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Патент USA US3084803

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April 9, 1963
‘
G. A. PITMAN'
'
3,084,793
STERILE PACKAGE AND METHOD
JNVENTOR.
G/LBERT A. P/TMAN
Èíwww
A 7' TOPNE VS
April 9, 1963
G. A. PITMAN
3,084,793
STERILE PACKAGE AND METHOD
Filed July 27, 1959
2 sheets-sheet 2
33
f..
E
INVENTOR.
GÍLBERT A.' P/TMAN
BY
ATTORNEYS
United States atent
hhce
3,084,793
Patented Apr. 9, 1953
2
1
porated therewith; and the provision of a method of
3,084,793
steriiizing a medical product after the same has been in
STERILE PACKAGE AND MEÍ‘FHÜD
Giibert A. hitman, San Leandro, Calif., assigner to Crown
Zeiierbach Corporation, San Francisco, Calif., a cor
poration of Nevada
Fiieri .iniy 27, 195:9, Ser. No. 829,759
6 Ciaixns. {Ci. Minn-63.2)
serted into a sealed container. These and other objects
will become evident from studying the following descrip
tion in which reference is directed to the accompanying
drawings.
FIG. l is a plan View of a sealed sterile package of the
This invention relates generally to a sterile package.
More particularly this invention relates to a package in 10
which a sterile medical product, such as a hypodermic
present invention illustrating in phantom lines a medical
product retained therein;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of a modified package con
struction;
syringe or the like, is encased and in which such prod
y
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a further modification of a
uct is maintained sterile until the same is ready for use.
sterile package;
Furthermore, the invention relates to a sterile package
comprising a sealed yet breathable pouch type container
which is formed of fluid and gas impervious and im
permeable material so that the product therein is iso
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a package of the type shown
in FIG. l which is enclosed in a similar sterile package;
FIG. 5 is a sectional View on an enlarged scale of the
package of FIG. 1 taken in the plane of line 5_5 thereof;
lated from the bacteria in the surrounding atmosphere
FiG. 6 is an end view of the package of FIG. l on the
same scale as FIG. 5 and taken inthe plane of line 6_6
and which includes a so-called breathing wick which is
bacteria impervious yet is elfective to provide a conduit 20 of Fi'G. l;
FiG. 7 is a plan view of an upper corner of the pack
or channel through which suitable sterilizing media may
age ofFiG. l on an enlarged scale;
pass into the pouch interior after the same has been
sealed.
PEG. 8 is a side elevation of the package corner of
FIG. 7;
It has been known generally in the art heretofore to
FIG. 9 illustrates a series of sterile packages positioned
employ containers for the packaging of sterile medical
products. However, in such prior art constructions
sterilization of the medical product has been effected be
in a carton;
fore the same was inserted into the container and before
such container was sealed. This prior art sterilization
in FÍG. 9 positioned in a large shipping carton in which
the individual packages may be sterilized simultaneously
FIG. l0 illustrates a series of cartons of the type shown
procedure is an expensive and difficult operation in that 30 prior lto shipment.
It has been known in medical circles heretofore that
the entire container sealing mechanism must be main
fibrous materials such as cotton and paper are effective
tained sterile throughout the sealing operation so that the
to preclude contamination of medical products after the
medical product in the container will not become con
taminated during container sealing.
In addition, it has been generally known in the prior
same have been sterilized. In hospitals and doctors’
oíiiees, it is a frequent practice for sterile articles to be
wrapped in a cotton towel or the like which permits air
passage therethrough but the iibres of which filter out
art heretofore to employ paper or like pouches which
are completely pervious to fluids and gases in which
medical products have been inserted and to sterilize the
same after sealing by passing a sterilizing medium such
as steam at elevated temperatures through the walls
and preclude passage of contaminating bacteria with the
40
air so that sterility is maintained.
This invention utilizes the ability of a ñbrous material
to preclude ‘bacteria passage therethrough and involves
thereof into contact with the products therein. This
prior art arrangement, however, fails to protect the
the provision of a fibrous conduit or wick in an otherwise
sterile product therein during subsequent shipment, stor
fluid and gas impervious container.
