What are Different Medical Gases?

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Hospitals and other healthcare facilities rely on Medical gas from direct patient treatment and many other procedures. Knowing the most common medical gases can help you feel confident about getting these procedures because you’ll know what and why doctors will use a specific air for your body. Let’s get a brief overview of the most common type of medical gases below, along with its unique characteristics and use. 

Medical Air

This is commonly used in adult and neonatal intensive care units via a specific air compressor to treat patients. It refers to a clean supply of compressed air that’s free from particles and contaminants. It must have no oil and must remain dry to deter the build-up of moisture in the pipelines. Medical air is a lifeline of patients because it is used for respiration to assure comfortable breathing. Hence, facilities must ensure a good air source and assure maintenance of the machines to ascertain effective patient care and treatment. 


This is the gas that human beings breathe, and it is a Medical gas that every healthcare setting must have within easy access. You will see medical professionals administer this for resuscitation. Another function is for inhalation therapy. This treatment has been around since the early 1900s. It is used for conditions like cyanosis, shock, COPD, severe bleeding, CO3 poisoning, trauma, cardiac arrest, life support, and more. 

Carbon Dioxide

You know carbon dioxide as the gas humans breathe out and the gas that plants need to survive. In the medical setting, it used for less invasive surgeries. Carbon dioxide is necessary to insufflate the other specialty gases. Examples are procedures like arthroscopy, endoscopy, laparoscopy, and cryotherapy. It can also be used to stimulate the respiratory system during and after the administration of anesthesia. Carbon dioxide can be piped directly or come in a compressed tank. 

Medical Liquid Nitrogen

This liquid gas is used in several surgical procedures such as cryosurgery removal of certain cancers and other skin lesions. It acts as an analgesic and anesthetic. Moreover, it can also be sued to store blood, tissue, and cells in cryogenic or super freezing temperatures. It prevents oxidative stress on the sample, which preserves its integrity and freshness. Some specialists also use this as a part of a pulmonary or lung function test, while the pharma industry utilizes it for the production of some medications. 

Moreover, it can power tools when the facility has no instrument air. This gas is commonly stored in cylinders and hooked to pressurized pumps with an alarm to prevent evaporation. It must also be handled with care. It is several hundred degrees below zero, with the power to freeze tissue upon contact. 

Nitrous Oxide

Ever heard of the term called laughing gas? This actually refers to Nitrous Oxide, which dental practitioners have been using since the 1800s as an analgesic. Since that period, this gas has been incorporated for various surgical procedures to assure that the facility and healthcare staff provide optimal patient care. 

Final Wrap Up

Quality gases are needed in medical facilities to assure superior treatment. However, there are certain times when a specific gas is contraindicated. As such, patients who will receive procedures must wear a medical gas warning on their wrist to alert the team not to administer it. For best results, it is important to assure tanks and pipelines inspected regularly. This is vital to assure the well-being of all the patients. Keeping up with maintenance and educating staff about operational information will keep the system safe and running well for a long time.