Medical Grade Carbon Dioxide
Medical Grade Carbon Dioxide USP is utilized in critical care areas of the hospital. The medical uses of carbon dioxide include:
- Inflation gas for minimal invasive surgery (laparoscopy, endoscopy, arthroscopy) to enlarge and stabilize body cavities for better visibility of the surgical field
- To increase the depth of respiration and help overcome breathe holding and bronchial spasms during various procedures
- To stimulate respiration for various reasons (i.e. chronic respiratory obstruction removal, hyperventilation, etc.)
- To increase cerebral blood flow during some surgeries
- For clinical and physiological investigations
Medical Grade Carbon Dioxide USP is administered by face mask or locally as needed. The use of a pressure compensated flow meter is used to control the rate of flow desired.
Medical Grade Nitrogen
Applications include removal of:
- Skin tags
- Some skin cancers
In addition, medical liquid nitrogen can be used for the storage of biological material, such as cells, tissues, blood, gametes at cryogenic temperatures, for subsequent medical procedures and analysis.
Liquid nitrogen is a refrigerated liquefied gas with a boiling point of -196° C
In its liquid form nitrogen is used as a cryogen for many applications where very low temperatures or rapid temperature reduction is required.
Nitrogen can also be used as a component in many gas medical mixtures such as lung function test gases.
Nitrogen, compliant with the European pharmacopeia monograph for low oxygen nitrogen, is used as an inert gas for the storage of medicinal products that are susceptible to oxidation in the presence of air.
Nitrogen is also used as a purging and inerting gas by the pharmaceutical industry in the manufacture of medicinal products.
The cold temperature of liquid nitrogen can be used to safely store medical or research samples such as blood, stem cells and plasma.
Medical Grade Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas as it is commonly known was first synthesised by Joseph Priestley in 1772. It was initially used as a dental analgesic forty years after this and has been used extensively in a wide range of surgical procedures for both anesthesia and analgesia.
The exact mechanism of action of nitrous oxide is unknown, but its effects take place within the pain centers of the brain and spinal cord. It is thought to have an effect on the Gamma Amino butyric Acid (GABA) cells increasing inhibition of nerve cells causing drowsiness and sleep. It also is related to the release of endogenous neurotransmitters such as opioid peptides and serotonin. The release of these neurotransmitters is thought to activate descending pain pathways that inhibit pain transmission.
Medical Grade Oxygen
Oxygen was known to be the only element that supports respiration as early as 1800 and was first used in the medical field in 1810. However, it took about 150 years for the gas to be used throughout medicine. In the early to mid-20th century oxygen therapy became rational and scientific, and today modern medicine could not be practiced without the support that oxygen supplies.
Medical oxygen is used to:
- Provide a basis for virtually all modern anesthetic techniques
- Restore tissue oxygen tension by improving oxygen availability in a wide range of conditions such as COPD, cyanosis, shock, severe hemorrhage, carbon monoxide poisoning, major trauma, cardiac/respiratory arrest aid resuscitation provide life support for artificially ventilated patients aid cardiovascular stability
- Contraindications/side effects
There are no absolute contraindications to the use of oxygen but the inspired concentration should be limited in the case of premature infants and those patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. However guidelines have been published by the British Thoracic Society (BTS) on the safe therapeutic use of medical oxygen, which encourages proper assessment of the patient before use.
Compressed medical oxygen toxicity may manifest itself in the following ways: retro lenticular fibroplasia in premature infants exposed to oxygen concentrations greater than 40% convulsions appear after a few hours exposure to medical oxygen at pressures above 3bar(g) retrosternal soreness associated with coughing and breathing difficulties, made worse by smoking and exposure to cold air after breathing pure medical oxygen at atmospheric pressure for several hours.