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Claims for Patent: 5,538,353

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Claims for Patent: 5,538,353

Title: Liquid applicator
Abstract:A liquid applicator for applying a desired liquid to a surface includes a closed vial formed of a fracturable material containing the desired liquid, a body having a pocket with an open side and a shape adapted to receive the vial, and a porous element sealed to the body and closing off the open side of the pocket so that liquid flows through the element when the vial is fractured. The body has a flange protruding from the pocket along the open side thereof and a wing-like gripping member projects from the flange. The gripping member is spaced from the pocket and supported for pivoting movement relative to the pocket by the flange. The body also has structure for fracturing the vial, the structure being interposed between the pocket and gripping member. Upon pivoting of the gripping member, the structure flexes the pocket inwardly to exert a fracturing force against the vial when the member is pivoted towards the pocket.
Inventor(s): DeHavilland; Lesley M. (Olathe, KS)
Assignee: Medi-Flex Hospital Products, Inc. (Overland Park, KS)
Application Number:08/519,575
Patent Claims: 1. A liquid applicator comprising:

an elongated closed vial formed of a fracturable material containing a liquid to be applied, said vial presenting a central longitudinal axis;

a body including

an elongated pocket having an open side and a shape adapted to receive the vial, said pocket presenting an axis that is generally collinear with the vial axis when the vial is received in the pocket and an axial plane that includes the pocket axis and is substantially parallel to the open side thereof,

a flange protruding from the pocket along the open side thereof,

a pair of elongated, wing-like gripping members projecting from the flange and extending along the length of the pocket, the members being spaced from the pocket and supported for pivoting movement relative to the pocket by the flange,

structure for fracturing the vial interposed between the pocket and gripping members, said structure flexing the pocket inwardly to exert a fracturing force against the vial when the members are pivoted toward one another; and

a porous element secured to the body and closing off the open side of the pocket so that liquid flows through the element when the vial is fractured.

2. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein

said gripping members each include a rib spaced from the flange and extending along the length thereof and a textured surface between the rib and flange, facilitating handling of the applicator.

3. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein

said structure for fracturing the vial includes a retaining tab positioned along the length of the pocket adjacent one gripping member, said retaining tab being configured to move the pocket inwardly at a location between the axial plane and flange such that the fracturing force effected by the retaining tab forces the vial away from the open side of the pocket, and

said structure further includes a breaking tab positioned along the length of the pocket adjacent the other gripping member and being configured to move the pocket inwardly generally at the axis of the pocket.

4. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 3, wherein

said retaining tab includes an engagement surface extending between said one gripping member and the pocket and intersecting the pocket at a location between the axial plane and flange, and

said breaking tab includes an engagement surface extending between said other gripping member and the pocket and intersecting the pocket at a location aligned with the axial plane of the pocket.

5. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 1, wherein

said structure for fracturing the vial includes a retaining tab positioned along the length of the pocket adjacent one gripping member and a pair of spaced-apart breaking tabs adjacent the other gripping member, each of said breaking tabs being spaced axially from the retaining tab and one another along the length of the pocket.

6. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 5, wherein

said retaining tab is configured to move the pocket inwardly at a location between the axial plane and flange such that the fracturing force effected by the retaining tab forces the vial away from the open side of the pocket, and

said breaking tabs are configured to move the pocket inwardly generally at the axial plane thereof.

7. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 6, wherein

said retaining tab extends obliquely from said one gripping member to the pocket at a location between the axial plane and flange and further extending along the pocket to the flange, interconnecting said one gripping member, the flange and the pocket,

said breaking tabs extend obliquely from said other gripping member generally to the axial plane of the pocket and further extending along the pocket to the flange, interconnecting said other gripping member, the flange and the pocket.

8. A liquid applicator comprising:

a closed vial formed of a fracturable material containing a liquid to be applied;

a body including

a pocket having an open side and a shape adapted to receive the vial,

a flange protruding from the pocket along the open side thereof,

a wing-like gripping member projecting from the flange, the member being spaced from the pocket and supported for pivoting movement relative to the pocket by the flange, said member presenting a gripping area upon which a squeezing force may be applied to pivot the member towards the pocket,

structure for fracturing the vial interposed between the pocket and gripping member, said structure presenting a fracturing area that flexes the pocket inwardly to transfer the squeezing force to the vial when the member is pivoted towards the pocket, said fracturing area being less than said gripping area, localizing the squeezing force to enhance fracturing of the vial; and

a porous element secured to the body and closing off the open side of the pocket so that liquid flows through the element when the vial is fractured.

9. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 8, wherein

said structure for fracturing the vial including a plurality tabs spaced apart along the pocket.

10. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 9, wherein

said vial is elongated and defines a central longitudinal axis, and

said pocket is elongated to define an axis that is generally collinear with the vial axis when the vial is received in the pocket and an axial plane that includes the pocket axis and is substantially parallel to the flange.

11. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 10, wherein

said body includes a pair of elongated gripping members running along the length of the pocket, each of said members having at least one of the tabs adjacent thereto that flexes the pocket inwardly to transfer the squeezing force to the vial when the members are pivoted toward one another,

said at least one of the tabs presents a length less than the length of the member adjacent thereto.

12. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 11, wherein

said gripping members each include a rib spaced from the flange and extending along the length thereof and a textured surface between the rib and flange, facilitating handling of the applicator.

13. A liquid applicator a claimed in claim 11, wherein

said plurality of tabs include a retaining tab adjacent one gripping member and a breaking tab adjacent the other gripping member.

14. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 13, wherein

said retaining tab is configured to move the pocket inwardly at a location between the axial plane and flange such that the squeezing force transferred thereby forces the vial away from the open side of the pocket.

15. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 14, wherein

said breaking tab is configured to move the pocket inwardly generally at the axis of the pocket.

16. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 15, wherein

said retaining tab includes an engagement surface extending between said one gripping member and the pocket and intersecting the pocket at a location between the axial plane and flange, and

said breaking tab includes an engagement surface extending between said other gripping member and the pocket and intersecting the pocket at a location aligned with the axial plane of the pocket.

17. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 11, wherein

said plurality of tabs include a retaining tab adjacent one gripping member and a pair of spaced-apart breaking tabs adjacent the other gripping member, each of said breaking tabs being spaced axially from the retaining tab.

18. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 17, wherein

said retaining tab is configured to move the pocket inwardly at a location between the axial plane and flange such that the squeezing force transferred thereby forces the vial away from the open side of the pocket.

19. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 18, wherein

said breaking tabs are configured to move the pocket inwardly generally at the axial plane thereof.

20. A liquid applicator as claimed in claim 19, wherein

said retaining tab extends obliquely from said one gripping member to the pocket at a location between the axial plane and flange and further extending along the pocket to the flange, interconnecting said one gripping member, the flange and the pocket,

said breaking tabs extend obliquely from said other gripping member generally to the axial plane of the pocket and further extending along the pocket to the flange, interconnecting said other gripping member, the flange and the pocket.
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