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Article
April 9, 1932

NITROUS OXIDE-OXYGEN-ETHER EXPLOSION

Author Affiliations

Akron, Ohio

JAMA. 1932;98(15):1267. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.27320410002010a
Abstract

The study of hazards of anesthesia, explosions and dangers inherent in practice in the operating room has been given much serious attention, particularly in recent years.

Since an explosive agent and a source of ignition are the two essentials necessary for an explosion, the primary cause of explosions can be summarized in a general way, under the following headings:

  1. The careless and unwise use of electrical apparatus which produces open sparks, such as electrosurgical units, cautery, diathermy, coagulation and fulguration units and radiographic or x-ray equipment of the open or unprotected type, electric motors, and the like.

  2. Static electricity and the danger that accompanies the use of ether with nitrous oxide and oxygen in the rubber rebreathing bag type of equipment. Gases within the anesthesia machine may become electrified by friction caused within the valves when expanding from a high to a low pressure. The rubber bags associated with the

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