Afrox, a member of The Linde Group, has released new technology designed specifically to address the needs of medical practitioners and respiratory therapists for the administration of medical oxygen (O2) in portable cylinders.

The ready-to-use, mobile Integrated Valve Regulator (IVR) cylinders are fitted with a built-in valve, regulator, live contends gauge and flow controls.

844 ivr cylinders

Source: Afrox

“With conventional cylinders, medical staff have no way of knowing how much gas the cylinder contains which often leads to gas wastage. With the IVR cylinders, it is not necessary to train nurses on how to fit and effectively use the IVR units as no assembly is required,” said Joseph Ramashala, Head of Healthcare at Afrox.

Ramashala explained that with the portable IVR O2 cylinder there is no need to change the regulator as it is built into the cylinder and therefore there is no interruption of patient care, ensuring constant O2 supply. Flow can be controlled to precisely meet patients’ needs through constant controlled outlet pressure, while the live contents gauge prevents gas wastage as medical staff can easily monitor gas levels. The IVR units also have a handle, making the cylinders easy to carry, allowing medical staff to move them with ease.”

Although leading private hospitals in South Africa have been using the IVR medical O2 cylinders for a number of years already, Ramashala said Afrox aims to introduce this convenient solution to a wider audience in order to bring this innovative product to the rest of the South African medical industry.

Regulation changes affecting small medical cylinders with bull-nose valves

“The packaging of medical gases into portable steel and aluminium cylinders is governed by South African National Standard SANS 10019, an amendment to which was published in 2013, mandating all medical gas cylinders with a water capacity of 10 litres or less to be fitted with a pin-index valve as opposed to a bull-nose valve outlet by the end of 2018,” stated Ramashala.

In order to comply with new SANS 10019 safety standards, Afrox has started to systematically withdraw medical gas cylinders with 10L, 5L and 2L water capacity that are fitted with a bull-nose valve outlets and replace them with IVR cylinders or those fitted with pin-index valve outlets.

Up until recently medical gases customers had a choice of pin-index, bull-nose or IVR cylinders. Ramashala says however that as from the beginning of 2019 small medical cylinders with water capacity of 10 litres or less will have pin-index valves. “Medical gas cylinders with a pin-index valve require a compatible regulator. Customers hiring our pin-index cylinders can opt to purchase a regulator, or hire the complete and ready-to-use IVR units, which is more cost-effective in the long run as no separate regulator is required and its precise operation and easy-to-read content valve will offer cost savings to clients over time,” continued Ramashala.

Through the South African Compressed Gas Association, Afrox has undertaken to achieve this amendment by 31 December 2018 and urges customers to convert to pin-index cylinders or ensure that regulators are compatible with the pin-index valve cylinders before the cut-off date.