US 3430631 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 4, 1969 o. J. ABRAMSON SURGEONS DRAIN Filed Jan. 12. 1966 INVENTOR DANIELv Jv ABRAMSON ATTORNEY United States Patent 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A surgical drain comprising a first tube of thin, soft, flexible material and having a substantially elliptical or arcuate cross-section, and a second, separately formed tube of substantially the same length positioned coextensively along and bonded to a surface of the first tube for its entire length, said second tube having substantially the same wall thickness but being formed of a different and relatively more rigid material than said first tube and having a substantially circular cross-section, thereby permitting irrigation and suctional withdrawal through the rigid second tube regardless of a possible collapsed condition of the more flexible first tube.
This invention relates to a surgical drain, and more particularly to an improvement wherein the drain tube is reenforced against collapse by a second tube which enables continuous drainage, irrigation of a body cavity by antiseptics injected from outside the body, or the application of suction to remove infected matter.
It is conventional, when a drain is needed, for a surgeon to apply a rubber tube leading from the interior of a wound, or the cavity or part being surgically treated, and extending through the tissue of the body to the outside for draining the wound. With passage of time and as the wound heals, the drain is pulled outwardly in increments and cut oil outside the body of the patient. The length of the drain as originally inserted depends upon the location of the cavity to be drained so that conventional tubes are generally from two to twelve, or more, inches long.
Great difliculity has often been encountered with conventional drains because of their tendency to collapse and close under pressure of the flesh around them, the cessation of drainage causing injury to the patient. The drains are commonly made of very thin, light weight flexible material so as not to be uncomfortable to the patient and since they are often inserted with bends, the danger of collapse and closure is always imminent. An additional disadvantage of conventional drains is that they cannot be used to apply antiseptic fluids to the wound because of the above stated tendency to collapse and close, partially, if not completely.
A primary object of the present invention is to provide a drain having a portion, at least, which is so rigid as to prevent collapse, thus providing drainage at all times as well as enabling the application of antibiotic and antiseptic fluids from outside to the wound area and suction to increase the drainage from said area.
Another object of the invention is to provide a drain, of the above described characteristics, in the form of a pair of tubes, one of which is more rigid than the other, and in which a highly flexible tube surrounds a relatively rigid tube so as to present the soft, pliable material to the body tissue protecting the patient from irritation that otherwise would occur from contact with the more rigid tube.
A further object of the invention is to provide a surgical drain, of the above-described characteristics, to which suction apparatus may be applied to increase the rate of drainage.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a surgical drain, of the above-described characteristics, to which a syringe may be applied for forcing antiseptic and antibiotic solutions to the wound area to assist in preventing the spread of infection therein.
The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several figures and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a longitudinal central sectional view of a surgical drain constructed according to the invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged plan view of the drain of FIG. 1 looking from the inserted end;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged intermediate cross-section of the drain illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, and
FIGURE 4 is a cross-section, similar to FIG. 3 of another embodiment employing two rigidifying inner tubes.
Referring now more particularly to the drawing, a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated as comprising an outer tube 10 having a bore 12 and formed of any suitable thin, soft, light weight, flexible and resilient material. Such material may be natural rubber vulcanized with sulphur of 3% by volume, or less. Alternatively the material may be a synthetic plastic such as an acrylic rubber, i.e. a polymer of acrylic acid esters, having similar characteristics to soft latex rubber. One suitable plastic material is acrylate terpolymer elastomer, otherwise known as acrylate-amide compound. This material is inert and non irritating to body tissue. Outer tube 10 is preferably provided in lengths of about ten to twelve inches but may be shorter or longer if desired. Normally this tube has a nominal diameter of about /2 inch but could range from to 1 /2 inches in diameter. Due to its softness and flexibility, the tube flattens into an elliptical shape as illustrated in FIG. 2.
