As hospitals across the nation battle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the life-saving equipment housed within these facilities are in the spotlight more than ever. With doctors and nurses relying on ventilators and a broad range of other medical devices to support and save the lives of a record number of patients, the need to ensure continuous power to this equipment has never been more critical.
Because a power path is only as strong as its weakest link, the quality of power cords connected to essential equipment cannot be taken for granted. Here are four reasons why hospital-grade power cords are fundamental to ensuring that critical equipment gets an ongoing clean bill of health:
1. They’re required in any patient vicinity. Hospital-grade power cords are mandated within any environment where a patient can come into contact with a cord, including doctor and dentist offices. Specifically, UL 60601-1 sections 57.2 and 57.3 require hospital-grade attachment plugs in any “patient care equipment” that falls within the “patient vicinity.” If a medical device used in patient care fails due to a non-hospital grade cord, that facility leaves itself exposed to legal action.
2. They’ve been given the green light for proven performance (ok, it’s actually a green dot). Hospital-grade cords exhibit a green dot on the face of the plug that signifies they have been designed and tested to UL 817 and CAN/CSA C22.2 standards.
3. They’re available in a variety of options. In addition to multiple lengths and colors, medical-grade cords offer a wide assortment of alternatives. For example, cords with various gauges offer the flexibility to maximize ampacity or minimize diameter. Shielded cords reduce EMI/RFI interference, while angled plugs and connectors enable medical professionals to reach hard-to-access locations. Hospital-grade power cords are also available with locking connectors to avoid inadvertent disconnects, as well as clear end versions that visually confirm HG termination. Furthermore, cords are manufactured in NEMA 5/15 (15A/125V), NEMA 5/20 (20A/125V), NEMA 6/15 (15A/250V) and NEMA 6/20 (20A/250V) ratings.
4. They’re stronger than other power cords. Because hospitals can be among the most abusive environments for equipment, special considerations must be taken for plugs to withstand these conditions; for instance, beds and carts being frequently moved with attached devices that are plugged into the wall. With that in mind, hospital-grade plugs are constructed with heavier, stronger ground pins to reduce the risk of breakage inside the plug. In addition, they feature larger plug bodies, which virtually eliminates the risk of wire-to-outer-contour shock while providing the ability to withstand greater pull forces. Prong blades are also solid brass with no folded material, and a separate ring clamp inside the molding enhances the wire retention force.
During these rapidly evolving and uncertain times, StayOnline would like to assure you that our business operations remain intact and we are implementing ongoing actions to service our customers while keeping our employees and communities safe. Please click here for more information on our complete line of medical-grade power cords.