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1. WO2020112593 - SYRINGE ADAPTER FOR MEDICATION

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

SYRINGE ADAPTER FOR MEDICATION


[0001] The present invention relates to improved apparatus for use with medication, and method(s) of using same, particularly for higher-viscosity medication.

[0002] Medication is needed for various purposes, including illness treatment and illness prevention.

Summary

[0003] The present invention is directed to improved apparatus for use with medication, and method(s) of using same, and is particularly useful for medication having a relatively high viscosity. In one aspect, a syringe adapter for withdrawing fluid medication from a container comprises a sidewall extending between a proximal end and a distal end, the sidewall having an interior surface defining a chamber, the proximal end configured to be connected to a syringe while withdrawing at least a portion of the fluid medication from the container through the chamber and into a barrel of the syringe and the distal end configured for inserting into the container for the withdrawal, wherein an opening at the distal end is relatively large in diameter to facilitate withdrawing fluid medication having a relatively high viscosity and the syringe adapter is configured to be removed from the syringe and replaced with a needle prior to subsequently injecting (for example, Into an animal) the fluid medication (or at least some portion thereof) withdrawn into the barrel. The relatively large opening is directed toward improved syringeabiiity of the fluid medication. The viscosity of the fluid medication is preferably greater than or equal to 50 centipoise units when a temperature of the fluid medication is at least 5 degrees Celsius.

[0004] The syringe is preferably configured as a pistol-grip syringe or a tab-handled syringe, and may therefore provide improved leverage for the subsequent injection in an embodiment, the diameter of the opening at the distal end is

approximately 0 10 inches and the sidewall is approximately 0.05 inches in thickness at the distal end. Optionally, the syringe adapter further comprises a flanged area that extends perpendicularly from the proximal end. Optionally, the syringe adapter may further comprise a radial extension member that extends perpendicularly and radially outward from an exterior surface of the syringe adapter. In an embodiment, an outer shape of the syringe adapter is generally conical in a first portion and generally cylindrical in a second portion. In an embodiment, an inner shape of the syringe adapter, for at least a portion of the proximal end, is generally conical. In an embodiment, the inner shape of the syringe adapter tapers from the proximal end toward the distal end, for at least a portion of the proximal end, at approximately 6 percent. The syringe adapter preferably connects to the syringe using a Luer-type connection, the Luer-fype connection selected from the group comprising a Luer-type lock and a Luer-type slip.

[0005] In another aspect, a method of administering fluid medication (for example, to an animal) comprises: affixing a syringe adapter to a syringe, the syringe adapter comprising a sidewall extending between a proximal end and a distal end, the sidewall having an interior surface defining a chamber, the proximal end configured to be connected to a distal end of the syringe; inserting the distal end of the syringe adapter into a container of fluid medication having a relatively high viscosity;

withdrawing, from the container, at least a portion of the fluid medication through the chamber and into a barrel of the syringe, wherein an opening at the distal end of the syringe adapter is relatively large in diameter to facilitate withdrawing the

relatively-high-viscosity medication; removing the syringe adapter from the syringe subsequent to the withdrawing; affixing a needle to the distal end of the syringe, subsequent to the removing; and injecting (for example, into an animal) the fluid medication (or at least some portion thereof) previously withdrawn into the barrel.

[0008] In yet another aspect, the syringe adapter is configured for receiving a needle at its distal end, such that the needle is affixed to the distal end of the syringe adapter subsequent to withdrawing fluid medication into the barrel of the syringe, and the syringe adapter is configured to remain in place while injecting the fluid medication (or at least some portion thereof) into a recipient with the needle. In this aspect, administering the fluid medication may be repeated (for exampie, for another recipient) by removing the needle, using the in-place syringe adapter for withdrawing more fluid medication (from the same or a different container), re-affixing the needle to the syringe adapter, and then injecting this medication (or some portion thereof). In this aspect, the distal end of the syringe adapter preferably provides for a Luer-type connection with the needle, and the proximal end of the syringe adapter is preferably configured with a Luer-type locking member for connecting to the syringe. The syringe adapter may further comprise an extension member that extends

perpendicularly outward from an exterior surface of the syringe adapter.

[0007] In still another aspect, a method of administering fluid medication comprises: affixing a syringe adapter to a syringe, the syringe adapter comprising a sidewall extending between a proximal end and a distal end and having an interior surface defining a chamber, the proximal end configured to be connected to a distal end of the syringe; inserting the distal end of the syringe adapter into a container of fluid medication having a relatively high viscosity; withdrawing, from the container, at least a portion of the fluid medication through the chamber and into a barrel of the syringe, wherein an opening at the distal end of the syringe adapter is relatively large in diameter to facilitate withdrawing the relatively-hlgh-viscosity medication; affixing a needle to the distal end of the syringe adapter, subsequent to the withdrawing from the container; and injecting, into a recipient with the needle, at least a portion of the fluid medication previously withdrawn into the barrel.

[0008] In a further aspect, a system for administering higher-viscosity fluid medication comprises: a syringe; a syringe adapter comprising a sidewall extending between a proximal end and a distal end, the sidewall having an interior surface defining a chamber, the proximal end configured to be connected to the syringe while withdrawing at least a portion of the fluid medication from a container through the chamber and into a barrel of the syringe and the distal end configured for inserting into the container for the withdrawal, wherein an opening at the distal end is relatively large in diameter to facilitate withdrawing the higher-viscosity fluid medication from the container; and a needle, the needle configured for connecting to the syringe adapter subsequent to use of the syringe adapter for the withdrawing and while the syringe

adapter remains connected to the syringe, the needle further configured for injecting, into a recipient, at least a portion of the fluid medication withdrawn into the barrel.

[0009] In another aspect, the needle is removably affixed to a needle holder that, in turn, is removably affixed to the in-place syringe adapter for the injection. In an embodiment, the needle holder affixes to the syringe adapter using a Luer-type locking connection, and the syringe adapter is configured with a support hub member for removably receiving the needle holder, the support hub member radially surrounding at least a portion of a length of a sidewall of the syringe adapter.

Preferably, the needle remains affixed to the needle holder following an injection, whereby the needle may be removed from the syringe adapter (for example, in preparation for withdrawing additional fluid medication from a container) by removing, as a single unit, the needle holder and the needle affixed thereto.

[0010] In an aspect, a method of administering fluid medication comprises: inserting a distal end of a syringe adapter into a container of fluid medication having a relatively high viscosity, the syringe adapter being affixed to a syringe, the syringe adapter comprising a support hub member radially surrounding at least a portion of a length of a sidewall, the sidewall extending between a proximal end and a distal end and having an interior surface defining a chamber, the proximal end of the sidewall configured to be connected to a distal end of the syringe; withdrawing, from the container, at least a portion of the fluid medication through the chamber and into a barrel of the syringe, wherein an opening at the distal end of the sidewall is relatively large in diameter to facilitate withdrawing the relatively-high-viscosity medication; affixing a proximal end of a needle holder to the distal end of the support hub member, subsequent to the withdrawing from the container, the needle holder adapted for removably affixing a needle to a distal end thereof; and injecting, into a recipient with the needle affixed to the needle holder, at least a portion of the fluid medication previously withdrawn into the barrel.

[0011] Various embodiments of these and other aspects of the present invention may be provided in view of the present disclosure. It should be noted that the foregoing is a summary and thus contains, by necessity, simplifications, generalizations, and omissions of detail; consequently, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other aspects, inventive features, and advantages of the present invention, as defined by the appended claims, will become apparent in the non-limiting detailed description set forth below.

Brief Description of the Several Views of the Drawings

[0012] The present invention will be described with reference to the following drawings, in which like reference numbers denote the same element throughout.

[0013] FIGs. 1 - 3 depict examples of prior art syringes;

[0014] FIG. 4 depicts an example of a prior art needle;

[0015] FIGs. 4A and 4B illustrate bottom views showing how a proximal end of a needle may be configured for securable attachment to a syringe;

[0018] FIGs. 5 - 8 illustrate first and second preferred embodiments of the syringe adapter disclosed herein;

[0017] FIGs. 7 - 8 illustrate alternative embodiments of the syringe adapter disclosed herein;

[0018] FIG. 9 illustrates a still further embodiment of the syringe adapter disclosed herein;

[0019] FIG. 10 illustrates a syringe adapter placed upon a syringe, and FIG. 11 illustrates a needle placed upon a syringe adapter;

[0020] FIGs. 12 and 13 illustrate yet other embodiments of the syringe adapter disclosed herein, and also illustrate placement thereof upon a syringe;

[0021] FIG. 14 illustrates a further embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter, showing an exterior view as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded;

[0022] FIG. 15 illustrates a still further embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter that includes a needle holder to which a needle may be removably affixed, showing exterior views as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded;

[0023] FIGs. 18 and 17 illustrate yet other embodiments of the disclosed syringe adapter that include a needle holder to which a needle may be removably affixed, showing exterior views as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded, where FIG. 17 shows a syringe adapter having a sharp tip and both figures illustrate a needle holder adapted for a locking connection with the needle;

[0024] FIGs 18 and 19 illustrate embodiments of the disclosed syringe adapter that replace a conventional syringe tip, showing exterior views as well as

cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded, and FIGs. 20 - 21 illustrate alternative approaches for a portion of the syringe adapters shown in FIGs. 18 and 19; and

[0025] FIG. 22 presents tables containing measurements from tests conducted to compare use of a sample version of the disclosed syringe adapter to use of conventional needles.