By providing such
a fibrous wick, a medical product may be inserted into
tainers become damp or wet, for example when used 45 a container and the container sealed to exclude bacteria
from the surrounding atmosphere so that the only pas
during wartime or the like in the field, contamination of
sage of gas into or out of the container must be effected
the product can readily result due to deterioration of the
age and prior to use in that should such sterilized con
through the wick. In this manner, the air trapped in the
pouch material. In addition, if such pervious construc
tions have been subjected unknowingly to a contaminat 50 pouch when the same is sealed may be Withdrawn through
the wick and a suitable sterilizing medium substituted
ing inliuence such as moisture, and should the same sub
therefor to effect sterilzation of the product therein.
sequently become dried without having actually come
After sterilization, sterility of the product is maintained
apart, there is no definite way of knowing that the same
in that, while the sterilizing medium may leave the con
had been contaminated previously. As a result, use of
tainer and air is free to pass into or out of the container
the product therein subsequently could result in infection
55
through the wick, bacteria from the atmosphere will be
filtered out and its passage stopped by the wick.
While many container constructions may be employed
Sterile packages of the present invention, however, em
ploy a iiuid and gas impervious and impermeable con
in the sterile package of this invention, desirably substan
tainer which may be sterilized through a breathing wick 60 tially fiat pouch type containers are employed. Such
being imparted to the person upon whom the product
is used.
after sealing so that the expense and inconvenience of
pouches are formed from a web or sheet of material at
maintaining the sealing apparatus sterile is dispensed
least the inner surface of which is composed of a ñuid
and gas impervious heat scalable material so that when
the pouches are formed ends thereof may be rapidly
with.
In addition, because the breathable container is
formed from a material which is impervious to fluids and
gases, contamination of the product therein after sterili 65 sealed by application of heat.
Such sheets desirably are multi-ply, the outer ply of
zation by moisture and the like is precluded.
Accordingly, objects of the present invention include
which may be formed of paper, foil or the like, while
the inner ply may be a ñlrn of a suitable `impervious heat
the provision of a breathable container package which
may be sterilized after sealing; the provision of a breath
scalable material, such as a thermo-plastic resin, examples
ing wick in a sterile package through which a sterilizing 70 of which are polyethylene, Plioiilm or the like. if de
medium may be introduced into a package; the provision
sited, a -resinous lacquer coating also may -be employed.
of a container having visual sterility check means incor
if it is desired that the pouch ‘be transparent, the outer
3,084,793
-
c)
ply may be of cellophane or glassine, with the inner ply
d.
The pouch of FIG. 2 desirably is formed from a ñat
sheet of paper folded upon itself twice to provide a heat
sealed or adhesively secured longitudinal seam 19 extend
being a transparent resin such as polyethylene. Alterna
tively, the outer ply may be of a high »density polyethyl
ene with the iner ply being of a lower density polyethylene
to facilitate heat sealing of the pouch. Also, the pouches
could be formed of a free single-ply film of polyethylene
ing between opposite pouch extremities. Desirably a tear
initiating notch 14 is provided in this pouch embodiment
or the like.
The web constructions described hereinabove are ap
plicable to each of the pouch constructions described
seams also may be formed from an extruded tubular
hereinafter.
As shown in FIGS. l, 7 and 8 one pouch embodiment
also.
if desired, a pillow type pouch having opposite fin-type
sleeve in which a Ilongitudinal seam of the ‘type shown at
19 in FIG. 2 is not necessary. That is, if a thermoplastic
material such as polyethylene is extruded in preformed
tubular shape, it is merely necessary to seal opposite
comprises a body 1 formed from a flat two ply sheet of
ends thereof to provide a sealed pouch construction.
