Have you ever been ill and rushed into hospital? The only thing that your mind focuses on is how soon will you be treated so that you can be relieved from pain. It is normal not to remember things such as batteries when you are in excruciating pain, but without a power backup plan, it would be impossible to run such an institute.
There is various hospital equipment that relies on batteries like the Fiamm 12FLB350, such as blood analysers, defibrillators, thermometers, and even heart monitors. That is why it is important for hospitals to have a backup plan in case the main power source is interrupted. It is vital that certain hospital equipment stays on at all times, such as intensive care systems and theatre operating equipment.
According to a report published by the 2017 Global Market For Medical Devices, The United States market that specialises in medical devices earns revenue of about $180 billion. This revenue is considered to be the largest compared to other countries around the world.
Understand How Batteries Work
Most devices found around a hospital are usually connected to an AC supply as the main power source. However, that does not mean that batteries are less important. Remember, devices such as dialysis systems, anaesthesia machines, and even ventilators, need something to regulate power supply in case the main source of power is not stable.
Batteries have the ability to charge again even after receiving a shallow discharge. That is because both valve-regulated and sealed lead-acid can maintain the same basic flow. This is also referred to as a rise or increase in internal resistance.
However, you also need to remember that an increase in internal resistance can affect the voltage, causing it to drop — and this would certainly be a disaster in a medical institute. All manufacturers have one common mistake, which is not to install batteries that can handle a high load caused by an increase in internal resistance.
Batteries That Charge Fast
Batteries that contain lithium-ion cells are not reliable because they take too long to charge. This is caused by the chemical and physical changes that are taking place inside the battery cells. Furthermore, batteries should be able to charge with a lower current that is convenient for the user. Moreover, the batteries should only be recharged when the power has dropped to a point that the equipment is no longer functioning at a hundred per cent.
When it comes to portable dialysis, any machine used to transport a patient should have a unit that is able to recharge within a short period in order to continue offering assistance to the patient.
Most large hospitals purchase about 97,000 batteries per year. The sad news is that most of these batteries are then disposed of after a short period of being used. This leads to major concerns regards to recycling programs.
How Should Hospitals Handle Battery Issue?
Hospitals should develop recycling programs for batteries. It is understandable that hospitals’ first priority is to save lives, but they are not doing any good by exposing everyone to toxic waste products when they dispose of batteries.
A new policy on targets and environmental goals should be introduced for hospitals and must be mandatory. This will help strategise on how to educate the staff and reduce unnecessary cost.
Battery maintenance is an issue that biomedical engineer technicians tackle each day, according to a report published by the AAMI Association.
Battery Recycling Programs Should Be a Priority
To make sure that this particular project is successful, hospitals should be held responsible for assessing demand and purchasing of batteries and have a convenient way of disposing of batteries that they are no longer in use. A good option is to connect to a vendor who deals in collecting such waste products to recycle. This will help make sure that the batteries are recycled and not exposed to both humans and the environment.