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Anesthetics: Gases and Vapors 

Anesthetics: Gases and Vapors
Anesthetics: Gases and Vapors

Mehernoor F. Watcha

and Catherine P. Seipel

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date: 28 January 2022

The physical properties of potent inhalation agents influence their clinical effects and practicality of use. The speed of induction of anesthesia is dependent on the rate of rise of anesthetic gas concentrations in the brain. The uptake of anesthetics from the lungs into the blood stream for delivery to the effector sites in the brain is dependent on the product of gas solubility, cardiac output, and alveolar to venous partial pressure difference. Increased ventilation, higher inspired gas concentrations, low solubility, and decreased cardiac output along with the presence of a second gas will speed induction. Anesthetic agents have effects on the cardiorespiratory systems including dose-dependent decreases in arterial blood pressure, negative inotropic effects, and arrhythmias. Potent inhalation agents enhance neuromuscular blockade but can induce an uncontrolled increase in skeletal muscle metabolism with potentially fatal outcomes in genetically predisposed individuals in a condition termed malignant hyperthermia.

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