It is a busy month and you are on the last week with a heavy workload left of PMs (preventative maintenance) to perform and you receive a call from the NICU (neonate intensive care unit) about a broken radiant warmer. It is an urgent call because there have been many births and there are no spare radiant warmers available so this one must be fixed right away. Upon examining the warmer, you pop the back panel off to expose the circuitry and find that a Molex connector had come loose and was not delivering power from the power supply block to the mainboard of the unit. After firmly reseating the connection you replace the back panel and power the unit on to do a quick PM in order to verify that it is working properly and that it is safe for patient use. The unit passed all functional tests with flying colors, however, while performing the PM you notice that there was a slight flicker every few minutes on the display of the unit where the temperature and timer are shown. The NICU nurse who made the call sees that you have finished testing the unit and approaches you asking if the unit is fixed and ready to be put back into service to be used on a newborn infant.
- Read and Analyze the scenario.
- For your initial post, let us know what you would do in this situation.
- Would you sign off the incubator as ‘mission ready and capable’? (explain why or why not)
- In a dialog format (using your own words), let us how you would explain the situation to the NICU nurse.
Expert Solution Preview
In this scenario, a medical professor is faced with a situation where a broken radiant warmer in the neonate intensive care unit (NICU) needs to be fixed urgently. After examining the warmer and reseating a loose Molex connector, the unit appears to be working properly during functional tests. However, a slight flicker on the display is observed during a preventative maintenance (PM) check. The medical professor now needs to decide whether to sign off the unit as ‘mission ready and capable’ and how to explain the situation to the NICU nurse.
1. Read and Analyze the scenario:
The scenario describes a broken radiant warmer in the NICU that needs to be fixed urgently. After reseating a loose Molex connector, the unit passes all functional tests but exhibits a slight flicker on the display during PM. The medical professor needs to assess the implications of the flicker and determine if it poses any risk to patient safety.
2. What would you do in this situation?
In this situation, I would not sign off the incubator as ‘mission ready and capable’ immediately. Although the unit passed all functional tests, the flicker observed on the display during the PM raises concerns about its long-term reliability and potential impact on patient care.
The flickering display could indicate an underlying intermittent electrical issue or a faulty component within the unit. Given the critical nature of neonatal care and the potential consequences of equipment malfunctions, it is essential to prioritize patient safety above expediency.
Therefore, I would inform the NICU nurse that while the initial problem with the Molex connector has been fixed, a new issue has been observed during the PM. Explaining that the flicker on the display raises concerns about the unit’s reliability, I would propose the following course of action:
In the interest of patient safety, it is necessary to conduct further investigation and perform additional testing to identify the cause of the flickering display. This will help ensure that the unit is fully functional and safe for use on a newborn infant. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer or a specialized biomedical technician to thoroughly assess and evaluate the radiant warmer.
By taking these additional measures, we can be confident that the unit is not only fixed but also reliable, reducing the risk of any potential harm to the newborn infant. Our top priority must always be the well-being and safety of our patients.
In summary, I would not sign off the incubator as ‘mission ready and capable’ due to the observed flicker on the display. Instead, I would communicate the need for further investigation and testing to ensure patient safety to the NICU nurse.