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Since their development in the 1960s, lasers have turned science fiction into science fact. Lasers are well established in medicine and surgery, and dramatic advances can be anticipated in the future as developments continue at an ever-increasing pace.  The use of lasers does, of course, present its own safety challenges, and stringent guidelines exist to ensure organisations comply with best practice when providing end users with a safe environment in which to operate potentially hazardous lasers. Guidelines can be met by the use of a laser interlock system, which provides automatic shut-off of the laser beam if safety doors, covers or blinds are opened.  The most effective option is to install the system right at the start of the operating room design and build, making operating room safety a priority from the beginning of the process, rather than responding to an accident further down the line.

Starkstrom’s Laser Interlock Systems ICS-5e and ICS-5s allow hospitals to meet – and exceed – laser safety requirements.  Based on a tried and tested safety control system, the newest incarnation of the Laser Interlock System has been totally updated internally to include the latest in electronic technology and design, and is now supplied fully integrated into the market-leading Starkstrom eTCP Touch Screen Operating Room Control Panel, or on a standalone enclosure.  It has a simple, easy-to-use touch screen control panel which is durable and wipe-clean for enhanced infection control. Illuminated warning signs can also be integrated in the Laser Interlock System, allowing accurate indication of room use and equipment status.   An important element of the system is that it can be “future proofed”, and then activated when the technology comes on-line without disrupting the operating room fabric or necessitating extended shutdowns.