Medical Gas Emergency Response

Failure of critical medical gas and vacuum systems definitely leads to a stressful situation.  For this reason medical gas and vacuum equipment must be is redundant to prevent a catastrophic failure to the patient care environment.  However, there are always situations where the redundancy may not be sufficient.  Recently, we had a situation where a facility had a quadruplex medical vacuum system that needed 2 of its 4 pumps to maintain a sufficient vacuum.  One of the 4 pumps had been down for over a month waiting on repairs by another medical gas company.  During that time the system experienced another failure and lost another vacuum pump.  So now the facility was left with no reserve being forced to run the remaining two pumps non-stop to maintain proper medical vacuum.  So what caused this to happen?

The failed check valve in the picture below caused the most recent failure. The oil was pulled out of the pump causing the pump to run hot and “cook” the remaining oil.

Failed check valve at inlet of vacuum pump

Due to the lengthy time of repairs by the other medical gas company, EMGS was called to help resolve the situation.  The call was received about 3pm one afternoon and by 6:00 am on the following day a temporary vacuum rental unit was installed at the facility.  The facility was now back to 4 working pumps, less than 24 hours later.  EMGS has several rental medical air, vacuum and gas manifold systems to meet customer demands during emergencies or planned outages.