October 20th, 2014

Selections from Richard Lehman’s Literature Review: October 20th

CardioExchange is pleased to reprint this selection from Dr. Richard Lehman’s weekly journal review blog at BMJ.com. Selected summaries are relevant to our audience, but we encourage members to engage with the entire blog.

Lancet 18 October 2014 Vol 384

The Safety of Addition of Nitrous Oxide to General Anesthesia in At-Risk Patients Having Major Non-Cardiac Surgery (pg. 1446):  If you are about to undergo surgery and your anaesthetist wishes to use nitrous oxide, let not your heart be troubled. In a randomised, assessor-blinded trial in patients aged at least 45 years with known or suspected coronary artery disease having major non-cardiac surgery, nitrous oxide did not increase the risk of death or cardiovascular complications. In fact, you might want to try some at sub-anaesthetic doses just for pleasure. The first person to do this was the intrepid young Cornishman Humphry Davy in 1799, when he worked with Dr Beddoes at the Pneumatic Institute in Bath. You may experience “sublime emotion connected with highly vivid ideas,” according to Davy’s electrifying account of his extensive experiments on himself and others, which you can read page by page.


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