Device with controller and pump modules for providing negative pressure for wound therapy

Abstract

A device for use with a negative pressure bandage for supply negative pressure. The device includes a pump module and a controller module. The pump module contains a power source and a pump. The pump module is removably contained in the controller module. The pump module and controller module can be connected with a connector that provides both a physical and pneumatic connection. The controller module may include one of more visual indicators for allowing the status of the device to be observed at a distance.

Claims

What is claimed is: 1. A device for use with a negative pressure wound therapy bandage, the device comprising: a controller module including: a housing configured to receive a pump module and configured to substantially enclose the pump module; a circuit board having a CPU and support electronics; a check valve; and, a pressure sensor; and the pump module including a pump and a power source, the pump module configured to be placed in the housing recess and to be removably enclosed by the housing, wherein negative pressure from the pump is communicated through at least the check valve to the negative pressure wound therapy bandage. 2. A kit comprising: a device including: a controller module including: a housing configured to receive a pump module and configured to substantially enclose the pump module, a circuit board having a CPU and support electronics, a check valve, and, a pressure sensor; and, the pump module including a pump and a power source, the pump module configured to be placed in the housing and to be removably enclosed by the housing; a negative pressure wound therapy bandage, wherein negative pressure from the pump is communicated through at least the check valve to the negative pressure wound therapy bandage. 3. The device of claim 1 wherein the pump module includes a housing and the pump and power source are contained within the housing of the pump module. 4. The device of claim 3 wherein the housing of the controller module slidably receives the housing of the pump module. 5. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a connector for connecting the controller module to the pump module, wherein the connector provides a physical connection and a pneumatic connection. 6. The device of claim 5 wherein the connector includes a button release. 7. The device of claim 6 wherein the housing of the controller module includes an aperture and the button release is accessible through the aperture. 8. The device of claim 1 wherein the pump creates a negative pressure that is communicated to the controller module and out of the controller module though a port in the housing of the controller module. 9. The device of claim 1 wherein the controller module further includes at least one visual indicator that provides an indication of a status of the device at a distance greater than 5 feet. 10. The device of claim 9 further comprising a case removably receiving the device and having an adjustable strap capable of being mounted on a plurality of different items. 11. The device of claim 1 further comprising at least one spring in the housing of the controller module that provides a force on the pump module away from the controller module. 12. The device of claim 5 further comprising at least one spring in the housing of the controller module wherein when the connector is disengaged the at least one spring provides a force on the pump module to move the mump module away from the controller module. 13. The kit of claim 2 further comprising: a connector for connecting the controller module to the pump module, wherein the connector provides a physical connection and a pneumatic connection. 14. The kit of claim 2 wherein the negative pressure wound therapy bandage collects and stores exudates within the bandage. 15. The kit of claim 2 further comprising tubing to connect the device to the negative pressure wound therapy bandage. 16. The device of claim 1 further comprising tubing to connect the device to the negative pressure wound therapy bandage. 17. The kit of claim 13 wherein the connector includes a button release. 18. The kit of claim 17 wherein the housing of the controller module includes an aperture and the button release is accessible through the aperture.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/489,299 filed on May 24, 2011, the entirety of which is incorporated herein. FIELD OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to a device having a controller module and pump module for providing negative pressure to a wound site. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Negative pressure wound therapy is one method that is used to treat certain wounds or sores on people. In general, a bandage is placed over a wound site, and connected to a pump. The pump provides suction, creating a negative pressure under the bandage at the wound site. Exudates and other materials are removed from the wound site, and the wound healing progresses. Some negative pressure wound therapy systems utilize large pumps because they require a canister, or other structure for storing exudates and other liquids removed from the wound site. Such systems can inhibit or interfere with a patient's movement during treatment and are generally large and cumbersome. Moreover, a patient can feel uncomfortable moving around with such a large pump and/or device being associated with his/her body. On the other hand, there are certain negative pressure wound therapy systems that do not require such canisters as the exudates and other materials