Hospitals need to meet compressed medical air quality requirements

Compressed medical air is a critical component of many medical procedures and is used in various applications, such as respiratory therapy, anesthesia, and surgery. However, there are several quality concerns that can arise with compressed medical air.

It is not a secret that medical compressed air is not always safe. As medical compressed air is produced directly on the site, very often the ambient air taken in by the compressor might be contaminated with high levels of CO2, CO, oil & particulate matter.
Another problem often present in a medical compressed air line is high level humidity, when for various reasons the dryer & filters are inadequate or fail.

In conclusion quality concerns that can arise with compressed medical air, include:

Contamination: Compressed air can become contaminated with various impurities, including moisture, oil, particles, and microorganisms, during the compression process or due to inadequate filtration. Contaminated compressed medical air can pose risks to patients with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing surgery or respiratory therapy.

Purity: Medical-grade compressed air should meet specific purity standards to ensure its safety and effectiveness in medical applications. If the compressed air does not meet the required purity standards, it may contain impurities that can potentially cause harm to patients, such as excessive moisture or oil content.

Compliance: Compliance with regulatory standards, such as those set by organizations like the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.), is essential for ensuring the quality of compressed medical air. Non-compliance with these standards may result in a lack of consistency in the quality of compressed air, which can impact patient safety.

Storage and handling: Proper storage and handling of compressed medical air are critical to maintaining its quality. If compressed air is not stored and handled correctly, it may become contaminated, leading to potential quality problems when used in medical procedures.

Equipment maintenance: Regular maintenance of the equipment used for compressing, storing, and delivering medical air is crucial to ensure its quality. If the equipment is not properly maintained, it may lead to issues such as contamination, reduced purity, and non-compliance with regulatory standards.

Monitoring and testing: Regular monitoring and testing of compressed medical air for quality parameters, such as moisture content, oil content, and microbial contamination, are essential to identify and address any potential quality problems. Lack of proper monitoring and testing protocols can result in undetected quality issues that may pose risks to patients.

To mitigate these quality problems, it is crucial to follow and adhere to regulatory standards for the production, storage, and handling of compressed medical air. Proper maintenance of equipment, regular monitoring and testing, and appropriate filtration and purification methods should be employed to ensure the highest quality of compressed medical air for patient safety. It is also essential to have robust quality control measures in place, including documentation, record-keeping, and training of personnel involved in the production and administration of compressed medical air.

In addition to the subject of air quality, it is important to also mention the problem with ever present leakages, which might be an expensive problem in some facilities
Sigma Sensing is offering portable and stationary instruments to monitor many of the requirements with more coming up in the near future.