Investment in advanced test instrumentation from Rigel Medical is helping a specialist supplier of veterinary and medical equipment verify the performance and safety of important electrosurgical devices.
Bristol-based Freelance Surgical Ltd. is an established and market leading medical equipment company specialising in the supply of operating and ITU equipment, as well as other medical supplies, to veterinary practices and hospitals.
The company's extensive range of specialist equipment ranges from orthopaedic power tools and flexible endoscopy instruments to general operating theatre medical equipment and pre-hospital equipment.
As part of a rigorous quality control policy all items supplied are safety and function tested prior to dispatch in the Freelance Surgical service centre.
For electrosurgical devices and power generators, the company is now using an advanced Uni-Therm unit from Rigel Medical to ensure that all equipment remains compliant with the relevant medical device standards and performs within required specifications.
Electrosurgical equipment uses high frequency electricity to produce enough heat to enable surgeons to cut tissue or seal bleeding vessels during operations. The sophisticated devices work by using the body as a conductor and to ensure the highest levels of patient safety, it is critical that the performance of surgical generators is verified on a regular basis.
At Freelance Surgical, the company’s service team uses the Uni-Therm as part of the regular service, repair, testing and analysis of electrosurgical devices and associated diathermy instruments used in veterinary practices.
The Uni-Therm carries out a range of tests in line with the IEC 60601-2-2 type testing standard for electromedical equipment, using its unique load bank and current measurement technology to stimulate the behaviour of body tissue.
As a result, the instrument can accurately analyse the performance of all types of surgical generators across a wide range of impedances, including those operating at high current levels.
The Uni-Therm enables the Freelance Surgical engineers to upload the power distribution curves of different items of equipment for automatic comparison against preset power curves over time and to manufacturer’s specifications.
Upper and lower limits of performance can be established and tolerances refined to ensure that operational norms are maintained.
Steve Griffiths, service manager at Freelance Surgical, explained: "Users of specialist electromedical devices should understand that more rigorous analysis and testing is required than that provided by conventional portable appliance testing.
"We are dealing with important operating theatre equipment and it is therefore vital that the highest levels of safety and performance standards are maintained.
"The simple to operate technical capabilities of the Uni-Therm mean we can reliably and regularly analyse devices, monitor the results over time and identify any changes to performance that should be rectified.
"This higher level testing means we can give customers much more comprehensive service reports, alongside the confidence that their important electromedical equipment continues to be fit for purpose."
Product features of the Uni-Therm include a built-in memory, automatic test sequencing, and comprehensive data management facilities – all supported by a large full colour screen display of step-by-step operating instructions to ensure the correct connection and testing of the device under test.