(19)
(11)EP 3 299 056 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
30.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/40

(21)Application number: 17201044.9

(22)Date of filing:  21.12.2010
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61M 25/00(2006.01)
A61M 25/01(2006.01)
A61M 25/16(2006.01)

(54)

CATHETER ASSEMBLY/PACKAGE UTILIZING A HYDRATING/HYDROGEL SLEEVE

KATHETERANORDNUNG/-VERPACKUNG MIT EINER HYDRATISIERENDEN/HYDROGELHÜLLE

ENSEMBLE/EMBALLAGE DE CATHÉTER UTILISANT UN MANCHON D'HYDROGEL/HYDRATANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 23.12.2009 US 289849 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
28.03.2018 Bulletin 2018/13

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
16171279.9 / 3078393
10840071.4 / 2515988

(73)Proprietor: C.R. BARD, INC.
Murray Hill, New Jersey 07974 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Terry, Richard N.
    Conyers GA Georgia 30094 (US)

(74)Representative: Hoffmann Eitle 
Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartmbB Arabellastraße 30
81925 München
81925 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-2005/014055
US-A1- 2001 001 443
FR-A1- 2 794 638
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] WO 2005/014055 discloses a vapor hydrated packaged catheter assembly comprising a catheter, a sleeve for vapor hydrating the catheter, a vapor donor and a container.

    [0002] FR2794638 describes a catheter or urinary probe case made from a flexible and transparent plastic and having a precut (10) to facilitate the removal of the case end (3) when the catheter is to be entered. Two manipulating elements are located along the length of the case and these are used to slide the catheter from its case and into use with minimum contamination. The outer manipulating element includes means of lubricating the catheter within the case.

    [0003] Intermittent catheterization is an aspirationally sterile process of draining urine from the bladder when normal draining is impossible or difficult. Proper intermittent catheter use reduces the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney damage. Intermittent catheters come in many different sizes and lengths to fit the body. Some catheters are also available pre-lubricated. Of these, some catheters require their coating be hydrated before insertion. Other catheters have pre-hydrated lubricious coatings for immediate insertion upon opening the package.

    [0004] Intermittent catheterization is generally performed a minimum of four times a day by the patient or a care giver. The genital area near the urethral opening is wiped with an antiseptic agent, such as iodine. A lubricant may then be used to facilitate the entry of the catheter into the urethra. A topical local anesthetic may also be applied to numb the urethral opening during the procedure. One end of the catheter is placed in a container, and the other end is inserted into and guided up the urethra and into the bladder until urine flow begins.

    [0005] When urine flow stops, the catheter may be re-positioned, moved or rotated. The patient may also be made to change positions to ensure that all urine has emptied from the bladder. The catheter may then be withdrawn. Improper cleaning of re-used catheters can contribute to the development of urinary tract infections (UTI). Patients are encouraged to only use a new catheter for each catheterization.

    [0006] Intermittent catheters are generally catheters or tubes having a rounded, atraumatic distal tip that is inserted into the bladder of a patient. A molded funnel is typically connected to a distal end that remains outside the body of the patient or user. The distal tip may include slots or openings on the shaft to facilitate drainage of urine therefrom once the tip is positioned inside the bladder.

    [0007] Hydrophilic-coated intermittent catheters are intermittent catheters having a highly lubricious coating on an outer surface thereof, which are either packaged with fluid or otherwise brought into contact with fluid in order to provide a catheter with a slippery outer surface to facilitate insertion into the patient or user.

    [0008] Existing hydrophilic-coated intermittent catheters fall into three broad categories. In a first type, the catheter is packaged in a dry environment, but it contains a hydrophilic coating that requires a wetting fluid in order to become hydrated and lubricious. The wetting fluid is obtained from an external source by the user (e.g., sink, bottled water, etc.), and the catheter is positioned within the wetting fluid for a period of time to become hydrated. Use of this first type of intermittent catheter may prove difficult where no clean water or wetting fluid is readily available. Moreover, catheter sterility may be compromised due to the user's handling of the catheter when wetting fluid is applied.

    [0009] A second type of hydrophilic-coated intermittent catheter is also packaged in a dry environment and contains a lubricious coating. However, the wetting fluid is positioned in a pouch or container within the catheter package itself. To hydrate the catheter, the pouch or container is opened when the user is ready for insertion. Suitable examples of such catheters are disclosed in U.S. 7,087,048 and U.S. 6,634,498. As with the first type, this second type may be disadvantageous because the catheter must be exposed to the wetting fluid for a period of time before insertion to ensure hydration of the lubricious coating. The sterility of the catheter can also be compromised during insertion. This concern, however, is no different than a pre-wetted catheter because package remains sealed during hydration.

    [0010] A third type of pre-wetted intermittent catheter is packaged in a wet environment. That is, the catheter is exposed to a wetting fluid within the catheter package, thus hydrating the coating. Suitable examples of such catheters are disclosed in U.S. 7,380,658, U.S. 6,848,574 and U.S. 6,059,107. However, the user may have difficulty handling the catheter due to its slippery surface, and excessive or imprecise handling may result in contamination of the catheter by the user. This could then expose the user to a urinary tract infection.

    [0011] An example of the third type is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the instant application. As can be seen in these drawings, the catheter assembly utilizes a catheter 1 arranged in a package 2 made of two sheets 2a and 2b which can be separated from each other (see FIG. 2) so as to allow access to the catheter 1. The catheter 1 is arranged in a space 3 arranged within the package 2 along with a hydrating fluid. In this way, the coating C arranged on a tube portion 4 of the catheter 1 is maintained in a hydrated or pre-wetted state. The catheter 1 includes a funnel 7 arranged on a proximal end 8 and a closed and rounded tip at the distal end 9. One or more drainage eyelets 5 are arranged in an area of the distal end 9. When user desires to use the catheter assembly shown in FIG. 1, the user need only open the package 2 (see FIG.2), remove the catheter 1 from the package 2 which is already pre-wetted, and insert the distal end 9 into the bladder.

    [0012] Existing intermittent catheters may also drain urine into a bag. Following bladder drainage into the bag, the bag may be emptied by inverting and tearing a notch. Urine is then drained into a receptacle through the tear. That process can be slow, messy, and subject to urine spills.

    [0013] Non-intermittent catheterization, which is used in a hospital or nursing home setting, uses the same basic technique for insertion of the urinary tract catheter. The catheter is inserted by a nurse or other health care professional, and, it remains in the patient until bladder function can be maintained independently. When the catheter is removed, patients experience a pulling sensation and may feel some minor discomfort. If the catheter is required for an extended period of time, a long-term, indwelling catheter, such as a Foley catheter, is used. To prevent infection, it should be regularly exchanged for a new catheter.

    [0014] Proper catheter use can also often be determined by the length of time that the process is necessary: long-term (often called indwelling) or short-term use. In some situations, incontinent patients are catheterized to reduce their cost of care. A condom catheter, which fits on the outside of the penis using adhesive, can be used for short-term catheterization in males. However, long-term catheterization is not recommended because chronic use carries a significant risk of urinary tract infection. This risk should only be considered as a last resort for the management of incontinence where other measures have proved unsuccessful and where there is significant risk to the skin.

