Contrast Injector Preventive Maintenance
MedWrench recently spoke with Maull Biomedical President Steve Maull regarding contrast injector preventative maintenance and calibration, including how to find cost savings.
Mon Apr 01 2019
Maull shared insights regarding test equipment needed to properly service contrast injectors. He also provided information about how training can prepare a biomed to maintain a contrast injector and take the equipment off of a service contract.Have a question for the expert or want to find out more? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page to ask Steve Maull a question directly.
What does a typical annual contrast injector preventative maintenance/calibration consist of?
In general, a preventative maintenance (PM) consists of a complete cleaning of the injector head. Contrast and saline get spilled on it over the year and it needs to be cleaned off. This cleaning includes removing the head covers to confirm no contrast/saline has gotten inside the injector head. Then the technician typically goes through an operational inspection, flow rate and volume check, plunger position check and pressure limit check.
What test equipment is needed to perform a PM and calibration/verification on a contrast injector?
For most models, the only special test equipment needed that a typical BMET shop would not already own would be a pressure gauge capable of attaching to the various types of contrast injector syringes and reach a pressure of 2,000 PSI for the pressure limit checks. Some models would also require a digital timer for accurate injection duration measurements. There are some other little items that may be needed depending on which model injector we're talking about, but those are the two big ticket items.
What PM kits are needed to perform a PM on a contrast injector? Do any parts need to be replaced during each PM?
While we do sell PM kits for many of the models we provide training on, you do not NEED a PM kit to do a PM. No parts of the contrast injector are required to be replaced annually. However, most injectors have gaskets that need cleaning on regular basis and, sometimes, they need to be replaced (at some point cleaning them just doesn't do the trick anymore).
What does Maull Biomedical's contrast injector training cover? Will I be able to take my injector off contract if I take your training courses?
Yes, after a Maull Biomedical training session a BMET will know how to operate, PM and calibrate (or verify calibration in some cases) the contrast injector model they were trained on. The training is nearly 100 percent hands on. During the training, they will go through a full PM and calibration/verification procedure on the model(s) they choose. They also learn how to do an operational inspection and cleaning procedures. They will become fully versed on all the tools and test equipment needed during a PM. We also go over a little bit of troubleshooting. The reason we don't go in depth on troubleshooting is because we have several companies that can provide our students excellent free phone support, as well as parts, if needed.
What is the MIST software Maull Biomedical has developed?
MIST, or Maull Injector Service Tool, is basically an in-depth video guide of the complete PM and calibration/verification procedures for the most common injector models. The software has very detailed videos that take a BMET through the complete PM procedure. The BMET watches the video, performs the procedure, documents the results in the software and then moves to the next step. Once they have completed all the steps a PM report is produced in PDF format.
How much money can I save by bringing the maintenance of contrast injectors in-house?
The typical OEM service contract is around $3,000 a year per model. Third-party service contracts are typically about half that. We can train your service engineers for as low as $1,300 per model.
How long does a typical PM on a contrast injector take?
Depending on the model of the injector, and how much cleaning is necessary during the PM, the time can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours. On average, you're looking at about an hour, though.
How often does the contrast injector need to receive a PM and calibration?
PMs on contrast injectors are annual. As for how often an injector needs to be calibrated, this is often a misunderstood concept; there is no regulation that says a contrast injector must be calibrated each year. It is an annual requirement to PM the injector each year and verify the injector is within the manufacturer's specifications (calibrated), but there is no requirement that the injector be re-calibrated every year. If it is within the manufacturer's specifications, it doesn't need to be re-calibrated (which is the case most of the time).
What about parts and tech support?
Maull Biomedical endorses a few companies for parts and tech support. They can be found on our website at MaullBiomedical.com.