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Medicinal and technical gases - Storage characteristics

settala gas

Even in the healthcare and hospital sectors, "medical gases" are used which have different locations depending on their characteristics and use. Think, for example, of medicinal gases or drugs in which the mechanism of action is pharmacological or of medical device gases, if the mechanism of action is physio mechanical.

There is talk of medical devices for plants that distribute medical gases, which are covered by AIC - Marketing Authorization - and produced by the pharmaceutical workshop with GMP authorization for production issued by the Italian Medicines Agency.

Medical device gases - Definition

Among the medical device gases produced and distributed by Settala Gas there are:

  • Liquid nitrogen for cryotherapy, cryosurgery and cryopreservation
  • Carbon dioxide for laparoscopy, cryotherapy, cryosurgery and cell cultures
  • Argon for plasma coagulation
  • Perfluoropropane for ophthalmic surgery
  • Gas mixtures for spirometry
Gases are also defined as medicinal substances, according to the definition that the medicinal product is "any substance or combination of substances presented as having curative or prophylactic properties of human diseases, any substance or combination of substances that can be used on humans or administered to man in order to restore, correct or modify physiological functions, exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to establish a medical diagnosis."

Anyone who places medicinal gases on the market must have the Authorization for the Production, Distribution, and Marketing of medicinal products and comply with the purity requirements provided for by the Official Italian and European Pharmacopoeia.

However, some gases used in hospitals can be classified, based on their intended use, as Medical Devices. These gases do not have physical and pharmacological actions on the individual or have an ancillary function. In particular, they are subjected to the legislation and the CE Marking:
  • Cryogenic gases for cryotherapy (nitrous oxide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide)
  • Carbon dioxide for endoscopy and laparoscopy
  • Liquid nitrogen for cryopreservation of biological material
Various professionals are involved in the storage and distribution of medical gases in health facilities and European directives, laws and specific standards govern the regulatory framework.

Storage of medicinal and technical gases - Characteristics

When setting up a storage of gas cylinders or changing the intended use of the rooms, the approval of the competent authorities is required, especially if the storage concerns hazardous substances.

Normally gas cylinders are large, heavy and unstable and for this reason, it is important to follow the rules for the storage of medical or technical gases. Let us see what they are.

  • 1. Store gas cylinders properly.
  • 2. Store the cylinders in a covered but well-ventilated area, outdoors and in the shade.
  • 3. Store cylinders vertically and secure them to prevent falls.
  • 4. Set aside different storage areas for full and empty cylinders and use older cylinders first.
  • 5. Dedicate different storage areas based on the properties of the gas (flammable, inert, oxidizing, etc.). In particular, cylinders with flammable contents must be separated from the others.
  • 6. Safety symbols and warning signs must be applied in the storage area in accordance with the law.
In addition to this, for the perfect storage of medicinal and technical gases, Settala Gas recommends knowing the properties of the individual gases and the requirements of the products. For example, cryogenic, liquefied and compressed gases are heavier and accumulate downwards. Electrical systems must also have particular specifications for the storage of flammable gases.

With these advice and working in compliance with the law, the safety of people and the environment can be guaranteed, as the specialists of Settala Gas testify in their daily work. Contact us for more information on the correct storage of gas cylinders.