How Often Should My Medical Gas Equipment Be Serviced?
Like all important medical equipment, medical gas equipment requires servicing at varying frequencies which are often confused with one another. In this article, we will go over the need for medical gas equipment servicing, the frequency each device should be serviced at, and what dictates this frequency.
What is medical gas equipment servicing?
Medical gas device servicing is the process of testing, maintaining and repairing medical gas equipment as both a preventative measure and reactive solution for the breakdown of devices. Servicing of medical gas devices is different to the supply of medical gas, and it is a common misconception that the equipment is checked when changing over cylinders. Most practices will use a different company to service their equipment than the one supplying their medical gases.
Why does medical gas equipment require servicing?
First and foremost, the need for medical gas device servicing is a safety requirement to ensure that your devices are working as intended. The last thing any practitioner wants is for their equipment to fail in a moment of need and proper medical gas equipment servicing works to minimise this risk by inspecting and testing the safety features of relevant devices.
Additionally, medical gas devices have components such as O-rings that are prone to wearing down over time with exposure to oxygen, nitrous oxide and other medical gases. These devices will often have schedules for these components to be changed over and they require visual inspection to assess the need for ad-hoc replacement. Failure to change over these components can lead to leakage and device failure which is both a notable expense and a safety risk.
Does my equipment require servicing if I am not running a medical practice and or if I don’t use it very often?
If you have medical gas equipment on hand then it should be serviced regardless of the place of business and usage frequency. This includes emergency resuscitation equipment such as regulators, defibrillators and resuscitation kits. Given the similar safety concerns to medical practices, it is still important for this equipment to be serviced even in instances where they see considerably less use.
What determines the frequency of equipment servicing?
The two different sources of information that can be used to determine equipment servicing frequency are AS/NZS 3551:2012 and the manufacturer’s recommendations. AS/NZS 3551:2012 is an Australian and New Zealand standard which dictates the management of medical equipment.
How often should my equipment be serviced?
For most medical gas equipment, annual servicing is recommended, however certain devices have different frequencies depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. For example, medical gas manifolds should be serviced on a six monthly basis.
If you are unsure of your equipment’s servicing schedule, medical gas devices that have been serviced should have a sticker indicating when the next service is due. If your device does not have a current service sticker, please reach out to the manufacturer or a local distributor for further advice.
If you are after a comprehensive breakdown of the servicing frequencies of different medical gas equipment, you can download the document below. This document also outlines the key actions that are undertaken when a qualified technician performs the service.