What to Know About Hospital Grade Power Cords
What makes hospital grade power cords so special? Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about hospital grade power cords.
As expected, hospitals have countless guidelines and regulations that help them protect their patients and staff.
Of all the safety hazards found in the hospital, probably one of the last ones you would think of is power cords. However, eliminating this hazard is very important to the safety inside a hospital setting.
Medical clinics and hospitals have strict guidelines to follow concerning their power sources. These guidelines are put in place to help protect both patients and staff from shock accidents, fires, and other injuries.
These guidelines include what kind of power cords hospitals can use. With a large amount of wear and tear caused by the frequent plugging in and unplugging of equipment, there is a special grade of power cords used in hospitals.
To sustain this large amount of wear and tear, hospital grade power cords were manufactured. This article will help you learn everything you need to know about hospital grade cords.
Where are Hospital Grade Power Cords Required?
All hospital-type environments in North America require these cords. These cords are especially important any place where patients will also be present.
Currently, countries like Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Japan are the only other countries that also have special requirements on hospital power cords. They may be different than North American requirements though.
This means everywhere from your dentist office to your family practitioner will have these cords in their offices.
If a medical office is using "off-the-shelf" equipment in their office, they are required to replace the traditional plug with a hospital grade cord.
Hospital Cord Standards
There are four specific standards outlined in the safety regulations for hospital power cords.
The first one is that the blades must be solid instead of folded brass.
The second is that the blades are usually nickel-plated.
Third, the plug needs to include an internal strain relief device that will help prevent any stress to the connections.
Fourth, the plug and receptacle must be marked with a green dot and "hospital-grade."
There are no specific requirements outlined for color or plug material, but here are some other common features found in the cords.
These power cords are also usually larger in size than standard plugs.
The cords can come with a clear plug but this is not required. The clear plugs are more for convenience than anything else. They can help the user to see the wire connection and make sure the connections are still good.
The standard color is usually grey but there are also no specific requirements for this either.
How Are They Different from Standard Plugs?
Hospital environments cause a lot of strain on plugs. With things constantly being unplugged and plugged back in, sometimes in a rush, standard plugs would be damaged easily.
This is why such strict standards were put into place so that hospitals could protect their patients, staff, and equipment.
Hospital grade cords are designed in a way to be much more durable than standard plugs.
Like mentioned earlier, one of the biggest differences is the plug size. The larger plug size helps to prevent accidental shock. It also helps protect the wire connections by resisting bending and large amounts of wear and tear on the plug itself.
The degradation of wire connections can be extremely dangerous in hospital type settings where large amounts of volatile chemicals are found.
The blades of the power cord must also be solid. Most standard plugs are folded brass, but hospital cords have to be solid and are usually nickel-plated.
This extra protection increases durability while helping to prevent breakage inside the plug.
Tests Performed On Hospital Power Cords
There are multiple tests that hospital cords undergo to make sure they comply with all of the safety guidelines.
These tests include that Dielectric Voltage-Withstand Test, Insulation Resistance, Flexing Test, Temperature Test, Strain Relief Test, Impact Resistance Test, and Accelerated Ageing Test.
The rigorous testing that these cords undergo is another testament to their safety.
Common Cords Used
There are tons of options out there if you are looking to replace power cords in your office.
Common ones available are cords like 16 AWG (NEMA 5-15P to NEMA 5-15R), 18 AWG NEMA (5-15P to IEC320C13), 18 AWG (NEMA 5-15P to ROJ 125V), or an 18 AWG (NEMA 5-15P to IEC320C13R).
You can use these cords to replace computers, monitors, printers, copiers, and lab equipment cords.
They are customizable which is very convenient. You can buy extension cords or cord replacements. You can choose exactly what connectors your need, the length of cord you need, and even if you need a right angle plug.
Customizations like lighted hospital plugs are also available. These plugs light up when plugged in to indicate whether the cord has power to it.
Other options available are coiled cords and cords with locking C13.
Safety Comes First
The strict regulations placed on power cords are for the protection and safety of all who use them.
These guidelines help to increase the durability and lifespan of your cords so that accidents will be avoided.
Cords are rigorously tested to maintain high standards of performance and use and to prevent any hazards.
Replacing cords can be simple and easy for medical offices, as there are many options out there for their needs.
For more information on hospital grade power cords, contact us today!