FRANK V. MESSINA, M.D.; JAMES W. WYNNE, M.D.
Nitrous oxide, a common anesthetic gas, is produced by the combustion of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3). Extensive commercial purification removes toxic by-products such as ammonia and oxides of nitrogen, principally nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Rarely does the purification fail (1). We report a patient who had acute pulmonary toxicity after inhaling homemade nitrous oxide containing high levels of nitrogen dioxide. To our knowledge, a similar case has not been reported.
A 20-year-old white man with a 3-day history of dyspnea, chills, pleuritic chest pain, wheezing, and coughing mucoid sputum came to the emergency room of Shands Teaching Hospital.
FRANK V. MESSINA, JAMES W. WYNNE. Homemade Nitrous Oxide: No Laughing Matter. Ann Intern Med. 1982;96:333–334. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-96-3-333
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(3):333-334.
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