Chicago-based Tripp Lite has introduced a direct plug-in USB charger listed to UL 60601-1, making it the only USB charger on the market certified as fully compliant for use in patient-care vicinities, company officials say. This charger provides one USB Type-A port with 2.5A of power to charge a USB medical device, a smartphone, a tablet or an MP3 player.

What’s more, it is compact and can be installed in patient rooms, nursing stations, and treatment rooms. Regulations established in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code and the NFPA 99 Healthcare Facilities Code Electrical Standards exist to protect patients and staff.

However, staff responsible for electrical products in hospitals and other healthcare settings often have dismissed the need to control USB chargers in patient-care vicinities, believing that the low voltage (typically 5.0V or less) is not enough to warrant action, and disregarding the potential grounding path introduced by a non-compliant USB charger.

“Other commercial USB chargers have the potential to fail in a variety of ways that can put patients and staff in danger of electric shocks, including allowing a high-voltage component to pass power to the low-voltage connected equipment,” Tripp Lite officials say. However, when some USB chargers fail, the component that fails can pass high input voltage (between 110V and 230V) to the output cable and connected device.

The results can be heat, fire, melting plastic, etc. Moreover, in the patient-care vicinity, the control of leakage current is paramount. It is defined as 50, 100 or 500?A, depending upon the equipment and its characteristics. In fact, a standard USB device connected to a commercial USB charger poses a potential leakage-current problem through neutral and ground.

With no isolation, the ground connection can become a leakage-current path and cause electrical shock and potentially electrocution. Tripp Lite’s USB charger, however, eliminates that risk, according to company officials.

Top Product Features

Key benefits of Tripp Lite’s U280-001-W2-goodHG medical-grade direct plug-in USB charger include:

  • UL 60601-1 listed and compliant with regulations for use in patient-care vicinities of healthcare facilities
  • Meeting the requirements of Two Means of Patient Protection (2MOPP)
  • Protecting against overheating, overcurrent, and overcharging
  • An integrated mounting tab, which allows for optional permanent installation on an outlet wall plate for compliance and security
  • For 90-260V, 50/60 Hz AC input, making this USB charger suitable for use worldwide 5.2V, 2.5A (13W) DC output