Nitrous oxide systems come in various forms for medical and dental treatment. Some nitrous oxide systems are designed to allow the operator to anaesthetise the patient. Such anaesthetic machines also have a vaporiser to allow simultaneous administration of very strong drugs such as enflurane. Nitrous oxide systems for anaesthesia also have an inbuilt ventilator to help the anaesthetised patient to breathe if paralysing drugs are used during surgery, because when such drugs are used the respiratory muscles are paralysed. Nitrous oxide systems for nitrous oxide/oxygen conscious sedation which is also called relative analgesia or inhalation sedation are simpler because the patient is not anesthetised. As a result these nitrous oxide they do not have ventilators or vaporisers as part of the system. These nitrous oxide systems are designed to allow safe administration of low concentrations of nitrous oxide diluted in high levels oxygen. However, both the anaesthetic nitrous oxide and the conscious nitrous oxide/oxygen systems are designed with a fail-safe device. Safety is guaranteed by the fact that these nitrous oxide systems have a fail-safe device built into the equipment. This fail safe device halts the nitrous oxide flow if the concentration of oxygen in the gas mixture delivered to the patient falls below 30%. Nitrous oxide systems designed specifically for nitrous oxide/oxygen conscious sedation also have a scavenger capability. The scavenger capability is to protect the staff from breathing low concentrations of nitrous oxide that might pollute the atmosphere in the operatory, if no scavenging is undertaken. Unscavenged nitrous oxide has been linked to infertility and abortion in female staff. And dentists of both sexes who work with nitrous oxide systems without a scavenging capability in their operating rooms can suffer from various serious blood diseases. All these dangers are eliminated if scavenging is used. Anaesthetic nitrous oxide systems do not normally have a built in scavenging device, because general surgical operating rooms use various other methods such as air-conditioning to prevent pollution from nitrous oxide and other anaesthetic drugs. These medical systems must not be confused with nitrous oxide systems used to supercharge motor cars.
Click here for training program on nitrous oxide.