In contact/collision sports such as rugby, medical gases e.g. oxygen or Entonox/Penthrox should be available to facilitate the management of traumatised or medically unwell players.
It is essential the appropriate safety precautions are undertaken when handling, storing and transporting medical gases. The correct signage must be in place where cylinders are stored and on vehicles transporting medical gases.
Oxygen should be administered to all traumatised and critically ill players in the prehospital setting via a non-rebreathe mask.
Entonox is a medical gas containing a mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen. Within the Immediate Care in Rugby setting (once contraindications have been excluded) it is an ideal analgesic to assist in the safe management of fractures or dislocations. Entonox is self-administered through a demand valve, using a mouthpiece, bite-block or face-mask under clinical supervision, .
When travelling abroad it is important to check you are operating within the visiting countries’ legal requirements. Entonox is not permitted in the prehospital setting in some countries.
An alternative to Entonox is Penthrox (methoxyflurane).