    [0015] A catheter that is left in place for a period of time may be attached to a drainage bag to collect the urine. There are two types of drainage bags. One is a leg bag being a smaller drainage device that attaches by elastic bands to the leg. A leg bag is usually worn during the day, as it fits discreetly under pants or skirts, and is easily emptied into a toilet. The second type of drainage bag is a larger device called a down drain that may be used during the night. This device is usually hung on the patient's bed or placed on the floor nearby.

    [0016] During long-term use, the catheter may be left in place the entire duration, or a patient may be instructed on an intermittent self-catheterization procedure for placing a catheter just long enough to empty the bladder and then removing it. Patients undergoing major surgery are often catheterized and may remain so for long durations. Long-term catheterization can expose patients to an increased risk of infection. Long-term catheterization as a remedy for incontinence is not appropriate, as the risks outweigh the benefits.

    [0017] In males, for example, the catheter tube is inserted into the urinary tract through the penis. Insertion in males can sometimes be difficult because of the abrupt angle in the male's urethra. An external device such as a condom catheter can also be used. In females, the catheter is inserted into the urethral meatus, after a cleansing. The procedure can be complicated in females due to varying layouts of the genitalia (due to age, obesity, childbirth, or other factors), but a good clinician should rely on anatomical landmarks and patience when dealing with such patients.

    [0018] Common indications to catheterize a patient include acute or chronic urinary retention (which can damage the kidneys), orthopedic procedures that may limit a patient's movement, the need for accurate monitoring of input and output (such as in an ICU), benign prostatic hyperplasia, incontinence, and the effects of various surgical interventions involving the bladder and prostate.

    [0019] For some patients the insertion and removal of a catheter can cause excruciating pain, so a topical anesthetic can be used for patients of both sexes. Catheterization should be performed as a sterile medical procedure and should only be done by trained, qualified personnel, using equipment designed for this purpose. However, in the case of intermittent self catheterization, the patient can perform the procedure his/her self. If correct technique is not used, trauma may be caused to the urethra or prostate (male). A urinary tract infection or paraphimosis may also occur (male uncircumcised patient).

    [0020] Particular complications of catheter use may include: urinary tract or kidney infections, blood infections (sepsis), urethral injury, skin breakdown, bladder stones, and blood in the urine (hematuria). After many years of catheter use, bladder cancer may also develop. In using indwelling (long-term) catheters, it is particularly very important to take everyday care of the catheter and the drainage bag.

    [0021] Catheters come in a large variety of sizes, materials (latex, silicone, PVC, or Teflon-coated), and types (for example, straight or coude tip catheter). In the case of internal catheters (those inserted into the urethra), the smallest size is usually recommended, although a larger size is sometimes needed to control leakage of urine around the catheter. A large size can also become necessary when the urine is thick, bloody or contains large amounts of sediment. Larger internal catheters, however, are more likely to cause damage to the urethra. Some people develop allergies or sensitivities to latex after long-term latex catheter use or prior latex exposure. In such cases, catheters made of materials other than natural rubber latex should be used. Silver coated urinary catheters may also be used to reduce infections.

    [0022] Catheter diameters are sized by the French catheter scale (F or Fr). The most common sizes are 10 Fr to 28 Fr. The clinician selects a size small enough to allow free flow of urine, but large enough to control leakage of urine around the catheter. A larger size can become necessary when the urine is thick, bloody or contains large amounts of sediment. Larger catheters, however, are more likely to cause damage to the urethra. (Jeffrey AN et al., Surgery: Basic Science and Clinical Evidence Springer, 2nd ed., 2008, p. 281).

    [0023] Finally, it is noted that existing intermittent catheters typically have two staggered or opposed drainage eyelets or openings which are located on a distal end of the catheter, i.e., near the inserting tip. These openings allow the catheter to drain urine from the bladder.

    SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE



    [0024] The present disclosure is directed to easy-to-use urinary catheter assemblies that eliminate or minimize some of the shortcomings of prior art devices. The catheter can be a single-use catheter and/or may be packaged as a single-use device. Non-limiting examples of the disclosure include one or more features described herein and/or shown in the drawings in combination with one of more prior art features discussed above.

    [0025] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure provide for an improved pre-wetted catheter which maintains a coating of the catheter tube in a hydrated state using a hydrating sleeve.

    [0026] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure also provide for improved pre-wetted catheter whose package can be opened without any significant spilling of moisture or fluid from the package.

    [0027] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure also provide for improved pre-wetted catheter having a sleeve which contains all or substantially all of the hydrating fluid.

    [0028] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure also provide for a catheter assembly comprising an elongate member having a proximal end and a distal end. The distal end has at least one drainage opening. A fluid containing member is arranged on the elongate member. A container contains the elongate member and the fluid containing member.

    [0029] The fluid containing member may be a hydrogel sleeve. The fluid containing member may have a wall thickness that is 3.175 mm (1/8 inch) or greater. The fluid containing member may be generally cylindrical. The fluid containing member may be structured and arranged to maintain a coating of the elongate member in a hydrated condition. The containing member may be a tube having an inside diameter sized to receive therein the elongate member. The fluid containing member may comprise an extruded polyurethane tube. The fluid containing member may comprise a polyurethane hydrogel type material. A non-limiting example of the fluid containing member includes D6/40 (AdvanSource Biomaterials) which is a polyether polyurethane-urea. The fluid containing member may comprise a hydrophilic polymer.

    [0030] By way of non-limiting examples, the hydrophilic polymer of the fluid containing member may comprise at least one of; polyethylene oxide, polyethylene glycol, polypropylene glycol, poly vinyl alcohol, carboxy methyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate, polyacrylic acid, polyacrylamide, and collagen. The fluid containing member comprises a material which swells when exposed to a fluid and which absorbs and retains fluid in a wall between an inner diameter and an outer diameter. The fluid containing member may be structured and arranged to swell when exposed to a fluid. The fluid containing member may be structured and arranged to swell when exposed to water. The fluid containing member may be structured and arranged to absorb about 90% or more of its weight in fluid. The fluid containing member may be structured and arranged to absorb about 90% or more of its weight in water. The fluid containing member comprises a hydrated polyurethane tube.

    [0031] The container may be a fluid impermeable package and substantially or nearly all fluid contained in the container may be disposed in the fluid containing member.

    [0032] The elongate member may comprise one of: a hydrateable coating arranged at least on an outer surface of the distal end thereof; a lubricious coating arranged at least on an outer surface of the distal end thereof; and a hydrophilic biocompatible coating arranged at least on an outer surface of the distal end.

    [0033] The catheter assembly may be an intermittent catheter assembly. The fluid containing member may be the only device containing fluid in the container. The fluid containing member is non-removably coupled to the container. The elongate member may be removable from the container without fluid leaking out of the container. The elongate member may be removable from the container while the fluid containing member is retained within the container. The elongate member may comprise a proximal end which is not wetted and/or covered by the fluid containing member.

    [0034] The fluid containing member may comprise a gripping end which does not contain fluid and/or which allows a user to grip the fluid containing member without the user's fingers becoming wetted by fluid.

    [0035] The container may comprise a first compartment containing the elongate member and a second compartment containing the fluid containing member. The elongate member may be removable from the first compartment and insertable into the second compartment. The elongate member may be removable from the first compartment and insertable into the fluid containing member of the second compartment. A first removable cover may allow the user to access and remove the elongate member from the first compartment and a second removable cover may allow the user to insert the elongate member into the second compartment. The first compartment and the second compartment may comprise separate fluid impermeable compartments.

