Med-Gas Cross-Connections and Patient Safety

Medical Gas Professional Healthcare Organization (MGPHO) members have reported that hundreds of medical gas crossed pipelines have been detected and corrected during the testing and certification of new construction. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the American Society of Sanitary Engineers (ASSE) and the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) have developed strict standards to reduce the risk of patients receiving the wrong gas during procedures.

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However, even with these strict regulations, in the last two years it has been reported that many patients have been exposed not to crossed lines but rather to crossed connections, external of the piping system.

Cross connections usually happen when people who have not received proper training attempt to repair hoses, exchange fittings or modify gas specific adapters to make them universal. The CGA has required the final connection for all medical gas systems outlets and inlets to be a gas-specific threaded connection. NFPA 99 and CGA required coding to be color specific, with the name of the gas or gas-specific quick connection.

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