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to the lungs

    AIDING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF

    NITROUS OXIDE-OXYGEN ANALGESIA

    Denise M. Bowen, R.D.H., M.S.

    Associate Professor and Chair

    Department of Dental Hygiene

    Idaho State University

    Adopted by the Idaho State Board of

    Vocational Education and the

    Idaho State Board of Dentistry

    1991

    (Edited January, 2005)

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    COURSE OUTLINE………………………………………………………………… 4 COURSE SCHEDULE……………………………………………………………… 5 INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………... 6

     BROAD OBJECTIVES……………………………………………………………… 6BACKGROUND INFORMATION…………………………………………………. 7

     Physiological Effects of Nitrous Oxide……………………………………… 8

     Pharmacological Effects and Properties of Nitrous Oxide…………………… 11

     Side Effects and Adverse Reactions………………………………………….. 13ANESTHESIA AND ANALGESIA…………………………………………………. 14

     Stages of Anesthesia………………………………………………………….. 15

     Planes of Analgesia: Clinical Effects…………………………………………. 15 INDICATIONS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR NITROUS OXIDE-

    OXYGEN INHALATION SEDATION……………………………………………… 21

     Primary Indications…………………………………………………………… 21

     Indications with Special Consideration………………………………………. 22

     Contraindications…………………………………………………………….. 23 ARMAMENTARIUM……………………………………………………………….. 25

     The Central Storage System………………………………………………….. 25

     Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen Machine……………………………………………… 25

     Breathing Apparatus………………………………………………………….. 26

     Safety Features……………………………………………………………….. 27 PROCEDURES FOR ADMINISTRATION OF NITROUS OXIDE……………….. 28

     Vital Signs……………………………………………………………………. 28

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     Preanesthetic Preparation…………………………………………………….. 30

     Techniques for Administration………………………………………………. 31

     Legal Chart Entries and Other Legal Considerations………………………… 35 CONTROVERSY IN LITERATURE RELEVANT TO NITROUS OXIDE……….. 38

     Occupational Exposure………………………………………………………. 38SELF EXAMINATION……………………………………………………………… 40 BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………………. 43

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    EXPANDED FUNCTIONS FOR THE DENTAL ASSISTANT

    AIDING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF NITROUS OXIDE

    COURSE OUTLINE

    Course Description

    This course is designed to provide the practicing dental assistant with the background knowledge necessary for aiding in the administration of nitrous oxide-oxygen analgesia.

    I. Physiologic and Pharmacologic Effects of Anesthesia

    II. Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

    III. Analgesia vs. Anesthesia

    IV. Indications and Contraindications

    V. Clinical Manifestations of Analgesia/Anesthesia

    VI. Armamentarium Used in the Administration of Nitrous Oxide

    VII. Preanesthetic Preparation

    VIII. Techniques for Administration

    IX. Legal Considerations and Chart Entries

    X. Occupational Exposure

    XI. Current Literature

    The course is intended to involve six hours of lecture. A comprehensive final examination is administered to the students who complete this course. A 75% score is required on the written final examination in order to obtain certification for ―aiding in the administration of nitrous

    oxide.‖ Clinical experience is not required because dental assistants cannot legally administer nitrous oxide-oxygen analgesia.

Required Text

Bowen, D.M. Aiding in the Administration of Nitrous Oxide-Oxygen Analgesia, Adopted by

    Idaho State Board of Dentistry and Idaho State Board of Vocational Education, 1991.

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    COURSE SCHEDULE

    Week 1: Three Hours -Physiologic and Pharmacologic Effects

    -Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

    -Analgesia vs. Anesthesia

    -Indications/Contraindications

    -Armamentarium

    Week 2: Three Hours -Pre-anesthetic Preparation

    -Vital Signs

    -Technique for Administration

    -Legal Considerations

    -Occupational Exposure

    F I N A L E X A M I N A T I O N

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    AIDING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF

    NITROUS OXIDE-OXYGEN ANALGESIA

    INTRODUCTION

    This module provides instruction in the administration of nitrous oxide-oxygen for analgesic purposes. The term ―nitrous oxide‖ will be utilized throughout the module to indicate this type of administration.

