What is the importance of using an oxygen enrichment detector in hospital wards? With the current pandemic of Covid-19 affecting nearly every country in the world, health officials are releasing daily updates and guidelines to combat the virus.

The latest UK government guidelines highlights the hazard of increased oxygen in wards due to the high density of ventilators. This has been highlighted as a potential combustion risk by many leading health officials.

Latest statement from the UK Government states: “The density of ventilators may enrich the air with oxygen, increasing the combustion risk. Ensure there is good natural and mechanical ventilation.” The guidelines go further to state that “teams should carry out regular monitoring of potentially exposed rooms to ensure oxygen enrichment is controlled”.Unfortunately, you cannot solely rely on ventilation to ensure a safe working atmosphere. This is where a fixed gas detection system decreases the inevitable safety gap. An Oxygen enrichment detector will continuously monitor the area for increased levels of oxygen and will initiate ventilation control when the oxygen level increases. If the ventilation fails then the second alarm will initiate, which can be connected to the site wide BMS or fire system.

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Source: IGD

IGD’s Oxygen Enrichment Monitor Solutions

International Gas Detectors (IGD) has several solutions to help hospital wards with their oxygen enrichment detector requirements. We can provide quick installation systems, which maintenance staff can install themselves without the aid from IGD. The TOCSIN 640 with oxygen detector is perfectly suited for this. It is supplied with a pre-calibrated oxygen sensor and auto setup. This means facilities staff can install the system without requiring an IGD engineer. Thus, reducing implementation time and minimal disruption to the ward. It has a number of relay outputs to both control ventilation and connect to a site wide fire system/building management system (BMS).

Multiple Wards – One Complete System

If there are many wards with ventilators, then our 2-Wire Addressable systems are the perfect solution. Utilising only a two-core cable for power and communication, and up to 32 sensors per highway. This means that there is minimal disruption onsite when installing the oxygen enrichment system and a massive reduction in installation cost compared to current systems on the market. Furthermore, the controller can be connected to control individual vents or site wide vents in the case of an alarm. Rooms Status Indicators can be placed outside of each isolated room to provide a clear display of current Oxygen levels in the room before entry. Finally, you have the ability to connect remote GSM alarms to the controller. In the case of an alarm, a text/email alert can be sent out to all the relevant members of staff to provide 24/7 warnings.

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Source: IGD

IGD’s fixed oxygen enrichment detectors have an industry leading operational lifetime of 5+ years.

We are also proud that we able to assist a number of UK NHS facilities already requesting Oxygen enrichment detectors. We are endeavouring to despatch our oxygen enrichment detectors within 24 hours, to meet their requirements.

Should I use portable detectors instead?

A portable oxygen detector should only be used where either there is no space to fit a permanently fixed system or used in conjunction with a fixed gas detection system. IGD would recommend using portable oxygen detectors in conjunction with a fixed oxygen enrichment detector with this application. The site can use the monitors as both alarm verification tools and PPE for personal protection. However, if using the monitor as PPE it is imperative that it is cleaned correctly. Further to this, using a portable monitor has the potential to be an avenue of cross contamination out of the isolated wards. Therefore, additional work and maintenance is required to ensure the monitor is correctly sterilised, work that is not required with a fixed oxygen enrichment monitor.

About the author

Hal Collier is the Lead Marketer for International Gas Detectors (IGD).