iiuid and gas impervious material defined by an outer ply
A further pouch embodiment 21 is shown in FIG. 3
2 of paper or the like and an «inner heat sealable imper
vious ply 3. The sheet is folded upon itself to provide 15 which comprises four fin-type seams 22, 23, 24 and 26
respectively. This pouch may be formed from two sheets
opposite pouch walls, each of Which has an inner heat
of iiuid and gas impervious material of the type described
scalable surface. After folding and filling, such pouch
previously which are sealed together along their margins
is heat sealed in any desired sequence along each of three
or may be formed from one sheet folded upon itself and
ends or extremities thereof to provide three fin-type seams
4, 6 and ’7 respectively. In the embodiment illustrated a 20 sealed along all four margins thereof. In the embodiment
illustrated, a short wick or wicks 27 are employed which
medical syringe 8 and a hypodermic needle 9 are pack
do not extend the entire distance between opposite seams
aged in the container. It should be understood that other
of the pouch but instead are positioned to extend merely
sterile medical instruments and products such as gauze
from the interior of the pouch .through a seam thereof.
bandages, gloves, sutures and the like also may be pack
Any
number of such Short w-icks may be employed and
25
aged therein.
.
may be positioned through the pouch as desired.
As Shown in FIG. 6 each sealed iin is effected by the
It Should be understood that similar short wicks may
inner heat sealable surfaces of the opposite walls flowing
be employed in place of the long wicks disclosed in either
together to completely seal the container end.
of the pouch modifications described previously.
Extending between opposite ñns 4 and 6 in the direction
Short wicks 27 perform their intended function ade
of a folded edge 11 of the pouch is an elongated wick 12. 30 quately, namely they provide gaseous conduits by means
Desirably such wick `is formed of a fibrous woven, braided
of which a gas may pass between the interior and exterior
or twisted material, a good example of ‘which is a cotton
of the pouch.
cord. Wick 12 need not be of unduly large size and it
In each of the pouches illustrated and described herein
has been found that an eight ply cotton string of the
the wicks thereof terminate substantially ñush with the
35
type commonly used in grocery stores and butcher shops
outer extremities of the sealed seams through which they
is effective for this purpose. Such a string is approxi
extend so that projecting wick ends are eliminated which
mately only 1/16 `inch in diameter. For other pouches,
smaller or larger wicks may be used as determined by the
might accidentally be engaged to effect accidental pouch
opening. In addition, by terminating the wick ñush with
pouch size.
the sealed extremity of the pouch a minimum wick sur
Wick 12 extends between opposite seams '4 and 6 and 40 face area is exposed to the atmosphere through which
communicates with the hollow interior 13 of the pouch
bacterial iiow may be initiated.
as Shown in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 shows the manner in which
While in many -instances sealed pouch type containers
the wick end is bonded in and surrounded by the heat
are desirable for packaging medical products as illus
scalable material 3 of a seam so that the only passage of
trated, it should be understood that various other imper
gas into or out of the pouch through the sealed end is
vious containers, such as boxes, cartons or the like may
through wick 12. That is, the wick is securely clamped
between opposite wall portions of the respective tins so
that no channels or passageways exist about the periph
ery of the wick in that the heat scalable material iiows
therearound and to a certain extent flows into the wick 50
to eliminate all such peripheral channels.
Wick 12 is capable of acting as a pouch opening tear
strip in that the same extends between opposite ends of
the pouch. That is, if a fin is grasped in the vicinity of
be provided with gas pervious wicks of the type described,
the invention being equally effective regardless of the
coníiguration and type of container into which it is
incorporated.
Because after initial sterilization of the pouch and its
contents the exterior thereof may become contaminated
during handling and shipment, it frequently is desirable
to package a sterile pouch within another similar pouch
as shown in FIG. 4. Such figure illustrates an outer sealed
a wick end, such as the upper right hand corner of the 55 pouch 28 having a gas pervious wick 29 extending be
pouch in FIG. 1, the pouch may be torn along the length
tween opposite seams thereof while a similar sealed pouch
31 having a gas pervious wick 32 therein is positioned
of the wick and the Wick will be effective to sever the
inside vof the outer pouch ’28. In this manner the sterile
folded edge 11 of the pouch so that the contents thereof
contents of the inner pouch 31 are always maintained
may be easily removed. If desired, a tear initiating notch
14 may be provided in the iin-type seam to facilitate 60 sterile until the same are ready for use.
