Operation of a surgery control room: key safety devices in supervision

The isolation monitor and multi-repeater, together with the alarm repeaters, are fundamental elements in the security, control and supervision of operating rooms.




Safety in surgery and operating room control is one of the pillars for the proper functioning of the interventions, as well as to guarantee their success.

It is just as important that medical personnel know the characteristics, risks and security solutions as well as having the best devices and elements so that nothing interrupts an operation / intervention.

It is necessary for healthcare personnel to have sufficient knowledge of the proper use of the instruments and devices used in the operating room, especially electrical ones, and how to correct possible operating errors and / or accidents that may occur.

In this regard, systems for the automation and control of operating rooms have been opening up a universe of new possibilities.


“These systems allow, from a central command station or command, that the surgical personnel carry out numerous tasks more efficiently, among them the control of the safety in the operating rooms.”





Principles of electrical safety in operating rooms


  • Insulation faults must not cause power failure.
  • Permanent monitoring of the electricity supply must be guaranteed.
  • Fault repairs must be able to be planned in advance.
  • Fault currents in an electrical system must be reduced to a non-critical level.


On the other hand, and in the face of risks, having key safety devices in the operating rooms in the supervision implies, in practice:


  • Minimize the chances of fires in the operating room, the incidence of which is very low but with serious consequences.
  • Accidental thermal injuries
  • Reduce complications in the use of electrosurgery.
  • Prevent leakage currents from affecting patients.



Safety devices in operating rooms

In operating and intervention rooms, different elements, devices and equipment must be taken into account that are essential for the good work of medical personnel. Especially those related to electrical installation, which is one of the most important points in these areas:


  • Protective grounding.
  • Equipotential bonding.
  • Differential and overcurrent protection.
  • Use of very low safety voltage.
  • Complementary supplies (batteries).
  • Isolation transformers.


At the same time, it is essential to carry out a weekly and even daily check of the correct operation of the insulation monitoring device and the protection devices.

Thus, two of the main devices for safety in operating rooms are isolation guards and alarm repeaters.


Isolation monitor

Since the use of isolation or circuit separation transformers is mandatory, at least one for each operating room or intervention room, the isolation watchdog and multi-repeater are also essential safety devices in supervision.

In the surgery control rooms, in turn, a control and protection panel must be available, easily accessible and in its immediate vicinity. The table includes the overcurrent protection, the isolation transformer and the isolation level monitoring device.

Isolation monitor ETKHO ES 1000


The objective is to increase the reliability of the electrical supply to equipment where a supply interruption may endanger the patient or the personnel involved, and to limit the leakage currents that may occur.

The insulation monitors, those relays that are responsible for monitoring the insulation resistance in IT systems, also monitor the leakage or differential current, both in grounded systems such as TB and TT.

This means in practice that the alarms of the insulation monitors are the ones that allow knowing the status of the equipment before any ground fault occurs. A crucial element to prevent short circuits in the electrical system of a hospital, especially in an operating room control room.

Not surprisingly, without electrical isolation malfunctions can occur in the electrical equipment of critical units, which could harm patients. It is in these areas more necessary if it is possible that the electrical appliances and equipment are subjected to tests on a regular basis, to see that the insulation monitors work well.

Isolation monitor multi repeater ETKHO MRP 249-2




Alarm repeaters

To optimize the electrical system in control rooms and operating rooms, a system and devices must be available that detect insulation leaks and facilitate their rapid solution. We already know that electrical safety in operating rooms is a matter that deserves the utmost attention.

One of the elements that must be taken into account the most is the continuity of energy flows, the purpose of which is to optimally maintain the electrical flow network and protect the patient, medical personnel, equipment and facilities. Avoid leakage currents and correct them if they occur with the utmost urgency and guarantees. An issue that has gained even more notoriety after the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this regard, ETKHO’s isolated electrical systems offer the advantage of allowing rapid problem detection, keeping systems running beyond simple faults. These monitors, for example, monitor the current and warn through a wide range of alarms about transformer overload and temperature, low or high voltage, etc. Thus, when an alarm occurs, it is essential to have systems for locating the output circuit in which the insulation leak is occurring.

When there is a risk situation, an alarm is activated inside the operating room to notify the medical staff, to then act according to the status of the medical procedure and the patient.

But often medical personnel consider this alarm a nuisance and a maintenance problem to be solved later. The truth is that, on many occasions, medical personnel do not know how to deal with these alarms. Or perhaps you are unaware of the risky situation that is occurring, especially in alarms related to electrical safety.

Hence the importance of the optimal management of technical alarm repeaters in critical areas.

Alarm repeaters, in addition to providing additional information to medical personnel, indicate what to do or who to call. Along with them, the use of touch screens in the technical panels of the operating rooms stands out, allowing the graphic display of the alarm with icons and colors.


Alarm repeater ETKHO TDS 149-2


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