– In order to build truly green hospitals or update existing hospitals to modern environmental standards, the capture, evacuation and destruction of nitrous oxide and other gases must be addressed. In Sweden this awareness has led hospitals to invest in our technology for many years. Now, we note that this “Swedish model” is gaining interest in the rest of Europe, Medicvent CEO Erik Lindström says.
Recently Medicvent installed their complete gas evacuation system in a hospital in Haugesund, Norway. Further west, in the United Kingdom, discussions with various stakeholders within the healthcare sector are moving into a new, concrete phase.
– The UK is a good example of a country where the publics, and hence the politicians, ambitions to decrease emissions now turns into action. But, as always, we stress the importance of looking at the entire process where, for example, nitrous oxide is used, Erik Lindström emphasize.
The Medicvent process
In Sweden, most of the nitrous oxide in health care is used in hospital delivery rooms. The Medicvent system consists of three distinct processes and products with extreme operational reliability:
- The Double mask: In contrast to a single mask, the Double mask consists of both an inner and an outer mask. The inner mask secures the gas flow to the woman in labor, whilst the outer mask capturing excess gas, ensures that it is not being exposed to the personnel.
- Central fan system: Ensures that the highest amount of leaked nitrous oxide is collected and transported outside the delivery room. Protecting patient and personnel.
- Destructor: Purifies up to 99 percent of the collected nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is broken down into oxygen and nitrogen, which are common constituents of ordinary air. Protecting the environment.
The importance of destruction
The “Swedish model” in this context puts equal focus on the daily working environment for hospital staff, the woman in labor and the environment per se. Lindström elaborates:
– Nitrous oxide is proven to be a very effective and harmless painkiller for the woman in labor. But it is hazardous for hospital staff to be exposed to the gas daily, hence our solution with the Double mask and central fan system that evacuates the gas from the room.
– As Nitrous oxide is 300 times more aggressive than carbon dioxide when it comes to impact on the ozone layer, it is absolutely vital to not just release it into the air, which regrettably is common today. Our Destructor emits only oxygen and nitrogen, common constituents of ordinary air.
Complete solution is key
When discussing with potential customers Erik Lindström and his colleagues stress the importance of every step in the process. Which also includes training the staff to operate the equipment correctly, under stress in the delivery room.
– One cannot just buy a Destructor, put it in a machine room and claim to have taken a step towards being a green hospital. There must be solutions for the staff, the patient, and the emissions in place as well. The complete solution is the key to success, says Erik Lindström and concludes:
– We believe that the fact that we address every aspect of this, and has done so for some 20 years, explains the growing interest in our solutions today, throughout Europe.
– There is always going to be some leakage when nitrous oxide is used, it is down to the human factor. With our solutions this is minimized, the gas captured, destroyed, and neutralized before being let out in the air, says Erik Lindström, CEO of Medicvent.