The necessity of color-coded medical gas cylinders and lines

3 years ago

In the world of contemporary medicine, gases are an essential element in the treatment, research, and development of medicine. Generally used gases are ozone, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen oxide, xenon.1

In the use of gases, color coding is obligatory to reduce risks and prevent accidents. If employees or technicians do not adhere to the principles of labeling gas cylinders, the following may occur:

  • the formation of flammable mixtures due to improper storage of different types of gases
  • incorrect connection of gas sources to devices
  • unsafe handling of gases and pipelines.

Using the color-coding of gas cylinders and pipelines2 prescribed by standards, potential risks in healthcare facilities can be prevented.

The European Union has agreed BS EN 1089-3 standard for cylinder identification and ISO 323 for color-coding. In 2020, a unified worldwide standardization could be a key solution to the safe use of medical gases. Gas manufacturers should assume this responsibility and sell cylinders only with the required color marking.

Most countries use their own color coding4, but experts still insist on a universal global color coding:

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The combination of gas properties is indicated by two concentric bands on the cylinder. The type of gas inside the container is also marked with the shoulder color5.

The color-coding of the cylinders must be clearly visible. The workplaces of personnel dealing with gases must be provided with color-coded tables in accessible places. It will help prevent risks and reduce hazards to patients and staff and ensure the safe use of medical gases.

Global standardization will become an important stage in the development of world medicine. It will make the work of specialists in medicine convenient and the world safe.


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