Gaseous Anesthesia

By Samuel Newman and Jacob Williams

Gaseous Anesthesia

Gaseous Anesthesia also know as inhalation anesthetic is what doctors and surgeons use keep patients unconscious during surgeries. They administer it by an anesthesia mask.

Types of Gaseous Anesthesia

There are four categories of gaseous anesthesia:

volatile solvents - liquids that become a gas at room temperature.

aerosols - sprays that contain propellants and solvents.

gases - found in household or commercial products, used in medical field to provide pain relief.

Nitrites - a class of inhalants used mainly to enhance sexual experiences.


When a patient is administered a gaseous anesthesia, they usually experience numbed senses, lower blood pressure, or loss of consciousness. These effects take hold of the patient when it is continually administrated through an anesthesia mask. When the administration stops, the effects of the inhalants go away. The time it takes for the effects to wear off depend on what type of inhalant was used and how long it was administrated.

Long Term Affects

until recently there was thought to be no long term effects. New studies show 40% of Patients over 65 experienced a decline in mental function after the surgery. Most patients recover in 3 months but a small percent still have dysfunction even after the 3 months.


  • All survival surgeries (major and minor) must be performed using aseptic techniques
  • Non-survival surgical procedures do not require aseptic techniques or dedicated facilities, but should be performed in a clean, clutter-free area.
  • Major survival surgical procedures on non-rodents must be performed only in dedicated surgical facilities.
  • A single animal may not undergo more than one major survival surgery unless the multiple procedures are required to meet the objective of a single animal research activity, justified for scientific reasons and approved by the IACUC. (See Multiple Survival Surgery policy).
  • All surgeries must be performed by qualified, trained personnel using techniques that avoid or minimize pain (e.g., adequate anesthesia and analgesia).
  • Research personnel must maintain adequate intra-operative (e.g., during the surgery) and post-operative monitoring records. IACUC members and veterinary staff may request copies of all such records for review without prior notice.

Common Causes of Overdose

Patients who are small, elderly, or already ill are more likely to be adversely affected by errors in the ED. Factors that can lead to anesthesia overdose include the following:

  • Injecting too much anesthetic
  • Injecting the anesthetic at an improper rate
  • Choosing the wrong anesthetic
  • Monitoring or equipment failure
  • Contradictory instrument values between anesthetic vaporizers/respirators and the anesthetic gas monitor.
  • Gas flow setting error
  • Inappropriate ventilation
  • Combining incompatible drugs
  • Injecting the anesthetic too quickly, which can lead to increased plasma levels of local anesthetic

Support System

At this current point in time this drug is not abused so there is no support system for addicted users.
"Anesthesia: It's a Gas," Part II: Vaporizer