Merit Medical Systems has been granted a patent for a vacuum assisted drainage system. The system includes a collapsible reservoir with a compliant walled housing, a vacuum generating member, and a vent valve. The reservoir can be shipped in a collapsed state and is designed to drain fluid from a body cavity using vacuum pressure. GlobalData’s report on Merit Medical Systems gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Merit Medical Systems, Prosthetic cardiac valves was a key innovation area identified from patents. Merit Medical Systems's grant share as of September 2023 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Vacuum assisted drainage system with collapsible reservoir

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Merit Medical Systems Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11766516B2) describes a vacuum assisted drainage system. The system includes a collapsible reservoir with a compliant walled housing, a proximal end cap, and a distal end cap. The end caps have threaded coupling members that occupy a dead space within the reservoir when it is collapsed. A vacuum generating member is also included, which generates a vacuum pressure within the reservoir when it is expanded.

The collapsible reservoir features a vent valve with a flap valve to vent gas or air and a ball valve to prevent fluid from exiting. The compliant walled housing is described as having a concertinaed wall. The proximal coupling member of the proximal end cap has an externally threaded protrusion, while the distal coupling member of the distal end cap has an internally threaded receiver. These coupling members engage when the reservoir is collapsed and disengage when it is expanded.

The vacuum generating member can include a compression spring, either disposed within or external to the reservoir. The compression spring can have a plurality of coils in longitudinal alignment or configured as a cone, with a smaller diameter distal coil that fits within the proximal coil when compressed. Alternatively, the vacuum generating member can be a support rod with coaxially aligned segments that telescope and lock in a telescoped state. Another option is a weight that is removably coupled to the reservoir, along with a stand to suspend the reservoir and limit the volume of fluid drained.

The patent also describes a method of draining fluid from a body cavity using the vacuum assisted drainage system. The method involves connecting a reservoir to a drainage tube, activating the vacuum generating member, and expanding the reservoir by disengaging the internal locking mechanism between the end caps. This can be done by expanding the compression spring, manually displacing the end caps and using a support, or suspending the reservoir and coupling a weight.

Overall, this patent presents a vacuum assisted drainage system with a collapsible reservoir and various configurations for the vacuum generating member. The system and method described aim to efficiently drain fluid from a body cavity.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.