Parre (Bergamo)

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12th February 2009

Good care starts with the installations

ScameYou're already not feeling well when you go to the hospital, just imagine if the poor plant engineering makes you feel even worse.

We can all recall sensational cases of poor health care resulting from the reversal of tubes, dispersed current or a power failure during operations.

And yet a way to prevent, or at least minimize, the occurrence of these regrettable events does exist: strictly comply with the standards.



IEC 60364-7-710 (*)

We can start with IEC 60364-7-710 Section 710, which covers precisely rooms used for medical purposes, aiming to set out requirements to guarantee the safety of patients subjected to the use of electro-medical devices in rooms “intended for diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical, monitoring or rehabilitation purposes (including aesthetic treatments)”.

First of all, the rooms must be divided into groups.

In Group 0 rooms no electro-medical devices are used, while in Group 1 rooms parts of electro-medical devices are applied externally or invasively on/in any part of the body except the cardiac area.

In Group 2 rooms the electro-medical devices are applied during heart surgery, surgical operations or treatments to keep the patient alive.

Scame Group 0
Scame Group 1
Scame Group 2

Patient area:

(*) IEC 60364-7-710
Electrical installations of buildings
Part 7-710
Requirements for special installations or locations
Medical locations




The IT-M system

The distribution system in these rooms must be of the type IT-M, in other words with an isolation transformer for medical use, and it must be equipped with a permanent insulation monitor device IEC 61557-8 (*) meeting the following requirements:

  • internal impedance of at least 100kΩ;
  • test voltage which does not exceed 25V dc;
  • test current which, even during failures, does not exceed 1mA dc;
  • the indication must occur when the insulation resistance drops below 50kΩ;
  • the insulation device must not be disconnectable.


(*) IEC 61557-8
Electrical safety in low voltage distribution systems
up to 1000V a.c. and 1500V d.c.
Equipment for testing, measuring or monitoring
of protective measures
Part 8: Insulation monitoring devices for IT systems




Isolation transformer

Particular attention must be given to the characteristics of the isolation transformer and its installation modes.

In addition to complying with the standard IEC 61558-2-15(*), and having to be installed inside the medical room (or outside, but in the immediate vicinity), its nominal voltage at the secondary must not exceed 250V ac and its power must be within a range of values from 0.5kVA to 10kVA.

Other requirements are set forth in IEC 60364-7-710, which should be consulted carefully during the design and realization of installations of this type.

The health and peace of mind of all of us depends on it.

(*) IEC 61558-2-15
Safety of power transformers,
power supply units and similar
Part 2-15
Particular requirements for isolating transformers
for the supply of medical locations



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