    [0036] The container may comprise an outer member which substantially encloses the elongate member and completely encloses the fluid containing member. The fluid containing member may be non-removably coupled to the outer member. The fluid containing member may be non-removably coupled to an inside diameter of the outer member. The outer member may comprise a first portion that surrounds a proximal portion of the elongate member and a second portion that surrounds the fluid containing member. The outer member may comprise a first portion that surrounds a funnel portion of the elongate member and a second portion that surrounds the fluid containing member and a coated tube portion of the elongate member. The outer member may have a length that is substantially equal to a length of the elongate member and the fluid containing member may have a length that is substantially equal to the coated tube portion of the elongate member.

    [0037] The container may comprise an outer tubular member which completely encloses the elongate member and completely encloses the fluid containing member. The fluid containing member may be arranged within another container arranged within the outer tubular member. The other container containing the fluid containing member may be removable from the outer tubular member. The other container containing the fluid containing member may be non-removable from the outer tubular member. The outer tubular member may comprise a removable cover.

    [0038] The container may enclose the elongate member and the fluid containing member while axially separated from each other. The container may contain a single compartment which encloses the elongate member and the fluid containing member while axially separated from each other. The container may comprise a single flexible compartment which encloses the elongate member and the fluid containing member while axially separated from each other and is configured to allow the user to position the elongate member into the fluid containing member while the elongate member and the fluid containing member remain enclosed within the single flexible compartment.

    [0039] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure also provide for a method of inserting the catheter assembly of any one of the types described above, wherein the method comprises removing the elongate member from the fluid containing member and inserting the elongate member into a user's body. The method may further comprise draining fluid or urine from the user's body.

    [0040] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure also provide for a catheter assembly comprising a catheter having a proximal end, a distal end, and a tubular portion arranged therebetween, the distal end having at least one drainage opening, a fluid containing sleeve arranged on the tubular portion and maintaining a coating of the tubular portion in a hydrated state, and a container containing therein the catheter and the fluid containing sleeve. Substantially or nearly all fluid contained in the container is disposed in the fluid containing sleeve.

    [0041] The fluid containing sleeve comprises a material which swells when exposed to a fluid and which absorbs and retains fluid in a wall between an inner diameter and an outer diameter.

    [0042] At least one of the following may be utilized: the fluid containing sleeve is a hydrogel sleeve; the fluid containing sleeve has a wall thickness that is 3.175 mm (1/8 inch) or greater when fully hydrated; the fluid containing sleeve comprises an extruded polyurethane tube; the fluid containing sleeve comprises D6/40 polyurethane; the fluid containing sleeve comprises a hydrophilic polymer and the hydrophilic polymer comprises at least one of: polyethylene oxide; poly vinyl alcohol; carboxy methyl cellulose; hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate; acrylic polymers; and collagen; the fluid containing sleeve is structured and arranged to swell when exposed to a fluid; the fluid containing sleeve is structured and arranged to swell when exposed to water; the fluid containing sleeve is structured and arranged to absorb about 90% of its weight in fluid; the fluid containing member is structured and arranged to absorb about 90% of its weight in water; and the fluid containing member comprises a hydrated polyurethane tube.

    [0043] Non-limiting examples of the disclosure also provide for a catheter assembly comprising a catheter having a funnel, a tubular portion and at least one drainage opening and a fluid containing sleeve structured and arranged to swell when exposed to a fluid. The fluid containing sleeve is arranged on the tubular portion and maintaining a coating of the tubular portion in a hydrated state. A container contains therein the catheter and the fluid containing sleeve. Substantially or nearly all fluid contained in the container is disposed in the fluid containing sleeve.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0044] In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a catheter assembly as defined in claim 1. In addition, further advantageous embodiments follow from the dependent claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS



    [0045] 

    FIG. 1 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with the prior art.

    FIG. 2 shows the catheter assembly of FIG. 1 being opened for use by separating two portions which form the package.

    FIG. 3 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with one non-limiting embodiment of the invention.

    FIG. 4 shows a side cross-sectional view of the catheter and hydrating sleeve used in the assembly package of FIG. 3.

    FIG. 5 shows a side cross-sectional view of the hydrating sleeve used in the assembly package of FIG. 3.

    FIG. 6 shows an enlarged end view of the hydrating sleeve shown in FIG. 5.

    FIG. 7 shows a side cross-sectional view of the catheter used in the assembly package of FIG. 3.

    FIG. 8 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.

    FIG. 9 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with still another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.

    FIG. 10 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with still another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.

    FIG. 11 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with still another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.

    FIG. 12 shows a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with still another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.

    FIGS. 13 and 14 show a pre-wetted catheter assembly package in accordance with still another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS



    [0046] The following description should be read with reference to the drawings, in which like elements in different drawings are identically numbered. The drawings, which are not necessarily to scale, depict selected embodiments and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. The detailed description illustrates by way of example, not by way of limitation, the principles of the invention. This description will enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and describes several embodiments, adaptations, variations, alternatives and uses of the invention, including what is presently believed to be the best mode of carrying out the invention.

    [0047] References to "embodiments" throughout the description which are not under the scope of the appended claims represent possible examples and are therefore not part of the present invention unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

    [0048] The invention is defined by the appended claims.

    [0049] As used herein, the reference terms "proximal" and "distal" (proximal being closer than distal) refer to proximity with respect to a health care professional catheterizing a patient. For example, the region or section of the catheter apparatus that is closest to the health care professional during catheterization is referred to herein as "proximal," while a region or section of the catheter apparatus closest to the patient's bladder is referred to as "distal." In the case of a self-catheterizing patient, proximal refers to a point external to the patient's body, and distal refers to a point within the patient's body (i.e., the bladder).

    [0050] The catheter assemblies as described herein are discussed in the context of a urinary catheter for insertion into a bladder for drainage of urine therefrom. The instant catheter assemblies, however, may also be used for other applications not specifically mentioned herein. As such, the instant invention is not limited to urinary catheter applications.

    [0051] FIGS. 3-7 show a non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter assembly package of the present invention. FIG. 3 shows the catheter assembly package in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration whereas FIG. 7 shows the catheter in a ready to use configuration.

    [0052] The assembly package 10 shown in FIG. 3 includes a catheter 11 arranged within a container 12 which can be in the form of a package such as the type shown in FIG. 2. The catheter assembly 11 includes a catheter having an insertable elongate tube portion 14, one or more drainage eyelets 15, a funnel 17, a proximal end 18, and a distal end 19. A fluid containing sleeve 20 is arranged in the package 12 and is positioned over a substantial portion of the tube 14. The sleeve 20 contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 12 and is in direct contact with a coating of the tube 14. The funnel 17 remains in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space 13 of the package 12. Thus, only the portion of the catheter in contact with the sleeve 20, i.e., the tube 14, is wetted or maintained in a pre-wetted state. In embodiments, the sleeve 20 is non-removably connected to the package 12 so that when the user tears or splits open the end of the package 12 defining space 13, the user can grip the funnel 17 and slide the catheter out of the package 12 and sleeve 20 (which remains in the package 12). Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 14 is disposed in the sleeve 20, removing the catheter will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package 12 when opened. Furthermore, if the sleeve 20 remains in the package 12, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is removed from the package 12, it can be inserted into the user's body while the user grips the funnel 17. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 14 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0053] According to another embodiment, the distal end 19 is urged through distal end of the container 12 and is installed into the urethra. The proximal end of the container 12 may be opened before or after urethra insertion. This method minimizes exposure of the tube 14 to a non-sterile environment and thus minimizes risk of infection.

