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Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DISINFECTING A DRAIN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/094250
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for disinfecting a drain pipe includes inserting an obstruction device into the drain pipe. The obstruction device has an elongate body with a proximal end and a distal end, and an inflatable member nearer the distal end. The method also includes (1) positioning the obstruction device such that the inflatable member is located at the connection between the trap and a vertical portion of the drain pipe, and (2) inflating the inflatable member of the obstruction device. The inflatable member expands radially with respect to a longitudinal axis of the elongate body and obstructs the drain pipe when inflated. A volume of disinfectant may then be added to the drain pipe to fill at least a portion of the vertical portion of the drain pipe.

Inventors:
CARLING, Philip, C. (53 Tower Road, Hingham, MA, 02043, US)
Application Number:
US2018/058667
Publication Date:
May 16, 2019
Filing Date:
November 01, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KLEANCHECK SYSTEMS, LLC (53 Tower Road, Hingham, MA, 02043, US)
International Classes:
E03D9/02; A47K11/10; A61L2/16; B08B9/02; E03C1/126; F16L55/128
Foreign References:
US0300636A1884-06-17
US20130008471A12013-01-10
US3075535A1963-01-29
US0271358A1883-01-30
US5427153A1995-06-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOVELY, Jonathan, C. et al. (McCarter & English, LLP265 Franklin Stree, Boston MA, 02110, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method for disinfecting a drain pipe comprising:

inserting an obstruction device into the drain pipe, the obstruction device having an elongate body with a proximal end and a distal end, and an inflatable member nearer the distal end;

positioning the obstruction device within the drain pipe such that the inflatable member is located at or below the connection between a trap and a vertical portion of the drain pipe;

inflating the inflatable member of the obstruction device, the inflatable member of the obstruction device expanding radially with respect to a longitudinal axis of the elongate body and obstructing the drain pipe when inflated; and

adding a volume of disinfectant to the drain pipe, the volume of disinfectant filing at least a portion of the vertical portion of the drain pipe.

2. A method according to claim 1, further comprising:

adding a volume of disinfectant to the drain pipe prior to inserting the obstruction device, the volume of disinfectant being sufficient to fill a trap within the drain pipe.

3. A method according to claim 1, further comprising:

deflating the inflatable member of the obstruction device after a predetermined period of time, thereby allowing the volume of disinfectant above the inflatable member to flow down the drain pipe and into the trap; and

removing the obstruction device from the drain pipe.

4. A method according to claim 3, further comprising:

treating standing water within the trap of the drain by allowing the disinfectant to remain within the trap for a second predetermined period of time.

5. A method according to claim 1, wherein inflating the inflatable member includes inflating the inflatable member with air.

6. A method according to claim 1, wherein inflating the inflatable member includes inflating the inflatable member with liquid.

7. A method according to claim 6, wherein the liquid is water.

8. A method according to claim 1, wherein the elongate body includes:

a first channel extending within the elongate body from the proximal end toward an inflation port nearer the distal end, the inflation port fluidly connecting the first channel and the inflatable member; and

a first connector located at a first end of the first channel, inflating the inflatable member including connecting an inflation device to the first connector and introducing an inflation media into the inflatable member via the first channel.

9. A method according to claim 8, wherein the first connector is a luer lock.

10. A method according to claim 9, wherein the luer lock includes a valve mechanism, the inflation device transitioning the valve mechanism from a closed mode to an open mode upon connection to the first connector, thereby allowing the inflation media to be introduced into the inflatable member.

11. A method according to claim 8, wherein the inflation media is at least one selected from the group consisting of water and air.

12. A method according to claim 8, wherein the inflation device is a syringe.

13. A method according to claim 8, wherein the elongate body further includes:

a deflation channel extending from a deflation port at the inflatable member to the proximal end of the elongate body; and

a second connector located at the proximal end of the elongate body, deflating the inflatable member including connecting a deflation device to the second connector and removing the inflation media from the inflatable member via the deflation channel.

14. A method according to claim 13, wherein the second connector is a luer lock.

15. A method according to claim 13, wherein the deflation device is a syringe.

16. A method according to claim 13, wherein the deflation port includes a seal, the seal preventing the inflation fluid from entering the deflation channel during inflation.

