Recently, Bender’s service team was dispatched to a California hospital to perform annual testing on 13 isolated power systems. The line isolation monitors in these systems were a mix of antiquated analog monitors and more recent, but still obsolete, digital monitors dating from the early 2000s. While most of the older digital monitors passed functionality and code testing, the analog monitors failed. These analog monitors had an alarm threshold of 2 mA for a first-fault condition, which is well below the current code standard of 5 mA.
When speaking with the clinical staff, it was discovered that many of these rooms experienced nuisance alarming due to this low threshold. In addition to the lower, non-code-compliant threshold, several monitors failed functionality testing. Several lighting indicators did not illuminate, and in a few concerning instances, when a simulated fault was applied to the system (higher than 5 mA), the monitor read nearly 2 mA beyond the appropriate THC (total hazard current). This large of a discrepancy between the monitor’s internal calculations and the known condition of the system indicates that the monitor’s internal software is no longer functioning at a dependable level and it should be replaced immediately.
In total, 7 of the 13 systems tested at this facility were out of compliance with code and functionality. Upon receiving this data from the field technician, the Bender team constructed a remediation plan to correct the deficiencies with as few interruptions to the hospital as possible. Retrofit kits specific to the style of panel present at the facility were selected, along with the appropriate remote indication, to ensure that the new monitors would fit and function with the existing equipment. After they are installed, the Bender team will return to re-certify the panels annually, confirming that the new LIMs are fully functioning and correctly monitoring the isolated power system, returning those operating rooms to the level of safety assuredness that clinicians have come to expect.
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With all life safety equipment, it is critical to ensure proper use and function through proper preventative maintenance measures. The due diligence of Bender-authorized technicians and the Bender service team allows healthcare facilities, their clinical staff, patients, and families, to enjoy the full coverage of electrical safety during procedures by ensuring the peak performance of the isolated power systems.
Our service team is ready to assist you. If your facility is in need of annual testing, or you simply want more information, contact our team of experts.
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