Detailed Description

[0028] As noted earlier, medication is needed for various purposes, including illness treatment and illness prevention. Discussions are presented herein with reference to medication used for animals, primarily in terms of livestock animals; this is by way of illustration and not of limitation, however, and it should be noted that the disclosed syringe adapter may be beneficial with medication used for all types of animal life, including humans.

[0027] Treatment of animals using medication may be desired whether the animal is a family pet, part of a livestock operation, is the subject of research, and so forth. Examples of medicating animals for illness treatment will be obvious, and may span a wide variety of illnesses. One example of medicating an animal for illness prevention is a proactive vaccination; another example is to proactively administer an antibiotic. In a commercial livestock operation, animals may be proactively medicated before they are introduced into another group of livestock, for example to guard against introducing an illness that they may carry or simply to ensure that all animals in the group have received an identical medication regimen. Medication might also be administered in anticipation of, or in response to, a change in weather conditions or a change in geographical location for an animal (such as moving from one climate to another). Hereinafter, animal medications are discussed without differentiation of the purpose for such medication.

[0028] Medication may be found in various forms, including solid and fluid. Solid substances may be ingestibie, for example, while fluids may be injectable or may be administered orally or nasally. Embodiments of the present invention are directed toward improved apparatus for use with medication in fluid form, and the scope of the present invention also includes method(s) for using such apparatus

[0029] Medications provided in fluid form may vary widely in their viscosity, depending upon their chemical formulation. Viscosity is sometimes defined as the resistance of a substance to flow. The viscosity of water is relatively low, for example, while the viscosity of honey is relatively high. The viscosity of some substances can be changed by applying heat; for example, melting butter increases its ability to flow. Some fluid medications may have a viscosity that is relatively low and Is similar to that of wafer, for example, and thus will flow quite easily. Other fluid medications are known that have a viscosity that is markedly different from water.

[0030] Fluid medications intended for use with animals are commonly marketed in multi-dose packaging, such as bottles that hold enough fluid for administering several doses. A bottle of medication might hold 500 milliliters, for example

(equivalently, 500 cubic centimeters), which is roughly equivalent to 16.9 ounces.

The bottle might be made of glass or plastic, and a container having a configuration other than a bottle might be used. Hereinafter, the term“bottle” is used for ease of reference, and by way of illustration and not of limitation, as a container type in which medication may be contained.

[0031] One reason for marketing animal medication in multi-dose bottles is economic. The cost of the medication may be reduced, for example, by selling a larger quantity container and thereby reducing the relative cost of the packaging. Another reason for marketing animal medication in multi-dose bottles is that the dosage of many (if not ail) medications is prescribed with regard to the animal’s body weight. Accordingly, the correct amount of medication to use on a particular animal can be calculated and then withdrawn from the mulfi-dose bottle, after which it may be injected into the animal, and the remaining medication is then available for subsequent use.

A multi-dose bottle of fluid medication is typically marketed with a rubber membrane covering at least a portion of an opening at the top of the bottle.

Conventionally, the fluid medication is withdrawn from such bottle by placing a needle onto the tip of a syringe, inserting a tip of the needle into the rubber membrane, and withdrawing a plunger of the syringe until an appropriate amount of fluid is pulled into the syringe body (referred to herein as the syringe“barrel”); this same needle is then used for injecting the medication from the syringe into the animal. FIG. 1 shows an example of a prior art syringe 100, and illustrates how the hollow barrel 130 of syringe 100 is commonly marked with fill lines 1 10 that are provided for measuring the amount of fluid contained therein. A needle is placed over (or inside) the tip 140, and fluid enters through an opening or eye of the needle and into the syringe barrel 130. The syringe includes a retractable plunger, a terminal end of which is shown at 120. (As will be obvious, as fluid medication is withdrawn from the bottle Into the barrel 130, the plunger 120 movably extends outward from the proximal end of the syringe 100, although this is not illustrated in FIG. 1.) Commonly, a syringe as illustrated in FIG. 1 is constructed of plastic, making it relatively cheap to purchase.

[0033] A tab-shaped member 150 is also provided on syringe 100. When administering the medication from the barrel 130, a person’s index finger is placed on the tab-shaped member 150 at one side of barrel 130 and the person's middle finger is placed on the tab-shaped member 150 at the opposing side of barrel 130, and the person’s thumb is then used to depress the terminal end of plunger 120 into the barrel in order to expel the medication from the barrel.

[0034] As an alternative to the syringe 100 of FIG. 1 , an example of a so-called “pistol-grip” syringe is illustrated in FIG. 2. Fluid medication is drawn into a syringe of this type by pulling plunger 220 outwardly from the barrel 230. A tab-shaped member is not provided on a syringe of this type, as compressing or squeezing the handles 210 serves to expel medication from the barrel of a syringe having a pistol-grip configuration.

[0035] FIG. 3 illustrates yet another prior art syringe 300, and is referred to herein as a“tab-handled” syringe. In this configuration, the syringe has a tabbed member 350 near the proximal end of barrel 330, and includes a handle-style tabbed member 320 affixed to the terminal end of the plunger. The tabbed member 350 is

used in a similar manner to tab-shaped member 150 of FIG. 1 , whereby a person places fingers on the tabbed member 350 on opposing sides of barrel 330; the person then presses down on tabbed member 320 using the person's palm to depress the terminal end of the plunger into the barrel in order to expel the medication from the barrel. As compared to tab-shaped member 150 and plunger end 120 of FIG 1 , the tabbed members 320, 350 of FIG. 3 typically provide improved comfort for the person using the tab-handled syringe.

[0038] The tips 240, 340 may be generally on the order of 3/8 to 7/16 inch in diameter and generally of similar height (and similarly, tip 140), and are generally constructed of metal. An interior area of this tip is intended for securab!y attaching a needle and is generally threaded for at least a portion thereof. A height of this threaded area is generally on the order of 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch. While not illustrated in detail on tips 240, 340 of FIGs. 2 and 3, the syringe tip also typically includes a protrusion (illustrated herein in FIGs. 14 - 17; see reference number 341) that is centered within the exterior wail of the tip and that provides the opening through which a substance enters into the syringe barrel. (Notably, tips 140, 240, 340 are not designed for inserting through the rubber membrane of a medicine bottle.)

[0037] Syringes 200, 300 are often constructed, at least in part, of metal.

Glass or plastic might be used for the syringe barrel A metal commonly used for syringes, by way of example, is stainless steel; another example is aluminum

[0038] FIG. 4 illustrates an example of a prior art needle 400, which may be affixed to the distal end of syringes 100, 200, or 300 Needles are typically sold in standardized sizes, and thus the distal syringe ends 140, 240, 340 typically conform to the standard size of the proximal end of a needle. FIGs. 4A and 4B illustrate bottom views showing examples of how a proximal end of needle 400 may be configured for securab!e attachment to the distal end of a syringe that has an internal threaded portion. In an approach 410 as shown in FIG. 4A, a flanged area 420 extends radially outward from the proximal end of the needle (as is generally illustrated in FIG. 4). Reference number 440 depicts the opening in the tip of the needle, and reference number 430 generally depicts the sidewall of needle 400. In another approach 450 as shown in FIG. 4B, a flanged area 460 extends perpendicularly outward from the

proximal end of the needle, but in this configuration, is fashioned as having side edges that are not generally round. Reference number 480 depicts the opening in the tip of the needle, and reference number 470 generally depicts the sidewall of needle 400. in either case, a flanged area 420, 460 on the proximal end of a needle is designed to securably attach to a corresponding receiving area on the distal end of a syringe. In yet another approach (not illustrated), the securable attachment of a needle to a syringe tip relies on friction instead of an exterior flanged area, whereby the proximal end of needle 400 is placed over an exterior of the distal end (e.g , tip 140 of FIG. 1) of a syringe. These approaches are commonly referred to as a Luer-style lock approach and a Luer-style slip approach, respectively, as is discussed in further detail below. (Note that if flanged area 420 is configured to extend perpendicularly outward as illustrated in FIG. 4A, it is preferably intended for use in a Luer-type slip connection rather than a Luer-type lock connection, due to the so-called“double start” or double helix configuration that is described for the internal threads of a Luer-type lock hub according to international Standard ISO 594-2: 1998(E), which is discussed in further detail below. As an alternative, tabs may be added to the outer edge of flanged area 420, where these tabs are configured for engaging the internal threads of the

Luer-type lock hub.)

