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1. WO2020109174 - AN IMPROVED SPEAKING VALVE

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A speaking valve to allow inspiration and controllable expiration through a tracheostoma, wherein, in a first configuration, said speaking valve allows inspiration and expiration through said valve; and in a second configuration said speaking valve resists expiration through said valve; and

wherein in said first configuration, increasing the pressure difference across said valve by increasing the rate of expiration to a predetermined threshold expiration rate causes the valve to transition into a second configuration in which said valve resists expiration through said valve; and

wherein in said second configuration said valve continues to resist expiration through said valve until a predetermined negative pressure difference across said valve causes the valve to transition back into said first configuration.

2. A speaking valve according to Claim 1 wherein in said second configuration, increasing the pressure difference across said valve above a predetermined threshold pressure causes said valve to transition into a third configuration in which said valve permits inspiration and expiration, and in which third configuration changes in expiration rate do not result in a change in valve configuration.

3. A speaking valve according to Claim 2 wherein said speaking valve is configured to allow it to be returned from said third configuration into either of said first or second configurations by manual intervention of a user.

4. A speaking valve according to any preceding claim wherein said predetermined threshold expiration rate is adjustable.

5. A speaking valve according to any preceding claim wherein said predetermined negative pressure is adjustable.

6. A speaking valve according to any preceding claim in which the magnitude of the predetermined negative pressure is less than the magnitude of the pressure drop across the valve at the predetermined threshold expiration rate.

7. A speaking valve according to any preceding claim dependent on Claim 2 wherein said predetermined threshold pressure is adjustable.

8. A speaking valve according to any of Claims 2 to 7 wherein a biasing mechanism is provided that, when the valve is in the said third configuration, maintains the valve in a state that permits inspiration and expiration.

5 9. A valve element suitable for use in a speaking valve according to any preceding claim, said valve element comprising a bistable diaphragm configured such that in one of its two stable configurations said diaphragm interacts with a valve seat to resist flow through said valve element.

w 10. A valve element according to Claim 11 comprising a resiliently deformable diaphragm having a hole therethrough, mountable on a shaft having a diameter greater than the diameter of said hole.

11. A valve element according to Claim 10 further comprising an annular ridge located is adjacent the perimeter of a face of said diaphragm, thereby improving interaction with said valve seat.

12. A valve element according to Claim 11 comprising an annular ridge located adjacent the perimeter of each face of said diaphragm.

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13. A valve element according to Claim 9 wherein said bistable diaphragm comprises a resiliently deformable diaphragm having a central hub and an annular rim wherein said hub and rim are joined by a web having a face that is not perpendicular to the axis of said annular rim.

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14. An airway management device comprising a valve element according to any of Claims 9 to 13.