    [0054] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 3, in embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 20 shown in FIG. 5 so as to form the sub-assembly shown in FIG. 4. However, prior to insertion into the sleeve 20, the sleeve 20 can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 20 is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 20 to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (see FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 20 retains the fluid between an inside diameter 20b and an outside diameter 20a. Once the sleeve 20 is slid onto the catheter as shown in FIG. 4, it can maintain the coating of the tube 14 is a hydrated state. The sub-assembly shown in FIG. 4 can then be slid into the package 12. Furthermore, since the package 12 is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 20 cannot escape the package 12 or be contaminated with substances outside the package 12. In embodiments, the inside diameter 20b is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 14 when contacting the tube 14. However, unlike the coating of the tube 14, the package 12 does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter 20a is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the package 12 when contacting the same.

    [0055] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 3, in other embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 20 shown in FIG. 5 after the sleeve 20 is already installed in the package 12. However, prior to insertion into the package 12, the sleeve 20 can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 20 is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 20 to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (see FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 20 retains the fluid between an inside diameter 20b and an outside diameter 20a. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 20 disposed in the package 12, it can maintain the coating of the tube 14 is a hydrated state.

    [0056] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 3, in still other embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 20 shown in FIG. 5 after the sleeve 20 is already installed in the package 12. After insertion into the package 12, the sleeve 20 and package 12 can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 20 is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand (even while the package 12 cannot absorb fluid), this causes the sleeve 20 to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (see FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 20 retains the fluid between an inside diameter 20b and an outside diameter 20a. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 20 disposed in the package 12, it can maintain the coating of the tube 14 is a hydrated state.

    [0057] The elongate member 14 can have any size and shape typically utilized in conventional catheters such as generally cylindrical and defines an interior lumen or space which allows fluid to pass and/or drain through. The proximal end 18 includes a funnel which can be of any type that is typically utilized in catheters. The funnel can be connected to any type fluid collection system or bag that is typically utilized in catheters. By way of non-limiting example, the funnel can be a rubber or plastic drainage funnel disposed and adhered to the proximal end of the member 14. A disposable bag (not shown) may be disposed on and/or coupled to the drainage funnel to collect the patient's urine. The distal end 19 of member 14 also includes a tip. The tip is arranged on a forward most portion of the distal end and defines the insertion end of the catheter. The elongate member 14 also preferably contains a biocompatible, hydrophillic, antimicrobrial and/or lubricious coating on its outer surface which is hydrated by the sleeve 20. The coating may also have antimicrobial properties or contain an antimicrobial agent.

    [0058] FIG. 8 shows another non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter of the present invention. In FIG. 8, the catheter assembly package is in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration.

    [0059] The assembly package 110 shown in FIG. 8 includes a catheter 111 arranged within a container 112 which can be in the form of a package such as the type shown in FIG. 2 and having package sheets 112a and 112b. The catheter assembly 111 includes a catheter having an insertable elongate tube portion 114, one or more drainage eyelets 115, a funnel 117 arranged on a proximal end, and a distal end. A fluid containing sleeve 120 is arranged in the package 112 and is positioned over a substantial portion of the tube 114. The sleeve 120 utilizes a gripping portion 121 which allows the user to remove the sleeve 120 from the catheter. As with the previous embodiment, the sleeve 120 contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 112 and is in direct contact with a coating of the tube 114. The funnel 117 and gripping portion 121 remain in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space 113 of the package 112. Thus, only the portion of the catheter in contact with the sleeve 120, i.e., the tube 114, is wetted or maintained in a pre-wetted state. In embodiments, the sleeve 120 is removable from the package 112 with the catheter as assembly 111 when the user tears or splits open the end of the package 112. Once removed from the package 112, the user can grip the funnel 117 with one hand and the gripping portion 121 with the other hand, and then slide the catheter out of the sleeve 120 and/or slide the sleeve 120 off of the catheter. Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 114 is disposed in the sleeve 120, removing the catheter assembly 111 from the package 112 will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package 112 when opened. Furthermore, if the sleeve 120 is gripped by the end 121 and placed back into the package 112, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is removed from the package 112, it can be inserted into the user's body while the user grips the funnel 117. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 114 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0060] According to another embodiment, the tip of the tube 114 can be advanced through the closed end of the member 121 during insertion into the urethra. One way to provide such an arrangement is to form or provide the member 121 with a scored or weakened area, e.g., a circumferential scored area, which can break or separate when the tip of the tube 114 is forced against the member 121.

    [0061] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 8, in embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 120 shown in FIG. 8 . However, prior to insertion into the sleeve 120, the sleeve 120 can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 120 is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 120 to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (similar to that shown in FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 120 retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. Once the sleeve 120 is slid onto the catheter as shown in FIG. 8, it can maintain the coating of the tube 114 is a hydrated state. This sub-assembly 111 can then be slid into the package 112. Furthermore, since the package 112 is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 120 cannot escape the package 112 or be contaminated with substances outside the package 112. In embodiments, the inside diameter of the sleeve 120 is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 114 when contacting the tube 114 However, unlike the coating of the tube 114, the package 112 does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the package 112 when contacting the same.

    [0062] FIG. 9 shows another non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter of the present invention. In FIG. 9, the catheter assembly package is in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration.

    [0063] The assembly package 210 shown in FIG. 9 includes a catheter arranged within a first compartment 213a of a container 212 which can be in the form of a package such as the type shown in FIG. 2. A fluid containing sleeve 220 is arranged within a second compartment 213b of the container 212. The catheter has an insertable elongate tube portion 214, one or more drainage eyelets, a funnel 217 arranged on a proximal end, and a distal end. The fluid containing sleeve 220 is sized to be positioned over a substantial portion of the tube 214. When the user desires to use the catheter, the user removes sealing covers 222 and 223, then removes the catheter from the compartment 213a. The user then inserts the catheter into the compartment 213b making sure to insert the tube 214 into the lumen of the sleeve 220. After fully inserting the tube 214 into the sleeve 220 and waiting for a short predetermined time period, i.e., a few seconds to a few minutes (a time period sufficient to allow the coating of the tube 214 to become sufficiently hydrated and/or pre-wetted), the use can remove the catheter from the compartment 213b (while the sleeve 220 remains in the compartment 213b or on the catheter) and then insert the same into the user's body. As with the previous embodiment, the sleeve 220 contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 212 and can be placed in direct contact with a coating of the tube 214. The funnel 217 remains in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space 213a of the package 212. Thus, only the portion of the catheter in contact with the sleeve 220, i.e., the tube 214, is wetted or maintained in a pre-wetted state. In embodiments, the sleeve 220 is not removable from the package 212 with the catheter. Once removed from the package 212, the user can grip the funnel 217 with one hand and the package 212 with the other hand, and then slide the catheter out of the compartment 213a and then into the sleeve 220. Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 214 is disposed in the sleeve 220, removing the catheter assembly from the package 212 will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package 212 when opened. Furthermore, if the sleeve 220 is gripped from outside the package 212 and is retained in the compartment 213b, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is removed from the package 212 and properly hydrated , it can be inserted into the user's body while the user grips the funnel 217. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 214 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0064] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 9, in embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into compartment 213a shown in FIG. 9 and then the cap 222 can be installed. A sleeve 220 of the type shown in FIG. 5 can be inserted into compartment 213b shown in FIG. 9 and then the cap 223 can be installed. However, prior to insertion into the sleeve 220, the sleeve 220 can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 220 is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 220 to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (similar to that shown in FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 220 retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 220, it can hydrate the coating of the tube 214. Furthermore, since the package 212 is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 220 cannot escape the package 212 or be contaminated with substances outside the package 212. In embodiments, the inside diameter of the sleeve 220 is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 214 when contacting the tube 214. However, unlike the coating of the tube 214, the package 212 does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the package 212 when contacting the same.

