US 3812743 A
A tool for separating detachable blades from surgical scalpels takes the form of a pair of pliers having a respective channel formation in each jaw, the side walls of which formations approach engagement in mutually facing and aligned disposition during closure of the tool to define a passageway therethrough. This passageway receives the stem portion of a holder on which a conventional detachable scalpel blade is clipped, and the side walls of one of the channel formations are relieved towards one end thereof, and the side walls of the other formation elevated towards the corresponding end thereof, so that closure of the tool jaws grips the blade while lifting one end of the blade from the holder. The blade can then be slid off the holder while still held by the tool.
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Description (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)
United States Patent Shaw et al. May 28, 1974  DETACHABLE BLADE HANDLING TOOL 3,736,644 6/1973 Simon 81/426  Inventors: a 3 2:? l ggz z Primary ExaminerAl Lawrence Smith Assistant ExaminerR0scoe V. Parker  Assignee: National Research Development Attorney, Agent, or FirmCushman, Darby &
Corporation, London, England Cushman 22 Pl d: 23 1973 1 57 ABSTRACT  Appl' 326l50 A tool for separating detachable blades from surgical scalpels takes the form of a pair of pliers having a re-  Foreign Application Priority D t spective channel formation in each jaw, the side walls Jan. 28 1972 Great Britain 4170/72 of which formations approach engagement in mutually facing and aligned disposition during closure of the 52 US. Cl. s1/s.1 R, 81/426 defme passageway therethrough This  Int. Cl B25b 7/02 Sageway receives the Stem portion of a holder on 5 i l f S h /5 1 R 41 420 425 R which a conventional detachable scalpel blade iS 81/426. 7 30/339 clipped, and the side walls of one of the channel formations are relieved towards one end thereof, and the  References Cited side walls of the other formation elevated towards the corresponding end thereof, so that closure of the tool UNITED STATES PATENTS jaws grips the blade while lifting one end of the blade 2 3 from the holder. The blade can then be slid off the ame 1 3,172,316 3/1965 Grieshaber 1 30/339 ux holder wh'le sun held by the tool 3,357,460 12/1967 Gawuka 8l/5.1 R 6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures l DETACHABLE BLADE HANDLING TOOL This invention concerns a detachable blade handling tool and more particularly, but not exclusively, such a tool for use in association with surgical and like scalpels employing detachable blades in accordance with British Standard 2982:1958.
Such scalpels involve a handle having an elongate raised shoulder at one end with grooves extending partway along the longer side faces of the shoulder. The associated blade form has a similarly elongate slot which is slightly wider along one end portion than the handle shoulder, and slightly narrower for the remainder. The blade is fitted to the handle by feeding the shoulder into the wider part of the blade slot to engage the narrower part of the slot in the grooves, and then pushing the two together longitudinally, with the wider slotted end of the blade riding over the shoulder, until the blade springs flat.
However, while such scalpels offer various advantages of economy and convenience, they can be regarded as hazardous since there appears to be no standard technique for removing spent blades with an ancillary tool. As a consequence of this last situation, the existing techniques which are used for blade removal commonly involve direct manual gripping of the blade and can lead to accidents. Such blade removal is additionally hazardous in the surgical field since a spent blade will often'be wet, safe handling will be impeded by the wearing of surgical gloves and the spent blade may well be contaminated so that an accidental cut may become infected.
An object of the present invention is to obviate such hazards and to this end there is provided a tool for separating blades and handles of the kind in question, which tool comprises a pair of pliers or like pivotally coupled jaw/handle members having a respective channel formation in each jaw, the side walls of which formations approach engagement in mutually facing and aligned disposition during closure of the tool to define a passageway therethrough, the side walls of one of the formations being relieved towards one longitudinal end thereof, and the side walls of the other one of said formations being elevated towards the corresponding end thereof.
In preferred form of the invention, the side walls of the channel formations are respectively relieved and elevated towards corresponding ends by complementary longitudinal curvature of the mutually opposed upper faces of the side walls.
For a fuller and clearer understanding of the present invention, the same will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: a
' FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate in respective plan and side views theblade attachment end of a scalpel handle of the kind with which the'present invention is to be em 4 ployed.
FIG. 3 illustrates in plan view the handle attachment end of a detachable blade for use with the handle of FIGS. 1 and 2,
FIG. 4 illustrates in side view one embodiment of a tool according to the present invention,
FIG. Sis an .end view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 and "FIG. 6 is a part sectional view of FIG. 4 taken on VI-.
2 FIGS. 1 to 3 show the normal formof scalpel handle/- blade attachment arrangement under the abovementioned British Standard, and it is to be noted that essentially the same arrangement is used in .otherterritories than Great Britain.
The handle is denoted at l and has a narrow integral extension 2 at one end which carries the shoulder 3. The shoulder has opposed side face slots 4 which extend over a major portion of the shoulder length.
The blade is denoted at 5 and also has a narrow integral extension 6 in which the slot 7 is sited. The slot 7 is slightly longer than the shoulder 3, it has an end portion 8 with a width which is slightly greater than that of the shoulder 3, and a remaining portion 9 which is slightly narrower in width than the shoulder 3, but greater than the transverse spacing between the op posed slots 4. The slot portion 9 is in fact further reduced in width over a subsidiary portion 10, but this is not an essential factor in attachment of the blade with the handle, nor in obtaining a sufficient understanding of the present invention.
