STP1319

    Flammability of Intestinal Gases During Nitrous Oxide Anesthesia

    Published: Jan 1997


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    Abstract

    Typical intestinal gas mixtures created during nitrous oxide anesthesia are shown to be flammable. Flammability limits of mixtures of fuel (hydrogen or methane), oxidizer (nitrous oxide) and inert (nitrogen) were measured and compared to compositions expected during nitrous oxide anesthesia. When hydrogen is the predominant fuel component, flammable mixtures are produced in approximately 30 minutes, regardless of the fuel concentration, and the concentration of nitrous oxide delivered. When methane is the fuel, the time at which flammability is achieved is longer than for hydrogen. Further, the time increases with decreasing concentrations of nitrous oxide delivered, and increasing methane concentration. It is recommended that nitrous oxide not be used as an anesthetic if a potential ignition source is used in the vicinity of the intestines.

    Keywords:

    nitrous oxide, flammability, operating room, fire safety, hydrogen, methane, intra-abdominal surgery


    Author Information:

    Sidebotham, GW
    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and research assistants, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY

    Cantelmi, F
    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and research assistants, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY

    Stoffa, DM
    Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and research assistants, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY

    Fried, E
    Assistant Professor and Professor of Anesthesiology, SUNY, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

    Wolf, GL
    Assistant Professor and Professor of Anesthesiology, SUNY, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY


    Paper ID: STP12073S

    Committee/Subcommittee: G04.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP12073S


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