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Scented Laughing Gas


  American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis., is using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) delivered through masks scented with bubble gum, orange and vanilla to alleviate stress for young patients undergoing certain medical procedures and is lessening the time required for some treatments.

  The hospital has used the new sedation for more than 100 patients since June 2009, one of only about a dozen hospitals across the country that use nitrous oxide on pediatric patients. Physicians say using laughing gas and a scented mask calms patients undergoing difficult and painful procedures while still allowing them to interact with medical staff members. Nitrous oxide takes effect faster than some intravenous sedatives and shortens recovery time.

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