You can buy all sorts of weighing scales anywhere, for weighing almost anything, and for any amount of money. Some measure body fat or BMI, some calculate the nutrition in food, some weigh your suitcase before you fly.
However, not all scales are suitable for all things. For example, a common bathroom scale cannot be used in a GP’s surgery, or hospital for weighing patients. In professional medical settings, a professional medical scale must be used.
So, why must a professional medical weighing scale be used? What it is that sets medical weighing scales apart from the everyday scale?
Class III Approved
Professional medical weighing scales must be Class III Approved.
What Does Class III Approved Mean?
A Class III Approved weighing scale means that the scale meets the standards required under the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive (NAWI Directive), which means they are suitable for use in a professional medical environment. A Class III Approved scale can be relied upon to provide an accurate measurement repeatedly.
Why do Medical Scales Need to be Accurate?
Scales which are being used in a professional medical setting need to be able to weigh patients with absolute accuracy. This is often because medicines are being administered or prescribed which rely on the patient’s weight being accurately measured in order to calculate the appropriate dosage of medicine. Administering either too much or too little medicine could have harmful consequences.
Some of the other uses of a Class III Approved scale would be in retail and industrial weighing machines, supermarket checkout scales, weighbridges and axle pads (vehicle weighing), and pharmaceutical environments.
Easy to Clean
It’s essential that in professional medical settings the tools and furniture used by the medical professionals are easy to clean. This is no exception for scales. Preventing the spread of germs and disease through infection control is vital within medical settings, especially with infants and vulnerable people.
Medical scales are designed to be easy to clean.
Medical scales are more robust than your every day bathroom scale. They must be durable as they are used repeatedly, every day. Some scales in medical settings will have to be transported from ward to ward and must be able to withstand knocks, bumps and drops.
Easy to Maintain
Medical scales are easy to maintain and repair when necessary. A qualified engineer should be employed to do this though.
This means that although medical scales will cost more initially, if they do go wrong, they will not have to be thrown out with the rubbish.
Easy to Test
Medical scales with a Class III approval must be tested each year to maintain the accuracy standard required for its class.
Medical scales are easy to accuracy test (for qualified engineers).
Lots of Functions
Medical scales have useful functions for medical professionals, such as tare and memory functions. When it comes to medical scales, the manufacturers think of all of those useful things that will make the lives easier for the people using them. They are also easy to use and usually have large digital displays.