During my daily wander around the wards this afternoon, I encountered no less than five bits of kit "plugged in" to a mains outlet, but not being charged, due to the dreaded IEC mains cable not being fully home in the socket at the back of the equipment (NIBP/SpO2 "monitors", as you've probably already guessed).

Back in the good old days of HTM-8 we had fixed mains cables, which had to be longer than a specified minimum length. When did the IEC cables come in, I wonder, and why? Is it because of the "pull away" capability? If this is (was) indeed the reason for their adoption, how come I see so many secured to equipment by cable ties, P-clips etc.? (not that either is much use in preventing the problem mentioned above, of course ... they simply keep the tested cable with its designated piece of kit.)

I suspect that we have been lumbered with these detachable mains cables simply because their use makes it easy for manufacturers to sell equipment worldwide, and just supply a cable with the appropriate (hopefully) mains plug at the other end.

Meanwhile, I've noticed some new powered beds with non-detachable mains cables. So what's going on here?

The trouble with the old non-detachable mains cables was that they were not always easy to replace (... that is putting it rather mildly in some cases emerging from the mists of my memory)!

... but back to IEC cables:-

Originally Posted By: KM
I wonder if anyone else hates these leads as much as me?

Seems that youíre not alone, Karl. Maybe we should start a campaign for a new standard. I suggest keeping the (now) ubiquitous IEC lead, but urging manufacturers to secure them by means of a retaining device needing tools to release (to change) the cable. The Graseby 500 volumetric infusion pump may be a good example. The WarmTouch bed warmer is another that comes to mind.

But, better yet, letís hope that the next round of equipment re-designs will see the IEC cable secured within the equipment, accessible by removal of a cover plate or some other such (neat) arrangement. smile

Last edited by Geoff Hannis; 21/02/08 9:23 PM. Reason: HTM-8 2008 anybody?

If you don't inspect ... don't expect.