17. A method according to claim 16, wherein deflating the inflatable member includes breaking the seal prior to removing the inflation media from the inflatable portion.

18. A drain obstruction device comprising:

an elongate body having a proximal end and a distal end;

an inflatable member located nearer the distal end and configured to inflate and deflate upon introduction and removal of an inflation media into the device, the inflatable member configured to expand radially with respect to a longitudinal axis of the elongate body during inflation and obstruct the drain pipe when at least partially inflated;

a first channel extending within the elongate body from the proximal end and toward the distal end, the first channel having an inflation port fluidly connecting the first channel and an interior of the inflatable member, thereby allowing the inflation media to enter the interior of the inflatable member and inflate the inflatable member; and

a first connector located at a first end of the first channel and configured to connect with an inflation device, the inflation device configured to introduce the inflation media into the obstruction device during inflation.

19. A device according to claim 18, wherein the first connector is a luer lock.

20. A device according to claim 19, wherein the first connector includes a valve mechanism, the valve mechanism configured to allow the inflation device to introduce the inflation media into the first channel when connected to the luer lock and prevent the inflation media from exiting the first channel when disconnected.

21. A device according to claim 18, wherein the inflation media is at least one selected from the group consisting of water and air.

22. A device according to claim 18, wherein the inflation device is a syringe.

23. A device according to claim 18, further comprising:

a deflation channel extending through the elongate body from the proximal end of the elongate body to a deflation port at the inflatable member, the deflation port fluidly connecting the interior of the inflatable member and the deflation channel; and

a second connector located at a first end of the deflation channel and configured to connect with a deflation device, the deflation device configured to draw the inflation media from the inflation member via the deflation channel to deflate the inflatable member.

24. A device according to claim 23, wherein the deflation device is a syringe.

25. A device according to claim 23, wherein the second connector is a luer lock.

26. A device according to claim 23, wherein the deflation device is the same device as the inflation device.

27. A device according to claim 23, wherein the deflation port includes a seal, the seal preventing the inflation fluid from entering the deflation channel during inflation and prior to deflation.

28. A device according to claim 27, wherein the seal is breakable to allow the inflation media to be removed from the inflatable member.

29. A device according to claim 28, wherein the deflation device is configured to break the seal by introducing a fluid into the deflation channel prior to deflation.

30. A device according to claim 29, wherein the fluid is water.

Description:
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DISINFECTING A DRAIN

Priority

[0001] This patent application claims priority from United States Provisional

Application No. 62/582,582, filed November 7, 2017, entitled "System and Method for Disinfecting a Drain," assigned attorney docket number 130660-11001 (formerly 2952/110), and naming Philip C. Car ling as inventor, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein, in its entirety by reference.

Technical Field

[0002] The present invention relates to disinfecting sinks and drains and, more particularly, to disinfecting both the trap and vertical portion of a drain.

Background Art

[0003] During the past decade controlling and limiting the spread of health care associated pathogens has become one of the most challenging aspects of health care epidemiology. Unfortunately, the continuing escalation of infections with these pathogens has led to more than 1.5 million people developing resistant hospital acquired, i.e., nosocomial, infections in the U.S. annually. Despite enhancement of hand hygiene through the

development of user friendly alcohol based hand cleansers, the manner in which they are used and the difficulty achieving appropriate compliance with their use potentially limit their effectiveness.

