Medical air in hospitals is classified as a drug, which means that hospitals, pharmacists, and dentists are responsible for ensuring that the quality of the air is compliant with regulations. For most hospital air compression systems and applications, this means providing oil-free and water-free air.
Indeed, the quality of compressed air at the end use within the hospital is one of the biggest and most important concerns for compressed air systems in hospitals. Some of the common enemies of these systems include:
There have been a few cases of failed oil-based medical air compression systems caused by corrosion of the lubricant and subsequent mixture of oil and compressed air. With the damaged lubricant, the moving parts in the machine experience increased friction, resulting in costly malfunctions. To prevent such problems, many hospitals today prefer to use oil-free air compressors that don’t contain any oil in the system.
Water contamination is the most common, corrosive, and costly problem that can infect medical air compression systems. Any water that gets into the system can damage the pipes and receivers, corrode any metal parts, and encourage the growth of mold on hospital equipment. Even more concerning is if the water passes through the filters used to keep out particulate residue from steel, iron, and rust.
Water, either as system condensation or airborne moisture, can compromise the effectiveness of the compressed air equipment and lead to endless repair bills.
Proper Installation and Maintenance of Hospital Air Compressor Systems
Patient safety should be the primary focus during the installation and maintenance of hospital air compressor systems. To save money and avoid catastrophic injuries, delays, and unfavorable experiences due to failed or compromised medical equipment that use compressed air, the systems should be tested at regular intervals and analyzed for patterns in system behavior preemptively, to address potential problems before they arise.
After all, air compression systems for hospitals that are not safe, reliable, or sanitary defeat the purpose of the healthcare facility itself.