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Claims for Patent: 8,048,035

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Claims for Patent: 8,048,035

Title:Automatic injector with needle cover
Abstract: An auto-injector automatically dispenses a predetermined dose of medicament upon activation. The auto-injector includes a needle cover operative to engage an injection site and activate the injector. The needle cover is configured to move from a locked retracted position prior to a medicament dispensing operation to a locked extended position after the medicament dispensing operation. The non-removable needle cover prevents contact with the needle both before and after the medicament dispensing operation.
Inventor(s): Mesa; C. Michael (Boyds, MD), Cors; Sarah Jane (Reston, VA), Penney; Melinda Fischer (Providence, RI), Tomellini; Dalita Rosemarie (Rehoboth, MA), Bremley; Mark Bumb (Edwardsville, IL), Wilmot; John Glyndwr (Mount Airy, MD), Young; Matthew Egerton (Over Cambs, GB), Raven; Sophie Rebecca (Swavesey Cambs, GB), Murphy; Martin Joseph (Letchworth Garden City Hearts, GB), Hurlstone; Christopher John (Newport Saffron Walden Essex, GB), Daintrey; Joseph William (Royston Herts, GB), Rochford; Craig Malcolm (Monxton Andover Hants, GB), Kirkwood; Stephen Philip (Haynes Beds, GB), Mathews; Colin James (Godmanchester Huntingdon, GB), Hill; Robert L. (Abingdon, MD)
Assignee: Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc. (Columbia, MD)
Application Number:12/258,754
Patent Claims: 1. An auto-injector comprising: a housing; a cartridge container disposed within the housing; a cartridge received within the cartridge container, the cartridge having comprising: at least one opening; a medicament; a needle assembly to dispense the medicament there through, the needle assembly having a needle; and a needle sheath disposed about the needle, the needle sheath being compressed between the cartridge container and the cartridge during the medicament dispensing operation; an actuation assembly having a stored energy source capable of driving the needle to permit injection of the medicament into a user; and a needle cover received within the housing, the needle cover having an opening formed therein to permit passage of the needle there through during a medicament dispensing operation, the needle cover surrounding the needle on all sides outside of the housing to prevent contact with the needle before activation of the auto-injector and after the medicament dispensing operation.

2. The auto-injector of claim 1 wherein the needle cover has a first locked position in which the needle cover is in a locked retracted position prior to activation of the auto-injector, and a second locked position in which the needle cover is in a locked extended position after the medicament dispensing operation.

3. The auto-injector of claim 2 further comprising a locking mechanism for holding the needle cover in the first locked position and in the second locked position, the locking mechanism located within the housing to protect against tampering and dirt ingress.

4. The auto-injector of claim 1, wherein the cartridge container is constructed such that needles of varying lengths and cartridges of varying lengths and diameters can be accommodated within the cartridge container.

5. The auto-injector of claim 1 wherein the needle cover is operable to be pressed against the injection site to start the medicament dispensing operation.

6. The auto-injector of claim 1 wherein the medicament is rearwardly confined by a plunger.

7. The auto-injector of claim 1 wherein the needle cover has indicia printed thereon to indicate the location of the opening formed in the needle cover.

8. The auto-injector of claim 7 wherein the indicia comprises the words "needle end."

9. The auto-injector of claim 1 wherein the needle cover has indicia printed thereon to indicate that the auto-injector has been used.

10. The auto-injector of claim 9 wherein the indicia comprises the word "used."

11. The auto-injector of claim 9 wherein the indicia is not visible to a user until immediately after the medicament dispensing operation.