[0039] For withdrawing fluid medication from a bottle into the barrel of syringe 100, 200, or 300 using known techniques, the sharp tip at the distal end of the needle 400 is inserted through the rubber membrane of the bottle. For subsequently administering the fluid medication from the barrel of the syringe, the sharp tip of that same needle is inserted into an animal’s body, and the person holds tab-shaped member 150 while simultaneously depressing plunger 120 of syringe 100, squeezes the handies 210 of pistol-grip syringe 200, or holds tabbed member 350 while simultaneously depressing handle-style tabbed member 320 of tab-handled syringe 300.

[0040] This known approach of withdrawing fluid medication from a bottle using a needle and then administering the medication using the same needle works well for fluids having a low viscosity. (Consider, by way of reference, the relative ease of drawing a low-viscosity fluid such as water through the tip / opening of a needle 400 affixed to a syringe.) However, animal medications are marketed that have a relatively high viscosity (that is, they are relatively thick in consistency), and this higher viscosity makes the medications very difficult to withdraw from a bottle using a needle, and also typically more difficult to expel from the syringe. Stated another way, such higher-viscosity medications are not readily“syringeabie”.

[0041] When a medication is not readily syringeabie, it may take a considerable amount of time for the person tasked with withdrawing the medication from the bottle to withdraw even a small amount of medication. When a large amount of such medication must be administered, and/or when the higher-viscosity medication must be administered to multiple animals, the person may experience frustration or even fatigue due to this long withdrawal time. As a result, use of the higher-viscosity medication by animal care-givers may be diminished, which may lead to the medication failing to reach its potential market share. Thinning the medication is undesirable as an answer to improving the syringeability problem, as the effectiveness of the medication could be altered.

[0042] In addition to the above-described issues with withdrawing

higher-viscosity medication into a syringe, the higher viscosity of the medication makes the Injection process more time-consuming and physically more difficult for the person tasked with medicating the animal. In particular, the genera! configuration of a plastic syringe as illustrated in FIG. 1 does not enable a person using the syringe to have sufficient leverage when attempting to inject the medication into an animal. Tab-shaped member 150 is known to collapse or break in some instances, due to the physical force that must be exerted while depressing plunger 120. The plunger shaft is also known to break in some instances, for example due to misalignment as it moves within the barrel or due to age-related brittleness. The needle may also be forced off the syringe when attached thereto by a friction-based Luer-type slip connection, which may in turn lead to leakage and/or waste of the medication through the now-opened end of the syringe. Additionally, the syringe tip of plastic syringes are known to break off while medicating an animal (for example, due to the animal moving or thrashing about), which can lead to waste of medication in the syringe. These problems are more likely to occur with the increased physical force required for

injecting higher-viscosity medications.

[0043] In sharp contrast to use of a plastic syringe, the syringes 200, 300 of FIGs. 2 - 3 are better adapted for withstanding the physical force required for expelling a higher-viscosity medication from the syringe barrel and for allowing the person using the syringe to have better leverage during the injection process. (Because the leverage is improved, the time required to complete the injection may be shortened as compared to use of a plastic syringe configured as shown at 100 of FIG. 1 , which benefits the person and the animal.)

[0044] In view of the above-described issues, preferred embodiments of the present invention are directed toward improved syringeability of medications having a relatively high viscosity. (The disclosed syringe adapter may function suitably with lower-viscosity medications as well, and is therefore not deemed to be limited to use with particular medications.)

[0045] A preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a new tip that operates as a syringe adapter for withdrawing medication from a bottle. This tip is preferably affixed to a pistol-grip syringe of the type illustrated in FIG. 2 or a tab-handled syringe of the type illustrated in FIG. 3. The pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe may be formed from plastic, metal, or other substance(s), as noted earlier. Accordingly, use of an embodiment of the present invention addresses the issue of drawing a higher-viscosity fluid from a bottle as well as the issue of providing sufficient leverage for subsequent injection. That is, the larger opening of the disclosed syringe adapter addresses syringeability issues by improving draw time of higher-viscosity medications and, when this adapter is affixed to a pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe, the medication withdrawn into the pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe can be more easily administered from the syringe barrel (noting that, in some embodiments, the syringe adapter will be replaced with a needle prior to injecting the medication).

[0048] While discussions herein refer to preferably using the disclosed syringe adapter with a pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe, it should be noted that the disclosed syringe adapter may also be used advantageously with a syringe of the type shown in FIG. 1 (and such usage is within the scope of the present invention).

[0047] FIG. 5 illustrates one embodiment of the syringe adapter disclosed

herein. The syringe adapter has a sidewall extending between a proximal end and a distal end, and the interior surface of the sidewall defines a chamber through which fluid medication flows. The length and shape of the syringe adapter, as well as the thickness of portions of the sidewall and the width of its interior chamber, may vary from illustrations depicted herein without deviating from the scope of the present invention. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the shape of the syringe adapter 500 is generally conical in an upper portion and generally cylindrical in a lower portion. While not illustrated in FIG. 5, an interior of at least a portion of the lower portion is preferably tapered, with a 6 percent taper extending from the proximal end toward the distal end. This tapered shape conforms the interior surface to International Standard ISO 594-2: 1998(E) and its replacement ISO 80369-7:2016, which are directed toward conical fittings for health-care applications. Preferably, the overall length of the syringe adapter is not shorter than 3/8 to 1/2 inch, by way of illustration but not of limitation, as this length will enable the syringe adapter to sufficiently extend info a bottle of medication to be withdrawn. An upper range of the overall length, conversely, may be on the order of 1 to 2 inches, by way of illustration but not of limitation.

[0048] A preferred diameter of the hole in the distal end of the tip of the syringe adapter is on the order of 0.10 inches, although embodiments are not limited to this diameter. Thickness of the sidewall of the syringe adapter is preferably on the order of 0.050 inches, although embodiments are not limited to this thickness. Using a sidewall thickness of 0.050 inches and an opening of 0 10 inches results in a syringe adapter having an overall diameter of 0.20 inches at the end to be inserted into the bottle of medication, in this example configuration.

[0049] Preferably, the proximal end of the disclosed syringe adapter attaches to a syringe using a Luer-type lock or a Luer-type slip. Luer-type locks and Luer-type slips are known approaches for making leak-free connections on fluid fittings, and are described in the above-cited International Standards. A Luer-type lock provides a threaded attachment, whereby two pieces of a configuration are held together by rotating a flanged area (such as flanged area 420 of FIG. 4A when augmented with tabs or flanged area 460 of FIG. 4B) of one piece within threads of the other piece, whereas a Luer-type slip is non-threaded and provides attachment using friction in one approach for securably attaching syringe adapter 500 using a Luer-type lock, the syringe adapter 500 as illustrated in FIG. 5 has an external flanged area 510 on the proximal end (shown without tabs extending from the outer edge, for drafting convenience), and a two-part connection is made by inserting this flanged end into corresponding internal threads on a distal end of a syringe (as discussed above with reference to the syringe tips illustrated at 240, 340) As noted earlier, a conventional height for this internal threaded portion of a pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe tip is approximately 1/8 Inch to 1/4 Inch In length, and accordingly, a flanged area 510 on the proximal end of syringe adapter 500 is preferably on the order of at least 1/16 to 1/8 inch in height. The shape of flanged area 510 may correspond generally to flanged area 420 or 460 (for example, by extending perpendicularly and radially from the proximal end of the syringe adapter, although a strictly circular shape is not required), although another shape providing for a securab!e attachment may be used without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0050] In another approach, the proximal end of the syringe adapter 500 may omit the flanged area shown at 510 and is attached and held to the distal end of the syringe by friction in a Luer-type slip approach.

[0051] FIG. 6 illustrates another embodiment of the syringe adapter disclosed herein. In this embodiment, syringe adapter 600 includes a radial extension feature 610, which is preferably configured as extending perpendicularly and radially outward from the body of the syringe adapter and Is shown in FIG. 6 as being located relatively near to the proximal end of syringe adapter 600. (Alternatively, radial extension feature 610 may be placed at another location on the syringe adapter, for example being located closer to the conical portion thereof.) In addition to enabling a person to more easily grasp the syringe adapter 600, the radial extension feature 610 also serves to prevent inserting the syringe into the medication bottle far enough that the attachment point (e.g., Luer-type slip or lock) between the syringe and the syringe adapter would come Into contact with the medication. Accordingly, in a preferred embodiment, a diameter of radial extension feature 610 is sufficiently iarge as to exceed the diameter of a conventional rubber membrane on a medicine bottle. The

diameter of radial extension feature 610 may be, by way of example, on the order of twice the diameter of the cylindrical portion of syringe adapter 600. (Syringe adapter 600 may omit the flanged area 620 when relying on a Luer-type slip attachment, and is depicted without tabs extending from the outer edge for drafting convenience, as was discussed above with reference to flanged area 510.)

