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Title:
HOSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR CPAP EQUIPMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/064578
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system for managing a hose for use in delivering a flow of breathing gas to the airway of a patient includes a central housing which defines an interior space therein. The system further includes an upper retention portion which extends radially outward from an upper portion of the central housing and a lower retention portion which extends radially outward from a lower portion of the central housing. A lower side of the upper retention portion, an upper side of the lower retention portion and an outward facing surface of the central housing define a groove which extends around the central housing. The groove is sized and configured to house at least a portion of the hose therein.

Inventors:
HAIBACH RICHARD THOMAS (NL)
STEED DANIEL (NL)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2019/075440
Publication Date:
April 02, 2020
Filing Date:
September 23, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS NV (NL)
International Classes:
A61M16/00; A61M16/08; B65H75/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013057621A12013-04-25
WO2011009125A12011-01-20
Foreign References:
US20090071480A12009-03-19
US20100236552A12010-09-23
US20140166799A12014-06-19
US20100132708A12010-06-03
US20170252531A12017-09-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIPS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & STANDARDS (NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is Claimed is:

1. A system (140, 240, 340) for managing a hose for use in delivering a flow of breathing gas to the airway of a patient, the system comprising:

a central housing (142, 242, 342) defining an interior space therein;

an upper retention portion (146, 246, 346) extending radially outward from an upper portion of the central housing; and

a lower retention portion (148, 248, 348) extending radially outward from a lower portion of the central housing, wherein a lower side of the upper retention portion, an upper side of the lower retention portion and an outward facing surface of the central housing define a groove which extends around the central housing, and wherein the groove is sized and configured to house at least a portion of the hose therein.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one of the central housing, the upper retention portion or the lower retention portion comprises a first arrangement structured to selectively couple a first end of the hose thereto.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein at least one of the central housing, the upper retention portion or the lower retention portion comprises a second arrangement structured to selectively couple a second end of the hose thereto.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the central housing comprises a blower assembly disposed in the interior space and wherein the blower assembly is structured to produce the flow of breathing gas.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the central housing further includes an outlet defined therein which is in communication with the blower assembly and which is structured to have a first end of the hose coupled thereto.

6. The system of claim 4, wherein the central housing further includes an outlet defined therein which is in communication with the blower assembly, wherein the system further comprises a hose having a first end coupled to the outlet, wherein the hose is structured to communicate the flow of breathing gas from the outlet to a patient interface device, and wherein the first end is disposed in the groove.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the groove is sized and configured to house the hose completely therein.

8. The system of claim 6, wherein the groove is sized and configured to house the hose partially therein.

9. The system of claim 5, wherein the outlet is defined in the central housing adjacent the groove such that the first end of the hose coupled to the outlet is disposed in the groove.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the central housing is structured to house a volume of a liquid in the interior space;

wherein the lower retention member comprises a lower housing having a blower assembly disposed therein, the blower assembly being structured to produce the flow of breathing gas; and

wherein the central housing further includes an inlet structured to communicate the flow of breathing gas produced by the blower assembly to the interior space of the central housing, and an outlet being structured to be coupled to a first end of the hose.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the outlet is defined in the central housing adjacent the groove such that a first end of a hose coupled to the outlet is disposed in the groove.

12. The system of claim 10, further comprising a hose having a first end coupled to the outlet, wherein the hose is structured to communicate the flow of breathing gas from the outlet to a patient interface device, and wherein the first end is disposed in the groove.

13. The system of claim 1, wherein the interior space (344) is sized and configured to house a patient interface device, and wherein the central housing includes an opening (362) defined therein which is structured to receive the patient interface device therethrough.

14. The system of claim 13, further comprising a cap (370) which is selectively coupled to one or more of the central housing, the upper retention member, or the lower retention member, wherein the cap is structured to enclose the patent interface device in the interior space.

15. The system of claim 13, wherein a first portion of the cap is selectively coupled to the central housing and wherein another portion of the cap is hingedly coupled to the central housing.

16. The system of claim 1, further comprising a cover which is selectively coupled to one or more of the central housing, the upper retention member, or the lower retention member, and wherein the cover is structured to cover the groove.

