Diffusion hypoxia may be encountered at the end of an anesthetic administration with N2O. The mechanism underlying diffusion hypoxia is essentially the reverse of the concentration effect; that is, when anesthetic administration is stopped, large volumes of N2O move from the blood into the alveolus, diluting oxygen and expanding lung expiratory volume. To avoid diffusion hypoxia, the anesthesiologist may employ 100% oxygen rather than room air after discontinuing administration of the anesthetic gas mixture.
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If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.