Now Available at No Charge: CGA Publication P-83 Provides Guidelines for Cleaning Contaminated Medical Gas Containers

March 4, 2020

As healthcare providers around the world work to assist patients affected by the respiratory illness Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), medical gas containers can become externally contaminated due to their use in healthcare facilities. It is important that these cylinders are cleaned in a manner that removes contaminants, does not cause damage to the cylinder, valve, or gas product, and does not lead to a hazardous situation during the use of the container’s contents. It is the customer’s responsibility to return to the gas supplier medical gas containers that are free from contamination. In order to facilitate safe cleaning of medical gas containers the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) will provide its safety publication CGA P-83, Guidelines for Cleaning Externally Contaminated Medical Gas Containers, at no charge for a limited time.

CGA P-83 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 Compressed Gas Association: