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Angie98 Offline OP
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Could I know in this situation will patient on ventilator be affected by breathing in the contaminated air?

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You might need to explain that one a little further. Air compressor malfunction ... stopped working? Or some other problem?

Contaminated air? Contaminated with (by) what?

Where are the filters? What about the alarm(s) ... etc., etc.

"Damage ventilator"? What damage (and how was it caused)?


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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Angie98 Offline OP
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Geoff,
The compressor air system did not dried the air and contaminated the pipeline. Water could be seen at the water trap of the ventilator.
Do we need to decontaminate the pipeline before use on patient in case the moisture promote mild growth?
Thank you.

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If this is just an isolated case (1 ventilator) I personally would dispense with the old tubing, however if we are talking about all of the connected devices, that's another kettle of fish....

Although I think a revision of the compressor and its filter system should be first port of call, which item failed to allow the moisture to pass ?

I would assume in Singapore air humidity is a significant problem.

Last edited by Malcolm; 03/06/22 2:38 PM.
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It sounds (reads) like we're dealing with medical air from a Piped Medical Gas system ... and that the problem is in the plant room.

There we would normally expect a compressor charging a (large) pressure vessel. That large tank would have an automatic drain device.

In short, water should never make it into the pipeline (although I have seen this happen some years ago at a poorly maintained facility - until I intervened, I might add).

So, first things first:- the initial "problem" in the plant room needs to be addressed (and put right); then filters most likely shall need to be replaced. Depending upon details of the installation, the air drier (that is, if fitted) shall need to be checked out. Hopefully, the pipeline system can be drained and then clean dry air blown through it until the Engineer is satisfied that medical quality has been regained.


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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I would agree with Geoff's summary. The Medical air plant room will have a compressor, possibly more than one and a large receiver that irons out any fluctuations in the air pressure to keep it constant. There is a drain on the receiver, which should automatically drain out any water and other contaminants. Further down the pipeline there should be dryers which will remove any residual water from the air. It sounds like these dryers have failed, and that the cartridges have not been replaced. This would be a job that your estates department or a contractor would normally do.
In the UK, the HTM document specifies that quarterly QC testing is required on Medical air plant to look for any oil based contamination, but mainly for moisture content. This again should be being carried out by the estates or a contractor. In addition to this there ought to be built in monitors for moisture content that will alert estates staff that there are issues. If there has genuinely been water contamination as far as the ventilator itself, the whole pipeline will need drying out and should not be used for patient connected equipment. The first thing to do is to sort out why there is water in there, then put purges on all outlets if possible, and get the terminal units tested until the moisture content is within the recommended -46 C dew point.


Richard Aldridge
Lead Technologist
Adult Critical care unit
Royal London Hospital
Whitechapel Road
London E1 1BB
Tel 0203 59 40302
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Angie98 Offline OP
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Thank you all for explaining.
We are also puzzle how liquid from compressor with dew point at -52 deg C could have this water problem at the ventilator inlet.
May I know would we need to inspect all the machine to eliminate the probability of future problem? Or just leave them as long as they are working fine?


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