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Examination lamp with a bright, flexible light

This practical floor lamp can illuminate a wide range of procedures.

Anyone who has taken smears, fitted IUDs or carried out minor surgery in general practice knows the importance of a good light source.

Most GPs carry out these procedures in their consulting rooms, which tend to be dark and cramped.

The options for illumination come down to free-standing or wall-mounted lights; in either case, it is essential that the light can be directed where needed.

When the GP is using a speculum, the light needs to be directed parallel to the floor, focused to a specific point and kept in exactly the same place throughout the procedure. This is especially relevant for gloved sterile procedures, because adjusting the lamp would mean breaching the sterile field.

The Welch Allyn LS150 free-standing examination light comes in two boxes.

One contained the optional castor unit, while the other contained the base, vertical stand and lamp.

It was obvious how the connectors went together; the two parts of the stand arm were fixed into one another and then pushed into the heavy floor stand.

Screwdriver needed

The earthing plate needed to be screwed to the base. The power cables arrived ready for use and the bulb was in place. It was simply a matter of plugging in and switching on.

At this point, the lamp was standing on the floor without castors and could be used.

For those who require a more mobile unit, included is a chrome-plated device with six castors, into which the stand slots to allow it to be wheeled around.

Once assembled, the lamp was about 155cm high, with a bright, white finish throughout. It looks sterile and clean, perfect to allay the fears of those nervous about infections.

The base is heavy, but the castors are well positioned. For those worried about knocking the lamp and moving its position, the base can be lifted out of the castor assembly to stand on the floor.

The bottom half of the vertical stand arm is fixed, but the top half is flexible, allowing the lamp to be moved to virtually any position.

It was easy to position it so the light shone exactly on the cervix, but more importantly, it stayed in the same position throughout the IUD fittings I carried out. The flexible part of the arm is covered in plastic, allowing easy cleaning, and it remained in place after I positioned it.

The head unit contains a small halogen bulb, activated by a switch on the side. It has two settings, bright and very bright. According to the manual, there are 20 bulbs available, varying in wattage, spot size, intensity and so on, so the lamp can be customised to your specific requirements.

This lamp was perfectly adequate for all my minor surgery, IUD fitting and smear taking requirements and was also used without complaint by the practice nurses for smear taking and dressings. The lamp was bright and practical, the unit sturdy and well made.

- An independent review by Dr Nigel Stollery, a GP in Kibworth, Leicester

- Equipment supplied by Williams Medical Supplies

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