Adverse Effects of Nitrous Oxide on Vitamin B12 Levels in Health Care Personnel of ESIC Tertiary Care Hospital

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Background: Nitrous oxide (N2O) has a long reputation for decades as the safest general anesthetic and has a well-known function as the laughing gas. The study aimed to know the effect of nitrous oxide with chronic exposure in operation theatre (OT) personnel of the Department of Anesthesia in Sanath Nagar, Hyderabad, India. Materials and Methods: A transversal study was conducted including 88 health workers (44 exposed and 44 non-exposed). Personal exposure to nitrous oxide for the group members was assessed indirectly by measuring the years of work experience in OT. Vitamin B12 levels are measured in both groups. Data were statistically tested for normality and also qualitative, quantitative assessment was performed. Results: From the results obtained, there is no significant difference in vitamin B12 levels between exposed and non-exposed groups. There is a multiple-fold increase in other health conditions like dizziness, nausea/vomiting, euphoria, and tachycardia. Conclusion: N2O exposure in health care personnel did not show any altered vitamin B12 levels. Chronic exposure to nitrous oxide will lead to adverse health effects and it can be reduced by using an anesthesia gas scavenging system in OT.