side of the first drainage aperture 20 to a first side of the fourth drainage aperture 20 is about 1.607 inches. As represented by line G, in a third row containing three drainage apertures 20, the distance from 5 a first side of the first drainage aperture 20 to a first side of the third drainage aperture 20 is about 1.082 inches. As represented by line H, in a fourth row containing two drainage apertures 20, the distance from a first side of the first drainage aperture 20 to a first side of the second drainage aperture 20 is about 0.557 inches. The fifth row contains only o one drainage aperture 20.

FIG. 3D is a top perspective view of surgical tray corner protector 30 according to an alternative embodiment. Comer protector 30 includes base 32, side walls 34A and 34B, center support rib 36, side support ribs 38, and apertures 40, similar to the features associated with corner protector 10 described above. The bottom of corner protector 30 may be formed with features that are similar to the top of corner protector 30 in an exemplary embodiment. Corner protector 30 also includes additional sloped support ribs 42 adjacent side walls 34A and 34B, with a portion of sloped support ribs 42 extending up at least part of side walls 34A and 34B. This embodiment is particularly appropriate for use with surgical trays that have rounded sides. The radii of sloped support ribs 42 can be adjusted to correspond to the curvature of the sides of a particular shape of surgical tray, so that corner protector 30 provides a snug fit against the sides of the surgical tray. Other configurations of ribs or other support members may also be designed in order to provide a desired fit with a surgical tray.

FIG. 4 is side perspective view of surgical tray 26 fitted with comer protectors 10, which include side walls 14A-14B. Surgical tray 26 has square corners, and is therefore fitted with corner protectors 10, which also have a generally square shape. However, the present invention may also be configured for use with surgical trays which have circular or other shaped corners. Although surgical tray 26 is fitted with four corner protectors 10, only three corner protectors 10 are visible from this perspective. Side walls 14A-14B assist in properly positioning surgical tray 26 on corner protectors 10. Side walls 14A-14B wrap around the horizontal walls at each comer of surgical tray 26. As surgical tray 26 rests on corner protectors 10, surgical tray 26 is elevated from the bases of comer protectors 10. This reduces the concern of moisture retention and improves air circulation during the drying process.

Corner protectors 10 create a protective barrier between the corners of surgical tray 26 and sterilization wrap, which is susceptible to tearing and ripping. As a result, after surgical tray 26 is wrapped and sterilized, corner protectors 10 will prevent the corners of surgical tray 24 from puncturing the plastic wrap during transportation and storage. The sterile environment in which the surgical instruments are stored is therefore maintained.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.