Cable Assemblies in the Operating Room
Electronics have become as prevalent in the operating room as the expected scalpels and masks—even the scalpels have been updated for the high-tech world. Cable assemblies are used to connect everything from patient monitoring devices to electrosurgical “scalpels.” We will examine the type of assemblies found in the operation room, their electrical, mechanical, quality, and packaging requirements, and the trends in this very specialized segment of the cable assembly market.
There are two major types of cable assemblies used in the operating room, patient monitoring assemblies and surgical assemblies—and some others that are very specialized.
The patient monitoring assemblies are used to track the patients’ vital statistics, such as blood pressure, pulse, ECG/EKG/ICG (electrocardiogram) heart monitoring, temperature, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, and other factors important to the surgical team in assessing how the patient is doing during the surgery. Many of these assemblies tend to be disposable, and utilize relatively simple and inexpensive connectors, such as button connectors, banana plugs, and insert-molded contacts. The connections to the patient tend to be disposable conductive patches, cuffs, and mechanical attachments. Some examples can be seen to the right.
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