Used to treat both patients at home and in hospitals, medical gas cylinders are integral in improving the quality of life and care for millions of people suffering from chronic respiratory illness. 

In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at their applications within the healthcare and homecare setting – exploring how they are used and the benefits that lightweight, portable oxygen cylinders can provide. 

Medical Gas in the Healthcare Setting

From oxygen and nitrous oxide to other gases such as xenon, helium and carbon dioxide – medical gases are an essential part of caring for all patients across all levels of the healthcare system. It isn’t just about treatment – they’re also used to calibrate essential pieces of equipment used in hospitals across the world. 

Oxygen Applications

Oxygen is one of the most common medical gases, and is administered to treat patients in surgery, or who have suffered trauma or heart failure. It’s also used to alleviate the symptoms of diseases and illnesses which directly impact the lungs like asthma, pneumonia, lung cancer and COPD.

Respiratory illness has a huge impact on the UK, where it is estimated that approximately 10,000 people are newly diagnosed with lung disease every week. It’s also believed that over 1 million people are diagnosed with COPD, making it the second most common lung disease following asthma. 

These numbers have a significant knock-on effect on the healthcare system, as it makes increasing numbers of people dependent on oxygen supplies. For this demographic – oxygen therapy isn’t optional, it’s essential. It’s also a necessity which is likely to be in increased demand considering the recent Coronavirus pandemic, where symptoms of “long covid” could be responsible for long-term, chronic damage to lung health.

In addition to regulating and supporting the breathing of people who have compromised lung capacity, it can also be used to reduce the risk of infections in artificial limbs when an individual is diabetic or has suffered an injury to their foot or leg. 

Providing Pain Relief 

Another commonly used medical gas within the healthcare environment is Nitrous Oxide.

Widely known as “laughing gas” – this chemical compound is an effective form of pain relief, making it a popular treatment for childbirth (gas and air – Entonox) and surgical procedures such as dentistry work on the mouth area, where there are sensitive nerves present inside the jawbone.

Nitrous oxide has some specific properties, including its low density (1.59 g/L at 20°C) and flammability, which means that it is often transported by use of specialised cylinders rather than bottles or bulk containers due to the risk of explosion if they come into contact with an open flame or sparks.  

Practical and Portable – Medical Gas at Home

Medical gases are also relied upon outside the hospital, ambulance and healthcare environment.

For people who depend on the use of oxygen at home, a portable, lightweight gas cylinder is a practical solution which can help them live a fuller, more independent life that isn’t restricted or tethered to hospital beds or bulky machines. 

Portable gas cylinders allow patients to be treated in the comfort of their homes, whilst also giving them the freedom to travel outside the home without worrying about running out of oxygen and the subsequent health complications.

A Closer Look: Calibration Gases

Other important gases used in the medical industry include those used for the calibration of analytical instruments. 

In addition to calibrating essential equipment in the laboratory and analytical facilities, they are also used in the blending and delivery of medical gas mixtures. 

At AMS, we supply a range of carbon composite speciality gas cylinders and disposable aluminium canisters for medical equipment calibration. With durable external cylinder coatings and innovative internal cylinder treatments, we can produce cylinders designed to protect gas integrity, whilst maintaining purity in a wide range of speciality gases.

The Benefits of Lightweight Medical Gas Cylinders

When it comes to portability and practicality – cylinder weight matters!

Whether they are being used in a healthcare or home setting, a lightweight medical gas cylinder can bring a range of benefits.

Oxygen supply within the hospital environment can come from large tank and equipment installations. This allows oxygen to be administered to patients as and when it’s needed – with some people requiring a round-the-clock supply depending on the severity of their illness. 

However, the flexibility and portability of lightweight composite cylinders are critical to support patients’ therapy.  

For example – many patients requiring long-term use of medical gases are transferred between hospitals. A lightweight cylinder can make this job easier, as it is less physically demanding for the healthcare employees involved in the transfer. 

For those using oxygen at home, a lightweight cylinder is a far more practical choice. Whilst a hospital environment has the benefit of trained staff who regularly handle gas cylinders, it can be far more challenging for an elderly patient, or for someone who has decreased mobility or cardiovascular strength as a result of their illness. 

Taking into consideration the physical symptoms of lung conditions – such as shortness of breath and fatigue – it makes sense that their oxygen supply should be lightweight and easy to handle.  

From shopping trips and hospital appointments to leisure trips and days out – lightweight medical gas cylinders give people freedom and are integral in enabling people to live fuller, richer and more independent lives.

AMS Medical Oxygen Cylinders – A Lightweight Solution

 Our medical oxygen cylinders are some of the lightest Type 3 carbon composite cylinders available on the market, and up to 50% lighter than traditional aluminium products. 

Certified for home oxygen use and in markets across the globe – our cylinders provide significant practical and financial benefits to prescribers, patients and providers.

Portable Oxygen Cylinders from AMS Composite Cylinders

Our lightweight portable home oxygen cylinders are available in a range of standard and customised sizes, including 1L,2L and 3L capacities. They are produced to ISO and EN standards (including ISO-11119-2, ISO 11119-1, EN 12245, EN 12257, ISO 7666 and ISO 11118) and to the requirements of UN PED/TPED, DOT (USA) and TC (Canada).

Products include carbon composite cylinders for a wide variety of breathing air, oxygen therapy and other applications, such as healthcare, respiratory, hydrogen fuel cell, SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus), laboratory, emergency and environmental uses.

Find out more here.