Few people ever notice the systems that support medical equipment because these structures are concealed by ceiling tiles. That said, engineered medical support structures provide for the safe and effective use of catheterization c arms, radiology equipment, lights, and service booms that can weigh 1,000 pounds or more.
Why You Need to Invest in Medical Support Structures
In this case, safety has more than one meaning. Not only do medical support structures prevent heavy equipment from crashing down on patients, doctors, and techs, they also protect the equipment from damage incurred by a fall. Suspended medical equipment requires precise placement—and once placed, these machines need to stay where they are placed.
An inadequate overhead support structure may cause other issues as well, such as excessive wear and the eventual failure of service boom brakes and clutches. With an inadequate support grid, heavy service booms may initially perform sufficiently, but the interior boom components will begin to wear and continually fail over time.
It’s also important to note that designs that do not account for load, deflection, and rotation can cause equipment to move. Medical staff constantly readjust lights and monitors to keep them where they want them, such as when X-ray machines are adjusted for readings. The deflections are tight for this industry, as OEMs for X-ray and catheterization equipment typically have a spec deflection of 1/16” or less.
Excessive deflection can lead to internal clutch or brake failure over time. When this happens, the manufacturer won’t honor the warranty because the support structure was the root cause of the equipment failure. This is an expensive mistake to make, and not only because of the cost of replacing equipment. Support failure may force hospitals to close down a room for an extended period of time, leading to an inability to generate money, which can be upward of $1 million or more in revenue for each day a room is in use.
Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t provide a means of attachment for medical equipment. Each application requires a specially-designed medical support system for safe installation. That means that you will need custom support structures for any suspended equipment made by medical OEMs. In the past, Unistrut Service Company has provided engineered support structures for several major OEMs. These manufacturers include:
- GE Healthcare
- Liko Patient Lifts / Hill-Rom
- Skytron Light
- Varian Laser
What You Need to Know When Investing in Medical Support Structures
Unistrut Service Company has extensive experience providing medical equipment support solutions for hospitals and other medical centers. Over the years, we’ve created multiple articles on best practices and helpful tips for medical support projects, several of which are now available as part of a single, downloadable eBook entitled “8 Key Considerations When Investing in Engineered Medical Support Systems.” Topics include:
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid – Medical Equipment Support Structures
- Support Structures for Medical Applications: Why Accurately Calculating Load, Deflection, and Rotation Matters
- Overhead Support Structure Mounting Options for Buildings with Inadequate Structural Members
- Options to Consider Before Re-Using an Overhead Medical Support Structure
- Retrofitting Radiology Room Support Structures
- Designing Unistrut Support Systems for Radiology and Medical Applications: Common Problems
- Medical Support Structures: Exam Lights Versus Surgical Lights
- How and Why You Should Compare Quotes
Download our new eBook today to find out what you need to know when investing in medical support structures.
Work with Unistrut on Your Next Medical Support System Project
Whether you need materials for a project or need some assistance from talented engineers, Unistrut can help you design and fabricate a wide range of medical support systems. If you’d like to talk to one of our medical support experts to learn more about the advantages of partnering with Unistrut Service Company on an upcoming project, contact us today.