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May 7, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(19):518. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391440014003

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Physiological Action of Nitrous Oxide Gas.  Dr. Dudley Buxton has communicated two valuable papers upon the above subject to the Odontological Society, based upon numerous clinical observations and experiments. The effects of nitrous oxide inhalation upon the mammalian organism are, he says broadly speaking—1, a condition of anæsthesia; 2, an emotional state, provoking a sensation of exhilaration—in fact, it plays the rôle of a stimulant; 3, it gives rise to modifications of the respiratory and 4, circulatory systems; and 5, provokes marked muscular movements which may be classed as (a) rigidity and (b) jactitations. The anæsthesia produced by nitrous oxide is not dependent upon analgesia or loss of sensation of painful impressions of the sensory end-organs, such as that produced by cocaine, etc., or upon failure of the conducting sensory nerves, for sensation is retained until the perceptive powers themselves cease to re ceive; moreover, there is immedialely anterior

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