17. A method for using a system for managing a hose for use in delivering a flow of breathing gas to the airway of a patient, the system including: a central housing defining an interior space therein; an upper retention member extending radially outward from an upper portion of the central housing; and a lower retention member extending radially outward from a lower portion of the central housing, wherein a lower side of the upper retention member, an upper side of the lower retention member and an outward facing surface of the central housing define a groove which extends around the central housing, and wherein the groove is sized and configured to house at least a portion of the hose therein, the method comprising:

positioning and securing the hose in the groove.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein positioning the hose in the groove comprises wrapping the hose around the central housing.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the central housing includes an outlet defined therein and wherein securing the hose in the groove comprises securing a first end of the hose to the outlet.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the system includes a cover and wherein securing the hose in the groove comprises covering the groove with the cover.

Description:
HOSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR CPAP EQUIPMENT

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[01] This patent application claims the priority benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of U.S.

Provisional Application No. 62/735,932 filed on September 25, 2018, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

[01] The present invention pertains to hose management systems and, more particularly, to hose management systems for use with CPAP equipment. The present invention further pertains to methods of using such systems.

2. Description of the Related Art

[02] There are numerous situations where it is necessary or desirable to deliver a flow of breathing gas non-invasively to the airway of a patient, i.e., without intubating the patient or surgically inserting a tracheal tube in their esophagus. For example, it is known to ventilate a patient using a technique known as non- invasive ventilation. It is also known to deliver continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or variable airway pressure, which varies with the patient’s respiratory cycle, to treat a medical disorder, such as sleep apnea syndrome, in particular, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or congestive heart failure.

[03] Non-invasive ventilation and pressure support therapies utilize a ventilator or pressure support device and a patient interface device, typically a mask component, that are coupled and in fluid communication via a delivery conduit, typically a hose. The mask component may be, without limitation, a nasal mask that covers the patient’s nose, a nasal cushion having nasal prongs that are received within the patient’s nares, a nasal/oral mask that covers the nose and mouth, or a full face mask that covers the patient’s face. The patient interface device interfaces the ventilator or pressure support device with the airway of the patient, so that a flow of breathing gas can be delivered from the pressure/flow generating device to the airway of the patient. The hose is flexible and typically has a diameter of between about 23 mm and 12 mm, and a length of about six feet. This size allows for a sufficient fluid flow through the hose and a sufficient length to allow the user to move a limited distance. That is, the system is often utilized when a user is sleeping and a six-foot hose is typically a sufficient length to allow the user to move about during sleep.

[04] A problem with such systems is that many users, or patients, have a

negative response to the appearance of the system when not in use. That is, some people have an aversion to medical equipment as the mere presence of medical equipment implies that the user is not healthy. This aversion may be exacerbated by continually viewing the system. Such an aversion may affect the user’s desire to utilize the system. Additionally, packing and transporting such systems can be cumbersome, thus resulting in patients not taking, and thus not using, such systems while travelling.

[05] Accordingly, a need exists for improving the appearance of such systems when not in use. Also, a need exists for improving the transportability of such systems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[06] Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide hose management systems for use with CPAP equipment as well as method for using such systems.

[07] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a system for

managing a hose for use in delivering a flow of breathing gas to the airway of a patient is provided. The system comprises: a central housing which defines an interior space therein; an upper retention portion extending radially outward from an upper portion of the central housing; and a lower retention portion extending radially outward from a lower portion of the central housing. A lower side of the upper retention portion, an upper side of the lower retention portion and an outward facing surface of the central housing define a groove which extends around the central housing. The groove is sized and configured to house at least a portion of the hose therein.

[08] At least one of the central housing, the upper retention portion or the lower retention portion may comprise a first arrangement which is structured to selectively couple a first end of the hose thereto. [09] At least one of the central housing, the upper retention portion or the lower retention portion may comprise a second arrangement which is structured to selectively couple a second end of the hose thereto.

[10] The central housing may comprise a blower assembly disposed in the interior space and the blower assembly may be structured to produce the flow of breathing gas.

[11] The central housing may further include an outlet defined therein which is in communication with the blower assembly and which is structured to have a first end of the hose coupled thereto.

[12] The central housing may further include an outlet defined therein which is in communication with the blower assembly; the system may further comprises a hose having a first end coupled to the outlet; the hose may be structured to communicate the flow of breathing gas from the outlet to a patient interface device; and the first end may be disposed in the groove.

