A new medical gas alarm panel incorporating a ‘Call hospital engineer’ feature to summon help from healthcare engineering personnel should, for instance, gas pressure become concerningly low in any part of a hospital, was unveiled by Shire Controls at this year’s Healthcare Estates exhibition.
Designed to monitor high and low pipeline pressure for up to six gases, and developed by the company over the last two years, the new panel was demonstrated on the shire controls stand by Shire Controls founder and MD, Cliff Caswell and his colleagues, Greg Gardiner and Tony Hill. He explained: “We began developing the new SAX-D panel before the COVID-19 outbreak, but became acutely aware of the oxygen issues some hospitals were encountering during the pandemic. The new alarm panel is very much tailored to ensuring healthcare engineering personnel on hospital sites are made aware of low gas pressure before it becomes a significant patient safety threat.
“For the first time,” he continued, “we have incorporated a ‘Call hospital engineer’ function with indicator light, which will show when pressure reaches a user-preset low level. When the light activates, nursing or other clinical personnel will know they must alert a healthcare engineer immediately, so the engineer can identify the reason for the pressure drop, and the location, and act before it becomes a more significant problem. In the past we know of nurses seeing a low pressure warning on the alarm panel and not knowing what to do.”
The new SAX-D also features a Modbus communication interface, allowing the panel to download information directly to a hospital’s Ethernet, and to connect to its BMS. Bluetooth functionality, and a dedicated ‘app’, enable adjustment of line pressures wirelessly from any on-site location within range via a mobile phone or laptop. Cliff Caswell added: “By using pressure transducers, we can preset all the alarms just before ship the panel, which means hospital engineers will spend less time making adjustments on site. Hospitals with one of our existing SAX-6 alarm panels can also link these to the SAX-D, and when they feel it’s time to upgrade, but have limited funds, can replace their main or central alarm panel with the new alarm panel, and can drive the old ‘repeater’ unit from it.”