|Title of Invention||
A DISPOSABLE URINE COLLECTION BAG
|Abstract||The invention provides a disposable urine collection bag that may be used to facilitate urination when public conveniences are not available or suitable. The bag is formed with means (3,12) for holding the bag in use and for keeping the opening of the bag spaced apart during use. Means (6) are also provided for closing the bag in a liquid- tight manner after use. The bag may be formed of plastics material so as to be light, cheap to manufacture and readily disposable after use.|
|Full Text||This invention relates to a disposable urine collection bag for facilitating the act of urination when public conveniences are not readily available, and in particular which is designed to mitigate the problems that women especially experience in such circumstances.
It is a common experience of most people that there are occasions when a person has a desire or need to urinate but appropriate facilities are not available. Such situations can arise when a person is outside of a town or city, for example when camping or hiking, or even when driving. Even in cities and towns similar problems can arise if there is a shortage of public conveniences, or they are occupied or closed, or they exhibit such a poor level of hygiene that they cannot readily be used.
Such situations can arise in particular on holiday, for example when traveling in remote and less well-developed regions where public conveniences may be very basic and primitive, and their hygiene may leave a lot to be desired. Related problems can also arise when a person is bedridden or has only limited movement and cannot easily use a conventional toilet.
In this respect men have an anatomical advantage over women in that urination can be easily accomplished with minimal removal of clothing and relatively discreetly, and for men these problems are less sever than they are for women. For women, however, urination without proper facilities presents more of a challenge since normally they must remove a number of items of clothing and squat uncomfortably. This makes the whole procedure uncomfortable, distressing, embarrassing and susceptible to interruption.
It is an object of this invention to at least mitigate these problems, especially for women.
The present invention provides a disposable urine collection bag comprising, a bag formed of a plastic material and having an opening for the collection of urine, means for maintaining the opening spaced apart during use, means for holding said bag in position during use, and means for closing said opening in a liquid-tight manner after use.
In this manner there may be provided a urine collection bag that may be made substantially of plastics material so as to be light and easy to carry prior to use, liquid tight in use, and which may be disposed of after use. By providing means for maintaining the part of the bag defining the opening spaced apart during use, the opening is kept open so that urine is directed into the bag and does not spill onto the outside of the bag. Means are provided such that the bag may be held in position during use, and in particular this means that the bag may be held directly between a user"s legs. For women this may be particularly helpful since the bag can be held in place between a woman"s legs underneath a skirt or dress reducing the need to undress.
The holding means and the means for maintaining the opening spaced apart are preferably formed integrally as a single element, and they may be either fixed to the bag or provided as a separate member that can be re-used with different bags.
In the former case when the holding means and the spaced apart maintaining means are fixed to the bag, they may comprise two first portions fixed to the bag and two holding portions extending from respective said first portions and adapted to be gripped by a user. Preferably the holding portions are angled relative to the first portions such that when the bag is not in use they diverge away from the bag and wherein when in use the act of gripping the holding portions causes the holding portions to be brought together while the first portions are moved apart from each other to maintain the opening in a spaced apart condition.
When the holding means and the spaced apart maintaining means are formed as a separate member, this member may comprise a holding portion and two bifiircated arms, and hollow channels may be formed on the exterior sides of the bag adjacent the opening for receiving the bifiircated arms. Preferably each bifiircated arm is formed with a hook portion at its end for engaging a hollow channel so as to prevent the bag accidentally slipping off the arms. The holding and spaced apart maintaining means in this embodiment may be a single member, or may be formed of a number of elements so as to be collapsible (eg foldable or telescopic) to minimise the space it occupies when not in use.
The closing means may take any convenient form, but it is particularly preferred to form it as a tongue and groove closure, with at least one elongate tongue member fixed
to one interior side of the bag and extending across the width of the bag, and at least one corresponding grooved member fixted to the other interior side of the bag and extending across the width of the bag.
For convenience the bag may be formed with a carrying handle, and the bag may be formed of an opaque plastics material so as to obscure the contents of the bag. Furthermore the opening of the bag may be shaped so as to conform to the contour of the body of a user.
Some embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-
Fig.l is a perspective view of a disposable urine bag according to a first
embodiment of the invention,
Fig.2 is a perspective view of the embodiment of Fig. 1 showing the reinforcing
means being fitted to the bag,
Fig.3 shows the bag of the embodiment of Fig. 1 with the opening in a normal
biased closed position,
Fig.4 is a view similar to Fig.3 but showing how the bag is opened,
Figs.5(a) and (b) are perspective views showing the opening of the bag ready for
Figs.6(a) and (b) show the reinforcing member,
Fig.7 is a perspective view of the embodiment of Fig.l highlighting the liquid-tight closure.
Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional detail of the liquid-tight closure,
Fig.9 illustrates the shape of the bag in the region defining the opening.
Figs. 10 to 12 show the bag of the embodiment of Fig.l in use,
Fig. 13 shows the use of a carrying handle.
Figs. 14 and 15 show how the holding means may also be used to suspend the bag,
Figsl6(a)-(c) illustrate how the bag may be easily stored and carried ready for
Fig. 17 shows an alternate form of holding means,
Figs.l8(a)-(c) show a variation on Fig. 17,
Figs.l9 and 20 show how the holding means of Fig.l7 may be fitted to a bag.
Fig.21 shows the shape of the region of the bag defining the opening in this
Fig.22 shows this alternate embodiment in use,
Fig.23 illustrates the removal of the holding means from the bag after use,
Fig.24 illustrates the storage of the bag ready for use, and
Figs.25 and 26 illustrate the formation of the external channels.
Turning firstly to Fig.l there is shown a disposable urine collection bag generally indicated by reference numeral 1. The body of the bag is formed of a suitable flexible plastics material. The material is preferably opaque so that the unsightly contents are not visible. The bag may be formed of two sheets sealed along their sides and along a bottom edge, or of one sheet folded over and sealed along one side edge and a bottom edge, or of a tubular material simply sealed at the bottom. In any event, the result is a bag sealed at the bottom and sides but with an upper region defining an opening 2.
To this upper region of the bag there is fixed a member 3 which serves a number of different functions: as a reinforcing member to strengthen the upper opening of the bag, as a means for holding the bag in use, and as a means for holding the opening 2 wide open when the bag is being used. The member 3 is preferably also formed of plastics material, but of a plastics material of greater strength and rigidity than the bag itself The member 3 is fixed to the upper regions of the bag on both sides of the bag by any conventional manner.
The member 3 comprises main reinforcing portions 4 that are shaped and sized so as to fit to the upper region of the bag adjacent the opening. Extending from these portions 4 are holding portions 5 and which are angled relative to portions 4 such that when the member 3 is fixed to the bag, in their normal position the two holding portions 5 are angled away from each other as is most clearly seen in Fig.3. In this normal biased condition while the opening is not actually closed or sealed, it is narrow and small. When the bag is to be used - as will be described below - the bag is held by a user by gripping the holding portions 5. In doing so the holding portions 5 are caused to be brought together as shown in Fig.4 and the resiliency of the material forming the member 3 is such that the reinforcing portions 4 are caused to bow apart to maintain the opening 2
fully open as shown in Figs.4 and 5(b) to facilitate the direction and capture of urine in the bag.
As shown in Figs.6(a) and (b) the member 3 is formed as a single piece that is folded in two about its middle, but conceivably it could be formed as two separate parts.
Extending across the width of the bag at a level towards the top of the bag, but nonetheless below the opening, for example about 2/3 of the way up the bag, there is a liquid-tight closure means 6. This liquid-tight closure may be of any conventional means but preferably is of a type that can be repeatedly opened and closed. Fig. 8 illustrates one possible design in which one side of the closure is formed with three elongate tongue members 7,8,9 which engage in corresponding elongate grooves formed on a strip extending across the other side of the bag. Such a closure is both liquid-tight and also substantially air-tight which is preferable to prevent unwanted odours.
The opening of the bag may be simply flat across the top of the bag, but preferably it may be profiled so as to match the contours of the body. This may be best seen in Fig.9 which shows the bag having a side profile such that it curves upwardly at one end. The purpose of this may be seen when considering how the bag is used as shown in Figs. 10 to 12. A user holds the bag by gripping the holding means 5 and in doing so as is described above the bag is caused to be held fully open. A user - for example a woman - may then stand with her legs slightly apart and hold the bag beneath her groin and urinate directly into the bag. The profile of the bag 1 helps the bag to fit closely to the body as can be seen in Fig. 10 (in which one leg is omitted for clarity) and also means that the handle portions 5 are directed slightly upwardly which facilitates use.
Once urination has been completed the bag may be closed by the liquid-tight closure means and disposed of in a suitable manner. To facilitate disposal the bag is formed with carrying handles 10 which allow the bag to be easily and safely carried after use. Because the bag is held close to the body and urine is directed straight into the bag there is very little danger of spillage. This means that in some cases a woman wearing a skirt may even be able to urinate into the bag without having to remove her skirt or dress with obvious advantages for privacy and convenience.
Normally the bag would be used once and then disposed of straightaway. If re-use is contemplated, however, the holding means 5 may be formed with holes 11 that allow the bag to be suspended from a hook until it is needed once more (Figs. 14 and 15).
