Hospital-Grade Products Stop Infection, Improve Patient Safety
Of all the industries that ShowMeCables serves, when it comes to making products that are safe and reliable, the stakes are always high for the health care industry. Whether we are providing bacteria-resistant Ethernet cables or hospital-grade power cords, we realize that our products will be applied with human lives on the line.
Below we describe some of the ways health care connectivity products differ from those of other industries. We also clarify some of the specifications you will see when shopping for these products.
Antibacterial/Antimicrobial Ethernet Cable Assemblies
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that infections contracted in American hospitals lead to 99,000 deaths every year. The CDC also reports that 1 in 31 hospital patients gets an infection every day. Awareness of the problem has been high since at least 2009, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a national action plan to prevent what it calls HAIs, or health care-associated infections.
One way that HAIs can spread is via the telecommunications and networking cables that keep a health care facility connected. Harmful bacteria and other pathogens may take the cables for a ride, contaminate surrounding objects and surfaces, and expose patients. Most countries have strict codes aimed at preventing this by maintaining an environment that is optimally free of bacteria and other dangerous microbes. One way to meet such codes is to cover and seal cable assemblies with an additional material. But if adding cable jacketing or shrouding is deemed too costly or bulky, an alternate solution is to use cable made with bacteriostatic and antimicrobial materials.
ShowMeCables offers a line of antibacterial cable assemblies that are 99.9% effective in stopping microbial growth. They’re made with bacteriostatic materials in the cable's jacket, plugs and boots that inhibit growth of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Internationally, they meet ISO 22196:2011 requirements regarding “measurement of antibacterial activity on plastics and other nonporous surfaces.” Their effectiveness is confirmed by independent lab results.
Health care is not the only industry using antibacterial/antimicrobial cables. These products are also being deployed in pharmaceutical and medical device testing and manufacturing, restaurants, food processing, schools, government facilities, mass transit and public places.
Hospital-Grade Power Cords and Extension Cords
Modern medicine wouldn’t be modern without power cords. Consider some of the machines a hospital relies on, from electric beds to patient monitors to surgical lights. They restore health and often help keep people alive, which is why there are strict regulations for their design and function. In North America and Japan, special power cords are required for use with any equipment in a hospital or medical setting. Similar recommendations are followed by Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and others.
One reason special cords are needed is because hospitals are hard on them. Beds and other medical equipment are often moved without being unplugged, putting strain on the power cords. If a plug’s grounding blade breaks off inside a wall outlet, the resultant electrical shock could be deadly to a patient or medical staff. To ensure safety, hospital-grade power cords have bigger plugs on the end to keep the smaller wires inside the cable farther away from the outside of the cable. Also, both Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) require that:
- Blade plugs are made of solid (not folded) brass
- Blade plugs are nickel-plated
- Plugs include a strain relief or similar device to reduce stress on internal components
- Plugs are marked with a green dot to signify hospital-grade.
Know Your Amps and Volts
While shopping for hospital-grade power and extension cords, be sure to know the amperage and voltage requirements of your electrical device. Each of the four most common connector types has a different combination of amp/volt ratings. If the cord is rated as 5-15, it handles 15 amps/125 volts; 5-20 is 20 amps/125 volts; 6-15 is 15 amps/250 volts; and 6-20 is 20 amps/250 volts.
These cords are commonly used with devices that interact directly with patients, such as hospital beds. Such devices are defined as “patient care equipment” used within “patient vicinity” in the regulations for hospital-grade power cords. However, they are also used with lab equipment such as microscopes and centrifuges.
Antibacterial cable assemblies prevent infections from spreading in health care facilities. Rugged but flexible power cords with reinforced plugs keep devices operating even as they’re repeatedly moved around. When you invest in such hospital-grade products, you’re not only following regulations, you’re promoting health and improving safety in one of the most critical industries.
For hospital-grade products that are in-stock and available for same-day delivery, check out our selection of antibacterial Ethernet cable assemblies and power and extension cords. Have questions? Reach our sales team at 1-888-519-9505 or via email at Sales@ShowMeCables.com.