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When buying Medical Batteries

When buying medical batteries, here at Euro Energy, we recognise that there are many different factors to consider before selecting the right battery to use in your medical equipment.

For many items of medical equipment you may have a choice between Original Manufacturer medical batteries and Compatible medical batteries, though in some cases, there might be a third option – refurbished medical batteries. So let’s start by explaining the difference.

Original Manufacturer Medical Batteries

An Original Manufacturer battery (also sometimes known as OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer – battery) is a battery built by/supplied by, or recommended for, a specific piece of medical equipment.

It will usually have a part number allocated by the Manufacturer to identify the specific battery. For example, the original manufacturer battery to be used in the Laerdal Suction Unit is identified as LAE780800, when quoting this part number is it known that the battery utilises a nickel Metal Hydride chemistry, delivers 12.0V with a capacity of 2000mAh, measures 182mm L x 23mm W x 61mm H and weighs 430g.

An OEM battery may go through several revisions during it’s supported life, often identified by additional numbers or letters at the end of the Original Manufacturer part number. Original Equipment Manufacturers will confirm a minimum term during which the equipment will be supported for – once this time has elapsed the OEM may become harder to source or become obsolete.

Compatible Medical Batteries

Also sometimes known as Replacement batteries, are batteries built to replicate an Original Manufacturer battery, but built by a manufacturer completely unrelated to the OEM.

Typically a compatible medical battery will be cheaper than an OEM battery, though there are factors you will need to consider – we’ll look at these later in this blog.

Compatible batteries may replace OEM batteries that have become obsolete – thereby allowing a piece of equipment to continue to be used long after Original Manufacturer support has been withdrawn – or may be offered as a cheaper alternative option to more expensive OEM batteries.

Refurbished Medical Batteries

A refurbished battery is one that has been reworked to have the internal ‘dead’ cells replaced with fresh, new ones. Often cheaper than a Compatible battery as the case and many of the existing components will be reused.

So what do I need to consider?

When buying medical batteries, here are the pros and cons of these 3 medical battery types to consider

Original Manufacturer Medical Batteries

  • Designed and built for use in the specific equipment
  • Usually, full manufacturer support in the event of a battery failure resulting in damage to equipment (subject to OEM instructions for use being followed).
  • Usually more expensive than Compatible or Refurbished medical batteries
Compatible Medical Batteries
  • Usually cheaper than the OEM version
  • Often available long after the Original Manufacturer battery is made obsolete
  • No OEM support in the event of a battery failure
  • Are the cells used in building the battery pack of the same quality as used by the OEM?
  • End user must confirm that the Compatible medical battery is the correct battery by checking the battery chemistry, voltage and capacity.
  • Reputation of the battery seller – do you trust that the battery supplied will do the job it needs to?

Refurbished Medical Batteries

  • Cheaper than the OEM medical battery
  • Usually cheaper than a compatible medical battery
  • Used battery has to be sent back to the Refurbisher at your cost, when added to the cost of the refurbishment, this may cause the cost of the refurbishment to lose much of it’s apparent value
  • Additional time that equipment is out of commission whilst ‘dead’ battery is in transit to the Refurbisher
  • Risk of damage to the battery case whilst it is in transit or being worked on by the Refurbisher
  • Cosmetically, a refurbished battery will not be as ‘pretty’ as an OEM medical battery or Compatible medical battery as it isn’t new. It may also display cosmetic damage where the Refurbisher has opened the case or resealed it

In addition to the points above, many hospitals will have their own policies which govern where Compatible medical batteries can be used and where governance dictates that ONLY Original Manufacturer medical batteries are to be used.

This is often decided by use of risk assessments based upon patient safety. For example a hospital may have a policy to only ever use Original Manufacturer batteries in it’s ‘life critical’ equipment and locations. This may include defibs and suction units available in Intensive Care, but allow compatible batteries to be used in suction units and other equipment in other wards.

The points above are to be considered alongside individual hospital policy, not instead of.

Things to look out for when considering Compatible Medical batteries

  • Does your supplier use the same cells in their compatible medical batteries as used in the Original Manufacturer battery?
  • Does your supplier include CE marking on their compatible medical batteries?
  • Is the manufacturer of the compatible medical battery accredited by and registered with the MHRA?
  • Is the manufacturer ISO 9001 accredited for Quality?
  • Does the Supplier have a good reputation and how long have they been working with hospitals?
  • Does the Supplier have full traceability of their compatible batteries?
  • Can the supplier help you to identify the correct compatible medical battery to use in your equipment?
When buying medical batteries

Euro Energy are specialist battery suppliers to the Healthcare sector with over 35 years experience of supplying the NHS & Private Healthcare from our Leicester base. During that time, we have established a strong reputation built upon excellent service, high product quality and a comprehensive product range.

With a product range that includes Original Manufacturer medical batteries from all major manufacturers and a wide range of compatible batteries, Euro Energy provide a one stop solution for all your medical battery needs.

Why Buy from Euro Energy?

  • Having supplied the medical sector for over 35 years, we are experienced in understanding the demands, needs and pressures of our Customers.
  • Our compatible batteries are designed and manufactured to ensure the same level of reliability and functionality as the original manufacturer battery for your peace of mind.
  • BS EN ISO 9001: 2015 Accredited and registered with the MHRA for the manufacture of compatible medical batteries, number CA006924.
  • Compatible medical batteries are CE marked as required by the Medical Devices Directive.
  • Fully compliant with the Amended Batteries Directive 2013/56/EU.
  • Vigorous and ongoing battery testing at various stages of production to ensure quality standards are maintained.

For further information or to discuss our range of Original Manufacturer medical batteries & Compatible medical batteries, Original Manufacturer medical accessories and general purpose Sealed Lead Acid/VRLA batteries contact our friendly & knowledgeable Customer Service team on 0116 2340567 or email