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Types and uses of medical gases

Types of medical gases

Medical gases are gases used in medical procedures. Some are used for treatment, some for anesthesia, and some for driving medical devices and tools.

There are 7 kinds of gases commonly used: oxygen, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon, helium, carbon dioxide, and compressed air.

Types and uses of medical gases

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Medical gas properties and uses

(1) Oxygen

Oxygen is the most basic gas for life, and it is used medically to supplement oxygen to oxygen-deficient patients. Direct inhalation of high purity oxygen is harmful to the human body. Long-term use of oxygen concentration generally does not exceed 30-40%. Ordinary patients breathe oxygen through oxygen flowmeter; critically ill patients breathe oxygen through the ventilator.

Oxygen is also used in high-pressure tanks to treat diving, gas poisoning, and for drug nebulization.

(2) Nitrogen

Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, non-flammable gas. It is inactive at room temperature and does not react chemically with ordinary metals. Medically used to drive medical equipment and tools. Liquid nitrogen is commonly used in cryosurgery in surgery, stomatology, gynecology, and ophthalmology.

(3) Nitrous oxide

Inhalation of a small amount of nitrous oxide has an anesthetic and analgesic effect, but a large amount of inhalation can suffocate people. Medically, a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is used as an anesthetic agent, and anesthesia is inhaled by the patient through a closed manner or a ventilator.

(4) Argon, Helium

They are colorless, odorless, non-toxic inert gas. Medically used for argon gas knife, gas knife, and other surgical instruments.

(5) Carbon dioxide

Medically, carbon dioxide is used to inflate the abdominal cavity and colon for laparoscopy and colonoscopy. In addition, it is also used for laboratory culture of bacteria (anaerobic bacteria).

Carbon dioxide can be made into dry ice by applying pressure (5.2 atmospheres) and cooling (-56.6°C below). Medical dry ice is used for cryotherapy to treat cataracts and vascular diseases.

(6) Compressed air

Compressed air is used to deliver power to oral surgical instruments, orthopedic instruments, and ventilators.

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 Types and uses of medical gases