Gas is used in a variety of ways in medical settings especially hospitals. Doctors and nurses use gas to treat patients with certain conditions and aid in surgeries. Gas is a safe way to heal patients and have germ free operation rooms. Here are the basics of gas usage in medical facilities.
Medical gases are delivered through central supply systems, in tanks and in cylinders. Delivering gas requires parts such as medical gas hoses and connectors. Facilities should ensure the proper working order of the supply system from the shut-off valves to the piping to the connectors and switches. Designated medical staff should know where all the emergency shut-off valves are located in case of an emergency.
Hospitals use a variety of gases to treat patients, during operations and post-operations. Carbon Dioxide is a common gas used for anesthesia and surgeries such as arthroscopy, cryotherapy, laparoscopy and endoscopy. Medical air is compressed air free of contaminants used for calibrating medical devices used to aid in human respiration. Nitrous Oxide has been used as “laughing gas” as early as 1812 by dentists for an analgesic and anesthetic. Oxygen is essential for inhalation therapy and resuscitation. Medical conditions such as life support, shock, trauma, cyanosis, severe hemorrhage and COPD also use oxygen during treatment. Nitrogen in the form of a liquid is key for cryosurgery and storage of cells, blood and tissue.
Medical gas systems are generally safe systems that transport gas to various parts of the medical facility. Staff should ensure there are proper alarm systems in place to detect carbon monoxide and gas leaks. The gas supplies typically reside in a designated room. Most gas systems are installed during construction and include labels to help the staff determine which gas is in the pipes.
Certain conditions require the use of gas to treat. For more information about how the medical facility you attend or plan to attend handles their medical gas system, ask to speak with the staff. They should be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the usage, system operation or maintenance.