Trace Anesthetic Effect on Perceptual, Cognitive and Motor Skills.
Bruce-DL; Bach-MJ; Arbit-J
NIOSH 1973 Jul:16 pages
Twenty male, paid volunteer medical or dental students were exposed on two occasions to four hours of inhalation of either air or 500ppm nitrous-oxide (10024972) and 15ppm halothane (151677) in air. Immediately following this, a battery of tests of perceptual, cognitive and motor skills were administered to them. Evaluating their responses compared to their control conditions when they breathed only air, there was a significant decrement in performance following anesthetic exposure on a task of divided attention between auditory and visual signals, a visual tachistoscopic test, and memory tests involving digit span and recall of word pairs. These findings may indicate a subtle but significant negative effect on the ability of anesthesiologists to provide vigilant care for their patients. Further investigation of possible long term effects upon the effective function and accident record of the anesthetist is indicated. (Contract No. 099-72-0048)
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-099-72-0048; Medical-personnel; Nitrogen-oxides; Mental-processes; Fluorinated-ethanes; Sensory-perceptual-processes; Psychological-tests; Task-performance; Psychological-factors; Anesthetic; Toxicology; Testing; Psychophysiology; Physicians; Alertness; Conciousness;
NTIS Accession No.
Departments of Anesthesia and Psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, NIOSH Contract No. 099-72-0048, Terminal Report, 16 pages, 4 references