As an example of the purpose of this construction,
container opening.
attention is directed to a desirable hospital operating
The Wick may be positioned at other locations than
room procedure. If the outer pouch 28 becomes contami
along the folded edge 11 as shown if so desired, it only
nated during handling and shipment, the `same may be
being necessary that the ends of the wick extend through
the container so that the pouch interior is connected by 65 opened in a separate non-sterile hospital room and need
not be taken into a sterile hospital operating room. That
means of the fibrous wick with the surrounding atmos
is, inner pouch 31 and Iits contents may be removed out
phere.
side of the operating room and positioned without direct
A pouch modification 16 is shown in FIG. 2 and is of
handling thereof onto a sterile tray and carried into the
the so-called pillow type construction which comprises
a pair of opposite ñn-type heat sealed seams 17 and 18 70 operating room at which time the `inner pouch may be
opened and its contents removed for use during the opera
between which extends a fibrous Wick 12 of the type
tion. Because each of the inner and outer pouches have
described previously so that the same is capable of the
gas pervious wicks therein the contents of inner pouch 31
dual purpose of providing a pouch opening tear strip and
may be sterilized simultaneously with sterilization of outer
a gas pervious channel or conduit as mentioned previ
ously.
‘
pouch 2S.
3,084,793
5
lt is not necessary under all conditions that the means
tinuous operation with the sterilization operation being
surrounding the sterile medical product With-in outer
performed at` some subsequent time.
pouch 28 be a sealed pouch of the type illustrated at 3l.
While various sterilizing media may be employed with
the present invention, dry gaseous media which are effec
As noted previously cotton cloth or paper is effective to
l
preclude bacterial transfer therethrough. If desired, for ci tive at room or low temperatures, such as formaldehyde
example, the medical product may be wrapped in ab
and ethylene oxide vapors, have ‘been found suitable. By
media introduced into outer pouch 2g may be brought
in contact with the medical product in the cotton, cloth
moderately heating the same to a level `well below boil
ing, such as, for example, 80° C., such dry gaseous vapors
are rendered highly effective for sterilizing medical prod
ucts. The moderate temperature employed, while not
being effecitve to produce sterilization in and of itself, is
or paper tc sterilize the same. rl`=he cotton, cloth or paper
particularly desirable in that low melting point objects,
may be removed when the outer pouch is opened and
transferred in fully sterile condition into an operating
such as plastic hypodermicsyringes and the like are wide
ly used in medical fields today. As a result, sterilization
thereof with high temperature steam or the like is not
possible in that the high temperatures required for steam
sterilization would result in damage to the plastic articles
to be sterilized. In addition, steam sterilization would
possibly adversely affect the sealed seams of the pouch
type containers. Moderate temperature formaldehyde or
sorbent cotton, a cotton cloth or paper and inserted
into outer pouch 2,8 before the same is sealed. Because
the cotton, cloth or paper are gas pervious, sterilizing
room or the like as described previously.
terilization of a pouch and its contents may be effected
in the following manner. After the medical product to
be sterilized has been inserted into ka breathable pouch
and the pouch completely sealed as described previously,
the same is inserted into a pressure vessel, such as a con
ventional autoclave. Thereafter, by applying suction to
the autoclave, the air therein is withdrawn and the air
from the interior of the pouch is also withdrawn through
ethylene oxide is desirable as a result.
By providing the bacteria proof wick in each pouch,
vapors such as formaldehyde and ethylene oxide may
the fibrous Wick provided. After complete withdrawal of
readily be substituted for air withdrawn from the sealed
the air from the pouch interior, a suitable sterilizing „ pouch in the manner described without ldanger of sub
medium is introduced into the autoclave and automati
sequent contamination so long as the pouch is unopened.
cally fills all spaces previously evacuated of air. That is,
While two suitable sterilizing media have been men
by introducing Such sterilizing medium into the auto
tioned, it should be understood that other suitable gaseous
clave at atmospheric pressure or above, the previously
media also may be employed, desirably those which are
evacuated air spaces are filled with the sterilizing medium
effective at moderate `or room temperatures.
