A state-of-the-art Medical Air system has been installed by Air Liquide Healthcare at Netcare’s Moot General Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa.

This type of system may have been in operation in many of Europe’s top hospitals for some time, but the development represents the first South African and African installation and brings with it several advantages both to patients and the hospital.

The Medical Air system, which is already compliant to the proposed SANS (South African National Standard) and ISO 7396.1, produces clean, dry pharmaceutical quality medical air that assists in the recovery process and treatment of patients.

The new Medical Air system was installed at Moot General Hospital in October 2009, following an initial analysis and survey by Air Liquide Healthcare.

Air Liquide HealthCare Marketing Developer, Jalel Gatti, says the new machine sets Netcare above its competitors.

“Previous machines had to conform to 500mg of moisture per cubic metre of air, the new standard is set at 67mg, and our machine comes in at around 64mg,” says Gatti.

An additional advantage is that the new machine will save on power usage. Previous machines that were installed used 11 kW compared to 7.5 kW used by the new Medical Air Compressor.

Jalel says that a dew-point of -65 degrees can be maintained (the SANS requirement is -45 degrees) and therefore, “we are well within the standard.” Under the previous standard, a dew-point of 5 degrees was sufficient, which resulted in a lot of additional engineering to ensure that moisture does not ingress into medical equipment.

The new Medical Air system is fully automated and is equipped with various filtration stages that control the contaminant Medical Air Monograph.

“In layman’s terms what this means is that all potential toxic elements in the air, as well as oil, moisture and bacteria are filtered and maintained at SANS and ISO approved levels,” says Jalel.

The new Medical Air system was installed at the hospital in October 2009 and the company is pleased with results since then. Jalel explained, “After the installation, which was completed in two days, we carried out further tests and were happy to note that the current environment is completely within the ISO and SANS standards.”

Air Liquide Healthcare Managing Director Meshack Lekeru is confident that the new machine will result in a huge improvement in terms of quality patient care.

Lekeru added, “Everything we do in our business is centred around the healthcare of the patient. We are part of Air Liquide, which is the world leader in industrial and medical gases, and it is this global experience, research and quality which gives us the edge in making a healthy difference in the lives of South African patients.”