A second tube 14, formed of a different, harder and more rigid rubber, or plastic, than that of tube 10 so that is will resist external pressure and collapse, is preferably disposed within the latter to lie coextensive therewith. Tube 14 may be formed of a relatively stiff, vulcanized natural rubber having a sulphur content higher than 3% by volume. If the tube 14 is formed of a synthetic rubber, such as an acrylic rubber, it is chosen or treated to be less flexible and more rigid than tube 10. The tube 10 has a diameter of about /8 inch when used with an outer tube of /2 inch diameter but may be larger in proportion to the uncollapsed size of the outer tube.
The less flexible tube 14 is integrally bonded, along its entire length, to and preferably within tube 10 as by an adhesive, cement, vulcanization, fusion, thermosetting or any other suitable means, or method. Thus, adhered to the outer tube, the relatively rigid tube 14 is covered by a soft protective layer, constituted by the wall of the outer tube 10, so that the body tissue of the patient is not irritated by the relatively 'hard material of the tube 14. The relatively rigid tube 14 reinforces the soft flexible outer tube 10 and tends to prevent its collapse so that the outer tube drains better and longer than if the inner tube were omitted.
The improved drain may be applied to a patient and used in the same manner as a conventional drain even to the extent of shortening the drain by cutting off increments daily as the wound heals. Since the inner tube 14 is relatively rigid and unflexible, its bore 16 will always remain open for drainage purpose. The mounth of the tube at its proximal end 22 remains open and permits the insertion of a syringe for forcing antiseptic or antibiotic solutions from outside the patients body, to the wound cavity. In such instance the antiseptic flows to the distal end 20 and emerges there through a preferably enlarged throat 20 and also through the small apertures 18, spaced around the periphery and passing through the wall of tube 14. These apertures permit both exit of fluid to and entry of fluid from the wound area surrounding the distal end of tube 14.
If desired the relatively less flexible inner tube 14 at its mouth 22 may be connected to a source of suction so as to remove infected matter from the wound cavity or the area surrounding the mouth 20 of the inner tube. Suction can be applied intermittently or continuously to increase the drainage from a wound. If desired, tube 14 may be longer so that mouth 22 protrudes from the end of tube and said mouth may be shaped as desired for reception of a stopper, or attachment means for connection of irrigation or suction apparatus.
In FIG. 4 is illustrated another embodiment wherein two relatively rigid tubes 14 are bonded within soft, flexible tube 10. One of the tubes 14 may be used as a ventilating path for air, and both together may provide in and out paths for irrigations. Two tubes 14 provide better reinforcement of the outer tube and obviously even more reinforcing tubes may be used within the limitations of space, if desired,
It is apparent from the above that the improved drain, as described, will have approximately the same appearance, shape, and feel as a conventional drain of soft, flexible rubber and that the addition of the less flexible inner tube enables additional functions without adding disadvantages. The very simple construction of the improvide device increases the effectiveness of the conventional drain to provide advantageously intermittent or continuous irrigations of the wound area and/or increased suction therefrom through the inner tube which is inflexible enough to insure a continuous open passage from one end of the drain to the other.
Although certain specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art and by the spirit of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A surgical drain comprising a first tube of thin, soft, flexible material having inner and outer surfaces, and second and third, separately formed, tubes of substantially the same length as the first tube positioned coextensively along and bonded to one of the surfaces of the first tube for their entire lengths, said second and third tubes having substantially the same wall thickness but being formed of a different and relatively more rigid material than said first tube, whereby one of said second and third tubes admits air to the area being drained and the other permits suction therethrough to provide improved ventilation, irrigation and suctional withdrawal through the more rigid second and third tubes regardless of a collapsed condition of the more flexible first tube and to increase the rigidity of the first tube along the areas of bonding.
2. A surgical drain according to claim 1 wherein said more rigid second tube is provided with an enlarged mouth at its distal end and with a plurality of openings through its wall near said distal end.
3. A surgical drain according to claim 1 wherein said second and third tubes lie within and are bonded to the inner surface of said more flexible first tube.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS DALTON L. TRULUCK, Primary Examiner.