Isolation transformers for medical use

Medical-grade electrical transformers prevent system failures and protect patients and healthcare personnel from electrical shock.


According to the Study of Fire Victims in Spain, about 30% of fires in homes were caused by electrical failures. And if the fire is devastating for any home and its occupants, if the fire occurs in an operating room or any space in a hospital, the severity is multiplied exponentially, as well as the probability of fatality.

The eventualities that can arise with the electricity supply are various, but they all have a common denominator: they represent the difference between life and death in medical facilities. The consequences of a momentary power outage, or a fluctuation in electrical charge, can be fatal, especially during surgical procedures. Or, as we’ve seen recently with the Covid-19 pandemic, have disastrous consequences for patients who rely on machines and respirators.

In the hospital sector, it is vital to have isolation transformers to protect and prevent these possible problems.



Isolation transformers: what are they?

We can define the isolation transformer as a device that provides protection against electric shock, capable of preventing short circuits or accidents that result in fires.

Circuits that cannot withstand direct current load need protection. The isolation transformer provides that protection, increasing or declining the alternating currents before they reach the main equipment to which it is connected.

Therefore, isolation transformers separate a part of an electrical circuit from the main powers, guaranteeing the proper functioning of the unit. We are talking about transformers that are similar to any other type, but found in applications that have sensitive circuits.

The transformers for clinical use are manufactured to guarantee the maximum safety of hospital patients, managing to isolate the external electrical supply from the power supply of the different elements and machines used in medicine.


“They are transformers that are similar to any other type, but found in applications that have sensitive circuits.



Characteristics and advantages of isolation transformers

The importance of an isolation transformer in hospitals is vital. In the functionality of the transformers we find the advantages that come with them.

Thus, isolation transformers for medical use are machines designed to supply power to electrical installations for certain rooms for medical use. All this complying with the applicable international technical standards and the regulations of each country.

Among its main advantages we find its ability to avoid risks for patients, such as electrical leakage currents when passing through the body.

Isolation from the electrical network prevents the macro-shock of medical personnel and ensures the continuity of electrical service in the event of the first failure. In addition, and together with other complementary measures, it allows preventing and monitor a possible micro-shock in patients.

Another of its main characteristics is that they reduce electromagnetic interference and improve the signal strength, guaranteeing the safety of the devices.


“Among its main advantages we find its ability to avoid risks for patients, such as electrical leakage currents when passing through the body.




A justified obligation

Considering the aforementioned functions, it is better understood why they are mandatory in hospitals and clinical spaces. We cannot forget that health centres, operating rooms, hospital rooms, etc. have electrical equipment.

In summary, isolation transformers for medical use are used to:

• Reduce the risks of shock for patients, doctors and healthcare personnel.
• Guarantee the continuity of the feeding, of vital importance because there are numerous devices that must work continuously for the safety and the life of the patient.
• Reduce device noise by reducing vibration.
• Anticipate equipment failure, allowing time to take measures to safeguard each patient.



Areas of use in hospitals

We have already seen that isolation transformers for medical use are essential for both healthcare personnel and patients, hence they are specially designed for mounting clinical facilities.

In clinics and hospitals, the electrical system must be installed in compliance with technical standards and guaranteeing isolation. It is at this point where isolation transformers designed for medical use intervene, preventing electric shocks and ensuring the continuity of the electrical supply. Such as, for example, single-phase and three-phase transformers with galvanic isolation between primary and secondary for mounting in medical facilities with IT systems, such as surgical units, ICU, ICU, resuscitation, in accordance with the IEC EN 61558-2-15 standard. : 2012.

This regulation establishes specifications such as a high level of isolation with an electrostatic screen between primary and secondary or that the rated power must not be less than 0.5 kVA, nor greater than 10 kVA single-phase and three-phase transformers.

Hospital innovation is another field where these devices are vital. Medical rooms increasingly have an ultra-evolved technology, with robots to guide probes and forceps to operate in a less invasive way. Or real-time consultation monitors, online retransmission of surgical interventions, etc. In other words, a growing apparatus that requires, perhaps more than ever, transformers specially designed for medical use.



  • Dale Sewell says:

    We are trying to have a piece of equipment installed in a remote area of our hospital where Isolated power is not available. We can provide 120/208 or 277/480 volt power. The equipment requires a 3Kva system feeding a protected NEMA 6-20R receptacle. I there portable or fixed power supply to meet our needs?

    • etkho says:

      Hi Dale!

      For remote applications with few electrical outlets, we have a 2.5KVA or 3.15KVA portable isolation panel, at 208Vac or 120Vac, with one or two breakers, including an insulation monitor.
      In parallel and if required for the project, a UPS could be included to cover the necessary demand in the event of a general power failure.

      Please contact us for further information.

      Best regards.

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