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‘State-of-the-art’ theatres installed at Galway’s Merlin Park Hospital

Two new elective orthopaedic theatres at Merlin Park University Hospital in Galway have been equipped with Bender’s ‘state-of-the-art’ operating theatre equipment, advanced medical IT power systems, and residual current monitoring devices.

Construction of the new €10.57 theatre building in the grounds of Merlin Park Hospital began in March 2021, and was handed over in April this year. Varming Consulting Engineers acted as M&E designers and M&E ancillary design certifiers under BCAR.

Following a successful tender process, the electrical installation package was awarded and completed by Limerick-based H&F Electrical, which Bender Ireland’s services for the critical power and theatre clinical package. H&F Project manager, Chris McBrearty, said: “We have used Bender several times on medical projects, and its knowledge, expertise, and professionalism, made awarding this project to it an easy choice to allow H&F to deliver an extremely high standard of work for our client.”

The development, by HSE West Saolta University Health Care Group, comprises the 620m² theatre building, a recovery suite, ancillary accommodation, and plant facilities to support the two theatre suites. Both feature Merivaara Q-Flow LED surgical lights and monitor arms, offering ‘best-in-class’ illumination, colour rendering, and anti-shadow technology. Q-Flow operating lights incorporate space between the inner and outer part to allow air to pass through, reducing air turbulence and optimising clean airflow. Bender said: “This is vital for orthopaedic surgery to reduce infection risk.” The lights incorporate 4K cameras linked to 55 in hydraulic arm-mounted monitors, and each theatre has dual 42 in vertical customised Bender PACS displays for viewing patient scans, X-rays, and other medical data.

Bender’s glass CP9 touchscreen theatre control panels provide control and monitoring of the operating room equipment through a central location. Each 24 in CP9 provides the alarm status of ventilation, surgical, and room lighting, and monitors medical IT power provision. This includes a schematic display for the two theatres that can pinpoint the location of any electrical faults and power issues, and remote monitoring of the medical IT power (IPS) and uninterruptible power (UPS) installations within the building.

Utilising the CP915 (15 in touchscreen) located outside the theatre door, Bender has developed a clinical information portal that allows staff to view the theatre status before entry, while displaying the room’s in-use status, and warning about X-ray and laser activity.

Within the recovery area, an additional CP915 alarm panel at the nurse station displays a complete architectural layout of the five bed-bays in the recovery suite. It continuously monitors non-critical power systems, lighting, and other infrastructure, using Bender residual current monitoring technology (RCM), and displays alarms that clinical and technical staff can easily understand and respond to.

RCM identifies potential issues with all TN (grounded) electrical systems at a pre-critical stage, enabling predictive and preventive maintenance, and thus avoiding power outages. Power quality measuring devices provide data to effectively manage power usage, cut energy costs, and reduce carbon footprint.

Bender Medical IT systems deliver ‘no-fail’ power supplies to the theatres, and incorporate ATICS auto-changeover technology with a second source of power supply to the operating rooms. ATICS is purpose-designed for medical applications, with patient safety at its heart. The system is said to ‘assure total resilience’ for the medical IT systems and two 60 KVA UPS with full HTM-compliant battery back-up systems.

Bender explained: “RCM and PQM devices deliver extensive data on the TN network, and, along with all the medical IPS and UPS equipment, are connected to our POWERSCOUT reporting software, which  provides real-time remote monitoring and gives hospital engineers an accurate representation of the electrical infrastructure. POWERSCOUT enables Facilities managers to track and manage energy use more effectively, and analyse power system performance from different areas of the facility. The automated report on residual current and power quality forms the basis for verifying the integrity of the system without switch-off, obviating need for periodic inspection and testing.”

Chris Simmons, Country manager for Bender Ireland, explained: “Bender Ireland is now one of the few companies with the knowledge and expertise to supply and deliver a full turnkey theatre package, and this project has been fully delivered by our local experts in Ireland.

“Merlin Park represents the next step for operating theatre technology, and the highest level of resilient power in medical facilities. Clinical staff can access the latest technology and record and stream operations in real-time. Advanced touchscreen panels provide intuitive fingertip theatre control, and access to patient scans and data will ensure optimum efficiency and patient safety in the new facilities.”

The two new theatres are – Bender says – ‘set to make a key contribution to restoring full elective orthopaedic procedures at Merlin Park’, and ‘support the much-needed reduction of waiting list times’ by enabling the hospital to carry out up to 4,000 procedures each year.

 

 

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