Medical Gas Installer’s Kit

Whether you have been recently certified as a Medical Gas Installer, or have been certified for many years, you may be interested in purchasing a Medical Gas Installer’s Kit. This kit contains the majority of equipment needed to install medical gas piping, and is conveniently packed in a sturdy case for easy, on the job access.

You can order the kit as it comes or customize it for your needs.

You can view the kit contents and photos by clicking here: http://www.emgsi.com/pdf/Installer_Kit_Flyer.pdf

Level 3 Medical Gas (Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide) Line Sizing

NFPA 99 defines the medical gas systems for all healthcare facilities based on a number of factors all related to the safety of the patients who are connected to them. Each medical gas “system” from the source equipment to the outlet/inlet termination point can be placed into one of three categories or “levels”. The least stringent requirements are applicable to Level 3 facilities which are typically (but not necessarily always) dental facilities.

One of the requirements for the oxygen and nitrous oxide piping systems for Level 3 facilities is that the line sizes for each of these gases be different so as to clearly distinguish separation of the piping systems as they are routed throughout the facility. Para. 5.3.10.10.3 of the 2005 edition of NFPA 99 dictates a minimum line size of (NPS 3/8” or ½” OD) for oxygen systems and (NPS ¼” or 3/8” OD) for nitrous oxide systems. The intent of this distinction is to prevent cross connection of these two gases as explained in Para. A.5.3.10.10.3. Most of these source systems (manifolds) are manufactured as a common enclosure for both gases, with two copper feed lines extending out from the top of the enclosure. Sometimes these feed lines are the same line size, which can be confusing, especially if these lines are not correctly labeled.

Recently, (March 2009) a terrible accident occurred in Togonoxie, KS when a patient in a dental office was given nitrous oxide gas instead of oxygen, as a practitioner intended. According to news reports, this mistake was due to the “incorrect connection of the medical gas lines.” The full article on this medical gas mishap can be viewed at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/apr/22/medical-gas-accident-may-lead-policy-change/

Surgery centers, are you tracking your medical gas usage?

Most hospitals and larger facilities have personnel who are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their medical gas source equipment, but what about smaller facilities and surgery centers who do not have an on-site maintenance staff?

The majority of service calls we receive from surgery centers are for suspected leaks in a manifold or a lag alarm on a vacuum pump. The facility discovers this when they have returned to the facility and alarms are blaring. At this point it is an emergency, but this emergency is usually preventable.

Using simple daily logs, the facility can begin tracking what their average usage is. If deviations start to show in the amount of gas used or hours tallied on the vacuum pumps, it will become apparent before it is an emergency. This will also help the facility’s service company diagnose the problem.

For more information on tracking your usage and for free downloadable forms please contact EMGS at info.emgsi.com or visit www.emgsi.com.

Medical Air Dryers

The 2005 edition of NFPA 99 in paragraph 5.1.3.5.3.3 states:

“Medical air compressor systems shall preclude the condensation of water vapor in the piping distribution system by the selection of the air drying equipment.”

Within the last two weeks EMGS has responded to four service calls to troubleshoot/repair medical air dryers and that is no coincidence. If you live in Georgia you already know that the hot, humidity-filled summers can make life a little bit unbearable.  Medical air dryers hate these humidity-filled summers as well.

For the most part, medical air compressors draw air from the roof of the building in which they are located. In the summer this air can be over 100° F., and due to heat of compression only gets hotter once it travels through the compressors, causing condensation in the medical air piping. Aftercoolers, filters, and drains help prevent the condensation of liquid in the medical air piping, but sometimes these are not enough.

The medical air dryers receive most abuse while separating the liquid from the lines. With desiccant dryers especially, it is very important to daily inspect the dryers, dew point monitor, filter canisters, and drains.  Simply draining the receiver and pre-filter canisters on a daily basis can save the desiccant from oversaturation of liquid resulting in costly repairs of the dryer system.  Remember, if the dew point monitor alarm initiates at the master alarm panel, it is probably too late and the dryer will need costly repairs.