[13] The groove may be sized and configured to house the hose completely therein. The groove may be sized and configured to house the hose partially therein.

[14] The outlet may be defined in the central housing adjacent the groove such that the first end of the hose coupled to the outlet is disposed in the groove.

[15] The central housing may be structured to house a volume of a liquid in the interior space; the lower retention member may comprise a lower housing having a blower assembly disposed therein, the blower assembly being structured to produce the flow of breathing gas; and the central housing may further include an inlet structured to communicate the flow of breathing gas produced by the blower assembly to the interior space of the central housing, and an outlet being structured to be coupled to a first end of the hose.

[16] The outlet may be defined in the central housing adjacent the groove such that a first end of a hose coupled to the outlet is disposed in the groove.

[17] The system may further comprise a hose having a first end coupled to the outlet, wherein the hose is structured to communicate the flow of breathing gas from the outlet to a patient interface device, and the first end may be disposed in the groove. [18] The interior space may be sized and configured to house a patient interface device, and the central housing may include an opening defined therein which is structured to receive the patient interface device therethrough.

[19] The system may further comprise a cap which is selectively coupled to one or more of the central housing, the upper retention member, or the lower retention member, wherein the cap is structured to enclose the patent interface device in the interior space. A first portion of the cap may be selectively coupled to the central housing and another portion of the cap may be hingedly coupled to the central housing.

16. The system of claim 1, further comprising a cover (372) which is selectively coupled to one or more of the central housing, the upper retention member, or the lower retention member, and wherein the cover is structured to cover the groove.

[20] As another aspect of the present invention, a method for using a system such as previously described for managing a hose is provided. The method comprises: positioning and securing the hose in the groove. Positioning the hose in the groove may comprises wrapping the hose around the central housing. Securing the hose in the groove may comprise securing a first end of the hose to the outlet. Securing the hose in the groove may comprise covering the groove with the cover.

[21] These and other objects, features, and characteristics of the present

invention, as well as the methods of operation and functions of the related elements of structure and the combination of parts and economies of manufacture, will become more apparent upon consideration of the following description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, all of which form a part of this specification, wherein like reference numerals designate corresponding parts in the various figures. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[22] FIG. 1 is an example airway pressure support system according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment in which the present invention may be implemented; [23] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a pressure support device having a system for managing a hose according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment of the present invention shown with an example hose exploded from an outlet of the pressure support device;

[24] FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the pressure support device of FIG. 2

schematically showing interior elements;

[25] FIG. 4A is an isometric view of the pressure support device of FIG. 2 shown with an example hose positioned thereon in a storage groove;

[26] FIG. 4B is an isometric view of a pressure support device similar to that of FIG. 2 shown with an example hose positioned thereon in a storage groove;

[27] FIG. 5 A is an isometric view of a pressure support device having a system for managing a hose according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment of the present invention;

[28] FIG. 5B is an elevation view of the pressure support device of FIG. 5A schematically showing interior elements;

[29] FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a system for managing a hose according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment of the present invention;

[30] FIG. 7 is a top view of the system of FIG. 6;

[31] FIG. 8 is a partially exploded isometric view showing a cover according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment of the present invention, which may be used with a system for managing a hose shown exploded from such a system; and

[32] FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the cover and system of FIG. 8 shown with the cover assembled with the system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

[33] As used herein, the singular form of“a”,“an”, and“the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. As used herein, the statement that two or more parts or components are“coupled” shall mean that the parts are joined or operate together either directly or indirectly, i.e., through one or more intermediate parts or components, so long as a link occurs. As used herein,“directly coupled” means that two elements are coupled in direct contact with each other. As used herein,“fixedly coupled” or“fixed” means that two components are coupled, either directly or indirectly, so as to move as one while maintaining a constant orientation relative to each other.

[34] As used herein, the word“unitary” means a component is created as a single piece or unit. That is, a component that includes pieces that are created separately and then coupled together as a unit is not a“unitary” component or body. As employed herein, the statement that two or more parts or components“engage” one another shall means that the parts exert a force against one another either directly or through one or more intermediate parts or components. As employed herein, the term“number” shall mean one or an integer greater than one (i.e., a plurality).

[35] Directional phrases used herein, such as, for example and without

limitation, top, bottom, left, right, upper, lower, front, back, and derivatives thereof, relate to the orientation of the elements shown in the drawings and are not limiting upon the claims unless expressly recited therein.