[0004] Some of the pathogens posing significant nosocomial problems are

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (Vancomycin Resistant

Enterococcus ), multidrug-resistant Gram negative Bacilli (MDR-GNB) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). Their importance is derived from a combination of resistance to presently available treatments and an ability to rapidly spread extensively in the environment around hospitalized patients. MRSA is present in wound infections, as associated with bed sores and intra-veinous catheters. VRE is present in bowel infections and causes urinary tract infections. C. difficile is also present in bowel infections and presents as life threatening diarrhea. MDR-GNB can cause bacterial infections that pose a serious and rapidly emerging threat for hospitalized patients and especially high risk patients in intensive care units. For each of these pathogens, control with present antibiotics is problematical, if not impossible. [0005] Recently MDR-GNB has become increasingly problematic because of its high level of resistance to current antibiotics and the lack of new antibiotics that may be used against MDR-GNB. To complicate matters further, it has been discovered that MDR- GNBs may actually spread their antibiotic resistance to normal "healthy" GNBs. These MDR- GNB s may spread from patient to patient in a number of ways including via the hands of health care workers. Recent studies have shown that environmental bacteria (including MDR- GNB) can contaminate and colonize drains (particularly the trap/U-bend within the drain, see Figs 1 and 2). Once the contamination/colonization has taken place, bacteria filled bio film may begin to grow and progress up the drain toward the opening of the drain (see Fig. 3). Over the past several years spread of these drain-contaminating bacteria to patients has been confirmed by scientific studies in many countries and has been associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although pouring a disinfectant into the drain may be able to decontaminate the trap/U-bend of the drain, there is currently no effective way to

disinfect/decontaminate the portion of a standard drain between the opening and the trap/U- bend (e.g., upstream of the trap/U-bend).

Summary of the Embodiments

[0006] In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a method for disinfecting a drain pipe includes inserting an obstruction device into the drain pipe and positioning the obstruction device within the drain pipe such that an inflatable member is located at or below the connection between the trap and a vertical portion of the drain pipe. The obstruction device may include an elongate body with a proximal end and a distal end, and the inflatable member may be nearer the distal end. The method also includes inflating the inflatable member of the obstruction device such that the inflatable member expands radially with respect to a longitudinal axis of the elongate body. This, in turn, causes the inflatable member to obstruct the drain pipe (e.g., when inflated). Once the drain pipe is obstructed, the method may also include adding a volume of disinfectant to the drain pipe. The volume of disinfectant may fill at least a portion of the vertical portion of the drain pipe. In some embodiments, the method may add a volume of disinfectant to the drain pipe prior to inserting the obstruction device. This volume of disinfectant may be sufficient to fill the trap within the drain pipe.

[0007] In other embodiments, the method may include (1) deflating the inflatable member of the obstruction device after a predetermined period of time to allow the volume of disinfectant above the inflatable member to flow down the drain pipe (e.g., into the trap), and (2) removing the obstruction device from the drain pipe. The inflatable member may be inflated with air or liquid (e.g., water). The method may then treat the standing water within the trap of the drain by allowing the disinfectant to remain within the trap for a second predetermined period of time.

[0008] The elongate body of the obstruction member may include a first channel and a first connector. The first channel may extend within the elongate body from the proximal end toward a channel opening nearer the distal end. The channel opening fluidly connects the first channel and the inflatable member (e.g., an interior of the inflatable member). The first connector may be located at a first end of the first channel, and inflating the inflatable member may include connecting an inflation device to the first connector and introducing an inflation media into the inflatable member via the first channel. The first connector may be a luer lock and may include a valve mechanism. The inflation device may transition the valve mechanism from a closed mode to an open mode upon connection to the first connector, (e.g., to allow the inflation media to be introduced into the inflatable member). The inflation media may be water and/or air. The inflation device may be a syringe.

[0009] In additional embodiments, the elongate body may also include a deflation channel and a second connector. The deflation channel may extend from a deflation channel opening at the inflatable member to the proximal end of the elongate body. The second connector may be located at the proximal end of the elongate body, and deflating the inflatable member may include connecting a deflation device to the second connector and removing the inflation media from the inflatable member via the deflation channel. The second connector may be a luer lock, and the deflation device may be a syringe. The deflation channel opening may include a seal that prevents the inflation media from entering the deflation channel during inflation. Additionally or alternatively, deflating the inflatable member may include breaking the seal prior to removing the inflation media from the inflatable portion.

[0010] In accordance with additional embodiments, a drain obstruction device may include an elongate body having a proximal end and a distal end, an inflatable member located nearer the distal end, and a first channel extending within the elongate body from the proximal end and toward the distal end. The inflatable member may be configured to (1) inflate and deflate upon introduction and removal of an inflation media into the device, (2) expand radially with respect to a longitudinal axis of the elongate body during inflation, and

(3) obstruct the drain pipe when at least partially inflated. The first channel may have a channel opening that fluidly connects the first channel and an interior of the inflatable member to allow the inflation media to enter the interior of the inflatable member and inflate the inflatable member. The device may also include a first connector (e.g., a luer lock) located at a first end of the first channel. The first connector may be configured to connect with an inflation device that, in turn, may introduce the inflation media into the obstruction device during inflation.