    [0065] In embodiments, the caps 222 and 223 are optional. In embodiments, these can be formed by sealing the ends of the package (after inserting the catheter members into the package). These ends can then be torn or peeled open. Such an alternative configuration to the caps 222 and 223 would likely be cheaper to manufacture.

    [0066] FIG. 10 shows another non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter assembly package of the present invention. In FIG. 10, the catheter assembly package is in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration.

    [0067] The assembly package 310 shown in FIG. 10 includes a catheter arranged within a container which is in the form of an outer sleeve 320B and end cap 321. The catheter assembly includes a catheter having an insertable elongate tube portion 314, one or more drainage eyelets 315, a funnel 317, a proximal end 318, and a distal end 319. A fluid containing sleeve 320A is arranged in the package sleeve 320B and is positioned over a substantial portion of the tube 314. The sleeve 320A contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 320B and is in direct contact with a coating of the tube 314. The funnel 317 remains in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space of the package 320B. Thus, only the portion of the catheter in contact with the sleeve 320A, i.e., the tube 314, is wetted or maintained in a pre-wetted state. In embodiments, the sleeve 320A is non-removably connected to the outer sleeve 320B. In embodiments, the user can remove the member 321 and, while gripping the funnel 317 or the sleeve 320, can advance the distal end 319 into the urethra or urethral meatus. Alternatively, the user can slide off the sleeve 320A when the user grips the funnel 317 and slides the catheter out of the package 320B (the sleeve 320A remains in the package 320B). Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 314 is disposed in the sleeve 320A, removing the catheter will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package 320B when opened. Furthermore, as the sleeve 320A remains in the package 320B, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is removed from the package 320B, it can be inserted into the user's body while the user grips the funnel 317. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 314 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0068] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 10, in embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 320A shown in FIG. 5 which is arranged within an outer sleeve 320B. However, prior to insertion into the sleeve 320A, the sleeve 320A can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 320A is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 320A to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (see FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 320A retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 320A, it can maintain the coating of the tube 314 is a hydrated state. This sub-assembly can then be slid into the sleeve package 320B. Furthermore, since the sleeve package 320B is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 320A cannot escape the package 320B or be contaminated with substances outside the package. In embodiments, the inside diameter of the sleeve 320A is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 314 when contacting the tube 314 However, unlike the coating of the tube 314, the package 320B does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter of sleeve 320A is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the package 320B when contacting the same. Although not shown, a removable cap be arranged on the distal end of the sleeve 320B in order to prevent contact with the funnel 317 and to seal off the distal end of the sleeve package 320B.

    [0069] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 10, in other embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 10 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 320A shown in FIG. 10 after the sleeve 320A is already installed in the sleeve package 320B. However, prior to insertion into the package 320B, the sleeve 320A can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 320A is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 320A to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (see FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 320A retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 320A disposed in the package 320B, it can maintain the coating of the tube 314 is a hydrated state.

    [0070] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 10, in still other embodiments, a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into a fluid containing sleeve 320A shown in FIG. 5 after the sleeve 320A is already installed in the package 320B. After insertion into the package 320B, the sleeve 320A and package 320B can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 320A is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand (even while the package 320B cannot absorb fluid), this causes the sleeve 320A to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (see FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 320A retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 320A disposed in the package 320B, it can maintain the coating of the tube 314 is a hydrated state. Furthermore, by allowing the sleeve 320A to expand while arranged in the sleeve package 320B, the sleeve 320A can form a frictional engagement with the sleeve 320B and thereby prevent its removal when the catheter is slid out of the sleeve 320A.

    [0071] FIG. 11 shows another non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter assembly package of the present invention. In FIG. 11, the catheter assembly package is in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration.

    [0072] The assembly package 410 shown in FIG. 11 includes a catheter arranged within a container which has the form of an outer sleeve 412 and end cap (the distal portion of sleeve 412 to the left of the dashed-line). The catheter assembly includes a catheter having an insertable elongate tube portion 414, one or more drainage eyelets 415, a funnel 417, a proximal end, and a distal end 419. A fluid containing sleeve container 420 is arranged in the package sleeve 412 and is positioned over a short portion of the tube 414. The sleeve container 420 includes an outer container 420B, a fluid containing sleeve 420A arranged in the container 420B, and end seals 420a and 420b. The fluid containing sleeve 420A contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 420 and is in direct contact with a portion of the coating of the tube 414. The funnel 417 and a distal portion of the tube 414 remains in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space of the package 412. Thus, only the portion of the catheter in contact with the sleeve 420A, i.e., a portion of the tube 414, is wetted or maintained in a pre-wetted state. In embodiments, the sleeve 420A is removable from the package 412. In this way, the user can remove the catheter and sleeve 420 from the package 412 when the user grips the funnel 417 and slides the catheter out of the package 412. Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 414 is disposed in the sleeve 420A, removing the catheter and container 420 will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package 412 when opened. Furthermore, as the sleeve 420A remains in the container 420, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is removed from the package 412 with container 420, the user can move or slide the container 420 back and forth over the tube 414 in order to sufficiently hydrate the coating of the tube 414. Once the coating is sufficiently hydrated, the user can remove the container 420 by sliding it completely off of the distal end 419 and place it back into the package 412. The user can then grip the funnel 417 and insert the catheter into the user's body or, in embodiments, grip the sleeve 410 and advance the catheter 414 through the sleeve 410 and into the urethra. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 414 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0073] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 11, in embodiments, a fluid containing sleeve 420A is hydrated and arranged in a container 420B so as to form container 420. In this swollen state, the sleeve 420A retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. The container 420 can then be slid onto a catheter. This sub-assembly is the placed into a container package 412. Furthermore, since the container 420B is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 420A cannot escape the container 420 or be contaminated with substances outside the package. In embodiments, the inside diameter of the sleeve 420A is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 414 when contacting the tube 414 However, unlike the coating of the tube 414, the container body 420B does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter of sleeve 420A is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the container body 420B when contacting the same.

    [0074] FIG. 12 shows another non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter assembly package of the present invention. In FIG. 12, the catheter assembly package is in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration.

