An in-depth look at the importance of insulation monitoring in protecting both medical staff and patients in operating theatres and other Group II medical facilities.
Timo Ohtonen, managing director and owner of Finnish professional electronics specialist, PPO-Elektroniikka, and his colleague, Development manager, Petri Pelkonen, take an in-depth look at the importance of insulation monitoring in protecting both medical staff and patients in operating theatres and other Group II medical facilities.
Any electrical malfunction in an operating theatre could prove fatal, and insulation monitoring is the optimal way to guarantee electrical safety in such an environment and in other Group II medical facilities. A commonly used residual current device reacts too late; the damage will already have happened, potentially posing real danger to both the patient and medical personnel. In addition, connected devices are without an electrical supply, and the operation or other surgical procedure must be suspended. This explains why insulationlevel monitoring has been mandatory in all operating rooms in Finland since 1983. The key function of an insulation-level monitoring system it to warn of any malfunction before danger arises. Electrical leakage currents occur in both old and new electrical devices due to malfunction, ageing, and bad design. Common reasons for insulation faults include a poor connection, damaged cable insulant, defective component, or faulty installation. Fast technological development, and the rush to launch new medical equipment, have resulted in new kinds of challenge: new equipment may cause disturbances in the power network and other electrical devices.
An invisible but important part of the theatre
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