US 3812861 A
A disposable electrical plate for creating electrical contact with a human body comprises a flexible sheet of paper board, cardboard, or the like coated on both sides with a conductive foil film. One edge of the plate is formed into tabs which alternately wrap over and under a metal bar in a woven fashion to electrically connect the two foil film surfaces. To the opposing edge of the plate a clip with a notch, hook, or the like is secured. An electrical conductor secured to the metal bar completes a circuit to the plate. The plate may be wrapped around a limb of a subject to make electrical contact and then secured by positioning the conductor in the notch or hook, preventing the plate from unwrapping and breaking contact.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Peters [451 May 28, 1974 1 1 DISPOSABLE ELECTRODE  Appl. No.: 306,614
 US. Cl. 128/418, 128/416, 174/5 SB,
317/2 B  Int. Cl A6ln 3/06  Field of Search 128/418, 416, 410-411,
128/404, 384, 379, D16. 4, 2.06 E, 2.1 E, 303.13, 362; 174/5 SB, 74 R, 117 FF; 317/2  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 879,777 2/1908 1,657,149 l/l928 1,662,446 3/1928 1,975,518 10/1934 3,633,189 l/l972 3,662,757 5/1972 3,642,008 2/1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 732,130 9/1932 France 128/416 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Lee S. Cohen Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Harris Zimmerman 57 ABSTRACT A disposable electrical plate for creating electrical contact with a human body comprises a flexible sheet of paper board, cardboard, or the like coated on both sides with a conductive foil film. One edge of the plate is formed into tabs which alternately wrap over and under a metal bar in a woven fashion to electrically connect the two foil film surfaces. To the opposing edge of the plate a clip with a notch, hook, or the like is secured. An electrical conductor secured to the metal bar completes a circuit to the plate. The plate may be wrapped around a limb of a subject to make electrical contact and then secured by positioning the conductor in the notch or hook, preventing the plate from unwrapping and breaking contact.
3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 DISPOSABLE ELECTRODE BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION In present electrosurgical techniques such as cautery, fulguration, and electrocoagulation, a metal plate must be used to ground the patient. These plates, formed of stainless steel, lead, or aluminum must be placed in engagement with a large skin area of the patient to ensure proper contact and to avoid burning of the patient. Prior art devices using rigid metal plates placed under the patient may break contact if the patient is moved, and must be vigorously cleaned before re-use. Other prior art devices using a conductive coating on one side of an insulating, flexible base may be misapplied with the insulator contacting the patient, creating no electrical circuit whatsoever. Similar devices which rely on adhesives or pastes to secure the plate to the patient may leave an unpleasant residue on the patient and make cleaning and sterilizing more difficult.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a contact plate which is readily secured to a patient without risking misapplication, and is sufficiently inexpensive to manufacture that it may be discarded after use. The plate is formed of a rectangular section of flexible paper board or cardboard which is coated on both sides with a conductive foil film. A clip of plastic or the like with a notch integrally formed therein is secured to one end of the rectangular plate. The other end of the plate is formed into short tabs which wrap over and under a metal bar in woven fashion to electrically join both conductive foil surfaces. A clip secured over the tabs maintains their contact with the bar and also secures an insulated cable to the bar. The device may be wrapped around a limb of a patient with either foil surface creating a good contact. The plate is secured by positioning the cable through the notch where it is captured, preventing the plate from unwrapping and breaking contact. Because the plate is actively secured to the patient, a shift in the patients position or weight will not break contact. And, due to the simplicity of design of the plate in using the conducting cable as part of the clasp, the device is sufficiently inexpensive to permit disposal after use.
THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an application of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a detailed cutaway side view of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a detailed cutaway side view of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a perspective end view of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a side cutaway view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present invention is drawn to a disposable electrical contact plate used for creating electrical contact with a human body. As shown in FIG. 1, it consists of a flexible plate 6 which is wrapped around the limb 7 of a patient. The plate is of a generally rectangular shape, with one end terminating in a clasp clip 8 in which a clasp 9 is integrally formed. The clasp clip may be formed of plastic or any similar material. The other end of the rectangular plate terminates in a conductor clip 10, with an insulated conductor cable 12 extending from the clip 10 to an electrical circuit (not shown). The diameter of the conductor cable is similar in dimension to the slot opening 13 in the clasp, and the cable, when inserted into the slot opening, is securely yet releasably retained by the clasp. This retaining action maintains the plate securely about the limb of the patient, ensuring that electrical contact will not be broken. And, due to the fact that any portion of the cable may be retained by the clasp, the device is adaptable to small and large limbs. Thus the present invention may be used on both arms and legs, and may be both comfortably and securely applied to many patients of widely varying physiognomy.
The plate 6 consists of a flexible base material 14 such as paper board or cardboard, to which conductive foil film layers 15 and 16 are applied on both sides. A portion 18 of the plate is folded over on itself and the clasp clip 8 is secured over the folded portion. The clasp clip, of generally rectangular cross sectional configuration with a cavity 20 within, has a re-entrant flange member 19 which permanently secures the folded portion within the cavity and prevents the plate from detaching from the clasp clip. Other methods of securing the clip to the plate, such as bonding the clip directly to the unfolded plate end, may also be used.
The conductor clip end of the plate is formed by die cutting or similar means, into tabs 21, 22, and 23. Tabs 21 and 23 pass under metal bar 24 and are wrapped around it, allowing foil film 16 to contact the bar. Tab 22 passes the end of the plate, allowing foil film 15 to contact the bar. Because both conductive foil surfaces are in contact with the metal bar, an electrical connection between the two foil surfaces is created. Insulated conductor cable 12 has a stripped end 25, the exposed conductor being soldered or similarly secured to the bar. A circuit path may exist from the cable conductor through the metal bar to either conductive foil film, and thence to the patient. Thus the present invention may be applied to a patient with either surface of the plate contacting the skin, thereby avoiding the possibility of an open circuit due to misapplication of the contact plate to the patient.
As shown in FIG. 3, the conductor end of the plate is secured to the metal bar by means of the conductor clip 10. The clip 10 has a generally U-shaped cross section with a cavity 27 therein, in which the metal bar with the tabs wrapped thereon is received. Re-entrant flange 28 extending into the cavity 27 prevents the tabular end of the plate from detaching from the bar or from the conductor clip.
Integrally formed in the conductor clip is a cable sup port 30, shown in FIG. 1, to receive and support the insulated cable where it enters the conductor clip. The cable support relieves the tensile stress and shear stress on the cable end and on the solder joint due to normal use, providing increased strength and reliability for the invention.
As shown in FIG. 5, the conductor portion 25 of the insulated cable 12 extends over the top surface of the bar 24, and is soldered thereto to provide good electrical contact. The tab 21 passes under and around the bar and the tab 22 passes over the bar, permitting conductive surfaces 16 and 15 to make contact with the bar.
Thus the present invention provides a device for contacting a human body which, because both sides are conducting surfaces, cannot be misapplied when used. And, because the present invention wraps around a limb of a body and is secured thereto, contact cannot be broken merely by a shift in the weight or position of the body. Furthermore, the use of the insulated cable as part of the clasp means permits the maximum effectiveness with a minimum of parts and production costs, allowing the present invention to be easily used and then discarded.
1. A disposable electrode for contacting a human body comprising conductive flexible plate means for contacting the skin of a human body, said plate means including a sheet of base material, said sheet being coated on both top and bottom surfaces with an electrically conductive film, one edge of said sheet being formed into adjacent tabs, conductor means secured to said conductive plate means with said tabs to connect said conductive plate means to an electrical circuit, and clasp means secured to said conductive plate to secure said plate to said human body, said conductor means including a conductive bar extending along said one edge of said sheet and connected to said tabs to contact said top and bottom conductive film.
2. The disposable electrode of claim 1, wherein at bottom surface conductive film therethrough.