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Fishers medics turning to laughing gas as painkiller
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Fishers medics turning to laughing gas as painkiller

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FISHERS, Ind. — Paramedics in an Indianapolis suburb will begin providing laughing gas instead of powerful opioid painkillers to patients.

Fishers officials say the use of nitrous oxide is expected to reduce the amount of fentanyl administered to injured patients by about two-thirds. Fishers Fire Capt. John Mehling tells The Indianapolis Star using the gas commonly given in dentist offices will reduce the risk of addiction and harmful side effects with fentanyl.

Mehling says emergency workers will only use nitrous oxide for injuries such as broken bones, while still giving fentanyl to patients with abdominal pain, head injuries and collapsed lungs.

Fire Chief Steve Orusa said patients must be alert enough to administer the laughing gas to themselves through a breathing mask or tube.

11 Indiana laws to curtail the opioid crisis

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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