Quarterly News

Cleaning Externally Contaminated Medical Gas Cylinders

As healthcare providers work to assist patients affected by infectious pathogens, medical gas cylinders can become externally contaminated due to their use in healthcare facilities. 

It is important that these cylinders are cleaned in a manner that removes contaminants, does not cause damage to the cylinder, valve, or gas product, and does not lead to a hazardous situation during the use of the container’s contents. 

Customers have a specific duty to return medical gas containers that are free from contamination to your gas supplier.  The recent advent of the COVID-19 infectious disease reinforces the importance of this requirement.

When contamination by infectious pathogens is suspected, customers are expected to take appropriate measures to reduce the risks to your staff and to gas supplier employees and contractors.  

ANZIGA (Australia New Zealand Industrial Gas Association) has developed a position statement that details this expectation and advises the recommended cleaning method.  This position statement can be downloaded here: Handling externally Soiled Medical Cylinders 

The position statement references the following relevant Australia/New Zealand Standard: 

AS/NZS 3816 Management of clinical and related wastes, “any establishment either generating or handling clinical and related waste shall be responsible for ensuring the safe disposal of such wastes.”

Should you have any specific questions in relation to this advice, please contact your gas supplier directly.

 

Safety Advice - GAS PRESSURE GAUGES 

It has come to the attention of ANZIGA that some pressure gauges supplied with medical gas regulators to the healthcare market may in very rare circumstances have a detached pointer, which may not always be obvious to end users. ANZIGA has prepared a Safety Advice on this issue for the attention of all users of medical gas cylinders. 

Gas pressure gauges are found on standalone medical pressure regulators as well as incorporated with integrated regulator/cylinder packages 

The purpose of this safety advice is to raise awareness of the remote possibility of this issue across all bourdon tube type pressures gauges fitted to medical gas regulators, and to encourage those who handle/use medical gas cylinders to check that the gauge pointer does not move independently of pressure change. 

Further information can be obtained from your medical gas supplier. 

 

Australian Standard (AS 4484-2004) defines the labelling and colour coding for gas cylinders.  ANZIGA members undertook a coordinated program to convert all medical gas cylinders to the required white body colour. The cylinders were also marked twice on the shoulder of the cylinder with a 'N' to indicate that the colour coding was new as required by the Australian Standard.

The new colour scheme is completed for all medical oxygen cylinders in Australia and New Zealand is now completed.

Standards Australia, who is responsible for the Australian Standard, has recently published a 'ruling' on the use of the 'N' on medical gas cylinders.  This ruling can be found on their website and in the revised standard.

The ruling allows the 'N' to now be removed as the colour conversion is now complete.

ANZIGA members will be progressively removing this marking.