The common practice, now prevalent, of illuminating diagnostic lamps by cutting down the "street" current, has led to the possibility of seriously shocking the patient during the examination. The house installations of the street current are invariably grounded "on one side" for the sake of fire protection. Further, there is usually a grounding of one side of the diagnostic lamp to the metal of the instrument, as it is much cheaper to construct these instruments in this manner. Now, if the attachment plug connecting the cabinet or wall plate with the house socket is so inserted that the grounded side does not coincide with the grounded side of the diagnostic lamp, the patient or the examiner will be shocked if any of the heating or plumbing fixtures in the office are touched. Frequently a physician
Examples of dangerous and safe attachment of the diagnostic lamp.
or patient will turn on
MACFARLAN D. ELECTRICAL SHOCKS FROM DIAGNOSTIC INSTRUMENTS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1929;10(5):520. doi:10.1001/archotol.1929.00620080084009
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