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J R Soc Med. 1991 August; 84(8): 493–495.
PMCID: PMC1293382

Anoxic asphyxia--a cause of industrial fatalities: a review.

Abstract

The investigation of commercial diving accidents has indicated that the danger of anoxia, from the inhalation of gases not containing oxygen, is not fully recognized. The problem is more common in a variety of general industrial situations and is an occasional cause of death in anaesthesia. It is a particular hazard with inert gases, which, because they are recognized to be non-toxic, give a false sense of security. The pathological findings consist of pulmonary oedema and petechial haemorrhages, mainly in the brain, lungs and myocardium. Whenever possible, a minimum oxygen content should be included in all gases liable to be respired, but where this is not possible, oxygen analysers and alarms should be provided. Where a general hazard exists, personnel must be warned of the danger.

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Selected References

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