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Alarm over increased consumption of nitrous oxide consumption is occurring through jars of whipped cream

The nitrous oxide fad 


The fashion of consuming nitrous oxide has increased in recent times. Its consumption occurs through whipped cream cans, where this gas is present to achieve a foaming effect.

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is a colorless gas used for sedation and pain control. Some of its effects are the appearance of euphoria, numbness of the body, a feeling of sedation, dizziness, uncontrolled laughter, motor incoordination, blurred vision, confusion, and tiredness. These effects are directly associated with gas inhalation, so they disappear immediately within 3-5 minutes after discontinuation.

The United States and England are the countries where most cases are increasing; in fact, the U.S. has banned the sale of whipped cream bottles to children under 21 years of age.

Health professionals are warning about this new way of consuming this gas, which has caused, in these countries, an increase in cases of neurological problems and damage to the spinal cord.

Nitrous oxide is restricted to prescription only. This is because it can carry serious risks, such as a sudden drop in blood pressure, myocardial infarction, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), or visual hallucinations.

Healthcare professionals who use them, including dentists, should receive specific training on their proper use, indications, and contraindications, as well as the measures to be taken in the event of complications.

In dental clinics, it is mainly used for interventions that are not too long in patients who do not control or poorly control their degree of anxiety (odontophobia). Therefore, it is classified within the group of anesthetics, although it is usually used in lower concentrations mixed with oxygen. In this way, the patient is not put to sleep and can continue to collaborate without feeling pain or remembering anything of that period due to its amnesic effect. Likewise, its use must be preceded by a preliminary analysis of the state of health of the person who will receive it, his or her age, weight, and possible association with other drugs or medicines".

In addition, this gas is often associated with the consumption of other substances such as alcohol or drugs, which increases health risks by producing disinhibition and loss of the sense of danger. Increase. Therefore, elf-consumption by young people and adolescents should be considered a severe public health problem. In England and Wales, for example, from 2019-20, almost 9% of 16-24-year-olds used nitrous oxide in the past year, up from 6.1% in 2012-13.

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