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January 15, 1982

Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen Sedation-Reply

Author Affiliations

Lakeview Hospital Bountiful, Utah

JAMA. 1982;247(3):302-303. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320280024008

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In Reply.—  Although NIOSH standards for nitrous oxide levels in ambient air vary depending on its designated use, ie, dental offices vs operating rooms, Dr Spooner's suggestion that nitrous oxide levels be kept low by techniques such as scavenging is well taken. We have approached this in two ways.A scavenger system has been installed in our office. Unfortunately, we were too late in our attempt to add a footnote to the original article recommending that scavenger equipment be included with every nitrous oxide sedation system.Also, we have changed flow meters, so much less nitrous oxide is used and discharged into the room. The new flow meters control the concentration of nitrous oxide so it can never exceed 70%. With this equipment, flow rates as low as 1 to 2 L/min of nitrous oxide and 1 to 2 L/min of oxygen are usually sufficient. This substantially reduces the amount