In hospitals and clinical care, medical air is used mainly for ventilation and aerosol therapy, and during anaesthesia:
When treating respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD, an effective way of delivering drug treatment is to direct it directly to the lungs by inhalation. Nebulisers are used to administer inhaled medication to patients who cannot use conventional inhalers. Medical air may be used to drive ambient air to the nebuliser where liquid medication is converted to a mist that can be inhaled directly into the lungs.
Medical air is used as a carrier gas for narcotic substances in inhalational anaesthesia. It may also be used, with nitrous oxide, as a substitute for oxygen to reduce the high concentration of oxygen exposure.
Some patients are dependent on a reliable, high quality supply of medical air to protect their delicate and sensitive respiratory systems.