Many types of medical gas are used every day, in hospitals, dentists, vets, and vets; with healthcare workers and patients alike at risk of being exposed, medical gas safety is paramount.

Despite strictest legislation, medical gas exposure can occur and regrettably, this was the case for staff at a maternity unit in Basildon Hospital, who were said to have been exposed to 30 times the workplace legal exposure limit for Nitrous Oxide.

The gas leak was reported after routine checks and luckily, no mortalities have been reported.

Bedfont Scientific Ltd., a medical device and gas monitor manufacturer, based in Kent, was established in 1976 because of a tragic medical gas error, whereby a patient at a London hospital was administered N2O instead of O2. Bedfont invented the TM3 Gas differentiator – a simple device which could differentiate the two gases and ensure there were no cross-connections. Since then, Bedfont has developed a wide range of portable pipeline testing devices that conform fully with the requirements of UK Government Guidance in the form of the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 02-01 and other relevant legislation.

Jason Smith, Managing Director at Bedfont Scientific Ltd., stresses, “This incident highlights the incessant need to continuously monitor medical gases, it is lucky that there were no fatalities with this case. There are exposure limits and legal standards for a reason; quite bluntly, if anything were to go wrong with medical gas, it is a matter of life or death.

Safety practices in the medical gas sector are the reason Bedfont exist; we strive to have the one-stop-shop for all medical pipeline testing needs so that all safety and technical procedures concerning the verification and validation of piped medical gas can be undertaken safely and in accordance with the strictest legislation. The Medi-gas Check range not only verifies the quality and quantity of gas in medical pipelines and administration points, but specific monitors in the range act also as a personal, portable alarm, providing the user with time weighted exposure to makes sure there are no leakages.”

For more information on the Medi-Gas range, please visit