[36] An example airway pressure support system 2 according to one particular, non-limiting exemplary embodiment in which the present invention may be implemented is shown schematically in FIG. 1. Airway pressure support system 2 includes a pressure support device 4 having a blower assembly 6, which receives breathing gas, generally indicated by arrow C, from the ambient atmosphere through a filtered air inlet 8 provided as part of pressure support device 4, and generates a flow of breathing gas therefrom for delivery to an airway of a patient 10 at relatively higher and lower pressures, i.e., generally equal to or above ambient atmospheric pressure. In the exemplary

embodiment, blower assembly 6 is capable of providing a flow of breathing gas ranging in pressure from 2-30 cmH20. The pressurized flow of breathing gas from blower assembly 6, generally indicated by arrow D, is delivered via a delivery conduit or hose 12, coupled to an outlet 15 provided as part of pressure support device 4, to a breathing mask or patient interface 14 of any known construction, which is typically worn by or otherwise attached to patient 10 to communicate the flow of breathing gas to the airway of patient 10. Delivery conduit 12 and patient interface device 14 are typically collectively referred to as the patient circuit. [37] Pressure support system 2 shown in FIG. 1 is what is known as a single- limb system, meaning that the patient circuit includes only hose 12 connecting patient 10 to pressure support system 2. As such, an exhaust vent 16 is provided in hose 12 for venting exhaled gases from the system as indicated by arrow E. It should be noted that exhaust vent 16 can be provided at other locations in addition to or instead of in hose 12, such as in patient interface device 14. It should also be understood that exhaust vent 16 can have a wide variety of configurations depending on the desired manner in which gas is to be vented from pressure support system 2.

[38] The present concept also contemplates that pressure support system 2 can be a two-limb system, having a delivery conduit and an exhaust conduit connected to patient 10. In a two-limb system (also referred to as a dual- limb system), the exhaust conduit carries exhaust gas from patient 10 and includes an exhaust valve at the end distal from patient 10. The exhaust valve in such an embodiment is typically actively controlled to maintain a desired level or pressure in the system, which is commonly known as positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP).

[39] Furthermore, in the illustrated exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, patient interface 14 is an oral/nasal mask. It is to be understood, however, that patient interface 14 can include a nasal mask, nasal pillows, a tracheal tube, an endotracheal tube, or any other device that provides a suitable gas flow communicating function.

Also, for purposes of the present invention, the phrase“patient interface” can include hose 12 and any other structures that couple the source of pressurized breathing gas to patient 10.

[40] In the illustrated embodiment, pressure support system 2 includes a

pressure controller in the form of a valve 18 provided in internal delivery conduit 20 provided in a housing of pressure support device 4. Valve 18 controls the pressure of the flow of breathing gas from blower assembly 6 that is delivered to patient 10. For present purposes, blower assembly 6 and valve 18 are collectively referred to as a pressure generating system because they act in concert to generate and control the pressure and/or flow of gas delivered to patient 10. However, it should be apparent that other techniques for controlling the pressure of the gas delivered to patient 10, such as varying the speed of blower assembly 6, either alone or in combination with a pressure control valve, are contemplated by the present invention. Thus, valve 18 is optional depending on the technique used to control the pressure of the flow of breathing gas delivered to patient 10. If valve 18 is eliminated, the pressure generating system corresponds to blower assembly 6 alone, and the pressure of gas in the patient circuit is controlled, for example, by controlling the speed of blower assembly 6.

[41] Pressure support system 2 further includes a flow sensor 22 that measures the flow of the breathing gas within delivery conduit 20 and hose 12. In the particular embodiment shown in FIG. 1, flow sensor 22 is interposed in line with delivery conduits 20 and 12, most preferably downstream of valve 18. Pressure support system 2 additionally includes a pressure sensor 28 that detects the pressure of the pressurized fluid in delivery conduit 20. While the point at which the flow is measured by flow sensor 22 and the pressure is measured by pressure sensor 28 are illustrated as being within pressure support device 4, it is to be understood that the location at which the actual flow and pressure measurements are taken may be anywhere along delivery conduits 20 or 12. The flow of breathing gas measured by flow sensor 22 and the pressure detected by pressure sensor 28 are provided to processing unit 24 to determine the flow of gas at patient 10 (QPATIENT).

