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Compressed Air in Medical Technology

Air as medicinal products - this is a vital reality in medical technology. Aer medicalis and/or medical compressed air is the technical terminology for replacing normal air. It is indispensable for the operation of ceiling supply units, in anaesthetic gas transmission systems, as air for respiratory systems for patients, for inspecting and drying medical products, in hyperbaric chambers and many other applications.  Moreover, medical compressed air is utilised in laboratories, medical and dental surgeries, but also increasingly in the fitness and wellness area.

In order to guarantee absolute patient safety, the highest possible purity and reliability of their compressed air is only one part - medical respiratory air is also subjected to, as a medicinal product, the directives of the European Pharmacopoeia. In addition, depending on the application purpose, the guidelines in accordance with DIN 8573-1:2001 as well as DIN EN ISO 7396-1:2007 and DIN EN 12021 for respiratory air quality must be taken into account. With our many years of experience as a partner for clinics and companies in the field of medical technology, we can assist you with the processing and treatment for high-quality medical compressed air and complying with all relevant guidelines.

Applications in the medical technology

Respiratory air

Respiratory air

The artificial respiration of human beings demands the highest levels of sensitivity and awareness. Even minimal contamination of the respiratory air can significantly endanger the health of a patient. That is why medical respiratory air as a medicinal product is subjected to high requirements, which are also legal obligations. Seven crucial parameters are relevant for continuous quality assurance for respiratory air monitoring: Oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide content, as well as nitrous gases and water vapour content. Complete documentation of all measured values supports the quality management of the clinic and contributes to a high safety standard. This verification regarding compliance with the statutory specified limiting values for content and pollutants in the compressed air supports pharmacists in clinic facilities with their legally binding obligations from the European Pharmacopoeia. At the same time, they can rest assured that they supply patients in the best possible way, at any point in time, with respiratory air in its purest form.

Laboratories

Application in laboratories

In addition to utilisation in hospitals, compressed air is increasingly being used in laboratories. In order to exclude the danger of bacterial growth in these highly sensitive environments, compressed air must be absolutely germ-free and dry. Aseptic and dry conditions also protect against corrosion and deposits on high-quality laboratory facilities. In order to ensure concentrated work in laboratories, the devices and machinery used should be noise free - but also additionally usable as space-saving and mobile.

Compressed air is utilised in laboratories, among other things, for the following applications:

  • Automatic sampler: Suction of samples, compressed air supported injection

  • sterilisers: Heat-sensitive solutions or devices are sterilised under pressure in autoclaves -rheometer: Measuring device for determining the deformation and flow behaviour of matter. Compressed air is utilised here as the rheometer operates with air bearings

  • nitrogen generators

  • Blood analysis

  • Metering liquids

  • Gas chromatograph which are utilised as analysing methods for separation of mixtures in individual chemical compositions

Clinics and surgeries

Clinics and surgeries

A sterile environment is indispensable in medical areas such as clinics and surgeries. Compressed air must also be absolutely germ-free, oil-free and dry, so that the growth of micro-organisms is excluded.

Compressed air is utilised for the following applications in operating theatres and intensive care wards e.g. for:

  • Sucking up blood and wound secretion from operations by utilising a medical vacuum.

  • Compressed air for cooling when utilising lasers which e.g. are utilised for removing tattoos.

  • Volume flow rate measurement for nebulisation medicines at the hospital bed

In doctors and dentists surgeries: Drive units for surgical instruments and tools, such as e.g. Using drills or the blowing out patient´s mouths.

Wellness and fitness

Wellness and fitness

So-called oxygen therapy is of immense importance for medical technology, but is also gaining additional importance for applications in the fitness and wellness areas. Small and cost-effective devices are particularly important for these markets. Small adsorbers adsorb nitrogen and enrich the air with oxygen to increase the oxygen concentration in the blood plasma of patients. A possible growth of bacteria must be counteracted with extremely dry air and the use of antibacterial copper.

In addition to the short-term use for ventilation (refer to respiratory air in the hospital), medical compressed air is also utilised within the framework of a long-term oxygen therapy when patients suffer from chronic oxygen deficiency, or also for increasing the general condition of older people.

In the field of fitness, compressed air supports e.g. the simulation of a high-altitude training for competitive athletes.

  • Acclimatisation to the lack of oxygen

  • Periods in vacuum cabins

Application reports and case studies

Use Case: Compressed air in cleanroom technology

The customer distributes and installs cleanrooms and climate chambers. Such air-filtered rooms are required for special manufacturing processes in numerous industries, e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology or medical technology, microelectronics, the food industry, semiconductor production or aerospace.

Residual oil - an absolute no-go

The user works with gas chromatographs, which are used as an analytical method for separating mixtures into individual chemical compounds.

Clean compressed air for laser beams

The research centre from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) and the Technical University Munich (TUM) investigates the potential of light for the early diagnosis and therapy of serious diseases such as cancer. Compressed air, and in particular its purity, plays an important role in the use of intense laser light. It is therefore crucial for the researchers that the compressed air quality is monitored at all times.

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