Sponsored by Conquest Imaging
It’s that time of year again. The time storms can become a biomed’s worst nightmare.
Power outages are very hard on hospital equipment, but when the power comes back on is even worse. The sudden surge that comes along with the power is more than enough to damage any system. The cause is not the voltages themselves, but the current that is sent. While many of the larger systems in a hospital are equipped with large surge suppressors, ultrasound systems are usually not. The power surge has been known to damage the main power circuit at a minimum. This can range from a blown fuse to an entire AC assembly damaged.
The best way to prevent damage to a system is to disconnect it form the source. The majority of ultrasound systems have circuit breakers. When an ultrasound system is not in use, it is best to switch the circuit breaker off. If your system does not have a circuit breaker, you will want to unplug the system from the electrical outlet. This is especially true with portable units. Portables rely on their internal power supplies more than the power brick, so a surge can do a lot more damage to these systems. Better to be safe and keep them unplugged.
Another way to protect systems is to install a medical grade surge suppressor inline with the power cord. While these are not inexpensive, they are worth every penny. A high-quality surge suppressor can withstand a lightning strike.
What happens if the damage has already been done?
With many systems, there are fuses located in the AC tray that can be blown. While some are replacable, many are hard-wired to the board and the entire assembly needs to be replaced. Even if the AC tray is defective, you will still want to check the rest of the system. Please do not assume that the AC tray was able to protect the system.
A perfect example is an issue we had with a GE Vivid 7. The customer had a massive power surge and it caused the system to fail to power up. We replaced the AC tray and we got the system to show a standby light but it would not power up. We replaced the front-end power supply and still had the same issue. After replacing most of the system we were able to determine that both the AC tray and the FEPS were damaged and when we replaced one, it caused the other to fail. We had to replace both parts at the same time.
As always, the best scenario is to be prepared. So, let’s do all we can to protect our systems from the coming season.
For more ultrasound technical tips and tricks, or to view technical support videos visit www.conquestimaging.com, our blog section or visit our online Technical Support Video library for installation and removal instructions and much, much more. Conquest Imaging Technical Support is available 24/7/365 at 866-900-9404.
Mike Davis is a Technical Support Specialist at Conquest Imaging.
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