|1.||A waste product collection unit for use in a substantially sterile environment, comprising a base (1), inflatable walls (2) surrounding the periphery of said base (1), an area (3) in communication with said base and in which waste liquids can collect, an inlet tube (5) for inflating the walls, an outlet tube (4) for removing liquid waste from said collection area, characterised that adherable means are provided on free edges of the walls to allow sealing of the interior of the unit after use.|
|2.||A unit as claimed in Claim 1, characterised in that said adherable means comprises at least one strip of adhesive tape protected by a release strip.|
|3.||A unit as claimed in either Claim 1 or Claim 2, characterised in that opposed portions of the walls, optionally the portions on either side of a median plane of the base, are adapted to be adhered together to seal the interior.|
|4.||A unit as claimed in either Claim 1 or Claim 2, characterised in that a sheet of material is provided to form a cover for the unit, sealing the interior thereof by adhesion to said adherable means.|
|5.||A unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said inlet and outlet tubes (5, 4) are so elongate that remote ends thereof, adapted for connection respectively to inflation means and exhaustion means, are adapted to extend outside the substantially sterile environment.|
|6.||A unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the outlet tube is provided with means to seal it after use.|
|7.||A unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the collection area (3) is separated from the base (1) by a sieve means.|
|8.||A unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said exhaustion means comprises a vacuum pump and/or a liquid receiver.|
|9.||A unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said inflation means comprises a source of compressed air or pump means and a non-return valve.|
|10.||A unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the unit, prior to use, is sterile and is packaged so to remain while outside the substantially sterile environment.|
This invention relates to a waste product collection unit. More particularly it relates to such a unit for use in a substantially sterile environment, such as an operating theatre.
Increasingly, professionals in the medical and veterinary sciences are becoming aware of the risks of contracting infectious diseases from the body parts and fluids of man and animals.
It is well-known that the viruses causing HIV, possibly leading to AIDS, and hepatitis and other related diseases, are transmitted from the body fluids, especially blood, of an infected person.
If any such fluid enters the bloodstream of a doctor, surgeon or veterinary surgeon, during the course of operating on the patient, there is a grave danger of infection. During an operation, there may be large amounts of fluid present, both the blood of the patient and irrigation fluids diluting that blood, and these fluids may spread beyond the immediate area and there is * a danger that they will contact the surgeon.
Currently used collection units for hazardous body fluids and materials, are often bulky, do not allow the safe disposal of collected waste and they are not easily
.sterilised for the aseptic techniques required in the operating theatre for sterile procedures.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a unit to contain and remove safely as much as possible of these fluids generated during an operation.
It is a further object to provide a unit which may be sterilised and maintained sterile until use.
According to the present invention there is provided a waste product collection unit for use in a substantially sterile environment, comprising a base (1), inflatable walls (2) surrounding the periphery of said base (1), an area (3) in communication with said base and in which waste liquids can collect, an inlet tube (5) for inflating the walls, an outlet tube (4) for removing liquid waste from said collection area, characterised in that adherable means are provided on free edges of the walls to allow sealing of the interior of the unit after use.
Preferably inlet and outlet tubes (5, 4) are so elongate that remote ends thereof, adapted for connection respectively to inflation means and exhaustion means, are adapted to extend outside the substantially sterile environment.
A specific embodiment of the invention will now be more particularly described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 shows in perspective the waste product collection unit in its deflated mode prior to use;
FIGURE 2 shows a side view of the waste product collection unit after it has been inflated for use;
FIGURE 3 shows the unit in position for use, placed to overlap the edge of a table; - FIGURE 4 shows an exhaustion system for the waste liquids; and
FIGURE 5 shows the unit being folded together and sealed to contain within it any solid or semisolid waste products after use.
Referring now to the drawings the waste product collection unit comprises a base 1 with inflatable walls 2 enclosing and securely attached to the base and a pouch 3 into which waste liquids collect and can be drawn off through an outlet tube 4.
The unit is packed into a container and sterilised for release only when it is within a desired substantially sterile environment, such as an operating theatre table.
In order to inflate the walls to a required size a tube 5 connected to the inflatable walls is provided. Tube 5 may have a non-returnable valve at its end 6, which is adapted to be connectable to an air line, compressed air source, hand pump or even the mouth of an operator. Tube 5 is so long that it extends outside the sterile environment so that non sterile inflation means can be used, although a sterile hand pump could be produced for use in the sterile environment.
Waste material such as blood and tissue passes to a sieve 7 which separates the base 1 from the pouch 3. The sieve allows passage of liquid but retains solid and semisolid material.
The outlet tube 4 is also so long that it extends outside the sterile environment. The remote end of the tube 4 is adapted to be connected to a source of vacuum via a waste liquid collection bottle 8, which may be situated outside of the sterile environment. Alternatively, the remote end of the tube 4 may be connected to a closed collection bag.
The inflatable walls 2 may be stored in deflated condition to save space and, when inflated, they prevent the spillage of waste liquids by containing them. The interior of the unit is adapted to receive that part of the body of the patient which is to be operated upon. The inflatable walls 2 will deform to allow that part of the body to lie comfortably within the unit. During operative procedures on the living they allow part of the patient only to be draped over the edge without the fear of producing pressure necrosis of the tissues resting on the wall of the device while maintaining a barrier to the leakage of liquid where the body part rests on the inflated wall.
In order to allow the safe removal of the waste products contained by the unit, the liquid may be drawn down the outlet tube 4 into a disposable container 8, as illustrated in Figure 4. After use, the unit is disposable, along with any potentially hazardous fluids or solids still contained therein. The outlet tube 4 may be sealed by means of a clip 9. The residual waste in the unit is contained therein by virtue of adhering together the inflatable walls by means of a strip of adhesive tape or self-sealing edges (not shown) prior to or after the walls have been deflated, as illustrated in Figure 5.
Alternatively, a sheet of material may be placed over the unit and adhered to the adhesive tape on the walls 2. The tape is covered by a release layer during the course of use, after which the release layer is removed, allowing a sheet to be adhered thereto or the walls adhered one to the opposite other. The thus sealed unit may then be disposed of safely.
The material of which the unit is made is of plastics material or other elastomeric material such as rubber.
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