Monday, January 16, 2017

Despite Rumors to the Contrary, There is NO Shortage of N2O for Medical Use

Nitrous Oxide.jpg
 In August of 2016, an explosion happened at a plant owned by Airgas in Cantonment, Florida.  That plant happened to be a major producer of nitrous oxide.  Almost from the moment the explosion happened (which shut down the plant) there were rumors of a nitrous oxide shortage in the U.S.

During the recent holiday season there were announcements that Rediwhip, the whipped cream in the aerosol can) would be in short supply because the product uses nitrous oxide as the propellant.  Due to the potential shortage, cans flew off the shelves (not literally).

When our office called for a tank of it to be delivered in early November, we were told this might be the last tank we would receive for a month or two due to the shortage.  We have the office completely plumbed for medical gasses, but we instituted a policy of not even turning the valve on the nitrous to the "on" position.  We were conserving as much as possible to ensure we would have an adequate supply for our patients.

Now comes word from the American Dental Association and the FDA that all is well with the supply.  One of the things I was impressed with is the FDA working to make sure that the healthcare industry is being given priority to existing supplies. 

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