Maintenance best practice for electric profiling beds (EPBs)
The use of electric profiling beds is widespread across UK NHS and other health and care organisations. This equipment has made major contributions to quality of life, comfort and recovery of the patient involved, as well as to reductions in manual handling risks faced by health and care employees. Medical equipment safety – what’s involved? Electric profiling bed equipment is subject to inspection and maintenance standards as laid out by the Medical Devices Regulations 2002 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) which establishes that equipment provided for use at work must be ‘safe for use, maintained in a safe condition, and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate’. Additionally, in the latest issue of the MHRA’s Managing Medical Devices, it is stated that a “healthcare organisation’s medical device policy must cover the provision of maintenance and repair of all medical devices”. Electric profiling beds are classified in terms of both their power supply and patient safety characteristics. As with regular electrical equipment, they are designated either Class I or Class II, depending on whether the equipment has a protective earth or are doubly insulated. Where they differ is that they are also classified by the connection they have with a patient:
- Type B Applied Parts provide a certain level of protection for any part of the equipment in contact with a patient, but are not suitable for direct cardiac applications.
- Type BF Applied Parts provides greater protection against electric shocks than B but are not suitable for direct cardiac applications
- Type CF Applied Parts provides the highest degree of protection against electric shocks and are suitable for use when there are direct cardiac connections.
- Manufacturers checklist tests evaluating H&S risks to staff and Patients.
- Visual Inspection of the plug top, fuse, lead and appliance
- Protective earth community and insulation resistance
- Equipment leakage current, touch current and applied part leakage current
- Functional test for normal use