Surgical Scalpel

Surgical scalpel incinerating device

Abstract
This document refers to the invention of a surgical scalpel incinerator, the operation of which is based on a combination of an electronic circuit, an electromechanism, and electrical components, which raise the temperature of scalpels to over 1,000 degrees centigrade in under 4 seconds, deforming them or breaking them into several pieces, rendering the resulting scrap completely sterile. The invention can incinerate scalpels of all lengths and shapes, provided that they can be removed from their holder. The invention's main field of application encompasses any medical facility that uses scalpels, providing them with a small, portable, easy to use unit with low operation and maintenance costs.

Claims
Having described my invention, which I believe to be original, in full detail, I hereby claim the items specified in the following clauses as my exclusive property:

1. Surgical scalpel incinerator, distinguished by having a cabinet (1) fastened to a chassis (16) to support an internal electromechanism: the electromechanism consists of a support (3) positioned vertically, perpendicular to the chassis (16), and fastened to the chassis at the bottom end; at its upper end, the support (3) holds a ceramic plate (4) from which four fixed metal plates (5) protrude horizontally, which are the electrodes; these electrodes are fastened to the ceramic plate (4) with screws that, in addition to holding the metal plates in place, make the electrical connection between the plates and the power source. The four fixed metal plates (5) hold the scalpels to be incinerated along with the posts of a revolving door (11) fastened horizontally to the ceramic plate (4) and placed on either side of the four fixed metal (5) contact plates; at their other end, the revolving door posts (11) are fastened with pivots (21) to a revolving door (7), which has metal plates (6) fastened to its bottom face that move together with the door. The revolving door (7) also has a support mounted on it (8); the revolving door (7) has an initial, vertical position where the support (8) is introduced between the four fixed metal contacts plates (5) forming a flat bed to facilitate introducing the scalpel to be incinerated, and a secondary position where the revolving door (7) tilts to a horizontal position and the support (8) is withdrawn from the four metal contact plates (5) to allow the scrap from the scalpel to fall. Also, in this position the metal plates (6) mounted on the revolving door (7) press the scalpel against the four fixed metal contact plates (5), the power source supplies electricity to the four metal contact plates (5) in such a way that, on making contac with the scalpel and being pressed on by the metal contact plates (6), they close the circuit between the fixed metal contac plates (5) and the scalpel, melting the latter and sterilizing the resulting scrap.

2. As stated in clause one, the surgical scalpel incinerator is distinguished by a power switch (12), a power cable entry (17), and a fuse holder (14) mounted on the outside of the cabinet.

3. As stated in clause one, the surgical scalpel incinerator is distinguished by its revolvin door (7). When it moves to its horizontal position, makes contact with the lever (23) on a microswitch (9), activating the power supply to the fixed metal contract plates (5); in the vertical position, the revolving door deactivates the power supply.

4. As stated in clause one, the surgical scalpel incinerator is distinguished by its power source, consisting of a transformer (10), a support card (13), an electronic circuit (15) to rectify alternating current, and a power supply cable (22).

5. As stated in clause one, the surgical scalpel incinerator is distinguished by a hopper (19) mounted on the support for the electromechanism (3), to allow scrap from the incinerated scalpels to slide down by gravity and be channeled into a receptacle (2) provided for the purpose.

