Medical gas supply

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Typical commercial medical gas installation rough-in.

Medical piped gas systems in hospitals, and most other healthcare facilities, are essential for supplying piped oxygen, nitrous oxide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and medical air to various parts of the hospital. These systems are usually highly monitored by various computerized alarm systems


Oxygen may be used for patients requiring supplemental oxygen via a mask. Usually accomplished by a large storage system of liquid oxygen at the hospital which is evaporated into a concentrated oxygen supply, pressures are usually around 380 kPa (55 psi). In small medical centers with a low patient capacity, oxygen is usually supplied by multiple standard cylinders.

Nitrous Oxide[edit]

Nitrous Oxide is supplied to various surgical suites for its anesthetic functions during pre-operative procedures. Delivered to the hospital in standard tanks and supplied through the Medical Gas system. System pressures around 345 kPa (50 psi).


Nitrogen is typically used to power surgical equipment during various procedures. Pressures range around 1.2 MPa (175 psi) to the various locations.

Carbon Dioxide[edit]

Typically used to inflate or suspend tissues during surgery, and also used in laser surgeries. System pressures are maintained at about 345 kPa (50 psi).

Medical Air[edit]

Medical Air is supplied by a special air compressor to patient care areas using clean outside air. Pressures are maintained around 380 kPa (55 psi). Medical air can be used as surgical air when the pressures are raised to 7 Bars. Surgical air is majorly used in driving pneumatic tools like dental hand pieces. Medical air should never be used as oxygen.

Medical Test Gas Mixtures[edit]

There are many gas mixtures used for clinical and medical applications. They are often used for patient diagnostics such as lung function testing or blood gas analysis. Test gases are also used to calibrate and maintain medical devices used for the delivery of anaesthetic gases.

Medical Culture Growth Mixtures[edit]

Culture growth applications include controlled aerobic or anaerobic incubator atmospheres for biological cell culture or tissue growth. Controlled aerobic conditions are created using mixtures rich in oxygen and anaerobic conditions are created using mixtures rich in hydrogen or carbon dioxide.

Medical Vacuum[edit]

Medical Vacuum in a hospital supports vacuum equipment and evacuation procedures, usually supplied by various vacuum pump systems exhausting to the atmosphere. Continuous vacuum is maintained around 75 kPa (22 inches of mercury).

Waste Anesthesia Gas Disposal[edit]

Waste Anesthesia Gas Disposal or WAGD in a hospital anesthesia evacuation procedures. Although it uses the same vacuum pump as the Medical Vacuum System, the piping may be a separate line from the source or can combined with the medical vacuum per NFPA 99. Continuous vacuum is maintained around 50-65 kPa (15-19 inches of mercury#).

External links[edit]