Modeling Medical Electrical Equipment for Estimation of Leakage Currents during a Surgical Procedure

Emanuele Zennaro, Carlo Mazzetti, Giovanni L. Amicucci, and Fabio Fiamingo


Operating theatre, electrical safety, microshock risk, electrical circuit model


During a surgical procedure leakage currents can flow through the heart of the patient. The values of such cur-rents can be estimated by an electrical circuit model. More specifically, three medical electrical equipment in an operating theatre, in contact with the patient and fed by an isolated power supply, are considered and are simulated. Two of them are always involved in a surgical procedure: an operating table and a patient monitor, the third one is a defibrillator which can be put into operation during emergencies. The comparison between the leakage currents simulated by the circuit and the ones measured are presented. The agreement is quite satisfactory. An estimation of the model sensitivity due to the uncertainty in the knowledge of the model parameters has been performed too, by using the Monte Carlo method. The proposed model is applied to study critical scenarios in which leakage currents flowing into the patient’s chest in normal, single and double fault conditions could be dangerous and could introduce a risk of microshock not tolerable.

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