30
and complete sterilization of the medicaly product in thel
The'present invention also includes a built-in safety
pouch is effected. If desired the evacuation and sterilizing
feature which readily indicates whether or not a pouch
medium substitution procedure may be repeated several
subjected to a suction atmosphere has `been properly
times to insure complete sterilization of the product in
sterilized.
As described, each pouch to be sterilized is
the pouch. Desirably, evacuation of the pouch is effected
completely
sealed
with the wick therein providing a gase
35
at a rate within the capacity of fiow through the wick so
that bursting of the pouch is precluded.
The entire sterilizing operation for single pouches can
be completed in a period of several minutes, which time
is dependent upon the size of the fibrous wick employed
and the internal volume of the pouch. By increasing wick 40
ous conduit between the pouch interior and exterior.
Should such conduit be inadvertently closed off during
the sealing yoperation so that air may not be withdrawn
therefrom, when the completely closed pouch is subjected
to a partial vacuum in the autoclave, the pouch will rup
ture or explodev as the air surrounding the same is evacu
size, sterilizing time may be decreased and vice versa.
ated. As a result, after the sterilizing operation is corn
Pouches of the present invention also may be sterilized
pleted, it is a simple matter to determine which pouch
in batch processes by packaging a series of sealed and
contents may have been exposed to recontamination.
filled pouches in a pervious, non-air tight paperboard or
like carton 32 as shown in FIG. 9. Thereafter, a plu 4.5 This built-in safety feature readily indicates that ruptured
pouches are not suitable for use and the contents thereof
rality of such filled cartons 32 may be inserted into a large
may be removed and placed in another pouch for subse
shipping carton 33 and enclosed therein. Shipping car
quent sterilization.
ton 33 also desirably is of a pervious, non-air tight con
lf desired additional indicating means may be em
struction formed from paperboard or the like. There
after the shipping carton 33 may be inserted into an auto 50 ployed with each pouch to indicate whether the pouch has
been sterilized or if, after sterilization, the sterilized con
clave and the evacuation of air from and substitution of
dition has changed and the pouch has become contami
a sterilizing medium into each of the individual pouches
nated.
For example, each breathable wick may be
within the individual cartons 32 may be effected simul
thoroughly impregnated with a suitable indicator com
taneously.
Such a batch process sterilization need not take any 55 position which indicates by color when the pouch has
been completely »sterilized or when the sterile condition
has changed and the pouch has become contaminated.
For example, if formaldehyde is chosen as the steriliz
pouches, sterilization of the same can be effected in the
ing medium, the pouch wick may be impregnated with
same short period ‘of time required to sterilize a single
pouch. This is so because the shipping cartons em 60 a chemical composition commercially known as “Schiff’s
Reagent” which is a commercially available analine dye
ployed, as noted previously, are pervious to gas passage
which normally possesses a red color. By bleaching out
and are not sealed air tight. That is, the individual
this red color in a well-known manner before impregna
cartons after closing have adequate passages through
longer than sterilization of individual pouches. If a
large shipping carton contains several hundred individual
tion of the breathable wick with a bleach reactive with
sage in or out of the cartons is determined primarily by 65 formaldehyde, the wick may be impregnated and still re
tain its original color. However, when the wick is sub
the wick size of the individual pouches in the same man
or between their closure flaps so that the rate yof gas pas
ner as wick size determines gas flow rate of a single
pouch.
jected to the passage of formaldehyde therethrough to
effect sterilization of the pouch contents, the formalde
hyde reacts with bleach in the “Schiff’s Reagent” to over
As described hereinbefore, desirably the inner ply 3 of 70 come the effect of the bleach and to restore the red color
each pouch is formed of a heat sealable material. lf
to the reagent. Thereafter, it can immediately be deter
desired, however, the ends of the pouches may be sealed
mined visually whether or not the pouch has been sub
by employing adhesive. Heat sealing thereof is pre
jected to a formaldehyde sterilizing operation.
ferred however. Desirably the pouches are formed, filled
If desired, other suitable indicators also may be em
and sealed on automatic pouch machines in one con 75 ployed, depending upon the sterilizing medium chosen,
3,084,793
_which will indicate sterility or lack of sterility `of a given
pouch.