Prior to use the bag can be folded up and will occupy very little space. As shown in Figs.l6(a)-(c) each bag 1 may be folded up and received within an individual package 11 for the sake of hygiene. Such packages would be flat and light and easily carried in a handbag in the same manner as products such as tissues, sanitary napkins and so on.
Fig. 17 illustrates an alternative embodiment in which the holding means is formed seperately from the bag. This is advantageous in that it avoids the waste of a relatively substantial part of the bag so the individual bags are both lighter still and even cheaper, but offset against that a user must carry a separate holding means with the attendant risk of loss.
In this embodiment the holding means 12 is bifurcated and comprises a pair of reinforcing arms 13 and holding portions 14. The arms 13 serve the same functions as portions 4 of member 3 in that they strengthen the top of the bag during use and, because they are spaced apart they hold the bag open during use. Holding portions 14 serve to allow a user to hold the bag in place during use in the same manner as portions 5 in the first embodiment. Holding means 12 may be formed as a single piece as in Fig. 17, or may be formed from interconnected elements 15,16,17 such that it may be folded up after use so as to reduce the amount of space it requires in a bag.
As can be seen in Figs. 19 and 20 the arms 13 of the holding means 12 are received in respective channels 18 formed on the outside of the bag adjacent the opening. These channels 18 may very easily be formed by attaching additional plastic pieces to the bag leaving an unattached central channel. This is shown in particular in Figs.25 and 26 in which additional pieces 19 are secured to the sides of the bag 1 by using, for example, adhesive over two portions of the pieces leaving a central portion free. The arms 13 are also formed with engaging hooks 20 at their ends that can engage the ends of the channels as shown in Fig.20 in order to prevent the bag from accidentally slipping off the holding means 12 during use. As shown in Fig.21 the upper edge of the bag can again be curved so as to fit a body contour (Fig.22).
The bag of this embodiment is used in exactly the same way as in the first embodiment, save that after use the holding means 12 is removed as shown in Fig.23. Again, the bags can easily be folded and packaged as individual sealed items that can be carried in a handbag (Fig.24).
1. A disposable urine collection bag comprising, a bag formed of a plastic material and having an opening for the collection of urine, means for maintaining the opening spaced apart during use, means for holding the bag in position during use, and means for closing said opening in a liquid-tight manner after use.
2. A bag as claimed in claim 1, wherein said holding means is formed integrally with said means for maintaining said opening spaced apart.
3. A bag as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said holding means and said means for maintaining said opening spaced apart are fixed to said bag.
4. A bag as claimed in claim 3, wherein said holding means and said means for maintaining said opening spaced apart are located adjacent said opening.
5. A bag as claimed in claim 3 or 4, wherein said holding means and said means for maintaining said opening spaced apart comprise two first portions fixed to said bag and two holding portions extending from respective said first portion and adapted to be gripped by a user.
6. A bag as claimed in claim 5, wherein said holding portions are at an angle to said first portions such that when said bag is not in use said holding portions diverge away from the bag, and wherein in use the act of gripping said holding portions causes said holding portions to be brought together while said first portions are moved apart from each other to maintain said opening in a spaced apart condition.
7. A bag as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said holding means and said means for maintaining said opening spaced apart are formed as a separate member from the remainder of said bag and may be retained after use for subsequent re-use.
8. A bag as claimed in claim 7, wherein said holding means and said means for maintaining said opening spaced apart comprises a holding portion and two bifurcated arms, and wherein hollow channels are formed on the exterior sides of said bag adjacent said opening for receiving said bifurcated arms.
9. A bag as claimed in claim 8, wherein each said arm is formed with a hook portion at its end for engaging a said hollow channel.
10. A bag as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 9, wherein said holding means and means for maintaining said opening spaced apart is collapsible for storage when not in use.
11. A bag as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein said closing means comprises a tongue and groove closure.
12. A bag as claimed in claim 11, wherein said closing means comprises at least one elongate tongue member fixed to one interior side of said bag and extending across the width of the bag, and at least one corresponding grooved member fixed to the other interior side of the bag and extending across the width of the bag.
13. A bag as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein said bag is provided with a carrying handle.
14. A bag as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein said bag is formed of an opaque plastic material.
15. A bag as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14, wherein the sides of said bag defining said opening are shaped to conform to the contour of the body of a user.
16. A disposable urine collection bag, substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
|Indian Patent Application Number||1042/MAS/1998|
|PG Journal Number||08/2007|
|Date of Filing||14-May-1998|
|Name of Patentee||SHRI. PETER KA KIT LEE|
|Applicant Address||6/F, WORLD-WIDE HOUSE, 19 DES VOEUS ROAD, CENTRAL|
|PCT International Classification Number||A61A 9/00|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|