Medical Gas Outlet Covers
Medical gas outlets in psychiatric patient rooms are a known hazard, especially if devices are attached to the outlets. If they are in use and tubing and other equipment is present, the concern for risk increases. If the room has two patients, the risk also exists for the other patient who may not need the oxygen or other gas being supplied.
Many psychiatric inpatient rooms do not have any medical gas outlets and that is preferred. However, there may be existing outlets present that are left over from previous use of the room that were never removed and never used. Sometimes, the hospital does not want to remove them because they may be needed for the next patient group to use this portion of the building. If this is the case, the outlets can simply be covered by a panel that is securely attached with tamper resistant screws.
There is an increasing need for treating patients with co-existing medical and mental diagnosis and some of these may need to have oxygen as part of their treatment. If there may be occasional use of the gas outlets for the current psychiatric patient population, a hinged lockable cover that can be opened when needed is sometimes provided. These must typically remain in the open position when in use.
Facilities that routinely treat patients that need medical gasses now have the option of providing a “Security Headwall” unit that allows for secondary equipment to remain behind a locked 3/8” thick clear polycarbonate cover that has openings in the lower corners to allow hoses to pass through to the patient. While the hoses themselves are an obvious potential hazard, this type of assembly greatly reduces some of the risks typically present with this type of medical equipment. These cabinets are typically recessed into the wall, but could possibly be surface mounted if a sloped top is provided that fits tightly to the wall.