[0052] An extension feature might alternatively be used that is not round, although this has not been illustrated in FIG. 6. (For example, a hexagonal shape might be used for an extension feature, and thus references herein to a“radial'’ extension feature are by way of illustration but not of limitation and are not to be construed as requiring the extension feature to have a round outer edge.)

[0053] A preferred material for the disclosed syringe adapter is plastic, which will allow it to be economically produced as a disposable item, although another material may be used without deviating from the scope of the present invention. As one alternative to use of plastic, the syringe adapter or portion(s) thereof may be constructed from stainless steel, aluminum, or another metal (or combinations thereof), noting that metal generally provides Increased strength and durability as compared to plastic. Notably, the disclosed syringe adapter does not need to come into physical contact with a particular animal (i.e., because the physical contact occurs at the needle used to inject the medication), and thus re-use of the syringe adapter for medicating multiple animals need not introduce cross-contamination concerns.

[0054] While FIGs. 5 and 6 illustrate a syringe adapter shape that is generally conical in an upper portion and generally cylindrical in a lower portion, this is by way of illustration and not of limitation. As one alternative embodiment, an outer shape of the syringe adapter may be generally cylindrical while preferably having a tapered interior shape for at least a portion of the proximal end, noting that such interior taper enables the syringe adapter to comply with the above-cited International Standards This alternative embodiment is Illustrated In FIG. 7, where dotted lines are used to illustrate a general shape of the interior. FIG. 8 provides another alternative embodiment, where an outer shape of the syringe adapter may be generally conical in an upper portion and generally cylindrical in a lower portion, and in this alternative, the relative length of the upper and lower portions varies from the embodiments illustrated in FIGs 5 and 6 (and again, at least a portion of such configuration preferably has a tapered interior shape at the proximal end, as shown by the dotted lines, to thereby conform to the above-cited International Standards). Notably, as compared to the cylindrical exterior shape as illustrated in FIG. 7, the exterior taper of the upper portion as illustrated in FIGs. 5 - 6 and 8 may tend to provide a better seal, and thus be less likely to leak, during such time as the syringe adapter is inserted through the rubber membrane of a bottle. While not illustrated in FIGs. 7 or 8, a radial extension member (such as that shown at reference number 610 of FIG. 6) may be added to these configurations if desired.

[0055] FIG. 9 illustrates yet another embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter in this embodiment, syringe adapter 900 includes a radial extension feature 910, similar to the previously-discussed radial extension feature 610 of FIG. 6. FIG. 9 depicts radial extension feature 910 as being located approximately midway along the length of the syringe adapter, by way of illustration but not of limitation. Whereas the radial extension feature illustrated at 610 of FIG. 6 is illustrated as having a disk-like shape with generally fiat upper and lower surfaces, FIG. 9 illustrates an alternative shape where an upper surface of the radial extension feature 910 has a somewhat domed or tapered shape. This tapered or domed portion is shown at reference number 920 and sits atop a disk-like portion 930. Optionally, the lower surface of the radial extension feature may taper in addition to, or instead of, the upper surface thereof, although this has not been illustrated. (Note that the particular shape and dimensions of portions 920, 930 may vary, and thus FIG. 9 provides one example by way of illustration but not of limitation.)

[0056] FIG. 9 also illustrates the upper portion 940 of the syringe adapter 900 as having a generally conical shape which is somewhat less tapered than the upper portion as illustrated for the syringe adapters 500, 600 of FIGs. 5 and 6, and having a generally cylindrical shape for the lower portion 950.

[0057] By way of illustration but not of limitation, a length of the conical portion 940 may be .32 inches; a length of the cylindrical portion 950 may be .48 inches; a height or thickness of portion 930 may be .07 inches; a diameter of radial extension feature 910 may be .75 inches; a diameter of the distal and proximal ends of conicai

portion 940 may be .156 inches and .174 inches, respectively; and a diameter of cylindrical portion 950 may be .24 inches.

[0058] FIG. 10 illustrates placement of a syringe adapter on a syringe. By way of illustration but not of limitation, the syringe in FIG. 10 corresponds to the tab-handled syringe 300 of FIG. 3 and the syringe adapter corresponds to the embodiment shown at 900 of FIG. 9. Syringe tip 340’ provides a point of attachment for the syringe adapter 900, and syringe tip 340’ is shown as being generally cylindrical; as contrasted with syringe tip 340 as earlier illustrated, syringe tip 340’ is shown with a ribbed exterior mid-section 345 that may provide for a person to securely grip the syringe tip 340’ while the syringe adapter 900 is being inserted therein (or removed therefrom). The connection between syringe tip 340' and syringe adapter 900 is preferably a Luer-type lock, but a Luer-type slip may be used alternatively without deviating from the scope of the present invention (it will be understood that in FIG. 10, a portion of the proximal end of syringe adapter 900 is located inside the distal end of tip 340’, following the connection.)

[0059] FIG. 11 illustrates one example of placement of a needle on a syringe adapter, for an embodiment in which the syringe adapter remains in place while medication is administered through an attached needle. By way of illustration but not of limitation, the syringe adapter in FIG. 1 1 corresponds to the embodiment shown at 900 of FIG. 9, the attachment between the syringe and syringe adapter 900 corresponds to the attachment illustrated in FIG. 10, and the needle corresponds to the needle 400 of FIG. 4. In FIG. 1 1 , needle 400 is shown as having its proximal end placed over the distal end of the syringe adapter in this example, needle 400 includes a small flanged area 420 that enables it to securabiy attach to the interior of a Luer-type lock, although the illustrated attachment in FIG. 11 is a Luer-type slip connection. Accordingly, the needle 400 may be attached to, and removed from, the syringe adapter with relative ease (e.g., by pushing the proximal end of the needle onto the distal end of the syringe adapter and pulling it therefrom, respectively). Note that while flanged area 420 is shown as directly abutting the portion of the syringe adapter shown as having a domed shape, this is by way of illustration: alternatively, there may be a gap beneath flanged area 420.

[0060] FIG. 12 illustrates still another embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter, and its placement on a syringe in this embodiment, syringe adapter 1200 includes a radial extension feature 1210 with a tapered or domed upper surface, similar to the previously-discussed radial extension feature 910 of FIG 9. As contrasted to syringe adapter 900, the conical portion of the syringe adapter 1200 is somewhat longer (and it should be noted that embodiments of the present invention are not limited to a specific dimension, as has been discussed).

[0061] FIG. 12 also illustrates a Luer-type connecting member 1220 affixed to the proximal end of syringe adapter 1200 (where 2 horizontally-oriented“ribs” are illustrated on the surface of member 1220, by way of illustration but not of limitation). This connecting member 1220 is shown in FIG. 12 as connecting syringe adapter 1200 to a syringe, which may be syringe 300 of FIG. 3 (by way of illustration but not of limitation). The point of connection on syringe 300 is shown in FIG. 12 as comprising a syringe tip 340’, similar to that which was discussed above with reference to FIG. 10 by way of illustration, into which connecting member 1220 of syringe adapter 1200 is removably inserted. In one approach, connecting member 1220 is made from metal while remaining portions of syringe adapter 1200 are made from plastic, and a bond is made between the metal and plastic during manufacturing. Preferably, connecting member 1220 attaches to syringe tip 340’ with a Luer-type lock connection (rather than a Luer-type slip connection). While not shown in FIG 12, connecting member 1220 preferably includes a flanged area at its proximal end (such as flanged area 460 of FIG. 4B), and the Luer-type lock connection is made by inserting connecting member 1220 into syringe tip 340’ and then twisting the syringe adapter 1200 until the flanged area locks into place in the interna! threaded portion of the syringe tip 340’. This type of connection is deemed beneficial for providing a more secure attachment between the syringe and the syringe adapter.

