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Joined: Mar 2003
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Got a mind blank at the moment re recommendations, guidelines, standards on the safe use of PCs around patients in a critical care environment - minimum requirements to satisfy patient safety ctiteria including any references to safe distance from patient (touch) etc - documents pertinent to the UK/EU only please - any takers?

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Master
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Hi Paul, Table Annex I of the lastest version BS EN 60601-1:2006+A11:2011 page 363 should throw some light on the subject.

Send me a PM if you need more info.

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One problem that you need to be aware of is that some PCs, particularly laptops have a high earth leakage current. This is a feature of the switch mode power supply, which in many cases is not referenced to earth. You might have say 18V DC, but this is floating, and if you measure between either leg of the DC supply to earth you will measure about 100v AC. If you measure the current, you might get about 100 microamps, although it could be much higher. Any accessible conductive surfaces on the PC, such as the metal body of a connector, will be at that potential, so if you touch it while in contact with the patient, it could be nasty!

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Hello Paul, I agree with Malcolm's EN60601-1. We've solved this problem in our ICU. The non-ME PC should not be in the Patient environment - (1.5m around the patient bed). All ME devices in the Patient environment should be connected with the hospital net or non-ME PCs against the rule 16.5 Separation devices. We, in Czech republic, have own national standard harmonized with EN, but I think you too. I discovered this page http://download.aims-net.com/download/IEC_60601-1ed31_uviiBeF1nit9.pdf Look for: patient environment, separation devices. Good luck and greeting from Prague!

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You need to establish what the "patient environment" is. Local definitions may vary, but 1.5 m around the patient may suffice. We always used to reckon it was at least "anything the patient can touch".

And then keep all PC's out of there! smile

And that goes for printers, CD-players, smart phones, trailing "extension cables", "wall warts" (mains power adaptors), hair dryers, toasters ... and all the rest of that [censored] as well. whistle

@bam :

Ten years on and counting.

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Hero
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Quote:
You need to establish what the "patient environment" is. Local definitions may vary, but 1.5 m around the patient may suffice.

I think, as mentioned above, it is precisely defined.

You can get "medical grade" PCs, i.e. ones specifically made to conform to medical rather than domestic safety standards so they can be in the patient environment.

We use Advantech ones as they are also splash proof and are designed to be easily cleaned.

I asked the MHRA once about PCs in out-patients that are on doctors desks and was told to use my discretion if I thought they posed no real risk. Obviously ITU is a different problem.

Robert


My spelling is not bad. I am typing this on a Medigenic keyboard and I blame that for all my typos.
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Of course you could purchase a handful of medical grade isolation transformers...........should keep your purchasing department happy!!

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Hero
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But not the infection control people. shrug


My spelling is not bad. I am typing this on a Medigenic keyboard and I blame that for all my typos.
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Master
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As long as the PC conform to their particular standard (I believe)EN 60950 you could then apply the EN 62353 as it states..For equipment not built to IEC 60601-1 these requirements may be used taking into account the safety standards for the design and information in the instructions for use of that equipment, especially as you have an equipment leakage limit of 500uA for class I equipment's,
applying as always a large dose of good sense.

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Super Hero
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Amperes and Volts (not to mention Ohms) remain as previously experienced and understood regardless of whatever fudges get dreamed up by the Standards Dons.

Yes; Common Sense is the main point here. And (as I may have mentioned before) continued vigilance by the *Biomed, roaming around the hospital with his eyes open.

* The Custodian of Patient Electrical Safety

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