A B.C. emergency room doctor is warning about the dangers of abusing nitrous oxide (N2O), after a young woman turned up at a Richmond, B.C. hospital suffering from hallucinations.
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is commonly available at retail outlets in small canisters known as “whippits,” used to pressurize whipped cream dispensers.
N2O is also used in medical and dental settings as anesthesia and sedative because of the dissociative state it produces.
The case study was published in the B.C. Medical Journal this month by ER physician Dr. Matthew Kwok and pharmacists Jane de Lemos and Epid Mazen Sharaf.
The study looks at the case of a 20-year-old woman who presented at the Richmond Hospital emergency room suffering visual and auditory hallucinations.
U.S. suffering from whipped cream shortage ahead of holidays
The woman had no history of mental illness or psychosis, but admitted to using N2O daily to get high, and said she had recently increased her usage.
The study said an assessment by a psychiatrist, a neurologist and an addictions medicine specialist determined her psychosis was the result of drug use.
“We’re seeing patients in the emergency department with drug-induced psychosis and neurological effects who’ve inhaled nitrous oxide,” said Dr. Kwok.
“People become addicted to this drug, and its non-medical use can be extremely dangerous.”
“Whippits” are easy to buy at retail stores, with no restrictions on age, quantity or intended use.
Safe drugs for addicts
Kwok says access to the product should be restricted, with new safeguards implemented to reduce potential harm.
When Kwok and his team tried to report the woman’s case, they also discovered there is no central agency tracking N2O overdoses in the country.
“Our research shows very few reported cases, in part because the nitrous oxide comes from a product marketed for whipping cream and an adverse report would only be accepted if the canister itself was faulty,” he said.
He added that officials need to educate the public about the potential dangers of abusing the substance.
And he said health workers also need to be made aware that patients presenting with symptoms could be suffering from N2O intoxication.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
News Releases | COVID-19 Bulletin #318 – news.gov.mb.ca
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Manitoba health officials hold coronavirus update – Global News
Manitobans will get an update on the province’s COVID-19 situation on Monday.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, has called a 12:30 p.m. press conference along with Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force.
Global News will stream the event live in this story.
Over the weekend, health officials reported 10 additional COVID-19-related deaths and said another 369 Manitobans have fallen ill with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 cases rising in the north
In a tweet late Friday, Reimer said a temporary delay in the delivery of the Pfizer vaccine to Canada is
She said appointments previously scheduled will still take place.
The federal government has said shipments of the vaccine will be reduced by an average of 50 per cent over the next four weeks because the company is scaling up its European manufacturing capacity — a move that will impact the vaccine’s production for a “short period.”
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At last word, Manitoba has received 38,890 doses of vaccine and has administered 13,539 of them.
Manitoba’s second vaccination “supersite” is set to open Monday at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.
Since March, 769 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and 27,511 people have contracted the virus, according to provincial health data.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Ottawa sees fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 in one-day dip – CTV Edmonton
Ottawa Public Health says 85 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19, a low figure after several days of triple-digit daily case counts.
Two more people in Ottawa have died.
Across the province, a single-day drop in cases was also reported, with 2,578 new cases, the lowest figure since Jan. 1. Ontario reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. Figures from the province and from OPH often differ due to data collection times.
According to Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 12,371 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Two new deaths bring Ottawa’s pandemic death toll to 405 residents.
Some of Ottawa’s weekly trends appear to be improving, with the number of new cases in the last seven days, the testing positivity rate, and the estimated reproduction rate dropping in Monday’s update.
OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS
A province-wide lockdown went into effect on Dec. 26, 2020. Ottawa Public Health moved Ottawa into its red zone in early January.
A provincial stay-at-home order has been in effect since Jan. 14, 2021.
Ottawa Public Health data:
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 82.7 cases
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.0 per cent (Jan. 11 – Jan. 17)
- Reproduction number: 0.94 (seven day average)
Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.
Ontario health officials say 209,788 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered provincewide so far, with 9,691 needles given on Sunday. So far, 21,752 people have completed their vaccination by receiving both doses.
Ontario has received 277,050 total doses of vaccines as of Jan. 14, according to Health Canada, 224,250 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses and 52,800 Moderna vaccine doses.
Locally, the Ottawa Hospital said last week the city had received 22,245 doses of the vaccine. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CTV News at Six on Saturday that the City had administered 19,980 doses of vaccine.
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA
The number of people with known active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa fell for the second day in a row after hitting a record peak on Saturday.
There are 1,232 active cases in Ottawa, down from 1,274 on Sunday and 1,286 on Saturday.
The drop in active cases was driven in part by a rise in resolved cases.
OPH reported 135 more people in Ottawa have had their COVID-19 cases resolve, bringing the city’s total number of resolved cases to 10,734.
The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA
There are 40 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications, 10 of whom are in the ICU. That figure rose slightly from 38 and 8 on Sunday.
Of the people in hospital, one is between the ages of 10 and 19 (this person is in the ICU), one is in their 30s (this person is in the ICU), five are in their 50s (one is in the ICU), nine are in their 60s (four are in the ICU), seven are in their 70s (three are in the ICU), 10 are in their 80s and seven are 90 or older.
Across Ontario, 40,301 COVID-19 tests were performed on Sunday, a significant drop from the more than 60,000 performed the day before. There are 18,481 tests still under investigation.
An update from the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce is due this afternoon.
CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 36 new cases
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 4 new cases
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 0 new cases
- Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 1 new case
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases
- Outaouais region: 61 new cases
This is a breaking news story. CTV News will have the latest as it becomes available.
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