[0062] FIG. 13 illustrates yet another embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter and its placement on a syringe. In this embodiment, syringe adapter 1300 differs from syringe adapter 1200 of FIG. 12 in that a Luer-type connecting member 1320 affixed to the proximal end of syringe adapter 1300 uses a different

configuration. As shown in FIG. 13, connecting member 1320 has a multi-sided

exterior shape, shown by way of illustration as being hexagonal in at least a portion thereof. More particularly, in the example shown in FIG. 13, connecting member 1320 has a hexagonal upper portion 1322 and a cylindrical lower portion 1321. In one approach, connecting member 1320 is made from metal while remaining portions of syringe adapter 1300 are made from plastic, and a bond is made between the metal and plastic during manufacturing. Preferably, connecting member 1320 attaches to syringe tip 340’ with a Luer-type lock connection (rather than a Luer-type slip connection). While not shown in FIG. 13, connecting member 1320 preferably includes a flanged area at its proximal end (such as flanged area 460 of FIG. 4B), and the Luer-type lock connection is made by inserting connecting member 1320 into syringe tip 340’ and then twisting the syringe adapter 1300 until the flanged area locks into place in the internal threaded portion of the syringe tip 340’. As noted above, the Luer-type lock connection is deemed beneficial for providing a more secure attachment between the syringe and the syringe adapter.

[0063] FIG. 14 illustrates a further embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter, showing an exterior view as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded. By way of illustration but not of limitation, the syringe in FIG. 14 corresponds to the tab-handled syringe 300 of FIG. 3 with its syringe tip 340. Syringe adapter 1400, in this embodiment, includes a radial extension member 1410 and the proximal end as denoted by reference number 1420 includes a Luer-type connecting member, where connecting member 1420 in turn includes a flanged area 1421 at its proximal end (such as flanged area 460 of FIG. 4B) for removably attaching syringe adapter 1400 to the distal end of syringe 300. The Luer-type lock connection is made by inserting connecting member 1420 into syringe tip 340 and then twisting the syringe adapter 1400 until the flanged area 1421 locks into place in the internal threaded portion of the syringe tip 340 (as illustrated in the non-expioded cross-sectional view) to thereby provide a secure attachment between the syringe and the syringe adapter.

[0064] FIG. 15 illustrates a still further embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter, showing exterior views as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded. The embodiment Illustrated in FIG. 15 includes a

needle holder to which a needle may be removably affixed. In this embodiment, a needle 400’ (illustrated as having an outer shape somewhat different from needle 400, by way of illustration but not of limitation) is removably affixed to a needle holder 1510 that, in turn, is removably affixed to a syringe adapter 1500 that is removably affixed to a syringe 300 for the injection of medication into a recipient. When the injection is completed, the needle 400' preferably remains affixed to the needle holder 1510, enabling needle 400’ and needle holder 1510 to be removed from syringe adapter 1500 as a single unit (for example, in preparation for withdrawing additional fluid medication from a container). This enables the combination of needle holder and needle to be quickly and easily re-installed on the syringe adapter, after the syringe adapter is used for withdrawing a next dosage of medication, for administering that next dosage (it should be noted that the cross-sectional views in FIG. 15 illustrate a preferred interior and exterior shape of components 1500, 1510, but embodiments are not limited to the specific shapes and/or relative dimensions as shown except as otherwise noted herein.)

[0065] Preferably, syringe adapter 1500 is configured with a support hub member 1501 that radially surrounds at least a portion of the length of the syringe adapter sidewall 1502. Preferably, the connection of syringe adapter 1500 to syringe tip 340 is made as a Luer-type lock by inserting a flanged proximal end 1504 of syringe adapter sidewall 1502 into an internal threaded portion of syringe tip 340 and then twisting the syringe adapter 1500 until the flanged area locks into place in the internal threaded portion of the syringe tip 340. A proximal end of support hub member 1501 is preferably sized so as to slip over the exterior of syringe tip 340, while the proximal end of syringe adapter sidewall 1502 is sized so as to fit within the threaded interior of syringe tip 340 and to receive protrusion 341 of the syringe tip 340 within the chamber defined by the interior surface of sidewall 1502. This is illustrated in the non-exploded cross-sectional view.

[0066] In an embodiment, the distal end of sidewall 1502 is approximately .10 inches in inside diameter, and this distal end of sidewall 1502 extends beyond the distal end of support hub member 1501 to allow the distal end of sidewall 1502 to penetrate the rubber membrane on the medication bottle in an embodiment, an

outer wall of support hub member 1501 is shaped as a cylinder. In another embodiment, by way of illustration but not of limitation, the outer wall may be configured to have a multi-sided exterior shape (such as, for example, a hexagonal shape)

[0067] A distal end of support hub member 1501 is preferably configured with an internal threaded portion to facilitate removably attaching needle holder 1510.

The threads are illustrated in FIG. 15 generally by small extensions 1503 on the interior wall of support hub member 1501 , and this internal threaded portion receives a flanged area 1511 (similar to the above-described flanged area 460 of FIG. 4B) that is located at the proximal end of needle holder 1510. In an embodiment, the threads illustrated by extensions 1503 correspond to a double-helix configuration as described in the above-cited international Standards. Needle holder 1510 thereby makes a Luer-type lock connection with syringe adapter 1500. in a configuration as illustrated in FIG. 15, support hub member 1501 also provides additional support for needle holder 1510 See the non-expioded cross-sectional view.

[0068] Needle holder 1510 preferably includes a radial extension feature 1512, which may be located (by way of example) near the proximal end of the needle holder. Radial extension feature 1512 may enable a person to more easily grasp the needle holder 1510. in a configuration as illustrated in FIG. 15, radial extension feature 1512 also serves to provide additional strength for the needle holder 1510, and thus may reduce the likelihood of a physical failure during use.

[0069] Needle holder 1510 is configured for removably attaching a needle 400’, and is illustrated in FIG. 15 as using a Luer-type slip connection that makes the attachment by placing the proximal end of needle 400’ over the distal end of needle holder 1510. Needle holder 1510 may alternatively be configured to support a Luer-type lock connection with needle 400’ without deviating from the scope of the present invention, although this is not illustrated in FIG. 15. Such alternative configuration for a needle holder may be used with syringe adapter 1500, in place of needle holder 1510, within the scope of the present invention. (FIGs. 16 - 21 , discussed below, illustrate embodiments that use Luer-type lock connections between a needle and needle holder.)

[0070] Preferably, syringe adapter 1500 and needle bolder 1510 are constructed from a plastic or a composite. Syringe adapter 1500 and/or needle holder 1510 may alternatively be constructed from another material, such as stainless steel, aluminum, or another metal (or a combination thereof), without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0071] Syringe adapter 1500 may optionally be configured as a permanent attachment to (or replacement for) syringe tip 340, rather than being removably affixed thereto. (See the discussion of F!Gs. 18 - 21 , below, which depict embodiments that replace a conventional syringe tip.) A distal end of the sidewall 1502 of syringe adapter 1500 may be relatively sharp, for ease of inserting this distal end into a bottle of medication (for example). (See the discussion of F!Gs. 17 - 19, below, which depict embodiments having a relatively sharp tip on the distal end of a syringe adapter.)

[0072] In an embodiment, the opening at the distal end of needle holder 1510 is approximately 08 inches in inside diameter, and the outside diameter conforms to suggested dimensions for a Luer-type tip in the above-cited international Standards. In an embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 15, an outer wail of needle holder 1510 has a conical shape at the distal end and a similar shape at the proximal end, where both the proximal end and the distal end are generally conical in shape. Preferably, a length of an inner chamber 1513 of needle holder 1510 extends from the attachment point in support hub member 1501 to cover the distal end of syringe adapter 1500 (as illustrated in the non-expioded cross-sectional view in FIG. 15). Note that while the needle holder 1510 and needle 400' may be removed as a unit from the syringe adapter 1500, this is by way of example; alternatively the needle may be removed from the needle holder and the needle holder may then be removed from the syringe adapter, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0073] FIG. 16 illustrates yet another embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter, showing exterior views as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16 includes a needle holder to which a needle may be removably affixed. In this embodiment, a needle 400 is removably affixed to a needle holder 1610 that, in turn, is removably affixed to a syringe adapter 1600 that is removably affixed to a syringe 300 for the injection of medication into a recipient. When the injection is completed, the needle 400 preferably remains affixed to the needle holder 1610, enabling needle 400 and needle holder 1610 to be removed from syringe adapter 1600 as a single unit (for example, in preparation for withdrawing additional fluid medication from a container). This enables the combination of needle holder and needle to be quickly and easily re-installed on the syringe adapter, after the syringe adapter is used for withdrawing a next dosage of medication, for administering that next dosage (it should be noted that the cross-sectional views in FIG. 16 illustrate a preferred interior and exterior shape of components 1600, 1610, but embodiments are not limited to the specific shapes and/or relative dimensions as shown except as otherwise noted herein.) [0074] Preferably, syringe adapter 1600 is configured with a support hub member 1601 that radially surrounds at least a portion of the length of the syringe adapter sidewall 1602. In an embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 16, the exterior of the outer wall of support hub member 1601 has a hexagonal shape. This hexagonal shape may enable a person to have a better grasp when connecting or disconnecting the syringe adapter 1600 to syringe 300 and/or needle holder 1610. (Note that while FIG. 16 illustrates the exterior of support hub member 1601 as being hexagonal in shape, this is by way of illustration but not of limitation, and the exterior may be configured to have a different shape without deviating from the scope of the present invention.)

