Document Detail

An early example of evidence-based medicine: hypoxemia due to nitrous oxide.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17197861     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Diffusion anoxia. By Bernard Raymond Fink. Anesthesiology 1955; 16:511-14. In 1955, Dr. Bernard Raymond Fink published his findings that described the mechanism by which hypoxemia occurred when nitrous oxide-oxygen anesthesia was discontinued and room air breathing commenced. Using an ear oximeter and brachial artery blood gases, he measured oxygen saturation in eight healthy patients who had received 75% nitrous oxide-25% oxygen for gynecologic surgery. He showed that oxygen saturation decreased from 5% to 10% and often reached a value below 90% when the patient began room air breathing after the nitrous oxide-oxygen was discontinued. The effect was seen over a 10-min period. He concluded that "anoxia arises because the outward diffusion of nitrous oxide lowers the alveolar partial pressure of oxygen." This phenomenon can become a causative factor of cardiac arrest in patients with impaired pulmonary or cardiac reserves.
Frederick W Cheney
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Anesthesiology     Volume:  106     ISSN:  0003-3022     ISO Abbreviation:  Anesthesiology     Publication Date:  2007 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-01     Completed Date:  2007-02-20     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1300217     Medline TA:  Anesthesiology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  186-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anoxia / etiology*
Evidence-Based Medicine*
Nitrous Oxide / adverse effects*
Oxygen / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
10024-97-2/Nitrous Oxide; 7782-44-7/Oxygen

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