Bender install state-of-the-art theatres at Merlin Park Hospital in Galway

Two new elective orthopaedic theatres at Merlin Park University Hospital in Galway have been equipped with Bender state-of-the-art operating theatre equipment, advanced medical IT power systems, and residual current monitoring devices for ultimate resilience and safety.

Construction of the new €10.57 theatre building in the grounds of Merlin Park hospital began in March 2021 and was handed over in April 2022.

Varming Consulting engineers acted as M&E Designers and M&E Ancillary design certifiers under BCAR.

Following a successful tender process, the electrical installation package was awarded and completed by Limerick-based, H&F Electrical. For the critical power and theatre clinical package, H&F Electrical secured the services of Bender Ireland. H&F Project Manager Chris McBrearty said: “We have used Bender several times on medical projects and their knowledge, expertise and professionalism made awarding this project to Bender an easy choice to allow H&F to deliver an extremely high standard of work for our client.”

The development by HSE West Saolta University Health Care Group comprises the 620m² theatre building, recovery suite, ancillary accommodation and plant facilities to support the two theatre suites.

Both theatres are equipped with Merivaara Q-Flow™ LED surgical lights and monitor arms, offering best in class illumination, colour rendering and anti-shadow technology. Q-Flow™ operating lights incorporate space between the inner and outer part of the light to allow air to pass through the light, reducing air turbulence and optimising clean airflow. This is vital for orthopaedic surgery to reduce the risk of infection.

The lights incorporate 4K cameras linked to 55-inch monitors mounted on hydraulic arms, and each theatre has dual 42inch vertical customised Bender PACS displays for viewing patient scans, x-rays and other medical data.

Bender’s unique glass CP9 touchscreen theatre control panels provide control and monitoring of the operating room equipment through a central location. Each 24-inch CP9 provides the alarm status of ventilation, surgical and room lighting and monitors medical IT power provision for the facilities. This includes a schematic display for the two operating theatres that can pinpoint the location of any electrical faults and power issues, and remote monitoring of the medical IT power (IPS) and uninterruptible power (UPS) installations within the building. 

Utilising the CP915 (15” touchscreen) located outside the theatre door, Bender have developed a clinical information portal that allows staff to view the status of the theatre before entry, whilst displaying the in-use status of the room and warning about x-ray and laser activity in-theatre.

Within the recovery area, an additional CP915 alarm panel operates at the nurse station to display a complete architectural layout of the five bed-bays in the recovery suite. It continually monitors non-critical power systems, lighting and other infrastructure using Bender residual current monitoring technology (RCM) and displays alarms that clinical and technical staff can easily understand and respond to.

RCM identifies potential issues with all TN (grounded) electrical systems at a pre-critical stage and enables predictive and preventive maintenance, avoiding power outages. Power quality measuring devices (PQM) provide data to effectively manage power usage, cut energy costs and reduce the carbon footprint of medical facilities.

Bender medical IT systems deliver no-fail power supplies to the operating theatres and incorporate ATICS auto-changeover technology with a second source of power supply to the operating rooms. ATICS is purpose-designed for medical applications with patient safety at the core of its development. The system assures total resilience for the medical IT systems and 2 x 60KVA UPS with full HTM compliant battery backup systems.

RCM and PQM devices deliver extensive data on the TN network, and along with all of the medical IPS and UPS equipment are connected to Bender’s POWERSCOUT® reporting software.  That provides real-time remote monitoring and gives hospital engineers an accurate representation of the electrical infrastructure. POWERSCOUT® enables facilities managers to track and manage energy use more effectively and analyse power system performance from different areas of the facility. Importantly, the automated report on residual current and power quality forms the basis for verifying the integrity of the system without switch-off, which negates the burden of periodic inspection and testing.

Chris Simmons, Country Manager for Bender Ireland, explains: “The installation at Merlin Park is instrumental in continuously developing capability for assisting healthcare projects in Ireland. Bender Ireland is now one of the few companies with the knowledge and expertise to supply and deliver a full turnkey theatre package, and this project has been fully delivered by our local experts in Ireland.

“Merlin Park represents the next step for operating theatre technology and the highest level resilient power in medical facilities. Clinical staff can access the latest technology and record and stream operations in real-time. Advanced touch screen panels provide intuitive fingertip theatre control, and access to patient scans and data will ensure optimum efficiency and patient safety in the new facilities.”

Gareth Brunton, Managing Director of Bender UK adds: “This project represents the total capability that Bender offers to hospitals. Not only does it include power and operating room technology, but we also worked closely with consultants, our internal engineers and Bender GmbH to develop a full power and energy monitoring system, customised theatre control panels and resilient power systems. It perfectly demonstrates what the future of operating rooms could look like.

“The incorporation of RCM underpins the resilience of the power supplies within the new facility and will assist predictive maintenance for maximum availability of the theatres to improve patient outcomes. It allows Bender to offer support through remote monitoring of the systems and enhances immeasurably the services we can offer to Merlin Park.”

It is expected that the two new theatres will restore full elective orthopaedic procedures in and support the much-needed reduction of waiting list times. Two replacement theatres open at Merlin Park University Hospital (