    The technique and procedures described represent one method for administration of nitrous oxide. Several other methods are employed by various practitioners; however, this technique has been selected due to two advantages:

    1. It individualizes administration for each patient; and,

    2. It has been utilized safely in a number of clinical situations.

    The module has been designed to provide necessary instruction based upon the assumption that no previous knowledge exists relevant to the topic. The reader should complete each portion of the module and answer the self-examination included. In this manner, all pertinent information can be understood clearly.

    BROAD OBJECTIVES

    1. Describe the physiologic effects of nitrous oxide inhalation.

    2. Describe the pharmacological effects of nitrous oxide.

    3. Explain the indications and contraindications for the use of nitrous oxide analgesia based

    upon a thorough medical and personal history evaluation.

    4. Describe the stages of anesthesia and the planes of analgesia including signs and

    symptoms of each.

    5. Discuss and identify clinical symptoms of a patient at the various levels of nitrous oxide

    sedation.

    6. Aid in the proper administration of nitrous oxide to a dental patient.

    7. Monitor all signs and symptoms of nitrous oxide sedation in a clinical setting.

    8. Be aware of methods for handling possible side effects.

    9. Discuss legal considerations involved with administering nitrous oxide in the dental

    office and record proper legal chart entries.

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    10. List and explain all parts of nitrous oxide equipment and describe necessary care and

    maintenance.

    11. Discuss occupational hazards associated with chronic exposure of dental personnel to low

    levels of nitrous oxide.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION

    0) is employed in dentistry for the primary purpose of reducing anxiety in the Nitrous oxide (N2

    dental patient. It is estimated that 20 to 40 million adults in America avoid dental treatment because of fear.

The N0 gas was discovered by Joseph Priestly in 1772. By 1800, Sir Humphrey Davy had 2

    discovered its analgesic effect and recommended its use as an anesthetic. In 1844, Gardner Quincy Colton was publicly demonstrating the exhilarating effects of nitrous oxide as ―laughing gas‖ while presenting popular science lectures. Dr. Horrace Wells, a dentist, observed one of

    these demonstrations and requested that Colton use it on him during dental treatment. Dr. Wells had a tooth extracted while under the influence of nitrous oxide and no pain was experienced! These two men unsuccessfully advocated use of this gas in dentistry from 1845 to 1863.

    In 1868, Dr. Edmund Andrews, a Chicago surgeon, established the need to mix oxygen with nitrous oxide for use in operations of long duration. By the turn of the century (1903), Dr. Charles Teter, a Cleveland dentist, had applied this finding to invent the first nitrous oxide-oxygen machine.

    After that time, periods of interest in nitrous oxide were followed by periods of little use. Research on the safe administration of nitrous oxide continued. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, nitrous oxide was becoming more frequently used in dentistry. The first ―fail-safe‖ system was marketed

    in 1962.

    These developments provided the basis for the system of nitrous oxide administration employed in dentistry today. Experiments continue on the physiologic actions and pharmacological effects of this gas. Much information is lacking; however, many questions have been answered during the research process.

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    Physiologic Effects of Nitrous Oxide

    Two essential body systems are involved directly in the physiology of nitrous oxide. These systems include the nervous system and the respiratory system. A review of these systems and their relationship to the effects of nitrous oxide is essential prior to understanding the pharmacological effects of this gas.

    The nervous system has two components: the central nervous system (CNS) and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord. Three parts of the brain are involved when nitrous oxide is administered: 1) the cerebrum, 2) the brain stem, and 3) the cerebellum. The cerebrum is responsible for conscious functions of the nervous system. The outer surface of the cerebrum is called the cerebral cortex. The cortex receives sensory

    information from the skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc. A person responds to sensations in these regions on the basis of past experience. For example, if a foreign object becomes lodged in the eye, the eye will water and the individual will close it immediately, based on previous experiences of relief when the eye is closed. An infant or young child may not respond as quickly if they had never experienced this sensation. When applying this information to dental pain and anxiety, it can be seen that the patient might react ot an oral injection by jerking or

     stem is turning the head as the cortex receives this sensation from the oral cavity. The brainlocated at the base of the brain continuous with the spinal cord. It is responsible for several functions which are applicable to the physiologic effects of nitrous oxide. These functions include:

    1. the movement and sensation related to controlling the throat, neck and face;

    2. the reflex activity involved in breathing;

    3. the reflex activity involved in eye movement;

    4. the control over the ―wakefulness state‖ of the entire brain; and,

    5. the major relay system and integration center for all senses except smell (called the

    thalamus).

