Ascension Island Government

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CEF 07 – 2021Calibration Frequency Hospital Equipment

When are calibrations and inspections of all specialised equipment such as the X-Ray machine, Anaesthetic machine etc planned to take place? Also when was the last inspections done?



  1. The key items of equipment requiring periodic maintenance and servicing are as follows:


    1. The hospital Autoclave units.
    2. The X-Ray units
    3. The anaesthetic machines
    4. The endoscopy cleaning unit
    5. The emergency defibrillator unit
    6. The surgical diathermy unit
    7. The patient ventilator units – adult and paediatric
    8. Miscellaneous small electronic items,
    9. The hospital oxygen generator unit


  1. The following challenges exist regarding the above essential items:


    1. The main autoclave unit is now 11 years old and has required repair and servicing regularly – the last repairs were carried out in-house in May by AIG technicians to address issues with the water supply/drainage. In July 2019 we were able to bring over a technician from South Africa to service/inspect the unit. He has offered to assist us to acquire a new autoclave, should this be deemed necessary. AIG does not have a technician trained to service this unit at present, although we have been able to utilize the services of a former employee to assist us in the past.
    2. This unit requires an annual service and maintenance report by a trained servicing technician. It is also likely that we will need to consider replacing the unit within the next 12 months. The Covid crisis has prevented us from engaging an engineer during 2020/21.
    3. We were donated two reconditioned anaesthetic machines in October 2018. These served to replace our current unit which is no longer in use, and required a repair. Of the two newly acquired units, only one is currently serviceable. Ideally the anaesthetic machines should be serviced by a visiting technician every two years. A daily and weekly diagnostic check is performed on the machine in use. We intend arranging a service within the next 12 months, and I also will arrange for a possible repair on the original unit in the interim.
    4. The X-Ray unit was replaced in December 2019 and is new. Our visiting radiographer trainer performs an annual safety check. The digital processor, however, is now over 5 years old and requires an upgrade. I suggest acquiring a second unit as a backup, and will submit a proposal about this shortly.
    5. The numerous small portable medical devices and enclosed modular units which only require battery replacement. We do not have a medical technologist available locally in the event of equipment failure. These units realistically need to be replaced in the event of failure.


  1.    The surgical diathermy, defibrillator and endoscope units similarly are not repairable on island and will need replacement in the event of failure. Having said this, I have managed to effect a direct repair to the diathermy unit in consultation with the supplier’s engineer on one occasion.
  2. The ventilator units are all new and require only periodic checking and calibrating. This is performed by our staff. Again, on island repairs will not be feasible or safe.
  3. The oxygen generator unit is new and requires an annual inspection and filter change. This will be necessary within the next 12-18 months. We receive technical support from the supplier.

Councillor Ellick

Submitted: 28 May 2021

Response: 11 June 2021