are stored within the disposable bandage. One such system/bandage is made available by Kalypto Medical, LLC. of Mendota Heights, Minn. Since the device/system does not require a canister, a handheld pump (or other generally smaller pump) may be used in association with these types of bandages. For example, U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2009/0299306 (assigned to the present applicant and the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference) discloses a small pump that is used in association with such a bandage (that collects and stores liquids/exudates within the bandage). The pump disclosed therein utilities a controller module and a small pump in a pump module. However, while such a device is beneficial and has significant advantages over the prior art systems and devices, it would be beneficial to minimize the components of the pump module, as it is believed that the pump is the structure most likely to fail in the device and require replacing and/or become contaminated requiring disposal of same. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to minimize the time associated with switching out the pump module should a failure occur. Finally, it would also be beneficial to minimize the amount of time needed for a clinician or practitioner to check on the status of the device. The present invention is directed to resolving these and other matters. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In one embodiment of the invention, the invention is directed towards a device for use with a negative pressure wound therapy bandage, the device having a controller module which includes a housing, a circuit board having a CPU and support electronics, a check valve, and, a pressure sensor. The device also includes a pump module including a pump and a power source. The pump module is preferably removably contained in the housing. As used herein, “module” refers to a selection of components contained within, for example, a housing and configured to be connected with one or more other modules to create a fully functioning device. Moreover, as described herein, when the pump module is described as containing the pump (preferably, for example in a second housing), it is meant that the entire pump is contained within the pump module (or housing). This is in contrast to those prior art systems wherein a pump head is separated from the pump driving element, and each are contained within separate modules (or housings). A device according to this and other embodiments of the invention is believed to provide numerous benefits. First, such a device minimizes the amount of materials and components within the pump module. As previously stated, it is believed that the pump is the most likely structure to fail and/or become contaminated. Thus, such a device will allow for a new pump module to be inserted into the device when necessary, without having to dispose of the entire device. Further, the disclosed pump module minimizes the amount of waste, particularly e-waste, by removing most of the electronics and other components from the pump module and disposing them in the controller module which can be reused while the pump module can be disposed. Moreover, such a device provides substantial financial benefits as a company (e.g, a hospital, care center, nursing home, medical supplier, etc.) can maintain a large supply of pump modules compared with a small supply of controller modules. The pump modules can be disposed of easily, while the controller module is reused with a different patient, or for a different negative pressure wound therapy treatment. Thus, each failure and/or contamination of a pump does not require disposal of the entire device, and the loss of the investment associated with same. Furthermore, in devices where the pump is separated into a pump head and pump driving elements, a satisfactory seal is required between the two pieces of the pump. A device such as described herein, does not require this additional type of seal to be formed in the pump each time the modules are connected. This eliminates the chances of this seal failing, becoming comprised, or otherwise requiring a user to confirm that a full seal has been made each time the pump head is replaced. In another embodiment of the invention, the invention is directed to a device for use with a negative pressure wound therapy bandage, the device having a controller module, a pump module, and, a connector for connecting the controller module to the pump module, wherein the connector provides a physical connection and a pneumatic connection. It is preferred that the connector is a push button/quick release connector that is easily accessible in the controller module (i.e., partially exposed). In this embodiment, the controller module and pump module may have the same configurations as discussed above. Alternatively, they may have different configurations. A device according to this and other embodiments of the invention is also believed to provide numerous other benefits. Such a device would minimize the amount of time and effort needed to change out the pump module from the controller module. Rather than taking apart the controller module, or removing screws, one need simply depress the connector (in the case of a push button/quick release type connector) to remove the pump module. The quicker and easier removal of the pump module minimizes the amount of time needed to switch the pump module, and, thus, minimizes the amount of time that changing the module can interfere with the negative pressure wound therapy treatment. In still another embodiment of the