[0011] In some embodiments, the first connector may include a valve mechanism that is configured to allow the inflation device to introduce the inflation media into the first channel when connected to the connector (e.g., when connected to the luer lock) and prevent the inflation media from exiting the first channel when disconnected. The inflation media may be water and/or air, and the inflation device may be a syringe.

[0012] In accordance with further embodiments, the obstruction device may also include a deflation channel and a second connector. The deflation channel may extend through the elongate body from the proximal end of the elongate body to a deflation channel opening at the inflatable member. The deflation channel opening may fluidly connect the interior of the inflatable member and the deflation channel. The second connector (e.g., a luer lock) may be located at a first end of the deflation channel and may be configured to connect with a deflation device. The deflation device (e.g., a syringe) may be configured to draw the inflation media from the inflatable member via the deflation channel to deflate the inflatable member. The deflation device may be the same device as the inflation device or a different device.

[0013] The deflation channel opening may include a seal that prevents the inflation fluid from entering the deflation channel during inflation and prior to deflation. The seal may be breakable to allow the inflation media to be removed from the inflatable member. For example, the deflation device may be configured to break the seal by introducing a fluid (e.g., water) into the deflation channel prior to deflation.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0014] The foregoing features of embodiments will be more readily understood by reference to the following detailed description, taken with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0015] Fig. 1 schematically shows an exemplary sink and drain with which some embodiments of the present invention may be used.

[0016] Fig. 2 schematically shows another exemplary drain tube with a trap/U-bend with which some embodiments of the present invention may be used. [0017] Fig. 3 schematically shows the drain tube of Figure 2 with the progression of biofilm toward the drain opening.

[0018] Figs. 4A and 4B schematically show a drain obstruction device in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention.

[0019] Fig. 5 is a flowchart depicting an exemplary method for disinfecting a drain using the drain obstruction device shown in Figures 4A and 4B, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention.

[0020] Figs. 6A through 6D schematically show an exemplary drain at the various stages of the method shown in Figure 5, in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention.

Detailed Description of Specific Embodiments

[0021] In illustrative embodiments, a drain obstruction device with an inflatable member may be inserted into a drain in order to obstruct the drain. The drain and, in particular, the portion of the drain upstream of the trap/U-bend may then be disinfected by pouring a disinfectant into the drain. After a period of time, the inflatable member may be deflated to allow the disinfectant to flow down the drain, and the drain obstruction device may be removed from the drain. Details of illustrative embodiments are discussed below.

[0022] Figure 4A schematically shows a perspective view of a drain obstruction device 100 in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. Figure 4B schematically shows a cross-sectional view of the drain obstruction device 100. In illustrative embodiments and as shown in Figure 4 A, the drain obstruction device 100 includes an elongate body 110 that extends from a proximal end 112 to a distal end 114. As discussed in greater detail below, the device 100 also includes an inflatable member 120 (e.g., a balloon) that is located nearer to the distal end 114 of the body 110. The inflatable member 120 may be inflated and deflated as needed in order to obstruct (e.g., when inflated) and open (e.g., when deflated) a drain in which the device 100 is inserted.

[0023] At the proximal end 112 of the body 110, the device 100 can include one or more ports that may be used to inflate and deflate the inflatable member 120. For example, the device 100 may include an inflation port 130 to which an inflation device may be connected and through which the inflatable member 120 may be inflated. Additionally, the device 100 may also include a deflation port 140 to which a deflation device (e.g., also a syringe) may be connected and through which the inflatable member may be deflated (discussed in greater detail below). In order to facilitate connection of the inflation and deflation devices, the inflation port 130 and deflation port 140 may each have a connector 132/142 (e.g., a luer lock connector) to which the inflation and deflation devices connect.

