More info on Hospital-Grade Products
For a full list of Hospital Grade Cords click here.
Australian Medical Requirements
Australian medical equipment used in Australia must meet AS/NZS 3200 series. There are no special requirements for cord sets, only preferences. All Australian cord sets must use a plug approved to AS/NZS 3112 and a connector approved to IEC 60320-1, or the equivalent Australian standard. cord sets for use in Australian medical applications are preferred by hospitals to have a clear, transparent plug and connector, and orange, flexible cable. These plugs and connectors must carry an Australian approval. Interpower cords carry Department of Fair Trading.
Japanese Medical Requirements
Japans medical grade standard is JIS T1021, but the hospitals make the final decision of whether they want to use a medical grade plug or not.
Danish Medical Requirements
The Danish do have a medical grade plug standard. Medical equipment that has patient contact may use the medical grade plug, however it is not required by the Danish authority.Each hospital is responsible for the use of the hospital-grade plug and socket system. The system was introduced to give hospitals and clinics the possibility to have some "clean" circuits to protect sensitive appliances. Some hospitals may require the use of hospital-grade cords in certain areas of the hospital.
Other International Medical Markets
The other international medical markets, including European markets, typically must meet EN/IEC 60601-1. At this time, there are no special performance or construction requirements for cord sets used in these applications. cord sets typically will be Class I (with ground), PVC, and black in color. We offer the common Continental European, Argentine, British, Chinese, India/South African, Israeli, Italian, and Swiss cord sets.
North American Hospital-Grade Plug Standards and Requirements
Cords used with North American medical equipment must be hospital-grade. The plug makes the cord hospital-grade. Commonly known as hospital-grade plugs, they are subject to special requirements contained in the following standards: Medical equipment standards: UL 60601-1 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 21; Power supply cord standards: UL 817 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 21; Attachment plug and receptacle standards: UL 498 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 42.
The hospital-grade plug diameter conforms to NEMA WD-6 and UL 817 standards; (1) the blades must be solid instead of folded brass, (2) the blades are usually nickel-plated, and (3) the plug includes an internal cable retention device or strain relief to prevent any stress to the plug’s internal connections.
Interpower North American hospital-grade cords most carry the “green dot” signifying that they have been designed and tested to UL 817 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 21 as hospital-grade power cords and cord sets. Specifically, UL 60601-1 sections 57.2 and 57.3 require that “patient care equipment” used in the “patient vicinity” must use hospital-grade attachment plugs. “Patient care equipment” and “patient vicinity” are defined in UL 60601-1 sections 2.12.19 & 2.12.20.
There are no specific maximum lengths for cords noted in the standards listed above, yet the equipment must pass the leakage current test requirements in UL 60601-1 and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 21. cord length has an effect on leakage current within a system.
It is imperative that the ground connection be reliably maintained to protect the patient and medical staff. Although many hospitals prefer that the plug be clear so that internal connections can be inspected visually, the UL and CSA standards do not mandate clear plugs, nor do they provide any restrictions on color. Gray is another common color for hospital-grade plugs and cords.
The North American hospital and medical industry frequently sees problems with hospital grade cords. These problems typically occur in frequent, and urgent, connect and disconnect applications where plugs are quickly pulled from the socket. Click here to watch the video on how to correctly plug and unplug a hospital-grade power cord.
Please note that Interpower recommends using power cords incorporating the IEC brown, blue and green/yellow conductor color coding in place of the traditional North American black, white, green conductor color coding. Wiring various country specific power cords to equipment before export, including shipment to the U.S., is simplified when standardizing on the IEC color coding system. Both the U.S. and Canadian national electrical codes, as well as UL and CSA standards, allow the use of the IEC brown, blue, and green/yellow conductor color coding.
Special medical requirements place significance on fusing and filtering when selecting power entry modules and other components used in medical equipment. Patient-connected medical equipment can be subjected to low-leakage current requirements. The use of a low leakage filter in the 5µA range at 250VAC is desirable. In addition, fusing of both line and neutral connectors may be required (i.e. double fusing).