invention, the invention is directed to a device for use with a negative pressure wound therapy bandage, the device having a controller module including a housing and a visual indicator and a pump module. The visual indicator provides an indication of a status of the device at a distance greater than 5 feet, preferably 10-15 feet. In this embodiment of the invention, the controller module and the pump module may include the configurations discussed above. Further, this embodiment may also include the connection discussed above. A device according to this and other embodiments of the invention is also believed to provide numerous benefits. Specifically, allowing for the visual indicator to indicate status to a person at least five feet away would save time and energy for an observer, such as a nurse in a nursing home or hospital, where the observer must check multiple devices in multiple rooms. Such a device will allow the observer to simply look in to each patient's room to determine the status of the device therein. Over many rooms with many patients, the time savings can add up to a substantial savings for the observer. Further, while an audible alarm could perform the same task, it is not desired to use such an indicator in an environment where noises can be distracting and interfere with patients and/or other people (for example, where patients are sleeping, have roommates, or where the noise would other wise disrupt and become a distraction). One or more embodiments of the device may be disposed in a carrying case including a strap. The carrying case may be disposable to promote cleanliness. Moreover, the strap will allow the case, and thus the device, to be mounted, for example, on a bed, a wheelchair, or an IV stand. It is contemplated that the strap is adjustable so that the case may also be mounted on a patient's body (for example the belt) to allow the patient freedom to move around, and minimize the visual appearance of the device (which can create uncomfortable feelings for the patient). A further embodiment of the present invention is directed towards a kit containing a device according to the present invention and a negative pressure wound therapy bandage. The kit may also include tubing to connect the device to the bandage. The bandage may, but is not necessarily required to, collect and store exudates within the bandage. It is to be understood that the aspects and objects of the present invention described above may be combinable and that other advantages and aspects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following description of the drawings and detailed description of the invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Understanding that the accompanying drawings depict only typical embodiments, and are, therefore, not to be considered to be limiting of the scope of the present disclosure, the embodiments will be described and explained with specificity and detail in reference to the accompanying drawings as provided below. FIG. 1 is a front schematic view of a device according to one or more embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a back schematic view of a device according to one or more embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 3 is a perspective exploded view of a device according to one or more embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 4 a is a case for use with a device according to the present invention with a strap in a first configuration. FIG. 4 b is a case for use with a device according to the present invention with a strap in a second configuration. FIG. 4 c is a case for use with a device according to the present invention. FIG. 5 is a kit according to the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail one or more embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated. Reference throughout this description to features, advantages, objects or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment. As shown in the attached drawings, the present invention is directed towards a device 10 having a controller module 12 and a pump module 14 . The pump module 14 is preferably removably contained within the controller module 12 and more specifically within a housing 16 of the controller module 12 , and most preferably slidably received in the housing 16 . In certain embodiments of the present invention, the device 10 includes a connector 18 which provides both a physical connection and a pneumatic connection. The physical connection functions to hold the pump module 14 in place. The pneumatic connection functions to allow for the communication of negative pressure from the device 10 to a negative pressure wound therapy bandage 100 . The connector 18 may include an interference fit, a snap fit, a friction fit, and any other connecting mechanism and structure so long as the connector 18 provide the necessary physical and pneumatic connection, while at the same time allowing for a relatively quick disconnection. It is preferred that the connector 18 is partially exposed in the housing 16 so that it may be easily accessible. In a most preferred embodiment, the connector 18 is a quick release connector—wherein the connector 18 includes a button 20 disposed inside of the housing 16 of the controller module 12 that may be only partially exposed through an aperture 22 in the housing 16 of the controller module 12 . The controller module 12 may also include a circuit board 24 with a CPU and other support electronics, a check valve 26 and a pressure sensor 28 —preferably all contained within the housing 16 . The check valve 26 aides in maintaining pressure