Medical Supplies Patent

Description
FIELD OF APPLICATION

[0001] FOR USE IN ALL MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENTS, SUCH AS HOSPITALS, CLINICS, CONSULTING OFFICES, ETC., THAT USE SURGICAL SCALPELS AND ARE CURRENTLY REQUIRED TO DESTROY THEM AFTER ONE USE.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The Mexican Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (SEMARNAP),issued an Official Mexican Standard (NOM-087-ECOL-1995), establishing requisites for the treatment of biological or infectious material, including surgical scalpels. At present, major medical facilities have high-capacity incinerators that are used to destroy only organic biological or infectious material, whereas items such as scalpels are, in the best of cases, disposed of with conventional garbage. The standard indicates that surgical scalpels must be treated by mechanical, physical or chemical means (physical means include combustion or incineration), so that they are completely destroyed and unrecognizable and all scrap resulting from their destruction is rendered completely sterile. To prevent reuse of surgical scalpels and subsequent transmission of infections, currently exceedingly large and heavy incinerators are currently used in England, France, Germany, and the United States. These, however, bear no resemblance whatsoever to this particular invention In fact, the only precedent for this small, portable surgical scalpel incinerator that currently exists is in Mexico, also invented by myself. (File No. 9800751, Jan. 27, 1998) However, this new device is completely new and different in both size and design.

[0003] Incineration of surgical scalpels is obligatory for all medical establishments in Mexico

PURPOSE OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Large hospitals and clinics and major medical centers, have the financial means to purchase high-capacity incinerators capable of processing all kinds of infectious or biological waste in large volumes, which are costly to acquire, operate and maintain, while smaller medical establishments such as clinics, laboratories, consulting offices, etc. are unable to purchase such units. The use of large incinerators to destroy scalpels requires that procedures be established to collect, store, handle and transport them, with the risk, in the intervening time, of puncture or cut wounds, as well as the hazard of contagion, independently of the costs the necessary administrative organization entails. In order to reduce these risks, and to enable institutions to incinerate all surgical scalpels immediately after their first use, I undertook to invent a device specifically for incineration of surgical scalpels, using an electromechanism as its main internal component to achieve incineration, in combination with a transformer, an electronic circuit, and electrical elements that satisfy the requisites established by the aforementioned regulation, in addition to offering the benefits of reliable incineration, sterilization of scrap, ease of handling, simple operation, low operating and maintenance costs, reasonable price, small size, and portability.

[0005] My invention meets all the requisites and offers all the additional benefits mentioned above, as surgical scalpels can be incinerated immediately and the unit can be set up for use in all types of medical facilities, including operating theaters.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 is perspective view of the surgical scalpel incinerator, and shows the internal and external layout of all elements and their components.

[0007] FIG. 2 is a side view of the unit, and shows the internal and external layout of all elements and their components.

[0008] FIG. 3 is an overhead view of the unit, and shows the internal and external layout of all elements and their components.

[0009] FIG. 4 is a front and side view of the electromechanism support, its components and their mounting.

[0010] FIG. 5 is a front, side and overhead view of the electromechanism, its components, and their

[0011] FIG. 6 is a wiring diagram of all the electrical connections between the surgical scalpel incinerator's different components.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the surgical scalpel incinerator, showing a cross section of the container or receptacle (1), with a box at the front (2) in which scalpel scrap is deposited, and which is used to remove said scrap when it is full. The scrap is formed by the electromechanism (FIGS. 4,5) that makes electrical contact with the scalpel in order to incinerate it. The electromechanism consists Oz g r of a support (FIGS. 1, 4, (3)) and its component elements, including a ceramic plate (FIGS. 1, 3, 5, (4)) on which four fixed metal contact plates are mounted (FIGS. 1, 3, 5, (5)), which in turn make electrical contact with the scalpel; the ceramic plate is mounted on four struts (FIGS. 1, 3, 5, (11)), which in turn support a rotating door (FIGS. 1, 2, 5, (7)), that turns on a pivot (FIGS. 1, 3, 5, (21)). When the door opens, a scalpel can be placed inside the unit; once inside, the scalpel is laid horizontally on a bed formed by the four fixed metal contact plates (FIGS. 1, 3, 5, (5)) and five supports mounted on the rotating door (FIGS. 1, 2, 5, (8)). These supports recede as the door closes, leaving the scalpel supported only by the four fixed metal contact plates; to ensure that the contact plates make effective electrical contact with the scalpel, when the door is fully closed the three metal it pressure plates mounted on the rotating door (FIGS. 1, 2, 5, (6)) push the scalpel against the four fixed metal contact plates. Opening and closing the rotating door activates several functions: when the door closes, in addition to pushing the scalpel as mentioned above, it also activates the microswitch (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (9)), by moving its lever (FIGS. 2, 3, (23)), so that it closes the power supply circuit to the transformer (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (10)), which in turn supplies DC power to the four fixed metal contact plates, or so that they receive power from an electronic circuit (FIG. 6,(15)), which in turn is powered by the transformer The components in the electronic circuit are AC rectifying diodes mounted on a circuit card (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (13)). When the rotating door opens, even when the unit's power switch (FIGS. 1, 2, 3 (12)) indicates (by fighting up) that the equipment is receiving power and is ready for operation, the microswitch (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (9)) is inoperative, as it is open and no power is being supplied to the transformer, so that the user can place the scalpel inside the unit without receiving an electric shock. With the door open, the user can also insert a metal object to remove any pieces of scalpel that may have stuck to the fixed metal contact plates (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5,(5)) during the incineration process.

