There are approximately 10,000 device-related patient injuries per year in US. These injuries include electrical shock caused by electricity flowing through body, which can possibly, in the worst cases, cause muscle spasms, burns, cardiac and respiratory arrest, or ventricular fibrillation.
So who’s responsible for electrical safety equipment? It’s not in the hands of just one person – it is a shared responsibility between nurses, engineers, manufacturers and hospitals to ensure compliance with certain standards for everyone’s safety. Sometimes it is merely the lack of knowledge on the part of the staff and other times it’s just a matter of wear and tear. Every machine is different. While some require little preventative maintenance, others need require complete overhaul from time to time.
Medical facilities must have an medical equipment inspection and documentation system in place to ensure the safety of all electrical medical equipment, including:
- Electrical test measurements to ensure that the leakage current is below the safety threshold
- Physical inspections to detect any early signs of wear and tear
- Professional training for all staff in contact with the devices
And it’s not just a matter of safety! Regular checks give you the documentation required by government agencies and prevent legal liability.
When it comes to medical electrical safety, the main concern is the well-being of all persons that come in contact with the equipment, staff and patients alike. That’s why it’s essential that electrical equipment in any type of healthcare facility be checked on a regular basis to ensure proper use and maintenance.