There are a growing number of different types of medical gas equipment utilized within any hospital or professional medical setting. While there is little need in certain rooms of the building for every type of gas to be available, it is essential the overall medical gas system includes the necessary equipment to support all of the hospital's medical needs. The only way to determine if this is being accomplished is by looking at all of the different types of gases the internal equipment must support.The most common gas used is oxygen. While it is primarily used for respiratory therapy and anaesthesia, many sections of a hospital will be pumping fresh air with a higher than normal oxygen level on a regular basis. It is important to note that while oxygen supports life it also supports combustion. Oxygen is non-flammable, however materials that burning and are will burn much faster and create higher temperatures in oxygen enriched atmosphere. Gas equipment must not only support oxygen but be able to control how much is being delivered at any given point in time.Another common type of medical gas is nitrous oxide. It is typically used for producing the first and second stage of anaesthesia in medical settings. Nitrous oxide is sometimes combined with oxygen to provide additional benefits in an oxygen enriched atmosphere.
Over the years, gas systems have been designed to create "medical air". Medical air is a combination of gases, primarily oxygen and nitrogen, used exclusively for human respiration and the calibration of devices for respiratory application. As a result, this specific form of medical areas typically found in areas of the hospital which are involved with respiratory therapy. When choosing gas equipment, it is important to consider the local ambient air to ensure the proper compressors and vacuums are utilized.Another form of gas which medical equipment must support is nitrogen or instrument air. Nitrogen is commonly used to power instruments unrelated to human respiration. This includes surgical tools and ceiling arms. It is important to note that medical air and instrument there are two distinct and separate systems because they are used for mutually exclusive applications.To ensure gases are properly supported, there are a number of key pieces of medical gas equipment found in every hospital. They include automatic gas manifolds, DRE gas wall outlets, nitrogen control panels, gas ceiling outlets, and a zone valve box. A variety of compressors and vacuums will be found as well based upon the needs of specific locations within a hospital.