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Recommendations for Using Nitrous Oxide in the Physician Office Setting

This document provides basic information on the use of nitrous oxide in a physician practice.

Nitrous oxide sedation (also known as laughing gas) is used as a mild sedative in physician practices for exams, minor procedures, and diagnostic studies. Practices that plan to offer this service to their patients should establish policies that define:

  • Patient Selection Criteria: All patients should be screened to determine if they are suitable candidates prior to administering any type of sedation. The practice should complete a thorough medical history on the patient with consideration to the contraindications below, such as:
    • history of respiratory illness (specifically COPD),
    • history of mental health illness,
    • history of substance abuse,
    • Vitamin B…

Curi’s risk mitigation resources and guidance are offered for educational and informational purposes only. This information is not medical or legal advice, does not replace independent professional judgment, does not constitute an endorsement of any kind, should not be deemed authoritative, and does not establish a standard of care in clinical settings or in courts of law. If you need legal advice, you should consult your independent/corporate counsel. We have found that using risk mitigation efforts can reduce malpractice risk; however, we do not make any guarantees that following these risk recommendations will prevent a complaint, claim, or suit from occurring, or mitigate the outcome(s) associated with any of them.