US 10,888,394 B2
Apparatuses to physically couple transponder to objects, such as surgical objects, and methods of using same
William A. Blair, San Diego, CA (US)
Assigned to COVIDIEN LP, Mansfield, MA (US)
Filed by Covidien LP, Mansfield, MA (US)
Filed on Feb. 19, 2019, as Appl. No. 16/278,976.
Application 16/278,976 is a continuation of application No. 15/053,956, filed on Feb. 25, 2016.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/121,358, filed on Feb. 26, 2015.
Prior Publication US 2019/0223980 A1, Jul. 25, 2019
Int. Cl. A61B 90/98 (2016.01); G06K 7/10 (2006.01)
CPC A61B 90/98 (2016.02) [G06K 7/10128 (2013.01)] 12 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. An apparatus to physically couple one or more transponders to a surgical object used in a surgical environment, the apparatus comprising:
at least one transponder that wirelessly receives and returns signals; and
a housing including:
a body configured to retain the at least one transponder at least partially therein, the body defining a bottom, a first end portion and a second end portion;
a first leg depending from the bottom of the body near the first end portion thereof, the first leg defining a bottom spaced a distance from the bottom of the body; and
a second leg depending from the bottom of the body near the second end portion thereof, the first leg and the second leg being spaced apart from one another, the second leg defining a bottom spaced a distance from the bottom of the body,
wherein the bottom of the first leg and the bottom of the second leg each contact the surgical object to space the bottom of the body of the housing away from the surgical object a distance sufficient to prevent signal loss of the at least one transponder caused by the surgical object,
at least a first clamp including:
a first fastener; and
a first channel member, the first channel member having a first base and a first pair of side portions that extend from the first base and which are opposed to one another across a width of the first channel member to form a first channel therebetween, the width of the first channel sized to receive at least a first portion of the surgical object therein, wherein the first fastener adjustably engages with the first channel member and with the first leg of the housing to clamp the first portion of the surgical object in the first channel of the first channel member,
a second clamp including:
a second fastener; and
a second channel member, the second channel member having a second base and a second pair of side portions that extend from the second base and which are opposed to one another across a width of the second channel member to form a second channel therebetween, the width of the second channel sized to receive at least a second portion of the surgical object therein, wherein the second fastener adjustably engages with the second channel member and the second leg of the housing to clamp the second portion of the surgical object in the second channel of the second channel member,
wherein the first leg of the housing defines:
at least a first cavity that receives at least a portion of the first pair of side portions of the first channel member; and
a first passageway that receives the first fastener and opens at least in part into the first cavity to permit the first fastener to extend at least in part into the first cavity and adjustably engage with the first channel member,
wherein the body of the housing defines a second passageway that receives the at least one transponder,
wherein the second leg of the housing defines:
a second cavity that receives at least a portion of the second pair of side portions of the second channel member; and
a third passageway that receives the second fastener and opens at least in part into the second cavity to permit the second fastener to extend at least in part into the second cavity and adjustably engage with the second channel member,
wherein the first passageway extends in a first direction, the second passageway extends in a second direction, and the third passageway extends in a third direction, the third direction parallel to the first direction, the second direction non-parallel with respect to the first and the third directions, and
wherein the first fastener and the second fastener respectively have an elongated shaft that has a first diameter and a head that has a second diameter that is greater than the first diameter, and the first passageway and the third passageway respectively have an outer portion that has a third diameter that is greater than the second diameter and an inner portion that has a fourth diameter that is greater than the first diameter and less than the second diameter.