In addition to their designed use of sedating patients before surgery, anesthesia machines have become an important tool in the treatment of those with a coronavirus-related respiratory disease. WIKA USA manufactures a medical pressure transducer that is ideal for use in anesthesia machines and their ventilators.

Anesthesia machines have become vital tools in the fight against the novel coronavirus. For one, patients who need a non-emergency endotracheal intubation are placed under general anesthesia before the procedure, both to prevent them from feeling pain and to suppress their gag reflex. The tube is then connected to a ventilator to help people in respiratory distress get enough oxygen.

What’s more, as the number of COVID-19 victims exceeds the number of ventilators available in intensive care units, doctors are increasingly repurposing anesthesia machinesto help patients breathe, as oxygen delivery is a significant part of what these units do.

Medical Pressure Transducers for Monitoring Anesthetic Gases

Anesthesia machines administer an extremely accurate blend of various medical gases to prevent patients from feeling pain and to keep them immobile during surgery. These advanced machines continuously combine and deliver the following gases for general anesthesia:

  • Oxygen (O2) to sustain life
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O), a safe inhalant sedative with rapid uptake
  • Anesthetics such as isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane, and halothane
  • Medical-grade air

A sophisticated system of pressure transducers, flow meters, vaporizers, and other instruments makes sure the gases are properly mixed and administered. When the surgery is over, the mixture tapers off in a controlled fashion for patients’ comfort as they return to consciousness.

Needless to say, accuracy is paramount to patient safety. Not enough oxygen in the mix can cause hypoxia, and an excess of anesthetic agents can result in an overdose. Most anesthesia machines today have safety systems that give a warning when the mixture’s oxygen level drops to critical levels, usually in the 21% – 25% range.

The role of medical pressure transducers in an anesthesia machine is to make sure patients receive the right amounts of medical gases. These pressure instruments supply accurate and continuous information on the state of feed pressure for O2, N2O, air, and anesthetic gases. Measurements include gas pressure in the main and backup supply lines, and pressure of the output mix administered to patients.

Choosing a Medical Pressure Transducer

Not just any pressure sensor will do for anesthesia machines. Pressure transducers for this particular application need to be compatible with medical gases and work well in a wide range of pressures. In addition to the obvious requirements of accuracy and dependability, these pressure transmitters require protection against radio frequency interference (RFI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can alter readings. Medical pressure transducers for anesthesia machines must also comply with oxygen-service cleaning and labeling as per international standards.

MG-1 medical pressure transducer

WIKA’s Pressure Transducer for Medical Gases

The MG-1 pressure sensoris WIKA’s answer for measuring and monitoring pressure in anesthesia machines and ventilators. This high-performance pressure transducer is expressly designed to handle medical gases. Its special features:

  • Made of materials extremely resistant to oxygen corrosion, such as 316L and 13-8 PH stainless steel, and PBT GF30 plastic reinforced with glass fiber.
  • Provides a current, a voltage, or a ratiometric output signal.
  • Complies with RFI/EMI EMC directive 2004/108/EC, EN 61326 emission (group 1, class B) and immunity (industrial application).
  • Manufactured and packed under extremely controlled conditions to ensure the level of cleanliness required for medical oxygen applications as per ISO 15001 and ASTM G93 standards.

This medical pressure transducer has the pressure range, accuracy, reliability, and RFI/EDI resistance that anesthesia machines and other medical equipment require. Contact the pressure experts at WIKA USA for more information about the MG-1 and other pressure solutions for medical, health, and safety applications.

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