3
of said opposite seams along another margin of said con
tainer, opposite end portions of said wick extending
From the foregoing it should be understood that follow
ing sterilization of a pouch, air from the atmosphere
through said opposite seams from the interior of said con
tainer between the continuously heat sealed inner surfaces
is free to pass between the pouch interior and exterior
which define said opposite seams to the exterior of said
container so that the opposite outer ends of said wick
and the sterilizing medium initially positioned in the
pouch interior may pass therefrom without adversely
are exposed to the atmosphere surrounding said container;
effecting or contaminating the sterilized pouch contents.
This is so because the fibrous material of the breathable
the impervious heat sealed material of said Wall inner
surfaces in s-aid opposite seams being in intimate contact
ing and sealing the containers. Other application meth
said seams; said wick being graspable for tearing said
container along the length of said another margin thereof
wick ñlters out and traps all bacteria which may be pres 10 with and surrounding said wick end portions about their
entire peripheries in said opposite seams so that said wick
ent in the atmosphere surrounding the pouch following
is securely bonded between said wall inner surfaces in
sterilization so that the pouch contents are maintained
said opposite seams and provides the only gas passage
sterile until used.
_
therethrough; each of said closed container margins being
While it is desirable to use low ltemperature sterilizing
media, the pouch is formed from a fluid and gas irn 15 fluid and gas impervious under normal conditions with
said wick providing the sole and exclusive passage for
pervious material such as metal foil, which is capable of
gases between the interior and exterior o-f said container
withstanding hot steam or the like, high temperature steri
whereby contaminated air trapped within said container
lizing media also may be employed. However, the mod
dur-ing sealing thereof is withdrawable from said container
erate temperature media discussed herein are preferred.
By employing the method disclosed herein a suitable 20 solely through said wick, and whereby a gaseous steriliz
ing medium is substitutable for such withdrawn air solely
container of any 'given type or construction may be com
through said wick into contact with said product in said
pletely sterilized and the contents thereof maintained
container interior, so that said product may be sterilized
sterile until the container is opened. While the breath
after the same has been sealed in :said container; said
able wick may be applied to the respective containers in
any suitable manner desirably the same are positioned 25 wick .after product sterilization serving as Ia bacteria filter
to preclude contamination of said product so long as said
in an open container end prior to sealing of the same on
container walls remain intact and sealed together along
the same automatic machine employed for forming, ñll
ods which may become obvious to one skilled in the art
also may be employed however. Soi long as the end of 30 for effecting easy opening of said container to gain access
to said product after sterilization thereof.
the wick is securely bonded in the container so that the
2. A package comprising a sealed pouch type container,
only avenue of g-as travel is through the wick, the manner
and a product to be sterilized retained in the interior of
in which the wick is attached to the pouch and its loca
said container; said container comprising opposite walls
tion therein may be varied to meet a particular need.
Because containers sterilized in the manner described 35 arranged in ygenerally face-to-face relationship, at least
the inner sur-face of each of said walls comprising a
are readily usable, the same are particularly well suited
thermoplastic heat sea-lable material which is impervious
for use by emergency ambulance crews, military first aid
to the passage of lluid and gases under normal conditions;
units, doctors on call and the like who require sterile
each margin of one of said opposite walls being connected
instruments or products and who do not have the neces
sary facilities available for sterilizing the same on the 40 with a corresponding margin of the other of said opposite
walls whereby all margins of said container are closed
spot. In addition, because of the safety factor imparted
to retain said product therein; at least two of said closed
to the pouches of this invention by the indicators incor
container margins comprising iin type seams, said two
porated therewith or the explosive safety feature thereof,
seams ydefining generally opposite margins of said con
when a pouch reaches its intended user a visual check
thereof -rnay readily determine whether or not the same 45 tainer, each of said opposite seams being defined by cor
might have been contaminated.
