As cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) increase across the world, the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) is working with gas and health care associations around the world to promote awareness of how to safely clean and decontaminate medical gas containers, and is currently offering its safety standard on this topic free of charge.
CGA P-83, Guidelines for Cleaning Externally Contaminated Medical Gas Containers, provides guidance on the considerations required to avoid compromising the medical gas container during cleaning and disinfection procedures, including the following key points:
- Medical gas containers that are externally contaminated, including potentially by infectious pathogens, must be quarantined until they can be cleaned
- Personnel involved in handling externally contaminated medical gas containers must receive training and instruction on safe handling, use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfection procedures, segregation and hazard identification procedures, and hazardous waste regulations
- Cleaning and disinfection procedures must be performed in designated areas with appropriate equipment and facilities using a safe and efficient waste disposal system in accordance with local regulations
- Methods and materials used to clean and disinfect medical gas containers must be approved by the gas supplier prior to use; contact the gas supplier if there is any doubt concerning the method to be used to clean the container
If medical gas containers with external contamination cannot be adequately cleaned at the healthcare facility, these containers must be identified and segregated. For example, the container may be covered by a plastic bag that is labelled with the nature of the hazard and a warning notice stating that it requires cleaning. The gas supplier must also be contacted for further guidance.
Further information related to this topic may be found in the following safety publications from the Virginia, US-based Compressed Gas Association:
- CGA SA-30, Handling Cylinders After Natural Disaster Exposure
- CGA SA-31, Receiving Cylinders After Natural Disaster Exposure
- CGA P-44, Selection of Personal Protective Equipment
- CGA G-4.1, Cleaning of Equipment for Oxygen Service
- CGA V-12, Leak Detection Fluids Use with Gas Cylinder Packages
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