[0075] A Luer-type lock connection between syringe adapter 1600 and syringe tip 340 is preferably made in the manner discussed above with reference to FIG. 15, and accordingly, details of the connection are not repeated here. A result of the connection is illustrated in the non-exploded cross-sectional view in FIG. 16.

[0076] In an embodiment, the distal end of sidewall 1602 is approximately .10 inches in inside diameter, and this distal end of sidewall 1602 extends beyond the distal end of support hub member 1601 to allow the distal end of sidewall 1602 to penetrate the rubber membrane on the medication bottle.

[0077] A distal end of support hub member 1601 is preferably configured with an internal threaded portion, similar to the threaded portion discussed above with reference to support hub member 1501 of FIG. 15, and a Luer-type lock connection between syringe adapter 1600 and needle holder 1610 is preferably made using the threads (illustrated in FIG. 16 generally by small extensions 1603) and the flanged area 1611 of needle holder 1600 in the manner discussed above with reference to FIG. 15. See the non-expioded cross-sectional view in FIG. 16.

[0078] Needle holder 1610 is configured for removably attaching a needle 400. Needle holder 1610 includes an internal threaded portion (see reference number 1612) on its distal end, where these threads are configured to provide a Luer-type lock connection with the flange 460 at the proximal end of needle 400, thus providing a relatively secure connection with the needle. More particularly, the connection between needle holder 1610 and needle 400 is preferably made by inserting the flanged proximal end 460 into internal threaded portion 1612 and then twisting the needle until the flanged area locks into place in the internal threaded portion of the needle holder.

[0079] In an embodiment as depicted in FIG. 16, an exterior wail of needle holder 1610 is preferably hexagonal in shape in a lower portion and cylindrical in shape in an upper portion, as shown in the isometric view, with exception of the proximal end where flange 161 1 is located (and the protrusion at the distal end). As shown in FIG. 16, the proximal end immediately above the flange 1611 has a conical shape, by way of illustration but not of limitation; as one alternative, the shape may be cylindrical and still engage the threads on 1600 properly. Needle holder 1610 may serve to provide additional strength for the assembly, and thus may reduce the likelihood of a physical failure during use.

[0080] Preferably, syringe adapter 1600 and needle holder 1610 are constructed from a plastic or a composite. Syringe adapter 1600 and/or needle holder 1610 may alternatively be constructed from another material, such as stainless steel, aluminum, or another metal (or a combination thereof), without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0081] Syringe adapter 1600 may optionally be configured as a permanent attachment to (or replacement for) syringe tip 340, rather than being removably affixed thereto. (See the discussion of FiGs. 18 - 21 , below, which depict embodiments that replace a conventional syringe tip.) While not illustrated in FIG. 16, the distal end of the sidewall 1602 of syringe adapter 1600 may be relatively sharp, for ease of inserting this distal end into a bottle of medication (for example). (See the discussion of FIGs. 17 - 19, below, which depict embodiments having a relatively sharp tip on the distal end of a syringe adapter.)

[0082] Preferably, a length of an inner chamber 1613 of needle holder 1610 extends from the attachment point in support hub member 1601 to cover the distal end of syringe adapter 1600 (as illustrated in the non-exploded cross-sectional view in FIG. 16). Note that while the needle holder 1610 and needle 400 may be removed as a unit from the syringe adapter 1600, this is by way of example; alternatively the needle may be removed from the needle holder and the needle holder may then be removed from the syringe adapter, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0083] FIG. 17 illustrates still another embodiment of the disclosed syringe adapter, showing exterior views as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 17 includes a needle holder to which a needle may be removably affixed in this embodiment, a needle 400 is removably affixed to a needle holder 1710 that, in turn, is removably affixed to a syringe adapter 1700 that is removably affixed to a syringe 300 for the injection of medication info a recipient. When the injection is completed, the needle 400 preferably remains affixed to the needle holder 1710, enabling needle 400 and needle holder 1710 to be removed from syringe adapter 1700 as a single unit (for example, in preparation for withdrawing additional fluid medication from a container). This enables the combination of needle holder and needle to be quickly and easily re-installed on the syringe adapter, after the syringe adapter is used for withdrawing a next dosage of medication, for administering that next dosage (if should be noted that the cross-sectional views in FIG. 17 illustrate a preferred interior and exterior shape of components 1700, 1710, but embodiments are not limited to the specific shapes and/or relative dimensions as shown except as otherwise noted herein.) [0084] Preferably, syringe adapter 1700 is configured with a support hub member 1701 that radially surrounds at least a portion of the length of the syringe adapter sidewall 1702. In an embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 17, the exterior of the outer wall of support hub member 1701 has a hexagonal shape. This hexagonal shape may enable a person to have a better grasp when connecting or disconnecting the syringe adapter 1700 to syringe 300 and/or needle holder 1710 (Note that while FIG 17 illustrates the exterior of support hub member 1701 as being hexagonal in shape, this is by way of illustration but not of limitation, and the exterior may be configured to have a different shape without deviating from the scope of the present invention.)

[0085] Notably, a tip at the distal end of sidewall 1702 is shown in FIG 17 as having a relatively sharp point. The sharp point, or tip, is designed to assist in inserting the syringe adapter 1700 into the rubber membrane on a medicine bottle. The particular taper illustrated in FIG. 17 for this sharp point may be adjusted, thereby altering the degree of sharpness, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0088] A Luer-type lock connection between syringe adapter 1700 and syringe tip 340 is preferably made in the manner discussed above with reference to FIG. 15, and accordingly, details of the connection are not repeated here. A result of the connection is illustrated in the non-exploded cross-sectional view in FIG. 17.

[0087] In an embodiment, the distal end of sidewall 1702 is approximately .10 inches in inside diameter. In the illustration as shown, the distal end of sidewall 1702 extends beyond the distal end of support hub member 1701 to allow the distal end of sidewall 1702 to penetrate the rubber membrane on the medication bottle.

[0088] A distal end of support hub member 1701 is preferably configured with an internal threaded portion, similar to the threaded portion discussed above with reference to support hub member 1501 of FIG. 15, and a Luer-type lock connection between syringe adapter 1700 and needle holder 1710 is preferably made using the threads (illustrated in FIG. 17 generally by small extensions 1703) and the flanged area 1711 of needle holder 1700 in the manner discussed above with reference to FIG. 15. See the non-exploded cross-sectional view in FIG. 17.

[0089] Needle holder 1710 is configured for removably attaching a needle 400. Needle holder 1710 includes an internal threaded portion (see reference number 1712) on its distal end, where these threads are configured to provide a Luer-type lock connection with the flange 460 at the proximal end of needie 400, thus providing a relatively secure connection with the needie. More particularly, the connection between needle holder 1710 and needle 400 is preferably made by inserting the flanged proximal end 460 into internal threaded portion 1712 and then twisting the needie until the flanged area locks into place in the internal threaded portion of the needie holder.

[0090] In an embodiment as depicted in FIG. 17, an exterior wail of needle holder 1710 is preferably hexagonal in shape in a lower portion and cylindrical in shape in an upper portion, as shown in the isometric view, with exception of the proximal end where flange 171 1 is located (and the protrusion at the distal end). As shown in FIG 17, the proximal end immediately above the flange 1711 has a conical shape, by way of illustration but not of limitation; as one alternative, the shape may be cylindrical and still engage the threads on 1700 properly. Needle holder 1710 may serve to provide additional strength for the assembly, and thus may reduce the likelihood of a physical failure during use.

[0091] As contrasted to the inner chamber 1613 of needle holder 1610, it will be noted that the inner chamber 1713 of needle holder 1710 is approximately twice as long as chamber 1613. This added length serves to accept the full length of the elongated tip 1702 of syringe adapter 1700, as can be seen in the non-exploded cross-sectional view in FIG. 17, and thus the length of inner chamber 1713 extends from the attachment point in support hub member 1701 to cover the distal end of syringe adapter 1700.

[0092] Preferably, syringe adapter 1700 and needle holder 1710 are constructed from a plastic or a composite. Syringe adapter 1700 and/or needle holder 1710 may alternatively be constructed from another material, such as stainless steel, aluminum, or another metal (or a combination thereof), without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0093] Syringe adapter 1700 may optionally be configured as a permanent attachment to (or replacement for) syringe tip 340, rather than being removably affixed thereto. (See the discussion of FIGs. 18 - 21 , below, which depict embodiments that replace a conventional syringe tip.)

