MED REVIEW MONDAY
Nitrous Oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas” is a gaseous anesthetic. It affects the patient rapidly because it is absorbed through the alveoli, or the functional tissue of the lung. Because of its short duration, it should be used in combination with other anesthesia during most procedures (kind of like how rapid-acting insulin is often combined with an insulin of longer duration). The #1 most important thing to remember about nitrous oxide is that it must be given concurrently with oxygen. This decreases any risk of toxicity.
Contrary to popular belief, Nitrous oxide does not actually make you laugh. It causes a state of euphoria and a decrease in inhibitions. It is therefore increasingly being used recreationally, often referred to as whippits, hippie crack or simply, nitrous.