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Medical gases

The Primary ( ) and Final () FRCA examinations require an extensive knowledge of medical gases. We have therefore written a new educational resource section on this subject. The tutorials have been tailored to the FRCA syllabus and we have also added some past questions relevant to these topics.

Read other sections by using the navigation bar on the right side of every page. 

 Primary FRCA Syllabus

Anaesthetic equipment and safety

Physical principles underlying the function of pressure regulators, flowmeters, vaporizers, breathing systems..manufacture and storage of oxygen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, compressed air.  Pipeline and suction systems, gas cylinders



 Physics of gases. Absolute and relative pressure. The gas laws. Triple point: critical temperature. Density and viscosity of gases. Laminar and turbulent flow. The Bernoulli principle

Q. Primary OSCE Question

Describe the mechanics of the flowmeter. Describe the changes which occur at different flow rates.


 Final FRCA Syllabus

Clinical Measurement

 The Final examination assumes knowledge of the Primary FRCA examination syllabus, with the addition of more sophisticated measurements. There is an emphasis on clinical applications of clinical measurement …

Q. Final Viva Question

Describe the function and mechanism of action of a pressure regulator on the anaesthetic machine.

Articles on medical gases

Introduction to medical gases
Physics of gases
The Physics of fluid flow-a tutorial
The Gas Laws-a tutorial
The Gas laws-summary
Properties of Oxygen
Oxygen content of blood
Oxygen Dissociation Curve
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Nitrous oxide
Nitric Oxide
Terminal Outlets
Hazards and pressure regulators
Low-pressure gas supply
Quick-flush valve
Flowmeters and gas flow regulation
Other flowmeters
Measurement of volume and flow in gases

 would like to thank Dr Guy Watney for allowing the reproduction of his images for this educational resource and Dr Lliam Edger for contributing two tutorials to this resource).


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