[0094] Note that while the needle holder 1710 and needle 400 may be removed as a unit from the syringe adapter 1700, this is by way of example; alternatively the needle may be removed from the needle holder and the needle holder may then be removed from the syringe adapter, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0095] FIGs. 18 and 19 illustrate additional embodiments of the disclosed syringe adapter, showing exterior views as well as cross-sectional views of placement thereof upon a syringe and as exploded. FIGs. 18 and 19 are similar, and thus will be described together. The embodiments illustrated in FIGs. 18 and 19 include a needle holder to which a needle may be removably affixed. In these embodiments, a needle 400 is removably affixed to a needle holder 1810 or 1910 that, in turn, is removably affixed to a syringe adapter 1800 or 1900 that is removably affixed to a syringe 300 for the injection of medication into a recipient. When the injection is completed, the needle 400 preferably remains affixed to the needle holder 1810 or 1910, enabling needle 400 and needle holder 1810 or 1910 to be removed from syringe adapter 1800 or 1900 as a single unit (for example, in preparation for withdrawing additional fluid medication from a container). This enables the combination of needle holder and needle to be quickly and easily re-installed on the syringe adapter, after the syringe adapter is used for withdrawing a next dosage of medication, for administering that next dosage (it should be noted that the cross-sectional views in FIGs. 18 and 19 illustrate a preferred interior and exterior shape of components 1800, 1810, 1900, 1910, but embodiments are not limited to the specific shapes and/or relative dimensions as shown except as otherwise noted herein.)

[0098] As shown in FIGs. 18 and 19, syringe adapters 1800, 1900 are preferably configured with a support hub member 1801 , 1901 that is a solid piece surrounding an inner chamber, in contrast to the approach of the support hub members shown in FIGs. 15 - 17, with an extension from the proximal end and an extension from the distal end of this support hub member. In embodiments as illustrated in FIGs. 18 and 19, the exterior of the support hub members 1801 , 1901 have a generally hexagonal shape, although another shape (such as cylindrical) may be used without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0097] F!Gs. 18 and 19 depict a tip 1802, 1902 extending from the distal end of support hub members 1801 , 1901 , where these tips are shown as having a relatively sharp point. As discussed above, the sharp point is designed to assist in inserting the syringe adapter 1800, 1900 into the rubber membrane on a medicine bottle, and the particular taper may be adjusted from the angle shown in the figures, thereby altering the degree of sharpness, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

(It should also be noted that the sharp point may be eliminated, using instead a tip generally similar to the shape illustrated in FIGs. 15 - 16, and such alternative shape is deemed to be within the scope of the present invention. See FIGs. 20 and 21 , which correspond to FIGs. 18 and 19, respectively, but show an alternative approach where the sharp point is not used.)

[0098] FIGs. 18 and 19 also depict a change to how the syringe adapter 1800, 1900 attaches to a syringe. Rather than forming a Luer-type lock connection between syringe adapter 1800, 1900 and a syringe tip such as tip 340, the approach shown in FIGs. 18 and 19 is to remove the syringe tip from the syringe (or equivalently, to use a syringe which has not been fitted with a syringe tip) in a preferred approach, connection between the syringe adapter 1800, 1900 and a syringe is made by inserting an extension 1804, 1904 at the proximal end of the syringe adapter into a cavity 342 where the syringe tip would have been located. Notably, conventional syringe tips are made to be removable in some syringes, allowing for cleaning (for example). Accordingly, threads into which such removable syringe tips are connected may be leveraged for connecting the extensions 1804, 1904. The syringe adapters 1800, 1900 may therefore serve as a permanent attachment to a syringe, or as a replacement for a syringe tip. The syringe adapters 1800, 1900 may alternatively be viewed and/or configured as a semi-permanent attachment or replacement, in that it can be removed if desired. Preferably, syringe adapters 1800, 1900 include a rubber gasket (or similar fitting) on an underside of the support hub member 1801 , 1901 , as shown by reference numbers 1806, 1906. A result of the connection is illustrated in the non-exploded cross-sectional views in FIGs. 18 and 19.

[0099] Syringe adapters 1800, 1900 differ in the width of extensions 1804, 1904. A corresponding width is used for cavity 342. FIGs. 18 and 19 both illustrate

the exterior of support hub members 1801 , 1901 as being generally hexagonal in shape, although this is by way of illustration but not of limitation and the exterior may be configured to have a different shape without deviating from the scope of the present invention

[0100] A distal end of support hub members 1801 , 1901 is preferably configured with an internal threaded portion, similar to the threaded portion discussed above with reference to support hub member 1501 of FIG. 15, and a Luer-type lock connection between syringe adapter 1800, 1900 and needle holder 1810, 1910 is made using the threads (illustrated in FIGs. 18 and 19 generally by small extensions 1803, 1903) and flanged area 181 1 , 191 1 of needle holder 1800, 1900 in the manner discussed above with reference to FIG. 15. See the non-exploded cross-sectional views in FIGs. 18 and 19.

[0101] Needle holders 1810, 1910 are configured for removably attaching a needle 400 using a Luer-type lock connection between an internal threaded portion 1812, 1912 on the distal end of the needle holder and a flanged area 460 of needle 400 in the manner discussed above with reference to FIGs. 16 and 17, and accordingly, details of the connection are not repeated here. A result of the connection is illustrated in the non-exploded cross-sectional views in FIGs. 18 and 19.

[0102] In embodiments as depicted in FIGs. 18 and 19, an exterior wall of needle holders 1810, 1910 is preferably hexagonal in shape in a lower portion and cylindrical in shape in an upper portion, as shown in the isometric view, with exception of the proximal end where flange 181 1 , 191 1 is located (and the protrusion at the distal end). As shown in FIGs. 18 and 19, the proximal end immediately above the flange 1811 , 1911 has a conical shape, by way of illustration but not of limitation; as one alternative, the shape may be cylindrical and still engage the threads on 1800, 1900 properly. Needle holder 1810, 1910 may serve to provide additional strength for the assembly, and thus may reduce the likelihood of a physical failure during use.

[0103] The length of inner chambers 1813, 1913 of needle holders 1810, 1910 preferably extends from the attachment point in support hub member 1801 , 1901 to cover the distal end of syringe adapter 1800, 1900, thus accepting the full length of the elongated tips 1802, 1902 of syringe adapters 1800, 1900, as can be seen in the

non-expioded cross-sectional views in FIGs 18 and 19.

[0104] Preferably, syringe adapters 1800, 1900 and needle holders 1810, 1910 are constructed from a plastic or a composite. Syringe adapters 1800, 1900 and/or needle holders 1810, 1910 may alternatively be constructed from another material, such as stainless steel, aluminum, or another metal (or a combination thereof), without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0105] Note that while the needle holders 1810, 1910 and needle 400 may be removed as a unit from the syringe adapters 1800, 1900, this is by way of example; alternatively the needle may be removed from the needle holder and the needle holder may then be removed from the syringe adapter, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0108] It should be noted that while discussions herein refer primarily to making a locking connection by twisting a first feature within a second feature, it will be obvious that the second feature may be twisted within the first feature or that both features may be twisted, without deviating from the scope of the present invention.

[0107] Use of the disclosed syringe adapter while medicating an animal operates, in some embodiments, as follows: the syringe adapter is affixed to a syringe (which, as noted earlier, is preferably a pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe); the syringe adapter is inserted into a bottle of medication; the plunger of the syringe is pulled back to withdraw the desired dosage of medication from the bottle into the syringe barrel; the syringe adapter is removed from the bottle, while the plunger remains stationary; the syringe adapter is replaced with a needle; and the medication (or some portion thereof) is then injected by pushing the plunger forward (for example, by squeezing the pistol-grip handies or pressing down on the tabbed handle) to expel medication from the syringe barrel. If it is desired to reuse the syringe adapter, then the needle is removed from the syringe, after which the above process is repeated. (As noted earlier, the disclosed syringe adapter is not limited to use with medication intended for any particular type of animal life, and therefore the medication may be injected more generally into a“target” or a“recipient”.)

[0108] Use of the disclosed syringe adapter operates, in some other embodiments, as follows: the syringe adapter is affixed to a syringe (preferably a

pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe); the syringe adapter is inserted into a bottle of medication; the plunger of the syringe is pulled back to withdraw the desired dosage of medication from the bottle into the syringe barrel; the syringe adapter (which remains attached to the syringe) is removed from the bottle, while the plunger remains stationary; a needle is affixed to the syringe adapter (and note that the syringe adapter remains affixed to the syringe); and the medication (or some portion thereof) is then injected by pushing the plunger forward (for example, by squeezing the pistol-grip handies or pressing down on the tabbed handle) to expel medication from the syringe barrel. If it is desired to reuse the syringe adapter (for example, for medicating another animal), then the needle is removed from the syringe adapter, after which the above process of withdrawing medication using the syringe adapter, affixing a needle thereto, and then injecting the medication (or some portion thereof) is repeated.

