Medical gas pipeline systems are efficient means conveying medical gases to the point of use. They present a convenient, safe and cost-effective system for the provision of medical gases clinical and nursing staff at the point of use. Having said that, what is medical gas testing? Although medical gases have multiple benefits, they introduce additional hazards in the process of delivering medical gases to patients. With that said, it is a requirement that medical gas pipelines are tested regularly to ensure the safety of the patients.
What is Medical Gas Testing?
Medical gases are medicine, and therefore, their purity is paramount. What is medical gas testing? How is it done? On-site medical gases such as dental air, medical air and oxygen are not required to undergo similar rigorous quality control procedures as bottled gas. However, there are slight chances that any plant can produce out-of-specification gas anytime, and thus, the need for cleaning. It is advisable to test all on-site generated medical gases using a Quality Control (QC) on a regular basis. Regular testing is essential to protect pipelines, patients, and equipment that are connected to the system. HTM02 and SHTM2022 require that all medical gases are tested on a quarterly basis, and dental gases are tested annually. Aside from ensuring the safety of patients, pipeline and equipment, testing medical gases also provide documentary evidence in case of a legal matter. In addition to ensuring that the system meets the requirements, testing and verification
also check all source equipment for function and form. The alarm systems are also tested for signals, set points, and pressure monitoring. Locations and functions of all valves in the pipeline are identified and documented to help the owner easily control the system. The information is then forwarded to the relevant authorities for approval.
What is Medical Gas Testing Report?
Before medical gas testing is done, a method statement should be prepared, detailing the procedure of testing the gases. Additionally, the method statement should also include risk assessment and equipment used in the test. All medical gas testing should be done as detailed by SHTM2022 and HTM02. The report generated should contain the following details.
- Report of results
- Recommendations report
- Site assessment report
- Risk assessment report
- Medical gas testing method statement
- Permit to work
- Printed graphical information
How to Ensure Compliance
The best way to ensure compliance is to make a list of all the analyzers that you use to assay your medical gas and compare them with the official medical gas monographs, which are always found of manuals of the regulating authorities. If your facility is not using the official method, its time to take a step and check if your model analyzer is among the model accepted by the regulating authorities such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If the model is not among the recommended, ensure that you validate the analyzer or consider switching to a new analyzer that is validated.
Medical gas testing is essential to ensure the safety of patients. The piping systems are tested for purity of both particulate and gaseous impurities. The final tests confirm function, fitness, and form of all medical gas inlets and outlets.