Having made a full disclosure of this invention refer
responding facing and contacting areas of said opposite
walls which have their inner fluid and gas impervious
surfaces heat sealed together; and a breathing wick of
fibrous material which is pervious to gases and impervious
l. A package comprising a sealed pouch type con 50 to bacteria extending `completely across said container be
tween and through each of said opposite seams along an
tainer, land a product to be sterilized retained in the inte
ence is directed to the `appended claims.
I claim:
rior of said container; said container comprising opposite
walls arranged in .generally »face-to-face relationship, at
other margin of said container, opposite end portions of
said wick extending «through said opposite seams from
the interior of said container between the heat sealed
least the inner surface of each tof said walls comprising
a thermoplastic 'heat sealable material which is impervious 55 inner surfaces which define said opposite seams to the
exterior of said container so that the opposite outer ends
to the passage of fluid and «gases under normal condi
of said wick are exposed to the atmosphere surrounding
tions; each margin of one of said opposite walls being
said container; the impervious heat sealed material of
connected with a corresponding margin of the other of
said wall inner surfaces in said opposite seams being in
said opposite walls whereby all margins of said container
sare closed to retain said product therein; at îleast two of 60 intimate cont-act with and surrounding said wick end por
tions about their entire peripheries in said opposite seams
said closed container margins comprising substantially
so that said wick is securely bonded between said wall
inner surfaces in said opposite seams and provides the
only gas passage therethrough; each of said closed con
-ßof said opposite seams being defined by corresponding
facing and contacting marginal areas of said opposite 65 tainer margins being ñuid and gas impervious under nor
mal conditions with said Wick providing the sole and ex
Walls which have their inner liuid and gas impervious
clusive passage for gases between the interior and exterior
surfaces heat »sealed together uninterruptedly between
of said container whereby contaminated air trapped with
opposite spaced »apart edges deñning opposite borders of
in said container during sealing thereof is withdrawable
said areas, such heat sealing extending over the full extent
of contact of said areas between said borders so that a 70 from said container solely through said wick, and whereby
a Agaseous sterilizing medium is substitutable for such
generally broad so'lid and continuous heat sealed seam
withdrawn air solely through said wick into contact with
free of unsealed areas is deñned between said borders;
said product in said container interior, so that said product
`and a breathing wick of ñbrous material which is per
may be sterilized after the same has been sealed in said
vious to gases and impervious to bacteria extending corn
pletely across said container between and through each 75 container; said -wick after product sterilization serving
broad ñat continuous fin ‘type seams, said two seams de
ûning generally opposite margins of said container, each
3,084,793
as a bacteria filter to preclude contamination of said
10
sealed container having gas and fluid impervious Walls,
and a gas pervious and bacteria impervious fibrous wick
product so `long as said container walls remain intact and
extending between the interior and exterior of `said second
sealed together along said seams; said Wick being grasp
container which provides lthe -sole passage through which
able for tearing said container along the length of said
another margin thereof for eiîecting easy opening of said 5 entrapped air and a gaseous sterilizing medium may pass.
container to gain >access to said product after sterilization
References Cited in the file of this patent
thereof.
3. The package of claim 2 in which said wick is ‘a thin
UNITED STATES PATENTS
bacteria impervious cotton cord.
2,402,982
Steenbergen ___________ __ July 2, 1946
4. The package of claim 2 in which said Wick is im- 10 2,542,957
Adams ______________ __ Feb. 20, 1951
pregnated with an indicator whereby the sterile condi
2,883,262
Borin _______________ __ Apr. 21, 1959
tion of said package may be determined Visually by view
2,947,415
Garth _______________ __ Aug. 2, 1960
ing the color of said Wick.
OTHER REFERENCES
5. The package of claim 2 in which said product in
said container interior is surrounded by means which is
“Modern Packaging” Encyclopedia Issue for 1961, vol
impervious to Ibacteria for maintaining said product sterile
after lsaid ycontainer is opened.
6, The package of claim 5 in which said means sur~
rounding said product comprises a second and separate
urne 34, Number 3A, published by Packaging Catalog
Corp., Emmett Street, Bristol, Conn. (Pages ‘149 to 152
only.) (Copy available in Division 40.)
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