Oxygen is a vital element in our atmosphere as it sustains life. It goes without saying that there can be no life without oxygen. Medical oxygen has become extremely important for hospitals so much so many of them have installed their own medical oxygen plants for producing oxygen as and when they need. There are numerous medical applications of medical grade oxygen including resuscitation, inhalation, COPD, cyanosis, shock, severe hemorrhage, carbon monoxide poisoning, major trauma, cardiac/respiratory arrest. The non-metallic gas is extensively used in aiding resuscitation & cardiovascular stability and providing life support for artificially ventilated patients.
It is a fact that all living beings require oxygen for respiration. Upon breathing the air oxygen is absorbed by blood stream in the lungs from where it travels deep into the body to every cell where important biological changes take place. Each living cell in our body is a place where tremendous biochemical activity takes place called metabolism. Food is oxidized at the cellular level to release energy and heat for performing our day to day tasks of life. All living beings require adequate level of oxygen for supporting cellular respiration. However, if someone is not able to get adequate oxygen, there is an option of breathing medical oxygen from portable medical cylinders.
Medical grade oxygen and its production
Medical oxygen is produced to meet oxygen requirements of patients and is mandated to fulfill certain specifications. It is imperative that the purity of oxygen must be 99.7% or above and it must be produced in compliance with the standards of Indian and European Pharmacopeia. It should also satisfy the specifications of identification, Odor, CO2 not more than 0.03% and CO not more than 0.001% in gas. There are so many health conditions such as COPD, monoxide poisoning, breathlessness, sleep apnea, etc, for which one has to breathe in supplemental medical oxygen.
Medical oxygen is produced by taking air from the atmosphere which is then compressed in the air separation unit. We use cryogenic distillation technique for production of oxygen. After being compressed the air is sent to cleanup system where impurities such as hydrocarbons, moisture and carbon dioxide are removed. No, the air is passed through heat generators where it is cooled to extreme low temperature. From here, the air is directed into the high pressure distillation column where oxygen is separated from the other gases. Oxygen is formed at the top of the column from where it is collected and moved into low pressure distillation column and distilled further for meeting specification of purity.