Strict Guidelines Govern Medical Gas Delivery Systems

by:APTEK     2020-07-05
Gases are as much a part of modern day medicine as pharmaceuticals or blood pressure cuffs. From hospitals to clinics, you'll find tanks filled with gases used to assist healthcare professionals in the treatment of patients. Of course adhering to safety requirements and understanding the proper procedures surrounding the use of these gases and their systems of delivery are of vital importance to the medical personnel who administer them. Governmental Guidelines for Medical Gas Use A gas used in the medical field directly contributing to the anesthetization, treatment, therapy or diagnoses of patients is heavily regulated by multiple agencies. This is for good reason; as the misuse or misapplication of gases used for medical treatment could have catastrophic results. All governmental regulatory agencies consider medical gases to be in the same category as any prescription drug. Gas cylinders and delivery equipment must have the proper color coding, markings and certifications affixed to them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are among agencies in charge of governing the use of gases for health care purposes. Prevalent Gases Used in Health care Oxygen: Commonly used to assist patients with their breathing and to supplement the respiratory system. Nitrogen: Provides power through pneumatic pressure to medical equipment, including surgical instruments. Nitrous Oxide: Used for its anesthetic qualities in medical and dental procedures. Carbon Dioxide: Used to prepare tissue for surgery and can help stimulate breathing. Helium: Used in some respiratory mixtures to assist in breathing. Delivery System In order to properly organize, regulate and deliver necessary gases to the patient, a practical gas distribution system must be established. This medical gas system, commonly known as a medical gas manifold, basically consists of pipes and tubing, gas flow meters, gas regulators, fittings, valves, gauges and digital monitoring components. The gauges, controllers and digital components are usually housed in a metal wall-mounted cabinet or box. This control box is at the center of the gas manifold system. Piping and tubing attached to the control box is shaped to the desired configuration, usually stretching out from both sides of the control box. Depending on how many cylinders of gas there are in this manifold system; valves, Gas Pressure Regulators, clamps and brackets will be located along the piping assembly, allowing complete control of the gas distribution system. The more modern systems can also be monitored and controlled via personal computer. Of course those who design, construct and connect gas manifold systems must strictly adhere to regulations such as NFPA 99, which is one of the most important documents on the governance of medical gas equipment installation, inspections and testing. Since the distribution of gas to patients is such a sensitive procedure, a medical gas manifold system must be constantly tested, carefully monitored and operated by experts.
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