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Medical Cart Battery Fires & Resources

June 1, 2018

Medical Cart Battery Fires & Resources

A follow-up post to Medical Cart Battery Fires – Code RED; published here on medical cart blog – cartadvocate

Medical Carts are often powered meaning they utilize their own power system in the form of a battery to power other peripherals on the cart. Then the battery only need be charged / recharged / charging to maintain the power supply for the cart, and it’s peripherals. The power supply systems on medical carts are currently a detriment to our patient healthcare outcomes. Simply put – healthcare professionals are clinical care providers. They are no more biomedical engineer than an engineer is an RN. If this is true, then why are we asking a massive population of healthcare professionals to monitor, maintain and participate in the constant and fatiguing behavior of managing mobile medical cart power supply?

While there is differentiation between swappable battery technology amongst manufacturers, I don’t have the data to distinguish with certainty as to which companies are having fires and which are not. Many companies have adopted the cost prohibitive and environmentally unfriendly mobile power system of modular battery components that are made to be exchanged by nurses on the fly without interrupting power to the cart or it’s peripherals. I’m not a fan of these systems at this time. While they may have specific applications where it truly does make sense, to implement into a fleet of medical carts across an entire hospital does not make sense.

  • Not for the hospitals’ budget: they must buy and maintain large PAR level of units
  • Not for the Care-giver: they are constantly exchanging these units from cart to charger, vice versa, and sometimes more than one unit per cart throughout shifts
  • Not for the Environment: The system by nature requires MORE batteries, and many of them if not properly charged their designed storage capacity rapidly depletes and then they don’t work anymore and the hospital must purchase – – you guessed it  – – more modular or swappable battery units.

However – even when they are done right, there are medical cart battery fires. Often times in the charging units themselves.

Previously I promised some follow-up on these medical cart battery fires. Here are a few published works online:

1. A link to my own company’s project on Medical Cart Mobile Power Systems :

http://www.americanrivermedical.com/projects/medical-cart-mobile-power-systems/ :

2. Other published works online

http://www.mcnhealthcare.com/battery-powered-mobile-medical-fire-riskscarts/

http://www.aami.org/productspublications/articledetail.aspx?ItemNumber=4695

https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ResourcesforYou/HealthCareProviders/ucm534566.htm

http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/fda-warns-fires-explosions-battery-powered-medical-carts

Charging battery melts causing smoke, fumes at Lahey Hospital in Burlington

 

For Your Medical Cart Solutions,

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