Nitrous oxide, handling of cylinders post decommission.

Mary O'Shea
Mary O'Shea • 22 May 2024

I’m an anaesthetist in Brisbane, Australia. I have been involved in decommissioning nitrous oxide  at a major hospital. I’m trying to encourage other hospitals to do the same. With the increased use of portable cylinders particularly in birth suite there is concern regarding the handling of cylinders and the risk of diversion.

With the significant progress the nitrous oxide project has made in this area, I’m wondering if you could point me in the direction of resources.

Do you know of any hospitals using portable cylinders of nitrous oxide/entonox in maternity suites. And are there any policies with regard to storage and handling? 

Thank you for your help. 
Dr Mary O’Shea

Comments (2)

Trevor Mose
Trevor Mose

This is a great question. One we are grappling with too. NOx theft is a real issue and having smaller portable cylinders does increase that risk. We are finding that reducing use in maternity is a huge cultural challenge as it is so effective, widely used and expected to be available. I will watch this thread closely as sadly i dont have the answers.

Amanda Jackson
Amanda Jackson

I too am interested in this as we use Nitrous oxide in dentistry although usually the slightly bigger cylinders. There is new UK legislation coming out about its use outside of healthcare so that might be helpful.

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