Medical Gas Definition
Medical Gas is defined as: NITROGEN, OXYGEN, NITROUS OXIDE and MEDICAL AIR. In addition, Waste Anesthesia Gas Disposal (WAGD) and Medical Vacuum are also considered part of the Medical Gas system.
Medical Gas Medical and shut-off valves are located in patient care areas near nursing stations and procedure rooms. The shut-off valves are inside a 12” square cut-out in the wall, covered by a clear plastic door that can be removed by pulling on the metal ring attached to the center of the plastic door.
Medical gas shut-off valves are generally separated into zones (controlling a group of rooms/suites) or are dedicated to a single room/suite. The zone valves will identify by label and/or placard which rooms/suites they control. Pay attention and identify the right location (zone).
There’s’ authorized personnel that are assigned to properly shut off the medical gas in case of an emergency. Medical gas shut-off authority is assigned to Respiratory Therapy, Health System Facilities and the Charge Nurse or Area Supervisor. The decision to shut off the medical gas should be made in consultation with the Charge Nurse or Nursing Supervisor.
Steps to consider to properly shut-off valves
Step #1: Identify if medical gases are actually an existing or continuing hazard to the incident/emergency.
Step #2: Staff can verbalize their understanding of whether they can wait for the Fire Alarm Response Team to respond to shut-off the gases.
Step #3: Identify all rooms/suites and/or patients that are being supplied gases and provide alternative sources (i.e. prepare for shut-off with medical gas cylinders and have additional cylinders delivered)
Step #4: Staff can identify which medical gas line shut-off valve controls which group of rooms/suites.
Step #5: Is the staff competent to perform bag mask ventilation in the event that the medical gases are shut off?