Gas consumption monitoring is becoming more and more popular as each Department, Ward or even Theatre is being consumption audited and billed accordingly. Extensions to the system can also include the double-checking of high flow incoming bulk gas deliveries together with distribution line ultra-low flow monitoring to identify and alarm for leaks or accidental non-closure of valves.
Sometimes gas monitoring is legislation driven as in the case of Nitrous Oxide (N20) accounting. Modern N2O delivery systems include a gas return (vacuum) line that ensures un-used and exhaled N2O is recovered thereby not only retaining more of the expensive gas but also ensuring that the working environment for nursing and medical staff is not compromised by “laughing gas”. Whilst the comic element of this should not be lost it is an important consideration as prolonged exposure to even low concentrations can be toxic.