What Are the Common Medical Gases Used?

What Are the Common Medical Gases Used?


The medical gas market is now valued at $6.5 billion and is expected to increase by 7.2% annually in the next decade; it is expected to reach $13 billion in 2032.

COVID-19 greatly contributed to the overall increase in the medical gas market. But chronic diseases linked with breathing issues, such as asthma and pulmonary hypertension, also contribute to the growing demand for gas.

It’s worth noting that oxygen isn’t the only type of medical gas in demand. Helium, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and nitrogen oxide are also in high demand.

What Are the Different Gases Used in a Medical Setting?

Many types of gases are used in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and other medical settings, and the most common types include medical air, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and nitrous oxide. Learn more about them below.


Oxygen is the most commonly used medical gas. It is used in trauma situations and surgeries. It aids with various conditions and vulnerable groups like newborns and the elderly to people with respiratory conditions ranging from asthma to pneumonia. For medical research purposes, it is usually used in incubators and bioreactors.


Helium is medically used when a patient needs higher oxygen intake due to asthma and other conditions that may cause upper airway obstruction. This type of gas has a notably low boiling point. So other than medical gas purposes, helium is commonly used in its liquid form to cool down NMR and MRI magnets.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is typically present during minimally invasive surgeries, like endoscopy and laparoscopy. It helps surgeons gain better visibility of the surgical area. It can also be used by patients as a respiratory stimulant before and after their anesthesia is administered. Moreover, it’s an essential metabolite that aids with cell growth.


Medical grade nitrogen helps freeze and preserve a wide range of biological samples, such as blood, bone marrow, sperm, and tissues. It can also eliminate infected tissues and is therefore used in procedures like dermatology and cryosurgery. Alternatively, liquid nitrogen may be used with medical instruments and research lab equipment.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is more commonly known as the “laughing gas.” It may function as a pain medication and, when used with other medications, as anesthesia. This medical gas is most commonly used as an analgesic and an anesthetic during dental surgery. Nitrous oxide is often confused with helium gas, but they aren’t the same.

What Are the Manufacturing Practices for Medical Gases?

The World Health Organization and the United States Food and Drug Administration have shared good manufacturing practices for medical gases that must be followed. This helps regulate quality across the industry and maintains peace of mind among those who need to use them.
The comprehensive guidelines for good manufacturing processes for medical gases may change over time because of ongoing research and innovations.

Whether you need medical gas in healthcare facilities or for research, you want to ensure you’re getting high-purity gases that meet the strictest industry standards. Contact nexAir Healthcare for inquiries about our medical gases.

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