[0024] It should be noted that the inflation and deflation devices may be any device that can be used to introduce and extract an inflation media (e.g., water, air, saline, etc.) into/from the obstruction device 100. For example, the inflation and deflation devices may be needle-less syringes with a luer fitting that connects to the connectors 132/142 on the inflation and deflation ports 130/140. In some embodiments, the inflation and deflation devices may be different devices. However, in other embodiments, the same device may be used for both the inflation and deflation device (e.g., the same needle-less syringe may be used to introduce the inflation media into and extract the inflation media from the obstruction device 100).

[0025] Once the inflation media has been introduced into the obstruction device 100 and in order to keep the inflatable member inflated (e.g., so that it continues to obstruct the drain), it is important to prevent the inflation media from leaking out of the obstruction device 100. To that end, in some embodiments, the inflation port 130 (e.g., the luer lock connector 132) may include a one way valve 134 that prevents the inflation media from flowing back out of the inflation port 130. In such embodiments, the inflation device may transition the one way valve 134 from a closed mode to an open mode (e.g., upon connection of the inflation device to the inflation port 130) to allow the inflation device to introduce the inflation media. Upon disconnection of the inflation device (e.g., after the inflation media has been introduced and the inflatable member 120 is inflated), the valve will return to the closed mode to prevent the inflation media from escaping from the device 100 via the inflation port 130. In a similar manner and as discussed in greater detail below, the device 100 may include a seal that prevents the inflation media from escaping via the deflation port 140.

[0026] To facilitate fluid communication between the inflation port 130 and the inflatable member 120, as well as between the deflation port 140 and the inflatable member 120, the obstruction device 100 may include fluid channels extending through the elongate body 110. For example, the device 100 may include an inflation channel 160 (see Fig. 4B) that extends from the inflation port 130, through the elongate body 110 and to an inflation channel opening 162 that fluidly connects the inflation channel 160 with the interior of the inflatable member 120. During inflation, the inflation media will flow into the inflation port 130, through the inflation channel 160 and into the interior of the inflatable member 120 via the inflation channel opening 162. [0027] Similarly, the device 100 may also include a deflation channel 170 that extends from the deflation port 140, through the elongate body 110 and to a deflation channel opening 172 that fluidly connects the interior of the inflatable member 120 and the deflation channel 170. As mentioned above, the device 100 can include a seal that prevents the inflation media from exiting the device 100 via the deflation port 140 when the inflatable member 120 is inflated. To that end, the deflation channel opening 172 may include a seal 174 that fluidly disconnects the deflation channel 170 from the interior volume of the inflatable member 120 prior to deflation. As discussed in greater detail below, the seal 174 may be broken during deflation to allow the deflation device to extract the inflation media from the interior of the inflation member 120, through the deflation channel opening 172 and deflation channel 170 and out the deflation port 140.

[0028] It should be noted that, in addition to preventing the inflation media from flowing into the deflation channel during inflation of the inflatable member 120, the seal 174 also prevents reuse of the obstruction device 100 which, after use, may be contaminated with the bacteria contained within the drain. In particular, once the seal 174 is broken during deflation of the inflatable member 120, there will be nothing to prevent the inflation media from exiting the inflatable member 120 via the deflation channel opening 172, flowing up the deflation channel 170 and out of the deflation port 140 (which may not include a one-way valve). Therefore, once the seal 174 is broken, the inflatable member 120 is no longer able to retain the inflation media and is no longer able to inflate.

[0029] Although the embodiments described above include an inflation port 130, a deflation port 140, an inflation channel 160, and a deflation channel 170, other embodiments may have different configurations. For example, other embodiments may have only one port and one channel, and the same port (e.g., an inflation/deflation port) and channel (e.g., an inflation/deflation channel) may be used to both introduce and extract inflation media into the device (e.g., the same port and channel may be used to both inflate and deflate the inflatable member 120). In such embodiments, the inflation/deflation port may include a one-way valve similar to that described above to prevent the inflation media from leaking out of the device 100 after inflation.

