In recent years, regulations and standards surrounding the handling of medical gases have developed into a complex landscape for healthcare personnel to navigate. That’s why the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) intends to share good practices and initiatives at its 2019 Winter Seminar which will commence tomorrow at the Le Plaza Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. 

This year’s Winter Seminar, ‘Medical Gases – A deep breath’,  will provide an overview of regulations and how they impact the production and supply of gases. The seminar will look at what the future holds for patient safety and for medical gases in the healthcare industry. 

Almost 30 industry experts and external speakers will present on a range of topics including: 

  • Safety (patient, product, personnel) and the basics of medical gases 
  • Medical gases 
  • The future for medical gases
  • Homecare 
  • Medical devices 
  • Hot topics and breaking news for medical gases 

Ivo Bols, EIGA President, commented, “This Winter Session further improves knowledge on the safe handling of medical gases by all parties involved, with one common objective: patient safety.”

The sessions will provide guidance and perspective on these aspects of medical gases safety and on how people should be communicating and managing these issues. Proven tools and techniques will be shared with attendees that they can take back to their companies and implement.  

gasworld caught up with EIGA General Secretary, Philippe Cornille, ahead of the event.   

How have preparations been on the run up to the seminar? 

“The Seminar preparations started over a year ago. The Seminar Organising Committee (SOC) was the driving force behind identifying the right topics, finding the best speakers and preparing a balanced programme. The SOC had over a dozen meetings and can be very proud of the end result.” 

Why are medical gases deserving of the limelight for this year’s winter seminar?  

“Though medical gases are an integral part of our industry, they are definitely different. Industrial gases are used in all kinds of applications and industries, but medical gases are used in people.” 

He continued, “The regulatory challenges are therefore very different and among the strictest. Since the last decade there had not been a winter seminar dedicated to medical gases, and since the evolution in medical technology and in regulation is very pronounced, it felt like the right time to dedicate the 2019 Winter Session to medical gases.” 

What do you hope attendees will take away from the seminar?  

“We trust the participants will have a better appreciation of the many aspects of medical gases products and services. The presentations should also contribute to a safer use of medical gases, not only within our typical membership, but also to partners and users. To that end, and for the first time ever, we are very pleased to have representatives from a number of national authorities attending. I hope that after Thursday, the whole medical gases community, ranging from medical gas suppliers, hospitals, pharmacists, authorities and patients, will have a better understanding and enhanced patient safety.”

EIGA copyright


Day one of EIGA’s Winter Session 2019 will begin here in Belgium tomorrow. Stay up-to-date with all the latest seminar developments via the gasworld website, updated throughout the two-day event. 

A full review of the event will be published in the upcoming March edition of gasworld magazine.