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Health Agencies Update
May 24/31, 2006

Medical Gas Rule

JAMA. 2006;295(20):2347. doi:10.1001/jama.295.20.2347-c

To help prevent deaths and injuries from medical gas mix-ups and contamination, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule to make the contents of medical gas containers more readily identifiable.

Mix-ups of medical gases (such as oxygen, nitrous oxide, and nitrogen) have included mistaken administration of industrial gas to patients and contamination of medical gas cylinders with residues of industrial cleaning solvents. Between 1996 and 2006, the agency received reports of medical gas mix-ups that led to at least 8 deaths and 18 serious injuries.

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