[0030] Figure 5 is a flowchart depicting one method for disinfecting a drain using the obstruction device(s) 100 discussed above. Figures 6A through 6D schematically show the drain at various stages of the disinfection process. In some applications, it may be important to ensure that the trap/U-bend 620 of the drain is disinfected along with the rest of the drain 610. This portion of the drain 610 may be disinfected before the obstructions device 100 is inserted/inflated and/or after it is removed. For example, prior inserting the obstruction device 100 and inflating the inflatable member 120, the user may first add a volume of disinfectant to the drain 610 (Step 510). This volume of disinfectant should be sufficient to fill the trap/U- bend 620 to ensure that the entire surface of the trap/U-bend 620 is in contact with the disinfectant and the trap/U-bend 620 is sufficiently disinfected (Fig. 6A).

[0031] The user may then insert the distal end 114 obstruction device 100 into the drain 610 (Step 515) and begin to snake the obstruction device 100 down the drain 610 until the inflatable member 120 is located at or below the junction of the trap/U-bend 620 and the vertical portion 630 of the drain (Step 520). It is important to note that the location of the inflatable member 120 in the drain is important to ensure that the entire drain is sufficiently cleaned and disinfected. For example, if the inflatable member 120 is too high within the drain 610 (e.g., above the junction of the trap/U-bend 620 and the vertical portion 630), any portion of the vertical portion 630 that is below the inflatable member 120 may not be exposed to the disinfectant and may not me sufficiently cleaned/disinfected.

[0032] Once the obstruction device 100 and inflatable member 120 are in place, the user may then inflate the inflatable member 120 (Fig. 6B). For example, the user may connect the inflation device to the luer lock connector 132 on the inflation port 130. If equipped with a one-way valve 134, connection of the inflation device to the connector 132 will open the valve 134 and allow the user to begin introducing the inflation media (e.g., water, air, etc.) into the obstruction device 100. As the inflation media flows into the device via the inflation port 130, the media will flow down the inflation channel 160, through the inflation channel opening 162 and into the interior of the inflatable member 120. As the user continues to introduce the inflation media, the media will begin to fill the interior of the inflatable member 120, causing it to expand radially outward (e.g., inflate) with respect to the elongate body 110 (Step 525).

[0033] The user may continue to add inflation media to the obstruction device 110 and inflatable member 120 until the outer surface 122 of the inflatable member 120 contacts the inner wall of the drain 610 (Fig. 6B) and the inflatable member 120 obstructs the drain 610. At this point, any disinfectant (or additional disinfectant if disinfectant was previously added to the trap/U-bend 620) that is added to the drain 610 will not flow through the drain 610 and will remain in the portion of the drain 610 that is upstream of the trap/U-bend 620 and the inflatable member 120 (which is now at least partially inflated). The user may now introduce additional disinfectant (e.g., a second volume of disinfectant) into the drain 610 (Step 530) to disinfect the remainder of the drain 610 (e.g., the portion upstream of the trap/U-bend 620). To ensure that the remainder of the drain 610 is fully disinfected, the second volume of disinfectant should be sufficient to fill the drain 610 completely (e.g., from the inflatable member 120 to the opening 640 of the drain 610.)

[0034] Once the portion of the drain 610 that is upstream of the trap/U-bend 620 and inflatable member (e.g., including the vertical portion 630) and, perhaps, the trap/U-bend 620 (e.g., if the user added disinfectant prior to inflating the inflatable member 120) is full of disinfectant (Fig. 6C), the user may allow the disinfectant to remain within the drain 610 for a predetermined period of time (Step 535). The predetermined period of time may be dependent on the application and may be dependent upon a number of factors. For example, the length of time the disinfectant is allowed to remain in the drain 610 (e.g., the predetermined period of time) may be dependent on the type of disinfectant used, the type of the drain 610 (e.g., a sink, a shower drain, a maintenance drain, etc.), the configuration of the drain 610 (e.g., the shape and size of the drain tube, the number of turns, the number and location of the vertical and horizontal sections, etc.), and the bacteria that the user is trying to clean/destroy, the location of the drain (e.g., whether it is in a patient room, a maintenance closet, an operating room, bathroom, etc.), to name but a few. In some embodiments, the predetermined time may be for, example, between 5 and 10 minutes. However, in other embodiments, the predetermined time may be less than 5 minutes or more than 10 minutes.

