Name the gas used as an anaesthetic in dentistry and surgery.
gas commonly used in anaesthetics might not be safe as many people think, Australian scientists have warned.
In a study of over 2,000 people, they found avoiding using nitrous oxide cut the risk of surgery complications like wound infections.
The research, in Anesthesiology, also found a possible link between nitrous oxide and the risk of heart attacks.
But experts have warned that in many cases the use of nitrous oxide remains safe and has other advantages.
Some people argue that it is unlikely that all the benefits are due to the elimination of nitrous oxide, but in practical terms, who cares?
Professor Paul Myles
In the UK, around 6 million anaesthetics are given every year, and a significant proportion of these include nitrous oxide.
The gas is included in the mixture which patients breathe during surgery, as a supplement to the anaesthetic drugs used.
Its a covalent bond of two nitrogen atoms with a single oxygen atom.