Laughing Gas

Laughing Gas

Getting stitches on the face is no fun for anyone, but it is especially frightening to young children.

A study published in the January 2001 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine evaluated different ways to reduce distress in children needing facial laceration repair. Some of the children received a topical anesthetic alone, some received an anesthetic plus nitrous oxide (laughing gas), some received an anesthetic plus midazolam (an anti-anxiety drug, similar to valium), and some received ‘all of the above’.

Laughing gas plus a local anesthetic gave the best results — the lowest distress during cleaning, stitching, and shots, as well as the fewest side effects and the quickest recovery.

This was a happy solution for painful or frightening procedures in kids as young as age 2.

Dr. Greene is the founder of (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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