I am little confused on the use of nitrous oxide.
I have been reading Wikipedia. The different articles and different sections seem to be contradictory. Is it only an analgesic or can it also be used as an an anesthetic? Sometimes it calls it an anesthetic, and other times they say it is not strong enough to be one. Maybe this hinges on the definition of a “general anesthetic.” I was of the opinion that a general anesthetic knocks you out. Either you are or are not.
It is commonly used in conjunction with with stronger anesthetics. If you have a stronger anesthetic, what is the purpose of the nitrous oxide? From Wikipedia:
“However, nitrous oxide was not found to be a strong enough anaesthetic for use in major surgery in hospital settings. Being a stronger and more potent anaesthetic, sulfuric ether was instead demonstrated and accepted for use in October 1846, along with chloroform in 1847. When Joseph Thomas Clover invented the “gas-ether inhaler” in 1876, it however became a common practice at hospitals to initiate all anaesthetic treatments with a mild flow of nitrous oxide, and then gradually increase the anaesthesia with the stronger ether/chloroform. Clover’s gas-ether inhaler was designed to supply the patient with nitrous oxide and ether at the same time, with the exact mixture being controlled by the operator of the device. It remained in use by many hospitals until the 1930s. Although hospitals today are using a more advanced anaesthetic machine, these machines still use the same principle launched with Clover’s gas-ether inhaler, to initiate the anaesthesia with nitrous oxide, before the administration of a more powerful anaesthetic.”