Argon - anaesthetic mystery solved

Jim Cummins cummins at possum.murdoch.edu.au
Tue Jan 11 00:54:58 EST 1994


Some weeks ago I posted a query on Agon.  Our mice were falling asleep
in 5% Argon in normal pressure air.   Turns out that all the Noble
gases (except Helium) are anaesthetic at high pressure, in fact but for
its cost Xenon might be the ideal anesthetic!  The puzzle was that we
were getting effects at such low partial pressure.  

It turns out that the flow rates we were using were insufficient to
prevent back-flow from the hospital's gas disposal system, and we
didn't have a valve in the outflow  line.  Consequently the anaesthetic
effect  was from  a gas cocktail emanating from the operating theatres!

 Thanks to all who replied and helped.

Jim Cummins                   
School of Veterinary Studies
Murdoch University
Western Australia 6150  Tel +61-9-360 2668 Fax +61-9-310 4144
For every complex problem there's a simple solution.  And it's wrong!



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