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The low solubility of nitrous oxide in biological tissue and fluid means, in clinical practice, that Entonox provides rapid pain relief and elimination of the gas from the lungs. A further safety feature is the composition of the premixed product consisting of a mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and oxygen to prevent hypoxia during administration.
Entonox can be administered by inhalation through face masks, mouthpieces or a demand valve. Gas flow is controlled by a demand-valve activated by the patient’s inspired breath. Entonox equipment is designed to be portable and easy to use both inside and outside the hospital.
Because Entonox is administered by inhalation and therefore are non-invasive, there is no need to insert a cannula or set up an intravenous line. This means that Entonox does not need to be administered by a specialist anaesthetist but can be administered by trained staff such as paramedics, nurses and midwives.