[0013] FIGS. 2 and 3 are side and overhead views of the unit, showing the internal and external layout of the elements in the cabinet or receptacle (1). Inside the unit, we can see the electromechanism support (3), the electromechanism, consisting of a ceramic plate (4), fixed metal contact plates (5), support struts for the rotating door (11), the pivot for the rotating door (21), the rotating door (7), metal pressure plates mounted on the rotating door (6), the support bed fastened to the rotating door (8), a chute (19) to guide scrap into the scrap drawer (2), the microswitch (9), the operation of which is described in FIG. 1, the microswitch lever (23) operated by the opening and closing of the door, the microswitch support (18), the transformer (10), which supplies electrical current to the fixed metal contact plates, or through the electronic circuit formed by rectifying diodes (15) mounted on an electronic circuit card (13). The following components are mounted on the outside of the cabinet or receptacle: fuse holder (14) for the fuse that protects the transformer or electronic circuit, the unit's power switch (12), with an internal light that indicates when the equipment is ready to operate, an outlet for the power cable (17), a chassis (16) that supports the electromechanism, the electronic card, the transformer, the cabinet and the scrap receptacle (2) (20).

[0014] FIG. 4 is a front and side view of the electromechanism support (3), the ceramic plate (4), the rotating doors struts (11), the pivot the door turns on (21), and a ramp to guide scrap into the receptacle (19).

[0015] FIG. 5 is a front, side and overhead view of the electromechanism, consisting of: a ceramic plate (4), fixed metal contact plates (5), mounted on the ceramic plate, the doors support struts (11), mounted on the ceramic plate, the pivot (21) on which the door (7) turns, metal pressure plates (6), and the support bed (8), mounted on the rotating door.

[0016] FIG. 6 is a wiring diagram of the device, with connections for all the different elements, including: power supply cable (22), fuse holder (14), power switch (12), microswitch (9), microswitch lever (23), transformer (10), rotating door (7), metal pressure plates (6), and support bed (8). Points A and B show the two options for connecting the transformer, either directly to the fixed metal contact plates or to the electronic circuit and from there to the fixed metal contact plates (5) mounted on the ceramic plate.

[0017] Operating values for the different components are:

[0018] Power switch: 117 V AC, at 50 amps (12) (with internal light).

[0019] Fuse holder (American type) with 15, 30 or 45 amp internal fuse

[0020] Transformer (10): 117-250 VAC, with output of 40, 50, 75, or 100 amps.

[0021] Lever-activated microswitch (9): 117-250 VAC, 50 amps.

[0022] AC-DC rectifying diodes (15) at 6, 12, 25, 50 or 75 amps.

[0023] The cabinet is in two parts: the upper housing (1), and the chassis (16), with the following components mounted on the latter: electronic circuit card support (13), electromechanism support (13), and transformer (10). The following components are mounted on the upper housing: fuse holder (14), power switch (12), and power cable with external plug (not shown in figures), all arranged as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The assembly of the chassis with the upper housing, and their respective elements and components, constitutes the surgical scalpel incinerator. The upper housing and chassis may be made from metal, plastic, or a combination of the two.

Operation

[0024] The surgical scalpel incinerator uses an electromechnism, which, as shown in the diagrams, is a combination of mechanical elements whose function is to make contact with the scalpel in order to pass a specified electrical current through it, creating a short circuit that raises the temperature of the scalpel to over 1000 degrees centigrade in under 4 seconds, producing scrap resulting from the deformation or breakage of the scalpel, which in turn is rendered completely sterile. In order for the electromechanism to perform this function, it is supplied with electricity from the electronic circuit, which in turn is powered by the transformer, or connected directly to the transformer. The receptacle, chassis, electrical components, etc. are complementary elements that give the unit its form and enable it to operate.

Manufacture

[0025] I have proposed using mass production procedures to manufacture the surgical scalpel incinerator, defining which elements will be manufactured and which will be obtained from third parties for subsequent mounting and assembly, leading in turn to the elaboration of.

[0026] Documents for the following procedures: manufacture, assembly and mounting of elements, in addition to safety, training, environmental protection, etc.

[0027] Quality control catalogues for: components, raw materials, materials supplied by providers, packing materials, advertising, etc.

[0028] Logs for production, quality control, equipment and tool maintenance, cleaning, etc.

[0029] Design of production lines, assembly lines, time and movement, etc.

[0030] The incinerator has four main elements, as follows:

[0031] Electromechanism (FIGS. 4 and 5).

[0032] Electronic circuit mounted on support card (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (13))

[0033] Transformer (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (10)).

[0034] Cabinet or receptacle, including chassis (FIGS. 1, 2, 3, (1); (16)).

[0035] Chassis: made with the necessary bends and perforations to mount other elements as shown in the diagrams.

[0036] Cabinet or receptacle: manufactured in three parts with the necessary bends and perforations to Cabinet or receptacle: manufactured in three parts with the necessary bends and perforations to chassis, and other elements, to ensure that all perforations are the same size and are made in the same place. Bends in the cabinet will be made by heating if it is plastic, and by mechanical benders if it is metal.

[0037] Support and electromechanism: all parts for these elements will be made using templates with the necessary perforations, after which all parts will be assembled.

[0038] Transformer and components, including: diodes, switches, power cable with plug, fuse holder, fuse, internal wiring, hardware, etc. will be acquired from third parties under predefined specifications.

[0039] Electronic circuit card: will be manufactured with the necessary perforations to mount electronic components.

[0040] Manufacture and assembly of the device's elements and components includes the following steps:

[0041] a.--Manufacture of electromechanism components.

[0042] b.--Electromechanism assembly

[0043] c.--Manufacture of the electronic circuit card and mounting of components.

[0044] d.--Manufacture of chassis and cabinet, and mounting of elements in both

[0045] e.--Mechanical and electrical connections between components.

[0046] f.--Connection and operating tests.

[0047] g.--Chassis-cabinet connection, sealing of the unit, and second round of operating tests.

Applications

[0048] A variety of scalpels are used in medical practice, which standard NOM-087-ECOL-1995 defines as infectious biological waste. This device has been invented to incinerate all types of scalpels, of any length or shape, provided they can be removed from their holder, rendering the resulting scrap completely sterile. We anticipate that the most frequent use of this device will be in hospital operating theaters.

Practical Uses

[0049] The surgical scalpel incinerator is intended to assist and facilitate mandatory sanitary practices indicated in the referenced standard with regard to incineration and sterilization of waste. Due to its small size and simple operation, the device can be operated by any person (not necessarily technicians or medical specialists); these benefits, added to its low cost and portability, make it an excellent option for both large and small medical facilities, even those in remote locations, provided they have electricity. This invention will make a great contribution to improving public health care.

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