Using Medical Gases in Sports Trauma Management
What exactly is Entonox?
Entonox is a pain killing/relieving gas made up of 50% Nitrous Oxide & 50% Oxygen. It’s a very effective analgesic agent with rapid onset & offset characteristics.
Nitrous oxide was discovered in the mid-1700s. Its was first used in America to reduce the pain of tooth extraction & was introduced to Europe in 1867.
Studies show 20-30% nitrous oxide has a comparable analgesic effect to 15mg of sub cut morphine. 50% nitrous oxide (Entonox) was equivalent to 100mgs of pethidine. (Chapman et al, The analgesic effects of low concentrations of Nitrous Oxide compared in humans with morphine sulphate).
When we use Entonox
You should consider using entonox for pain relief after traumatic injuries to your players. You can use it prior to splinting a suspected fracture or painful soft tissue injury in adults & children.
Entonox is a self-administered, inhaled analgesic agent indicated for moderate to severe pain.
Why we use Entonox in Sport
Traumatic sports injuries occur in all sport from grassroot to professional levels.
Your club may be well equipped to deal with these injuries, but not all clubs have access to the appropriate equipment or training. This can leave your players at risk and in pain while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.
This news story from 2015 that emphasizes the point: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-30693304
30-year-old Luigi Segadelli broke his tibia and fibula while playing for Morriston RFC in Swansea. The game was cancelled as Luigi’s foot began to turn blue due to the length of time he waited for emergency help.
Who can use Entonox?
Entonox must be administered correctly once you are appropriately trained working within the scope of your professional practice. There are practical elements to the administration of Entonox as well as side effects to consider.
Good sports first aid training and/or medical training, combined with the correct use of Entonox, can offer your players immediate pain relief. This enables you to appropriately splint & manage your injured player.
Want more info? For further details view our medical gases course page. We also discuss Medical gas administration on our Sports Trauma Management Course.