Why nitrous oxide is nothing to laugh about

This fast-acting anaesthetic gas enjoys a reputation of being harmless, but could be lethal
Nitrous oxide

Also known as ‘hippy crack’, this fast-acting anaesthetic gas enjoys the reputation of being harmless, but could be lethal

At this year’s RCN congress later this month, the college’s mental health forum will introduce a matter for discussion relating to the increasing use of the anaesthetic gas, nitrous oxide, to gain a ‘high’.

The forum is primarily concerned with eliciting conversation among nurses about the prevalence of the use of the gas and the complications it can cause. The forum is also interested in how we, as a profession, can inform the public while offering care and treatment for those who may choose to use it.

Many of us will be aware as nurses that nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, has been used


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