    [0075] The assembly package 510 shown in FIG. 12 includes a catheter arranged within a container which has the form of an outer sleeve 512a and end cap 512b. The catheter assembly includes a catheter having an insertable elongate tube portion 514, one or more drainage eyelets, a funnel, a proximal end, and a distal end. A fluid containing sleeve container 520 is arranged in the package sleeve 512a and is positioned over a short portion of the tube 514. The sleeve container 520 includes an outer container 520B, a fluid containing sleeve 520A arranged in the container 520B, and end seals. The fluid containing sleeve 520A contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 520 and is in direct contact with a portion of the coating of the tube 514. The funnel and a distal portion of the tube 514 remains in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space of the package 512a/512b. Thus, only the portion of the catheter in contact with the sleeve 520A, i.e., a portion of the tube 514, is wetted or maintained in a pre-wetted state. In embodiments, the sleeve 520 is non-removably coupled to the package 512a. In this way, the user can remove the catheter from the package and sleeve container 520 when the user grips the funnel and slides the catheter out of the package. Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 514 is disposed in the sleeve 520A, removing the catheter will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package when opened, i.e., by removing the cap 512b. Furthermore, as the sleeve 520A remains in the container 520, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is removed from the package with container 520, the user can move or slide the catheter back and forth and within the container 520 in order to sufficiently hydrate the coating of the tube 514. Once the coating is sufficiently hydrated, the user can remove the catheter by sliding it completely out of the container 520. The user can then grip the funnel 517 and insert the catheter into the user's body. Alternatively, the user can leave the container 520 on while the catheter is advanced into the urethra. In embodiments, the user can grip the sleeve 512a and advance the catheter through the sleeve 512a and into the urethra. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 514 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0076] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 12, in embodiments, a fluid containing sleeve 520A is hydrated and arranged in a container body 520B so as to form container 520. In this swollen state, the sleeve 520A retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. The container 520 can then be friction fit into the package sleeve 512a. The catheter is then slid into the container package 512a by first inserting the distal end of the tube 514 into the container 520. Furthermore, since the container 520B is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 520A cannot escape the container 520 or be contaminated with substances outside the package. In embodiments, the inside diameter of the sleeve 520A is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 514 when contacting the tube 514 However, unlike the coating of the tube 514, the container body 520B does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter of sleeve 520A is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the container body 520B when contacting the same.

    [0077] FIGS. 13 and 14 show another non-limiting embodiment of a pre-wetted urinary catheter of the present invention. FIG. 13 shows the catheter assembly package in a storage position and/or prior to use configuration. FIG. 14 shows the catheter assembly package in a position just prior to use.

    [0078] The assembly package 610 shown in FIG. 13 includes a catheter arranged within a first compartment 613a of a flexible container 612 which can be in the form of a package such as the type shown in FIG. 2. A fluid containing sleeve 620 is arranged within a second compartment 613b of the container 612. The catheter has an insertable elongate tube portion 614, one or more drainage eyelets, a funnel 617 arranged on a proximal end, and a distal end. The fluid containing sleeve 620 is sized to be positioned over a substantial portion of the tube 614. When the user desires to use the catheter, the user manipulates the package 610 so that the catheter can be inserted into the sleeve 620 (see FIG. 14). Then, he can remove sealing cover 621 and remove the catheter from the compartment 613a. However, before the catheter is removed from the package 612, the tube 614 must be fully inserted into the sleeve 620 for a short predetermined time period (and retained in the configuration shown in FIG. 14), i.e., a few seconds to a few minutes (a time period sufficient to allow the coating of the tube 614 to become sufficiently hydrated and/or pre-wetted). As with the previous embodiment, the sleeve 620 contains all or nearly all of the fluid that is arranged in the container 612 and can be placed in direct contact with a coating of the tube 614. The funnel 617 and tube 614 remains in a dry state in a non-fluid containing space 613a of the package 612. Thus, catheter is not maintained in a pre-wetted state until it assumes the position shown in FIG. 14. In embodiments, the sleeve 620 is not removable from the package 612 with the catheter. Once removed from the package 612, the user can grip the funnel 617 with one hand and the package 612 with the other hand, and then slide the catheter out of the compartment 613a. Since all or nearly all of the fluid which hydrates the coating of the tube 614 is disposed in the sleeve 620, removing the catheter assembly from the package 612 will not cause any fluid to spill out of the package 612 when opened. Furthermore, if the sleeve 620 is gripped from outside the package 612 and is retained in the compartment 613b, the user need not come into contact with the fluid. Once the catheter is properly hydrated while
    in the package 612, it can be removed therefrom and inserted into the user's body while the user grips the funnel 617, and, optionally the sleeve or package. As is the case with conventional catheters, the coating of the tube 614 is, in embodiments, a lubricious coating to facilitate insertion of the catheter into the user's body.

    [0079] In order to form the assembly package of FIG. 13, in embodiments, a sleeve 620 of the type shown in FIG. 5 can be inserted into compartment 613b shown in FIG. 13, then a catheter of the type shown in FIG. 7 can be inserted into compartment 613a shown in FIG. 13 and then the cap 621 can be installed. However, prior to insertion into the package 612, the sleeve 620 can be exposed to or immersed in a fluid such as water. Since the sleeve 620 is made of a material that can absorb fluid and expand, this causes the sleeve 620 to swell until it reaches a wall thickness T (similar to that shown in FIG. 6). In this swollen state, the sleeve 620 retains the fluid between an inside diameter and an outside diameter. Once the catheter is slid into the sleeve 620 (as shown in FIG. 14), it can hydrate the coating of the tube 614. Furthermore, since the package 612 is fluid impermeable, it ensures that the fluid in the sleeve 620 cannot escape the package 612 or be contaminated with substances outside the package 612. In embodiments, the inside diameter of the sleeve 620 is fluid permeable and wets and hydrates the coating of the tube 614 when contacting the tube 614. However, unlike the coating of the tube 614, the package 612 does not absorb the fluid. The outside diameter is made fluid impermeable so as not to wet the package 612 when contacting the same.

    [0080] In each of the herein disclosed embodiments, the fluid containing member or sleeve may, in embodiments, be a hydrogel sleeve. In embodiments, the fluid containing member may also have at least one of the following: a wall thickness T that is 1.5875 mm (1/16 inch) or greater, e.g., 3.175 mm (1/8 inch), (in a fully hydrated condition); may be generally cylindrical; may also be structured and arranged to maintain a coating of the elongate member in a hydrated condition; may be a tube having an inside diameter sized to receive therein the elongate member; may comprise an extruded polyurethane tube; may comprise D6/40 polyurethane; may comprise a hydrophilic polymer; may comprise at least one of: polyethylene oxide; poly vinyl alcohol; carboxy methyl cellulose; hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate; acrylic polymers; and collagen; may be structured and arranged to swell when exposed to a fluid; may be structured and arranged to swell when exposed to water; may be structured and arranged to absorb about 90% of its weight in fluid; may be structured and arranged to absorb about 90% of its weight in water; and may comprise a hydrated polyurethane tube.

    [0081] The fluid containing member comprises a material which swells when exposed to a fluid and which absorbs and retains fluid in a wall between an inner diameter and an outer diameter.

