Healthcare providers have the responsibility to ensure medical gas and vacuum systems provide a safe and effective setup with a sufficient flow of gas or vacuum. The medical-surgical vacuum system consists of the vacuum central supply source system, the pipeline distribution network, and station inlets.
Medical-Surgical Vacuum is available from wall inlets located throughout your healthcare facility. It is critical for patient care and safety. Because of its importance, routine inspection and maintenance is a must to manage its operation effectively.
NFPA 99, 2012 22.214.171.124.7 (3) states that a facility shall establish procedures for a “Maintenance program for both the medical-surgical vacuum piping system and the secondary equipment attached to medical-surgical vacuum station inlets to ensure the continued good performance of the entire medical-surgical vacuum system.” This section of NFPA 99 applies to both new and existing healthcare construction.
If not addressed appropriately, the in-house repair of a blocked or leaking vacuum inlet can become timely and inefficient.
Let's look at a step by step process of an in-house repair of a faulty vacuum inlet versus outsourcing.
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10 Step In-House Repair of Blocked Vacuum Inlet
- Facility staff, qualified under the requirements of NFPA 99 126.96.36.199.2.5, shall identify and document the faulty condition.
- Label inlet as faulty and remove from service if determined to compromise patient or staff safety.
- Review the emergency action plan and or perform a risk assessment to determine an alternate vacuum supply.
- Determine Make/Model and type of parts required. This may require disassembly of the primary valve if the inlet has been previously retrofitted from an older model.
- Obtain a purchase order and wait for part(s) delivery.
- Coordinate repair schedule with maintenance, clinical staff, respiratory therapy, environmental services or any additional applicable staff. Care should be taken if a shutdown is required, to ensure no negative consequences within the zone.
- A qualified individual makes the repair.
- Station inlet is inspected and tested per NFPA 99, 2012 188.8.131.52.9. Test equipment shall be properly calibrated and appropriate for the gas content.
- Repair and test results are documented.
- Inlet/zone is returned to normal service
3 Step Outsource Repair of Blocked Vacuum Inlet
1. Call CHT 24/7/365 by phone or click on service alert button on the website.
2. Approve the job and agree on a time for repair
3. Keep the rest of the hospital running smoothly while CHT coordinates and completes the repair. All required documentation is recorded electronically within the CHx Program®.