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Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas that is normally used to take away pain and anxiety during painful medical procedures. However, one of its effects is to also make veins appear larger and more visible. This is useful when there is a patient who needs to have an intravenous (IV) needle put in their skin to give them medicine or ﬂuids, but may have veins that are very hard to see or feel. The mechanism of this observed effect is not entirely clear. The purpose of this study is to use an ultrasound to directly measure whether there is an actual change size of veins or change in blood flow in healthy adult volunteers when you give them 50% nitrous oxide, and see whether or not this change in size, or change in flow, is what causes the changes in visibility or palpability of the vein.
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.
Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:
19 Years and older (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Healthy adult volunteers.
19 years or older (inclusive)
ASA class III or greater;
History of, or suspected, difﬁcult airway based on physical exam, facial dysmorphism or syndrome
Any condition in which air may be trapped in a body cavity. These include, but are not limited to:
Pneumothorax or chest injury, concurrent acute asthma exacerbation, middle ear occlusion, intestinal obstruction, ileus, or abdominal distension, sinusitis or maxillofacial injuries with potential for trapped gas, recent intraocular surgery or penetrating globe injury, air embolus, severe bullous emphysema (consider in patients with cystic ﬁbrosis), history of craniotomy in previous three weeks
Pregnancy (1st and 2nd trimester)
Increased intracranial pressure, impaired level of consciousness, or head injury
Known Vitamin B12 deﬁciency
Known MTHFR Deﬁciency (Inborn error of metabolism)
History of bleomycin administration (note that the oxygen component of N2O administration is what interacts with bleomycin to cause pulmonary toxicity)
Intoxication with alcohol or other drugs
Any condition in which patient may be catecholamine-depleted (e.g. septic shock)
Recent history of altered mental status
Congestive heart failure.
Trainees, including students, residents, and fellows, working in the pediatric emergency department.