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One of ACR’s eight mechanical inspections includes an examination of the device’s brakes. A common problem I hear from my customers is that their system will not stay still. Many ultrasound systems are on casters and having brakes that don’t work can create a safety issue. Also, while the sonographer is scanning a patient, the machine may move when they go to adjust the control panel or user interface. They send this complaint to the biomed who promptly calls me to buy some new casters. My reply? “Adjust the brakes first.”
Ultrasound systems use plates to apply pressure to the casters. This pressure locks the wheels in place, preventing the machine from rolling. They can lock front to back movement as well as steering rotation. If this pressure is weakened, then the casters can move.
There are many factors that can cause casters to wear out, the most common is simply age. Sometimes the system has been dragged while the brakes are locked, wearing them out. The good news is that most of the OEMs provide the ability to adjust the pressure on the brake.
Cart level D and earlier allow you to adjust the length of the linkage connecting the pedal to the caster. You can adjust each of the front brakes individually. E carts and later models have automatic brake adjustments.
GE Logiq/Vivid Systems
These systems have an adjustment on each brake. Remove the cover and you will find a hole in the middle of the plate. Inserting an Allen wrench allows you to tighten and loosen the brakes. You will want to adjust by half a turn at a time. Too tight can cause damage to the caster.
There are 2 different brake types used. The older versions have an adjustment nut on the bottom of the caster. Using a wrench on the second nut allows you to tighten and loosen the brakes. You will want to adjust by half a turn at a time.
The newer version uses a linkage assembly to adjust the brakes. You will need to remove the C-clip and drop the linkage down. Then you need to loosen the locking nut. This will allow you to spin the linkage to tighten or loosen the brakes.
When adjusting the brakes, be sure to make the adjustments with the brakes in the off position. Make sure that the brakes can be easily engaged after adjustments, since there are many different people that will use the system. Do not over tighten as this can result in the brake pedal releasing suddenly injuring the user or may damage the brake assembly itself. Remember, safety matters.
For more ultrasound technical tips and tricks, or to view technical support videos visit www.conquestimaging.com. 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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