    [0082] The catheter insertion tube member and hydrating sleeve may have a round cross-sectional shape, an oval cross-sectional shape, or any other cross-sectional shape that may facilitate insertion into the body of a user/patient, and, in particular, into the bladder of the user/patient through the urethra. The catheter insertion member in accordance with various embodiments) can preferably contain a biocompatible hydrophilic lubricious and/or antimicrobial coating on at least an outer surface thereof. The coating may also have antimicrobial properties and/or contain antimicrobial agents. Suitable non-limiting examples of such lubricious and antimicrobial coatings are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 4,585,666; 5,558,900; 5,077,352; 5,179,174; 6,329,488 (suitable for, e.g., polysiloxane substrates); 6,716,895; 6,949,598; and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2004/0116551, and, WO 2007/050685.

    [0083] The antimicrobial agent used on the catheter may be one listed in an over the counter (OTC) monograph. Biocompatible coatings conform with the following tests: mucosal irritation, sensitization, cytotoxicity, acute systemic toxicity, and implantation. ("Tripartite Biocompatibility Guidance for Medical Devices," DSMA (April 24, 1987) (Updated May 21, 1996)). The purpose of the wetting fluid is to maintain hydration of the lubricious coating such that upon insertion of the conduit into a user, at least an outer portion thereof is extremely slippery, facilitating insertion.

    [0084] The catheter insertion member may preferably be constructed from a suitable polymeric material, such as such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), silicone, latex or synthetic rubber. The components of the catheter disclosed herein can also be made from various well-known materials. For example, the portions of the assembly other than the catheter insertion member can be made of polyvinyl propylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene and other types of suitable polymeric materials. The components can be molded or extruded according to well-known manufacturing techniques.

    [0085] Materials commonly used to make the catheter insertion member include, but are not limited to natural rubber latexes (available, for example, from Guthrie, Inc., Tucson, Ariz.; Firestone, Inc., Akron, Ohio; and Centrotrade USA, Virginia Beach, Va.), silicones (available, for example, from GE Silicones, Waterford, N.Y., Wacker Silicones, Adrian, Mich.; and Dow Coming, Inc., Midland, Mich.), polyvinyl chlorides (available, for example, from Kaneka Corp., Inc., New York, N.Y.), polyurethanes (available, for example, from Bayer, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Rohm & Haas Company, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Ortec, Inc., Greenville, S.C.), plastisols (available, for example, from G S Industries, Bassett, Va.), polyvinyl acetate, (available, for example from Acetex Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia) polyacrylates (available, for example, from Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia, Pa) and methacrylate copolymers (available, for example, from Heveatex, Inc., Fall River, Mass.). Synthetic and natural rubber latexes, polyurethanes, and silicones are preferred materials. Any combination of the foregoing materials may also be used in making catheters such as are used to produce latex Foley catheters.

    [0086] The urinary catheter, and in particular, the insertion member thereof, of the present invention can be manufactured by a variety of well-known methods. The tubing can be extruded and the funnel injection molded and then attached to the desired length of tubing. The tip of the tube can then be closed and rounded by thermoforming (for example, for PVC tubes) or molded (for example, for silicone tubes). Eye holes can then be punched or otherwise formed near the tip of the distal end of the tube to provide an outlet for urine drainage thru the tube when it is inserted into a bladder. Alternatively, the entire catheter can be fabricated by dip molding. In this procedure, an elongated rod or "form" is dipped into a liquid coating material such as synthetic or natural rubber latex, for example, to form a layer of material on the form. The deposition of material can be increased by first dipping the form into a coagulant solution to coat the form with a film of chemical that causes the latex to coagulate onto the form. Calcium nitrate is commonly used as the coagulant, and other additives may be used to enhance the removal of the tube from the form once the catheter is formed and dried. The form has the shape and dimensions of the lumen of the catheter. The catheter may be formed from a single dip coating of the form or by multiple coating layers. When a suitable material thickness is achieved on a form, the forms are dried to produce the catheter. If multiple coatings are used to form the catheter, each coating may be dried before the next is applied. Once dried, the catheter may be stripped from the form. The catheters may then be washed and dried, and eyelets may then be formed thereon. Further manufacturing steps may be found in U.S. 2004/0133156.

    [0087] The catheter insertion member may preferably be in the range of about 8 cm to about 18 cm, and, it may have an elliptical cross-sectional shape similar to the shape of the male urethra. Different lengths, sizes (e.g., diameter, width, etc.), and configurations are possible for the catheter, depending on the user's anatomy. For female users, the insertable length may range from 40 to 100 mm, for example 50 to 80 mm, such as 55 to 75 mm. For male users, the insertable length can range from 170 to 260 mm, such as 190 to 240 mm, for example 230 mm. The tip design can vary according to the needs of a user, for example, the catheters disclosed herein can be provided with a coude tip. The catheter may have a round or substantially round cross-sectional shape, an oval cross-sectional shape, or any other cross-sectional shape that may facilitate insertion into the body of a user/patient, and in particular, into the bladder of the user/patient through the urethra. According to various embodiments, the shape of the catheter can also be variable along its length.

    [0088] This invention has been described and specific embodiments of the invention have been portrayed. While the invention has been described in terms of particular variations and illustrative figures, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the variations of figures described. Therefore, to the extent there are variations of the invention, which are within the scope of the claims, it is the intent that this patent will cover those variations as well.

    [0089] The invention is defined by the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A catheter assembly (10) comprising:

    an elongate member (14) having a proximal end and a distal end;

    the distal end having at least one drainage opening (15);

    a fluid containing member (20); and

    a container (12) containing the elongate member and the fluid containing member;

    wherein the fluid containing member comprises a material which swells when exposed to a fluid and which absorbs and retains said fluid in a wall between an inner diameter and an outer diameter, and

    wherein the outer diameter of the fluid containing member is fluid impermeable so as not to wet the container when contacting the same, and

    wherein the fluid containing member is non-removably coupled to the container.


     
    2. The catheter assembly of claim 1, wherein the fluid containing member is a hydrogel sleeve.
     
    3. The catheter assembly of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the fluid containing member has a wall thickness that is 3.175 mm (1/8 inch) or greater when fully hydrated.
     
    4. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the fluid containing member is cylindrical.
     
    5. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the fluid containing member is a tube having an inside diameter sized to receive therein the elongate member.
     
    6. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the fluid containing member comprises at least one of:

    an extruded polyurethane tube;

    a polyether polyurethane-urea;

    a hydrophilic polymer;

    a hydrated polyurethane tube.


     
    7. The catheter assembly of claim 6, wherein the fluid containing member comprises a hydrophilic polymer and the hydrophilic polymer comprises at least one of:

    polyethylene oxide;

    poly vinyl alcohol;

    carboxy methyl cellulose;

    hydroxyl ethyl cellulose;

    hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate;

    acrylic polymers; and

    collagen.


     
    8. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the container is a fluid impermeable package and all fluid contained in the container is disposed in the fluid containing member.
     
    9. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the elongate member comprises one of:

    a hydrateable coating arranged at least on an outer surface of the distal end thereof;

    a lubricious coating arranged at least on an outer surface of the distal end thereof; and

    a hydrophilic biocompatible coating arranged at least on an outer surface of the distal end.


     
    10. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the fluid containing member is the only device containing fluid in the container.
     
    11. The catheter assembly of any of the preceding claims, wherein the container comprises a first compartment containing the elongate member and a second compartment containing the fluid containing member, and wherein the first compartment and the second compartment comprise separate fluid impermeable compartments.
     
