Insulation Monitoring Saves Lives in Finnish Operating Rooms

Time: 11:35 - 11:55

Date: 09/10/2019

Risk situations occur frequently in an operating room environment. What starts as a minor equipment failure may lead to an electrical fire and electrical shock. Finnish authorities and hospital engineers are well aware of these risks. That is why an insulation monitoring system has been mandatory in all operating rooms in Finland since 1983. This kind of a system is also required in G2 facilities in all EU countries. With this presentation, I would like to tell the audience our concept: how we have ensured the safety of the operating rooms in Finland.

Electrical damages in operating rooms are an invisible danger. Even in a Finnish modern hospital might occur over 20 faults/alarms in a day. The safety of the personnel and the patient must be ensured. The safety of the personnel and the patient must be ensured. That is why the electric power network of the operating room is separated from electrical grid with a medical isolation transformer. The insulation level monitoring system monitors all the electrical devices connected behind this transformer. The equipment indicates the faults and problems before dangerous situations arise.

The insulation level monitoring system controls each socket and device. As soon as a problem occurs, the system gives an alarm before a dangerous situation arises. In many countries, the situation is different. Operating rooms may only have a residual-current device that switches the electricity off when a device breaks down. That is not a sufficient level of safety.A residual-current device that switches the electricity off does not give a warning – insulation level monitoring is therefore needed.

A country’s own legislation may not require an IT-system and insulation-level monitoring in G2 facilities, but it is seriously worth considering. Besides safety, it all comes down to costs to a large extent. When problems are detected at an early stage, hazardous situations during operations can be prevented. This creates major cost savings.


  • Timo Ohtonen Managing Director, Founder and Owner - PPO-Elektroniikka Oy

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