b. Portable lights are necessary for satisfactory illumination in some operative
procedures such as vaginal or rectal surgery. Storage battery lights should be provided
for emergency lighting during a power failure. These must be inspected, tested, and
recharged at frequent intervals, as prescribed by local policy.
a. Discussion. In rooms where explosion hazards exist, circuits supplying
electrical current for lighting and for wall outlets are all grounded to a common ground to
prevent arcs and sparks and to reduce the possibility of electrical shocks to personnel.
b. Outlets. Explosion-proof outlets for mobile equipment are located in the
walls about one foot from the floor and also near the operating table. The alternating
current (AC) and direct current (DC) outlets are clearly marked by color and shape to
prevent plugging a piece of electrical apparatus into the wrong current. These wall
outlets have interlocking switches so that a plug cannot be withdrawn or inserted while a
plug is securely inserted into the outlet. The current is broken into an explosion-proof
enclosure before the plug is removed. Outlets and switches, which are not explosion-
proof are mounted five feet above the floor, in areas where flammable anesthetic agents
are administered to patients, because the area is considered to be hazardous up to that
level. In some surgical suites, even those outlets that are
nonexplosion-proof are mounted five feet from the floor.
c. Extension Cords. Extension cords that are not explosion-proof are never to
be used to connect mobile equipment to wall outlets because such cords are
hazardous. The foot control pieces for mobile electrical equipment are insulated as a
precaution against explosion.
d. Other Fixtures. Other items of electrical equipment usually included are
vapor-proof X-ray view boxes built directly into the wall and an explosion-proof electric
wall clock with a sweep second hand.
(1) Operating room suites of the future will be designed to facilitate the use
of computers in the monitoring of patients, in obtaining diagnostic data and calculations,
and in the ordering of supplies. Hospital designers may plan for computer terminals to
be directly accessible to specially trained individuals who can interpret the data in the
mounted shelves and mounted cabinets, and freestanding storage cabinets are being
used less and less because of difficulty in cleaning and maintaining supplies.