    Later in the module, effects of nitrous oxide on each of these functions will be discussed.

    The major point to consider, at this time, is that all pain sensations are relayed from the

    thalamus (a part of the brain stem) to the cortex. This is important because pain in the

    oral cavity will be received in the brain stem and relayed to the cortex for purposes of

    receiving that sensation. The patient then will react to pain based on the past experience. If nitrous oxide is to slow pain reaction, or the patient’s response to pain, it must have a physiologic effect on these two parts of the brain (i.e., the cortex and the brain stem). The final segment of the brain, which is affected by nitrous oxide, is the cerebellum (see Figure 1 below).

    The cerebellum is responsible for a person’s orientation in space; therefore, light-headedness or a

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    F I G U R E 1

    floating feeling may be related to effects on the cerebellum. Patients sometimes respond to nitrous oxide administration in this manner.

    The second component of the nervous system that is involved in the physiology of nitrous oxide is the autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is responsible for innervating smooth muscle, viscera and glands which make-up many of the major internal body systems and/or organs. The innervation has a dual effect: increasing the activity of the tissue/organ and decreasing the activity of the tissue/organ. Some of these responses, which might be affected by the administration of nitrous oxide include:

    1) dilation/constriction of the pupils,

    2) acceleration/deceleration of the heart, and

    3) increased/decreased respiration.

    Figure 1 includes a basic diagram of the brain and spinal cord. The major functions of each portion are outlined as a brief summary of the previously presented information relevant to physiology.

    The second body system involved in the physiology of nitrous oxide is the respiratory system. Respiration is the transport of oxygen from the atmosphere to the cells and, in turn, transport of

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    carbon dioxide from cells back to the atmosphere. When an individual breathes room air, oxygen is inhaled and carbon dioxide is exhaled.

    The respiratory system can be divided into two segments: 1) those parts involved in transporting air from the atmosphere into the lungs and, 2) those parts involved in the exchange of gases from the lung into the blood stream and to the body’s cells. These portions of the respiratory system

    are called ―external respiration‖ and ―internal respiration,‖ respectively. External respiration involves the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. The final exchange of air from the lungs to the blood stream occurs in the alveolus. The alveolus is a pocket of air surrounded by a thin membrane that contains many capillaries (or small blood vessels). This thin wall is important for the rapid exchange of gases from the lung to the blood. There are 300 million alveoli (plural for alveolus) involved in respiration. Air is filtered, humidified and warmed as it travels to the lungs. It moves from the external environment through external respiration because of differences in pressure within the respiratory system. The inhaled air moves through the nose and throat, down the trachea to the lungs. Once the air reaches the lungs, it travels through the many smaller chambers until it reaches the smallest ones called the alveoli of the lungs. Here, gases are absorbed from the lungs into the blood stream. The blood stream carries oxygen to individual tissues and cells and the cells use it to complete their designated function. The cells undergo their own process of respiration and return carbon dioxide to the blood stream. The carbon dioxide is transported back to the lungs and exhaled into the atmosphere. Expired air has a higher concentration of carbon dioxide (4.0 %) than inspired air (0.4 %).

    Normally, 97 percent of oxygen transported from lungs to tissue is carried by a chemical bond to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a pigment of the red blood cell. Oxygen uses this mechanism to attach to a red blood cell and be transported through the blood stream. In this way, hemoglobin buffers (i.e., reduces shock) oxygen to control air pressure in the tissues.

    Sometimes breathing and respiration are not normal. A person may breath more or less rapidly than normal; or a person may breath normally, but respiration may not be completed properly due to some type of complication. The following terms are related to breathing and/or respiration and are defined here for clarity:

     1. eupnea normal breathing;

     2. tachypnea rapid breathing;

     3. bradypnea slow breathing;

     4. hyperpnea over respiration;

     5. hypopnea under respiration;

     6. anoxia total lack of oxygen;

     7. hypoxia decreased oxygen in tissue.

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