at the wound site. The pressure sensor 28 determines the negative pressure begin communicated to the wound site. The controller module 12 may also include buttons 30 for allowing interaction and control of the device 10 . For example the device 10 may be provided with three buttons 26 : one for power; one to select and adjust settings; and, one to lock the device 10 . Further, in some embodiments of the present invention, the controller module 12 may also include one or more visual indicators 32 , such as LEDs, through holes LEDs with a lens, other lighted icons/backlit LEDS, or other lights to indicate the status of the device 10 . Preferably the visual indicator(s) 28 provide the status at a distance greater than 5 feet, preferably between 10-15 feet. This would allow the device 10 to provide indications to a clinician or other practitioner, for example, without requiring same to walk up to the device 10 . The indicated status may include “off,” “on,” “pump mode on,” “leak detection,” “low battery detection,” “unknown error detection,” or any other status that may be considered relevant to provide relative to the use of the device 10 in providing negative pressure wound therapy. Finally, the controller module 12 may also preferably contain tubes 34 , pipes and joints 36 for communicating negative pressure from the device 10 to the appropriate structures (check valve 26 , pressure sensor 28 ) of the controller module 12 and ultimately to a negative pressure wound therapy bandage 100 . Turning to the pump module 14 , the pump module 14 may contain the pump 38 and a power source 40 . The pump 38 provides the negative pressure used in the negative pressure wound therapy treatment. It is preferred that the device 10 is portable and does not require power from an outlet, and thus, the power source 40 may be batteries, for example, 3 AA batteries. These structures of the pump module 14 , as well as others, may be contained in a housing 42 of the pump module 14 . The housing 42 is preferably received by the housing 16 of the controller module 12 . Moreover, as mentioned, the pump module 14 /housing 42 may be retained in the housing 16 of the controller module 12 with a connector 18 . One or more springs 44 may be positioned within the controller module 12 to aid in the removal of the pump module 14 . As shown, the springs 44 may be configured such that they provide a force to move the pump module 14 out of the housing 16 of the controller module 12 such that if the connector 18 is disengaged, the pump module 14 is pushed out of the housing 16 of the controller module 12 . Further, both the pump module 14 and the controller module 12 may have complementary configured electrical connectors 46 for transmitting power from the power source 40 to the controller module 12 , as well as to allow for communication between the pump 38 and CPU/electronics 24 in the controller module 12 . For example, a 12 pin PCB connector may be utilized. In this manner, negative pressure is created by the pump 38 and communicated through the connector 18 to the controller module 12 . In the controller module 12 , the negative pressure is communicated through a check valve 26 and a pressure sensor 28 , via the pipes and joints 36 . Finally, the negative pressure is communicated out of the controller module 12 (and device 10 ), for example, through a port 48 , to a negative pressure wound therapy bandage 100 . It is contemplated that the device 10 is placed in case 200 . See, FIGS. 4 a - 4 c . Since the device 10 is intended to be used with multiple patients, albeit at different times, it is preferred that the case 200 be disposed of between patients. The case 200 may include a strap 202 to mount the device 10 . The strap 202 may be adjustable to allow for the case and device to be mounted on a variety of different things, such as a belt, a bed, a wheelchair, an IV pole, etc. For example, during the day, the device 10 can be worn by a patient on a belt. Later in the evening, it can be mounted on a bed. If it is mounted on a bed, it is preferred that the device 10 include the visual indicator(s) 32 so that a practitioner or clinician need only see the device 10 from a distance to know its status. Finally, it is further contemplated that the device 10 is provided in a kit 300 containing a negative pressure wound therapy bandage 100 . Preferably the kit 300 includes tubing 102 to connect the device 10 (preferably through port 48 ) to, for example, a second port 104 on the bandage 100 . While various embodiments of the present invention have been described as used in association with a negative pressure wound therapy bandage that collects and stores exudates within the bandage, it will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that the embodiments of the present invention, if desired, can be used with an external collection device and a bandage that does not collect and store exudates in the bandage by utilizing a collection device (canister, flask, etc.) and additional tubing with connectors. As discussed above, a device according to one or more embodiments of the present invention is believed to provide a number of advantageous and benefits in the field of providing negative pressure wound therapy. It is to be understood that additional embodiments of the present invention described herein may be contemplated by one of ordinary skill in the art and that the scope of the present invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed. While specific embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying claims.

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