[0035] After the predetermined period of time has passed, the user may deflate the inflatable member 120 (Step 540) and remove the obstruction device 100 from the drain 610 (Step 545). To deflate the inflatable member 120, the user may connect the deflation device to the deflation port 140 (e.g., the luer lock connector 142) and begin to draw the inflation media out of the interior of the inflatable member 120, up the deflation channel 170 and out of the deflation port 140. Alternatively, if the obstruction device 100 only has a single channel (e.g., it does not have both an inflation channel 160 and deflation channel 170) and a single port/connector (e.g., it does not have both an inflation port 130 and deflation port 140), the user may connect the deflation device to the single port and draw the inflation media out of the interior of the inflatable member 120, up the channel, and out of the port. As the inflation media is removed from the inflatable member 120, the inflatable member 120 will begin to deflate, unblock the drain 610 and allow the disinfectant upstream of the inflatable member 120 to flow down the drain 610 (e.g., into the trap/U-bend 620).

[0036] In some embodiments, particularly in cases where disinfectant was not added to the trap/U-bend 620 prior to inserting the obstruction device 100, the user may wish to treat the standing water within the trap/U-bend 620 (Step 550). To that end, once inflatable member 120 is deflated and/or the obstruction device 100 is removed from the drain 610 and the disinfectant flows into the trap/U-bend 620, the user may allow the disinfectant to remain within the trap/U-bend 620 for an additional predetermined period of time. Like the first predetermined period of time and as discussed above, the predetermined period of time may be dependent on the application and may be dependent upon a number of factors. In some embodiments, the predetermined time may be for, example, between 5 and 10 minutes.

However, in other embodiments, the predetermined time may be less than 5 minutes or more than 10 minutes.

[0037] As discussed above, some embodiments include a seal 174 that prevents the inflation media from flowing up the deflation channel 170 during inflation and prior to deflation. In such embodiments, the seal 174 must be broken prior to deflating the inflatable member 120. To that end, the user may break the seal 174 prior to drawing the inflation media out of the interior of the inflatable member 120. For example, once the user has connected the deflation device to the deflation port 140, the user may introduce fluid (e.g., air/water) into the deflation channel 170. The pressure of the fluid against the seal 174 may break the seal 174 and allow the inflation media to be drawn out of the interior of the inflation member 120. Alternatively, the seal 174 may be such that it breaks as soon as the user begins to draw the inflation media from the inflatable member 120 (e.g., the pressure caused by the user drawing back on the deflation device/syringe may be sufficient to break the seal 174 and allow the inflation media to be drawn from the inflatable member 120).

[0038] It should be noted that, because the obstruction device 100 (and particularly the inflatable member 120) is in contact with the walls of the drain 610 during disinfection and, therefore in contact with the bio film and bacteria within the drain 610, the obstruction device 100 may be contaminated after the disinfection process. Accordingly, the device 100 should be disposed of properly upon removal from the drain 610. Additionally, in embodiments that have the seal 174, the device 100 may not be reusable once the seal 174 is broken (e.g., because there will be nothing preventing the inflation media from exiting the inflatable member 120 and flowing into/up the deflation channel 170).

[0039] To ensure that proper disinfection has taken place, it may be beneficial to test the cleanliness of the drain 610 after the disinfection process is completed. For example, the user may swab the interior of the drain 610 and test the swab for the presence of bacteria. If bacteria is still present (e.g., above a threshold value), the user may repeat the process.

Additionally, to prevent subsequent build-up of bio film and bacteria in the drain 610, the above described method may be performed regularly. For example, in some instances, the user may perform the disinfection process every 2-4 weeks. However, in other instances, the user may perform the disinfection process more regularly (e.g., daily, weekly, every few days, etc.) or less regularly (e.g., monthly, quarterly, etc.).

[0040] It is also worth noting that any number of disinfectants and cleaners may used with the various embodiments of the present invention, and the type of disinfectant may depend on the application and the type of bacteria that needs to be cleaned/destroyed. For example, some exemplary methods may merely use bleach, while others may use a daily disinfectant cleaner that contains active ingredients such a hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid.

[0041] The embodiments of the invention described above are intended to be merely exemplary; numerous variations and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. All such variations and modifications are intended to be within the scope of the present invention as defined in any appended claims.