Hospital critical areas depend more and more on the use of electricity, because much of their vital equipment requires it. Controlling any electrical leakage currents associated with the equipment in critical areas of hospitals is crucial, as it involves the safety of patients.
Hospital critical areas are perhaps the areas which require the greatest care, as patients are exposed to electrical currents which can be deadly. Therefore, in Colombia’s Reglamento Interno de Instalaciones Eléctricas [Internal Regulation of Electrical Installations], hospitals are considered special facilities as they can be built in such a way so as that electrical leakage currents can be controlled.
Electrical leaks occur when the energy leaves its normal circuit and creates contact with another conducting body. Electric currents then pass through that conducting body, putting at risk those who are exposed to these electrical conductors.
In these critical areas —areas where patients are highly exposed to these currents flowing through medical equipment— there is no perfect insulation and equipment can malfunction at any time, leaving patients exposed too many risks, such as:
- The Macro Shock: this occurs when a large amount of current flows through the skin and tissues and causes severe burns, muscle contractions and can even cause death as currents can circulate through the internal organs such as the heart, hypothalamus, diaphragm or spinal cord.
In this case, the PG LifeLink Isolated Power Panels provide continuous service by controlling the leakage current at the time of the first fault.
- The Micro Shock: this occurs when leakage currents go through invasive conductors near the heart such as pacemakers, or can flow through the skin through catheters or other elements. These currents are very dangerous since they are below the level of human perception, but they can provoke fibrillation of the cardiac muscle or other effects without leaving a trace.
In this case PG LifeLink Isolated Power Panels keep the leakage currents in check and generate an alarm which is the starting point for searching for the fault.
The prevention of these and other incidents is paramount to the running of hospitals, which is why the electrical systems inside their equipment must have high standards of quality and good performance, controlling possible leaks to protect the life of patients and medical personnel, and avoiding accidents.
IASS Ingeniería and Post Glover LifeLink have trained our staff to provide you with the necessary products and services to control leakage currents. Contact us to learn more.