Narcotic Effects in Man of Breathing 80-20 Argon-Oxygen and Air Under Hyperbaric Conditions.
DEFENCE AND CIVIL INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE DOWNSVIEW (ONTARIO)
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The qualitative and quantitative effects of breathing 80-20 argon-oxygen and air were compared at the surface and at 4 and 7 ATA with 10 subjects using three measures - mental arithmetic, subjective estimates of narcosis and an adjective checklist. Both the mental arithmetic task and the subjective estimates of narcosis indicated that the argon-oxygen mixture was more narcotic than air. The adjective check list revealed that similar types of adjectives were used to describe the subjective effects of both mixtures and that these choices corresponded to previous descriptions of narcosis. There was also evidence that factors other than internal subjective cues influenced the subjects estimates of narcosis, the major one being feedback from performance on the arithmetic test. It was concluded that the qualitative effects of argon and nitrogen were the same on the various measures of narcosis but the discrepancy between the dose response functions for various measures found by a comparison of the present results and those of other studies of nitrogen narcosis in humans raises questions about the usefulness of quantitative differences between the inert gases as indicators of underlying causal mechanisms of narcosis. Author
- Stress Physiology