Know these 7 Common Medical Gases


Medical gases are integral to a lot of medical practices and they have saved and preserved countless lives.

Today, we’ll discuss a few of the more common medical gases. The medical gases that we will review today include:

  1.    Oxygen
  2.    Carbon dioxide
  3.    Nitrous oxide
  4.    Nitrogen
  5.    Medical air
  6.    Instrument air
  7.    Medical Equanox


Medical oxygen is made up of 100% oxygen. It is a high-grade oxidising gas. It is odorless, tasteless and generally colorless.

It is very easy to store in the medical field. Medical oxygen is usually stored as compressed gas until it is needed.

In the case of a patient having hypoxia, medical oxygen is used to ensure that their blood gets enough oxygen.

Medical oxygen has a lot of uses in the medical field.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is a non-flammable, odorless and colorless gas that is made up of 100% carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide has a lot of uses including being used as a refrigerant when in its liquefied state.

In the medical field, medical carbon dioxide gets used with anesthetics. This is to ensure that during surgery, a patient can breathe easily and deeply.

In the case that you stop breathing, medical carbon dioxide will stimulate your breathing.

When a patient begins to hyperventilate, medical carbon dioxide will be used to calm their breathing. It’s evident that medical carbon dioxide has a lot of uses, and unfortunately, we won’t be able to cover them all today.

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is a colorless, non- flammable oxidising gas. Unlike other medical gases, it features a somewhat sweetish odor and taste.

Like other gases on this list, nitrous oxide is a medical gas that gets used for general anesthesia. It usually gets administered with another anesthetic during surgery.

Nitrous oxide causes patients to become unconscious during, before, or after undergoing a surgical procedure. It relieves the pain that is associated with a lot of medical procedures.

Nitrous oxide can also serve as a freezing agent. It is sometimes referred to as laughing gas.



Medical liquid nitrogen is a medical gas that has a plethora of uses. Liquid nitrogen usually has a temperature of about a couple of hundred degrees below freezing point Celsius.

It gets used in the process of cryosurgery due to its extremely low temperature.

Nitrogen gas can also be used to power medical tools in places that lack or do not make use of instrument air.

It also gets used during the manufacture of medications in the pharmaceutical industry.

Medical air

Medical air is a non-flammable, colorless and odorless gas that gets used in the place of regular atmospheric air.

Medical air provides medical practitioners with clean and controlled air. It gets used when atmospheric air is deemed unfit for use.

In the case that atmospheric air begins to irritate a patient, the medical practitioner in charge switches the air used to medical air.

This sort of air also gets used as a “carrier” gas for otherwise volatile anesthetics.

Instrument air

Medical instrument air is basically an alternative to Nitrogen. It is a form of compressed air that has been purified to comply with set instrument standards.

Instrument air is used to support a lot of medical applications such as the operation of pneumatic brakes, driving surgical tools amongst others.

Medical Equanox

Medical equanox is a concoction. It is a medical gas made up of 50% Medical oxygen and 50% Medical nitrous oxide.

Medical equanox serves as a pain relief agent for a lot of medical procedures. It is safe to use oxidising gas that is odourless, colorless and non- flammable.


Image Pixabay CC0 License


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