In any event, the illustrated blade andhandle can be seen to be attachable in the earlier described manner so that .the blade is firmly fitted to the handle and locked against any loosening effect which may otherwise occur by normal loading on the cutting edge of the blade during use of the scalpel. This firm fitting is, of course highly desirable but it does, at the same time,
lead to difficulty in manual removal of the blade. Thus,
The illustrated tool is denoted generally at 20 and takes the form of a pair of pliersconstituted by two handle/jaw members 21 pivotally connected at 22. .One of the jaw members carries at its free-end an upper channel member 23, and the other jaw member similarly carries a lower .channel member 24. These channel members are disposed in mutually facing disposition so that, upon closure'of the jaws, they substantially engage to define a passageway 25 therethrough. More particularly, the upper surfaces of the side walls of the channel members are initially flat at one end and then longitudinally .curved in complementary manner towards the other end, with the walls of the upper member 23 being smoothly relieved and the walls of the member 24 being correspondingly elevated as seen .in FIG. 5. Also, it will be seen from FIG. 6 that the recess of the member 23 is defined by its side walls to have parallel side faces over a major portion 4 its length where after these faces smoothly diverge into a fun- .nelledshaping towards the relieved ends of the side walls; The recess of the lower member 24 is similarly straight over a major ,portion of its length and then divergently .funnelled towards its elevated end.
vIn use of the illustrated toolthe .funnelled end of the lower member 24 is engaged with the .free end of the extension 2 ofthe scalpel handle and then slid longitudinally to dispose'the'recess of the member completely below the slot of the blade extension 6. This action is' effected with the jaws of the tool opened so that the upper member 23 becomes positioned with its recess above'the shoulder 3 of the scalpel handle. When this disposition is attained, the jaws of the tool are closed and the curvature of the side walls of the members 23 and 24 serves to bend the wider slotted end of the blade extension 6 and lift thesame above the level of the shoulder 3 while firmly gripping the blade, whereafter the blade is readily slid from the handle by relative translation between the tool and handle.
It is to be noted that the tool can only be used one way up, as it were, relative to the scalpel handle/blade fitting, and it is desirable that the tool be clearly marked to indicate which is the upper side relative to the upper side of the scalpel in respect of blade removal.
While the invention has been more particularly described with reference to the illustrated embodiment, it will be appreciated that variations are possible without departing from the more general scope thereof. For example, while the channel members 23 and 24 are shown disposed transversely to the longitudinal axes of their respective jaw members, equivalent channel formations could equally well be formed longitudinally relative to the jaw members and in which case itwould be appropriate for the curved ends of the formations to be located nearest to the free ends of the jaws. Also, the channel formations need not be completely continuous from one longitudinal end to theother, but could comprise firstchannel portions of completely like form having uncurved side walls and spaced from further channel member portions spaced longitudinally therefrom and respectively relieved and elevated relative thereto. Similarly it is not essential that the opposed channel members be of substantially equal length and engage at all points along the opposed faces of their side walls in registered manner when the tool is closed. Registration of the channel members is appropriate, of course, towards their uncurved ends thereof since these ends are to grip the blade for purposes of removal. However, the curved ends of the side walls need only serve to lift the free end of the blade extension above the cooperating handle shoulder and this action can be effected simply by a suitable elevated channel formation on the lower member.
Lastlyit is to be noted that the tool as so far described can be used for fitting a blade as well as removing the same relative to a handle. However, this may be considered undesirable if the tool bends the blade further than is necessary and thereby increases the risk of blade fracture before the blade has even been used. A secondary, and perhaps more practical objection, is that one cannot carry out a true reversal of the removing operation without first obtaining the desired registry of channel member recesses with the blade slot in the absence of the handle extension and shoulder to atford a self-registering facility as in removal. However, it is still possible to grip the blade between the uncurved side wall portions of the members 23 and 24 for purposes of blade fitting. Alternatively, the tool may be provided with supplementary blade gripping platform surfaces for this purpose, such surfaces being denoted at 26 in FIG. 4 and being slightly spaced by a distance less than the thickness of an associated blade and in substantially parallel disposition when the tool is closed to engage the chanel formations.
A final additional facility illustrated by FIG. 4 is the provision of a spring 27 arranged between the members 21 and serving to maintain the tool normally open.
1. A detachable scalpel blade handling tool comprising a pair of pliers or like pivotally coupled jaw/handle members having a respective channel formation in each jaw, the side walls of which formations approach engagement in mutually facing and aligned disposition during closure of the jaws to define a passageway therethrough, the side walls of one of said formations being relieved towards one longitudinal end thereof, and the side walls of the other one of said formations being elevated towards the corresponding end thereof.
2. A tool according to claim 1 wherein said formations are of continuous form and substantially equal length to register one with another during closure of said jaws.
3. A tool according to claim 1 wherein said formations are relieved and elevated towards their relevant ends by longitudinal curvature of the upper faces of said side walls in respectively complementary manner between said formations.
4. A tool according to claim 1 wherein said formations are shaped to provide said passageway with an outwardly convergent funnelled end portion between said relieved and elevated side wall ends.
5. A tool according to claim 1 wherein said jaws comprise respective individual platform areas spaced along said jaws from said channel formations and which platforms approach engagement in mutually facing disposition, but are spaced by a small distance relative to their surface areas and in substantially parallel disposition when said channel formations engage, said jaws each being relieved between its respective platform and channel formation.
6. A tool according to claim] wherein said channel formations are disposed transversely relative to said jaw/handle members. I
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