12. An auto-injector comprising: a housing having a needle end and an opposite open end, the housing having a longitudinal axis extending from the needle end to the opposite open end; a cartridge container disposed within the housing; a cartridge received within the cartridge container, the cartridge comprising: at least one opening; a medicament; a needle assembly to dispense the medicament there through, the needle assembly having a needle; and a needle sheath disposed about the needle, the needle sheath being compressed between the cartridge container and the cartridge during the medicament dispensing operation; an actuation assembly having a stored energy source capable of driving the needle to permit injection of the medicament into a user, the actuation assembly positioned in the housing and recessed from the open end; a release pin removably attached to the actuation assembly at the open end of the housing to prevent inadvertent activation of the auto-injector while the release pin is attached to the actuation assembly, removal of the release pin allowing the auto-injector to be activated from the needle end of the housing; and a non-removable needle cover received within the housing, the needle cover having an end surface extending transversely to the longitudinal axis, the end surface having a hole formed therein sized to permit passage of the needle there through during a medicament dispensing operation, the end surface preventing a human finger from entering the needle cover and contacting the needle before and after the medicament dispensing operation.

13. The auto-injector of claim 12 wherein the end surface is operable to be pressed against the injection site to start the medicament dispensing operation.

14. The auto-injector of claim 12 wherein the stored energy source is a spring.

15. The auto-injector of claim 12 wherein the needle cover has a first locked position in which the needle cover is in a locked retracted position prior to activation of the auto-injector, and a second locked position in which the needle cover is in a locked extended position after the medicament dispensing operation.

16. The auto-injector of claim 15 further comprising: a first locking assembly that holds the needle cover in the first locked position, the first locking assembly connected to the cartridge container or the housing and including at least one locking tooth that releasably engages the needle cover; and a second locking assembly that holds the needle cover in the second locked position; wherein: each locking tooth is pivotally connected to the cartridge container; each locking tooth includes a locking surface constructed and arranged to contact a surface on the needle cover; the locking surface contacts the surface on the needle cover to prevent movement of the needle cover such that the needle cover is maintained in the first locked position prior to activation of the auto-injector; and each locking tooth further includes a spring assembly constructed and arranged to bias the locking surface into contact with the surface on the needle cover.

17. The auto-injector of claim 12 wherein the needle cover has indicia printed thereon to indicate the location of the needle end.

18. An auto-injector comprising: a housing having a needle end and an opposite open end; a cartridge container disposed within the housing; a cartridge received within the cartridge container, the cartridge comprising: at least one opening; a medicament; a needle assembly to dispense the medicament there through, the needle assembly having a needle; and a needle sheath disposed about the needle, the needle sheath being compressed between the cartridge container and the cartridge during the medicament dispensing operation; an actuation assembly having a stored energy source capable of driving the needle to permit injection of the medicament into a user, the actuation assembly positioned in the housing and recessed from the open end; a release pin removably attached to the actuation assembly at the open end of the housing to prevent inadvertent activation of the auto-injector while the release pin is attached to the actuation assembly, removal of the release pin allowing the auto-injector to be activated; and a needle cover received within the housing, the needle cover having an enclosed end surface for placement against an injection site prior to activation of the auto-injector, the end surface having a hole formed therein to permit passage of the needle there through during a medicament dispensing operation.

19. The auto-injector of claim 18 wherein the needle cover has indicia printed thereon to indicate the location of the needle end.

20. The auto-injector of claim 19 wherein the indicia comprises the words "needle end."

21. The auto-injector of claim 18 wherein the needle cover has indicia printed thereon to indicate that the auto-injector has been used.

22. The auto-injector of claim 21 wherein the indicia comprises the word "used."

23. The auto-injector of claim 21 wherein the indicia is not visible to a user until immediately after the medicament dispensing operation.

24. The auto-injector of claim 18 wherein the hole in the end surface is sized to prevent a human finger from entering the needle cover and contacting the needle before and after the medicament dispensing operation.

25. The auto-injector of claim 18 wherein the needle cover surrounds the needle on all sides outside of the housing to prevent contact with the needle before and after the medicament dispensing operation.

26. The auto-injector of claim 18 wherein the end surface is operable to be pressed against the injection site to start the medicament dispensing operation.
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