    12. The catheter assembly of any of claims 1 to 10 wherein the container comprises an outer member which substantially encloses the elongate member and completely encloses the fluid containing member.
     
    13. The catheter assembly of any of claims 1 to 10 wherein the container comprises an outer tubular member which completely encloses the elongate member and completely encloses the fluid containing member.
     
    14. The catheter assembly of any of claims 1 to 10 wherein the container comprises a single compartment which encloses the elongate member and the fluid containing member while axially separated from each other.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Katheteraufbau (10), umfassend:

    ein längliches Element (14), das ein proximales Ende und ein distales Ende aufweist; wobei das distale Ende mindestens eine Drainageöffnung (15) aufweist;

    ein Fluid enthaltendes Element (20); und

    einen Behälter (12), der das längliche Element und das Fluid enthaltende Element enthält;

    wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element ein Material umfasst, das anschwillt, wenn dieses einem Fluid ausgesetzt ist, und welches das Fluid in einer Wand zwischen einem inneren Durchmesser und einem äußeren Durchmesser absorbiert und

    wobei der äußere Durchmesser des Fluid enthaltenden Elements fluidundurchlässig ist, sodass der Behälter nicht befeuchtet wird, wenn dieser kontaktiert wird, und

    wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element nicht abnehmbar an den Behälter gekoppelt ist.


     
    2. Katheteraufbau nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element ein Hydrogelschlauch ist.
     
    3. Katheteraufbau nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element eine Wanddicke aufweist, die 3,175 mm (1/8 Zoll) oder größer ist, wenn es vollständig hydriert ist.
     
    4. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element zylindrisch ist.
     
    5. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element ein Rohr ist, das einen inneren Durchmesser aufweist, der dimensioniert ist, um das längliche Element darin aufzunehmen.
     
    6. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element mindestens eines der folgenden umfasst:

    ein extrudiertes Polyurethanrohr;

    einen Polyether-Polyurethan-Harnstoff;

    ein hydrophiles Polymer;

    ein hydratisiertes Polyurethanrohr.


     
    7. Katheteraufbau nach Anspruch 6, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element ein hydrophiles Polymer umfasst, und das hydrophile Polymer mindestens eines der folgenden umfasst:

    Polyethylenoxid;

    Polyvinylalkohol;

    Carboxymethylcellulose;

    Hydroxyethylcellulose;

    Hydroxyethylmethacrylat;

    Acrylpolymere; und

    Kollagen.


     
    8. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Behälter ein fluidundurchlässiges Paket ist und das gesamte Fluid, das in dem Behälter enthalten ist, in dem Fluid enthaltenden Element angeordnet ist.
     
    9. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das längliche Element eines der folgenden umfasst:

    eine hydratisierbare Beschichtung, die mindestens an einer äußeren Oberfläche des distalen Endes davon angeordnet ist;

    eine gleitfähige Beschichtung, die mindestens an einer äußeren Oberfläche des distalen Endes davon angeordnet ist; und

    eine hydrophile, biokompatible Beschichtung, die mindestens an einer äußeren Oberfläche des distalen Endes angeordnet ist.


     
    10. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Fluid enthaltende Element die einzige Vorrichtung in dem Behälter ist, die Fluid enthält.
     
    11. Katheteraufbau nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Behälter eine erste Kammer, die das längliche Element beinhaltet, und eine zweite Kammer, die das Fluid enthaltende Element beinhaltet, umfasst, und wobei die erste Kammer und die zweite Kammer separate fluidundurchlässige Kammern umfassen.
     
    12. Katheteraufbau nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10, wobei der Behälter ein äußeres Element umfasst, welches das längliche Element im Wesentlichen umschließt und das Fluid enthaltende Element vollständig umschließt.
     
    13. Katheteraufbau nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10, wobei der Behälter ein äußeres rohrförmiges Element umfasst, welches das längliche Element vollständig umschließt und das Fluid enthaltende Element vollständig umschließt.
     
    14. Katheteraufbau nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 10, wobei der Behälter ein einziges Fach umfasst, welches das längliche Element und das Fluid enthaltende Element umschließt, während diese axial voneinander getrennt sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble de cathéter (10) comprenant :

    un élément allongé (14) présentant une extrémité proximale et une extrémité distale ;

    l'extrémité distale présentant au moins une ouverture de drainage (15) ;

    un élément contenant un fluide (20) ; et

    un récipient (12) contenant l'élément allongé et l'élément contenant un fluide ;

    dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide comprend un matériau qui se dilate lorsqu'il est exposé à un fluide et qui absorbe et retient ledit fluide dans une paroi entre un diamètre intérieur et un diamètre extérieur, et

    dans lequel le diamètre extérieur de l'élément contenant un fluide est imperméable aux fluides de façon à ne pas mouiller le récipient lorsqu'il vient en contact avec celui-ci, et

    dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide est accouplé de manière non amovible au récipient.


     
    2. Ensemble de cathéter selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide est un manchon d'hydrogel.
     
    3. Ensemble de cathéter selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide présente une épaisseur de paroi qui fait 3,175 mm (1/8 de pouce) ou plus lorsqu'il est entièrement hydraté.
     
    4. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide est cylindrique.
     
    5. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide est un tube présentant un diamètre intérieur dimensionné pour y recevoir l'élément allongé.
     
    6. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide comprend au moins l'un parmi :

    un tube de polyuréthane extrudé ;

    un polyéther-polyuréthane-urée ;

    un polymère hydrophile ;

    un tube de polyuréthane hydraté.


     
    7. Ensemble de cathéter selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide comprend un polymère hydrophile et le polymère hydrophile comprend au moins un parmi :

    de l'oxyde polyéthylène ;

    de l'alcool polyvinylique ;

    de la carboxyméthylcellulose ;

    de l'hydroxyléthylcellulose ;

    du méthacrylate d'hydroxyléthyle ;

    des polymères acryliques ; et

    du collagène.


     
    8. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le récipient est un emballage imperméable aux fluides et tout le fluide contenu dans le récipient est disposé dans l'élément contenant un fluide.
     
    9. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément allongé comprend l'un parmi :

    un revêtement susceptible d'être hydraté disposé au moins sur une surface extérieure de son extrémité distale ;

    un revêtement lubrifiant disposé au moins sur une surface extérieure de son extrémité distale ; et

    un revêtement hydrophile biocompatible disposé au moins sur une surface extérieure de l'extrémité distale.


     
    10. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément contenant un fluide est le seul dispositif contenant du fluide dans le récipient.
     
    11. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le récipient comprend un premier compartiment contenant l'élément allongé et un second compartiment contenant l'élément contenant un fluide, et dans lequel le premier compartiment et le second compartiment comprennent des compartiments distincts imperméables aux fluides.
     
    12. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10 dans lequel le récipient comprend un élément extérieur qui enferme sensiblement l'élément allongé et enferme complètement l'élément contenant un fluide.
     
    13. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10 dans lequel le récipient comprend un élément tubulaire extérieur qui enferme complètement l'élément allongé et enferme complètement l'élément contenant un fluide.
     
    14. Ensemble de cathéter selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10 dans lequel le récipient comprend un seul compartiment qui enferme l'élément allongé et l'élément contenant un fluide alors qu'ils sont axialement séparés l'un de l'autre.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description