[42] An input/output device 26 is provided for setting various parameters used by pressure support system 2, as well as for displaying and outputting information and data to a user, such as a clinician or caregiver.

[43] Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3, 4A and 4B, a pressure support device 104 having a system 140 for managing a hose 112 according to one particular, non- limiting example embodiment of the present invention is shown. Pressure support device 104 may be employed in a system for delivering a flow of breathing gas to the airway of a patient, such as pressure support system 2 of FIG. 1. System 140 includes a central housing 142 which defines an interior space 144 (shown schematically in hidden line in FIG. 3) therein which houses a blower assembly 106 (shown schematically in hidden line in FIG. 3) which is structured to produce the flow of breathing gas. System 140 further includes an upper retention portion 146 which extends outward from an upper portion 142A of central housing 142 and a lower retention portion 148 which extends outward from a lower portion 142B of central housing 142. Such arrangement of upper and lower retention portions 142 A, 142B and central housing 142 generally defines a groove 150 which extends around central housing 142. As shown in FIG. 3, groove 150 has a maximum depth D and a maximum width W. In the example shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4A and 4B, a lower side of upper retention portion 146, an upper side of lower retention portion 148 and an outward facing surface of central housing 142 define groove 150, which extends around central housing 142. Groove 150 is sized and configured to house at least a portion of hose 112 therein. As shown in FIG. 4A, groove 150 may be formed so as to house hose 112 completely therein, i.e., such that no portion of hose 150 extends beyond an opening 152 (as defined by a line/plane between the outermost edges of groove 150 - shown in dashed line in FIG. 4) of groove 150. In such example, depth D of groove 150 is at minimum equal to, if not greater than an outer diameter d (FIG. 2) of hose 112.

[44] Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4B, groove 150’ may be formed so as to only partially house a hose 112’ therein such that a portion of hose 112’, when considered cross-sectionally, extends beyond opening 152 (shown in dashed line in FIG. 4B) of groove 150’. In other words, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4B, when hose 112’ is coiled around central housing 142 in groove 150, an inner portion of hose 112’ is disposed within groove 150 while an outer portion of hose 112’ is disposed outside of groove 150. In such example, depth D of groove 150’ is less than outer diameter d of hose 112’. An arrangement similar to FIG. 4B can also be obtained if groove 150 is of a depth greater than outer diameter d of hose 112’ such that hose 112’ is coiled around central housing 142 multiple times so as to overlap inner convolutions thereof. In such instance radially inner convolutions of hose 112’ are disposed completely within groove 150 while outer convolutions of hose 112’ are only partially dispose din groove 150.

[45] In the example shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4A and 4B, central housing 142 is generally circular in shape and thus upper and lower retention portions 146 and 148 extend generally radially outward, however it is to be appreciated that one or more of central housing 142, upper retention member 146 and/or lower retention member 148 may be of other shape or shapes (e.g., oval, square, octagonal, etc.) without varying from the scope of the present invention.

[46] In order to maintain hose 112 within groove 150, system 140 may include a number of arrangements which selectively couple to portions of hose 112. For example, system 140 may include a first arrangement which couples a first end 112A of hose 112 within groove 150. In the example illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, 4A and 4B, first end 112A of hose 112 may be selectively coupled (e.g., via a frictional fit) to an outlet 115 (defined in central housing 142), which is fluidly coupled to a blower assembly 106 housed within interior space 144. A second coupling arrangement 152, shown schematically in FIG. 2, may be provided on or in central housing 142 or on or in either of upper or lower retention members 146 or 148 for coupling an opposite second end

112B of hose 112 within groove 150. Second coupling arrangement 152 may be a structure into which second end 112B of hose 112 is selectively coupled via a snap fit, frictional fit, or any other suitable arrangement. It is to be appreciated that other suitable coupling arrangements may be employed without varying from the scope of the present invention.

[47] Referring now to FIGS. 5 A and 5B, isometric and elevation views of another pressure support device 204 having a system 240 for managing a hose (not illustrated in FIGS. 5 A and 5B), such as hose 112 previously discussed, according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment of the present invention are shown.

Pressure support device 204 may be employed in a system for delivering a flow of breathing gas to the airway of a patient, such as pressure support system 2 of FIG. 1. System 240 includes a central housing 242 which defines an interior space 244 (shown in hidden line) therein which is structured to house a volume of a liquid 245 (e.g., water) therein.

