In Tip-Top Condition: Answering 4 Common Medical Gas Equipment Maintenance Questions

We are taught to trust the medical establishment that is treating us. But, what if the equipment is faulty or poorly maintained. Medical facilities take pains to keep all their medications and equipment in good operating order for maximum benefit to every patient. But what is this equipment? The equipment used to deliver medical gasses can include medical vacuum pumps, medical air compressors, and non-medical pumps and compressors.

Why Is Medical Gas Equipment Important To Every Patient?

Special equipment is needed to deliver oxygen and other life-saving gases. Specialized gases and gas mixtures that may be needed in the hospital systems include oxygen, medical air, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. More important equipment includes the medical vacuum and waste anesthetic gas disposal systems, medical vacuum pumps, non-medical pumps and compressors, and medical gas equipment. Companies such as Medical Technology Associates can supply and maintain this equipment.

The Special Gases

The most common gases used in medical facilities include:


  • Used in hospitals and vacuum cylinders.

Medical air

  • Air compressor, dryer, and cylinders.

Nitrous oxide

  • Used in hospitals for surgical areas.


  • Used for surgical processes.


4 Important Medical Gas Equipment Maintenance Questions

It is very important that the equipment used to deliver all of the above gases be in perfect operating order at all times.  4 important medical gas equipment maintenance questions to consider are:

  1. Who has inspection authority over the hospital? Is it CMS? Who are they? CMS stands for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is a federal program. This program can determine funding reimbursements to those providing health-care to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
  2. What is the NFPA 99-2012 Healthcare Facilities Code and what will the Life Safety Surveyor look for? This extensive code applies to all health care facilities for people and has construction and equipment requirements to assure the safety of patients and is meant to prevent systems constituting a distinct hazard to life. The life safety surveyor looks for documentation of maintenance and safety practices, documentation, and records of compliance of the safety and maintenance process.
  3. When should inspections be performed and what should they include? There is an EC.02.05.09 government requirement to guide hospitals in defining a timeframe for inspections, tests, and maintenance of critical medical gas and vacuum systems. There are multiple government requirements for testing processes and the timing of the tests. Depending on the equipment, tests can be required, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or every 36 months.
  4. When a medical gas maintenance program is chosen, does it meet code requirements and are the maintenance personnel legally qualified to do the inspections and maintenance? The workers should be trained and certified through the medical facility they are employed by and should conform with ASSE 6040, Professional Qualification Standard for Medical Gas Maintenance Personnel.

Every healthcare facility manager should make every effort to choose and implement the best safety measures and maintenance programs for every system including medical gas equipment.

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