[0109] Use of the disclosed syringe adapter operates, in still other

embodiments, as follows: the syringe adapter is affixed to a syringe (preferably a pistol-grip or tab-handled syringe), and this attachment may be temporary (i.e , removable), permanent, or semi-permanent (that is, intended as a permanent replacement for a conventional syringe tip, although being configured to be removable, such as for cleaning); the syringe adapter is inserted into a bottle of medication; the plunger of the syringe is pulled back to withdraw the desired dosage of medication from the bottle into the syringe barrel; the syringe adapter (which remains attached to the syringe) is removed from the bottle, while the plunger remains stationary; a needle holder, to which a needle is affixed (either before or after connecting the needle holder and the syringe adapter), is affixed to the syringe adapter (and note that the syringe adapter remains affixed to the syringe); and the medication (or some portion thereof) is then injected by pushing the plunger forward (for example, by squeezing the pistol-grip handies or pressing down on the tabbed handle) to expel medication from the syringe barrel. If it is desired to reuse the syringe adapter (for example, for medicating another animal), then the needle holder and its affixed needle are removed from the syringe adapter (preferably as a single unit), after which the above process of withdrawing medication using the syringe adapter, affixing a needle holder with needle to the syringe adapter, and then injecting the medication (or some portion thereof) is repeated

[0110] It should be noted that while embodiments are described herein as conforming to the above-cited International Standards and/or as using Luer-type connections to a syringe, this is by way of illustration but not of limitation it should also be noted that the figures are directed toward illustrating aspects of the present invention, in combination with descriptions herein, and aspects shown therein (for example, length, width, and/or taper) are not necessarily drawn to scale.

[0111] While medications have been discussed herein as commonly being sold in a multi-dose bottle, this is by way of illustration and not of limitation. The disclosed syringe adapter may be used beneficially for medication that is sold in a single-use dosage. Also, it should be noted that while some discussions herein refer to expelling “the withdrawn medication” or“emptying” the syringe, this is by way of illustration and not of limitation: the scope of the present invention does not require withdrawn medication to be expelled in full nor does it require a syringe to be fully emptied.

[0112] Advantageously, the disclosed syringe adapter may be included with purchase (e.g., within the packaging) of a higher-viscosity medication. As one alternative, a multi-pack of the disclosed syringe adapter may be included with such purchase, particularly when the medication is sold in a multi-dose bottle. The disclosed syringe adapter may also be sold separately from medication.

[0113] Examples of higher-viscosity animal medications with which the disclosed syringe adapter may be used beneficially include Nuflor®, Nuflor Gold®, and Resfior Gold®. (“Nuflor”,“Nuflor Gold”, and“Resflor Gold” are registered trademarks of Intervef Inc. in the United States, other countries, or both intervet is now known as “Merck Animal Health”.) These medications are commonly sold in 500-milliliter multi-dose bottles and may be administered, by way of example, in dosages of 36 to 60 milliliters per animal. Accordingly, a single multi-dose bottle may be used to treat generally 8 to 14 animals at this dosage range.

[0114] As noted earlier, viscosity of a substance may vary with temperature. Viscosity is commonly measured in units termed“centipoise”, which may be abbreviated as“cP” or“cps”. Water, at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, has a viscosity of approximately 1 cps, and by way of comparison, blood generally has a viscosity of

about 10 cps. By convention, a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit is used as a reference point for measuring cps, and thus when a temperature is not mentioned for a particular cps measurement, it should be assumed that the temperature associated with the stated measurement is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

[0115] According to a study documented in“Syringeabi!ity and Viscosity Comparative of Different Fiorfenicoi Formulations” by S. Coiomer, et a!., date unknown, the viscosity of Nufior® at 5 degrees Celsius (which is approximately 41 degrees Fahrenheit) was 321 cps. U. S. Patent 8,034,845, titled“Compositions and Method for Treating Infection in Cattle and Swine”, discusses a formulation believed to correspond to Nufior Gold® and states that formulations of the invention disclosed therein preferably“have a viscosity of less than about 125 cps”.

[0118] An embodiment of the present invention is believed to be advantageous for fluid medications having a viscosity of at least 50 to 100 cps at a temperature of at least 5 degrees Celsius, as well as for fluid medications having a higher cps at this temperature (noting, as stated above, that viscosity varies with temperature).

[0117] FIG. 22 presents tables containing measurements from tests conducted to compare use of a sample version of the disclosed syringe adapter to use of conventional needles. The tested medication was Resf!or Gold®, and a withdrawn quantity thereof was 30 cc (computed as a desired volume for treating an animal with a body weight of 500 pounds). Results of these tests will now be discussed

[0118] In a first test (denoted“Test #1” in FIG. 22), the medication was at room temperature. A withdrawal rate was measured using an 18-gauge needle having a 1-inch length, a 16-gauge needle having a 5/8-inch length, and the syringe adapter.

A 16-gauge needle has a larger tip opening (i.e. , a larger inside) than an 18-gauge needle, and will therefore withdraw a solution faster than the 18-gauge, although the 16-gauge needle is thought to be disfavored for at least some situations because it may allow the (relatively expensive) medication to leak out during the medicating process. In addition, a 16-gauge needle is thought to be too large to use on smaller animals. In the sample version, the diameter of the opening in the distal end of the syringe adapter was approximately 0.094 inches.

[0119] In this first test, the bottle of medication was placed upon a table and the syringe adapter was already mounted upon a syringe held by the tester, and the elapsed withdrawal times include picking up the bottle and inserting the syringe adapter into the bottle. As shown in FIG. 22, withdrawing 30 cc of Resfior Gold® in this test environment required 3 minutes 50.30 seconds using the 18-gauge needle and 35 seconds using the 16-gauge needle, as compared to 8 seconds using the syringe adapter.

[0120] Time to expel the 30 cc of medication was also tested in this first test. Expelling the medication in this test environment required 35 seconds using the 18-gauge needle and 11 seconds using the 16-gauge needle. (Time to expel the medication was not measured using the syringe adapter, because the expel time depends on the needle used for injecting the medication.)

[0121] In a second test (denoted“Test #2” in FIG. 22), the medication was again at room temperature, but the bottle of medication was now held by the tester to eliminate time required to pick up the bottle. Accordingly, the elapsed withdrawal times in this test begin with inserting the syringe adapter into the bottle. As shown in FIG. 22, withdrawing 30 cc of Resfior Gold® in this test environment required an average of 5.54 seconds when using the syringe adapter, where this average was computed by taking measurements 6 times and discarding a time that appeared to be an outlier. (Because slightly more than 2 seconds were gained by omitting the“pick up” time of the bottle, this test was not performed using the needles: it may be assumed that the withdrawal times using needles in the first test would be

approximately 2 seconds less under the environment of this second test.)

[0122] In a third test (denoted“Test #3” in FIG. 22), the medication was now at a temperature of approximately 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, having just been removed from refrigeration (noting that this temperature was intended to simulate a cold weather environment in which the tested medication might be used). The bottle of medication and syringe with affixed syringe adapter were again held by the tester (and the elapsed times began with inserting the syringe adapter into the bottle), as in the second test. As shown in FIG. 22, withdrawing 30 cc of the

now-cooler-temperature Resfior Gold® in this test environment required 3 minutes 42.27 seconds using the 16-gauge needle, as compared to 1 minute 1 second using

the syringe adapter. Note that this third test was not conducted using the smaller 18-gauge needle, but by comparison to the results of the first test, it can be seen that the withdrawal time using the smaller needle may be expected to greatly exceed the nearly 4-minute withdrawal time for the 16-gauge syringe.

[0123] As has been demonstrated, an embodiment of the present invention improves syringeability of higher-viscosity medications, allowing such medication to be withdrawn from a bottle in much less time as compared to the known approach of withdrawal using a needle. More animals may therefore be medicated in a given period of time, leading to improved productivity of persons caring for the animals as well as enabling overall improved health for the animals. No longer will higher viscosity be a barrier to the market, and because medication of this type will be more readily administered when using a syringe adapter as disclosed herein, improvement may be expected in animal health, and market share and/or market presence for the medication may improve as well.

[0124] It should be noted that various features discussed herein with reference to“an embodiment”,“one embodiment”,“a preferred embodiment”, and so forth should not be construed as suggesting that each such feature is present in a single embodiment, or in every embodiment, of the present invention. Instead, it should be understood that there may be various combinations of the disclosed features present in any particular embodiment.

[0125] While embodiments of the present invention have been described, additional variations and modifications in those embodiments may occur to those of ordinary skill in the art once they learn of the basic inventive concepts. Therefore, it is intended that the appended claims shall be construed to include the described embodiments and all such variations and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.