[48] System 240 further includes an upper retention portion 246 which extends outward from an upper portion 242A of central housing 242 and a lower retention portion 248 which extends outward from a lower portion 242B of central housing 242. Such arrangement of upper and lower retention portions 242A, 242B and central housing 242 generally defines a groove 250 which extends around central housing 242. Lower retention portion 248 includes a lower housing 260 (shown in hidden line in FIG. 5B) having a blower assembly 206 disposed therein which is structured to produce the flow of breathing gas which is communicated to central housing 242 via an inlet 262 provided in central hosing 242. An outlet 215 which is structured to have an end of a hose, such as hose 112 coupled thereto, is provided in central housing 242 for passage of the flow of breathing gas from interior space 244 of central housing 242. As shown in FIG. 5B, groove 250 is arranged similar to groove 150 previously discussed and is structured to house a hose similarly to groove 150.

[49] Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, isometric and elevation views of another system 340 for managing a hose (not illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7), such as hose 112 previously discussed, according to one particular, non-limiting example embodiment of the present invention are shown. System 340 includes a central housing 342 which defines an interior space 344 (shown in hidden line) therein which is sized and configured to house a patient interface, such as patient interface 14 of FIG. 1, therein. System 340 further includes an upper retention portion 346 which extends outward from an upper portion 342A of central housing 242 and a lower retention portion 348 which extends outward from a lower portion 342B of central housing 342. Such arrangement of upper and lower retention portions 342A, 342B and central housing 342 generally defines a groove 350 which extends around central housing 342. Groove 350 is arranged similar to grooves 150 and 250 previously discussed and is structured to house a hose, such as hose 112 previously discussed, similarly to such grooves 150, 250.

[50] Interior space 344 of central housing 342 is accessible via an opening 362 defined in central housing 342. In order to retain a patient interface within interior space 344, system 340 may further include a cap 370 which is selectively coupled (e.g., without limitation, hingedly coupled via one or more hinges, snap fit, or any other suitable arrangement or combination thereof) to one or more of the central housing, the upper retention member, or the lower retention member and which is structured to enclose in whole, or in-part, the patent interface device in the interior space. In the example illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, cap 370 is hingedly coupled at a first portion (not numbered) thereof to upper portion 342A of central housing 342 and may be selectively coupled and another portion thereof to upper portion 342A so as to be selectively be coupled in a “closed” position or uncoupled in an“open” position. Although shown formed in upper portion 342A of central housing 342, it is to be appreciated that opening 362 may be provided in other locations (e.g., in lower portion 342B or in groove 350) without varying from the scope of the present invention.

[51] As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, in order to retain a hose, such as hose 112 in the respective groove 150, 250, 350 thereof, each of systems 140, 240 or 340 may include a cover 372 which maybe selectively positioned with respect to central housing 142, 242, 342 and groove 150, 250, 350 thereof in a manner which retains the hose in the groove and/or generally seals, protects, and or conceals the hose from the surrounding environment.

[52] From the foregoing descriptions, it is to be readily appreciated that

systems in accordance with the present invention provide solutions for neatly and securely storing hoses for use in delivering breathing gas to the airway of a patient. In any of such systems, a hose is simply positioned and secured within a groove of the system. Such positioning may be accomplished by wrapping or winding the hose around the central housing in the groove. Depending on the application, the hose may be secured by securing one or both ends of the hose in or near the groove and/or covering, in-whole or in-part, the groove (as well as the hose disposed therein) with a cover.

[53] In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. The word“comprising” or“including” does not exclude the presence of elements or steps other than those listed in a claim. In a device claim enumerating several means, several of these means may be embodied by on and the same item of hardware. The word“a” or“an” preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. In any device claim enumerating several means, several of these means may be embodied by one and the same item of hardware The mere fact that certain elements are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that these elements cannot be used in combination.

[54] Although the invention has been described in detail for the purpose of illustration based on what is currently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that such detail is solely for that purpose and that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, but, on the contrary, is intended to cover modifications and equivalent arrangements that are within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. For example, it is to be understood that the present invention contemplates that, to the extent possible, one or more features of any embodiment can be combined with one or more features of any other embodiment.