An Australian study has revealed that anaesthetic laughing gas or nitrous oxide, which has been discontinued for a long time because of its side effects, is safe for use.
Nitrous oxide was used during childbirth, dentistry, emergency surgery and after heart attacks till the past decade. But doctors found many complications associated with its use, including heart attack and stroke.
The Alfred Hospital's director of anaesthesia and perioperative medicine, Paul Myles, said a six-year-long study of over 7,000 surgical patients across Australia, Asia, North America and Europe showed the drug could be used just like any other commonly used anaesthetic.
Nitrous oxide, an oxide of nitrogen, is inhaled for pain relief since the 1800s. The sweet, colourless gas is still used by dentists and for women during labour. In combination with other drugs, it can be used to anaesthetise people during surgeries.