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The Dangers of Disney Answered

I was trying to find out who was currently leading the US presidential polls, when I got distracted by an item on Freedom of Information. That led me to this article. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Inhaling helium to produce an amusing squeaky voice (a favourite game for children in the United States and Europe) may not be the innocuous party trick it seems, according to emergency medicine physicians at the Wesley Center for Hyperbaric Medicine in Brisbane, Australia (Annals of Emergency Medicine 2000;35:300-3).

Simon Mitchell and colleagues report the case of a previously healthy 27 year old man who inhaled helium and subsequently developed a stroke with transient blindness and radio-graphic evidence of cortical infarction. However, the man had inhaled the gas direct from a pressurised canister, whereas most children who perform the trick - to imitate the voice of Mickey Mouse - inhale the gas from helium filled balloons.

The patient developed rigidity and lost consciousness within moments of inhaling the helium. On arrival at the emergency room 15 minutes later, he regained consciousness but was found to have complete visual loss and evidence of cortical infarction.

PubMed Article

I still haven't found out who's leading, though...

Discussions

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Zaphod Beeblebrox

9 years ago

i belive adam savage might have some problems...........

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KentsOkay

10 years ago

Y'know, that's the one thing I haven't tried...

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KitemanKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

Just do it from a balloon, and remember to breath proper air as well.

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GoodhartKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

I found it.....

Breathing in pure helium can be risky because it displaces necessary oxygen (as breathing in any gas besides or not mixed with oxygen would do). In other words, since bodies need oxygen, but are getting pure helium instead, the result is suffocation. One breath of pure helium can cause hypoxia (a deficiency of oxygen reaching the body's tissues) and result in dizziness. The next real breath of (oxygenated) air will allow everything to return to normal. That breath will happen automatically once the air from speaking (in a cartoon duck's voice) is expended. If anyone is going to inhale helium this way, it might be wiser to do so while sitting down; that way, if the person becomes dizzy, s/he won't fall and possibly get hurt.

Inhaling continuous breaths of helium one after another starves the body of oxygen. A person will eventually pass out, and perhaps even worse. At most, inhaling once or twice from a helium balloon, separated by deep inhalations of air, will be a way to prevent the harm.

Helium inhalation: the good the bad and the ugly....

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DerinGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I think SCUBA tanks are filled with a oxygen and helium mix...

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GoodhartDerin

Reply 10 years ago

I hadn't hear that, still pure helium displaces O2 and so they say it isn't a good thing to do often ;-)

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GoodhartKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

Hmm, it does "replace" O2 and I thought I read of some other side effects that made this a not recommended thing to do......a googling we will go, a googling we will go....

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GoodhartGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I meant displace, not so much REplace.

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CameronSS

10 years ago

My freshman year, I had to research the history of nutmeg. With the power of Google, I was surprised to find out that nutmeg, in large doses, is a hallucinogen, and that it is highly toxic in larger doses. Consequently, I ended up on a site all about how to commit suicide (yeah, creepy), and before I had figured out what the site was, I found a complete narrative of one man's partial suicide through helium. He had rigged up a helium tank to a nasal cannula, attached an oximeter to himself, and told his supervising friend to turn off the flow when his blood-oxygen level passed below some percentage, I think around 20%. He said that it was a somewhat "pleasant" way to die, like suffocating while still being able to breathe.

I refined my search terms after that.

yes, Kiteman, I'm stalking you...I was trying to find one of your old topics.

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KentsOkayKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

A fact I'm not to happy about...

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puffyfluffKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

Me neither. I just got back from watching Sarah Palin in Loveland.

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Chicken2209Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

ha! i just hear MSNBC say that they conducted a poll saying Palin was a bigger drain on McCain than President Bush

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GoodhartChicken2209

Reply 10 years ago

If he had to be sexist and just had to pick a woman there are quite a few, much better qualified selections he could have made that would have boosted his campaign. You have to wonder about someone that would pick such a backward candidate to run with, maybe because she was a beauty pageant winner?

there was, of course, much more to that interview :-)


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Chicken2209Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I know right, like Condalezza Rice would have been a much better choice

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KentsOkayChicken2209

Reply 10 years ago

GAH!! I'd have almost had him hypothetically choose H. Clinton over Rice...

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puffyfluffKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

Lol. I'm not usually so committed to politics either, I don't know why I am this year.

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KentsOkaypuffyfluff

Reply 10 years ago

'cuz the geo-political and environmental stability of the planet is at risk?

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KitemanKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

I have got it right, haven't I? Palin is openly creationist, isn't she?

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KentsOkayKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

I'm willing to let those slight defects slide, when considering the alternative...
She (as far as I have noticed) doesn't openly banter it about and make it a big issue, so I'm happy. WHEN McCain gets elected, I really doubt the VP will have as powerful role as Cheney (performs ceremonies to ward of the devil) had. McCain had only met Palin once before he asked her to be his running mate.

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GoodhartKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

really doubt the VP will have as powerful role as Cheney

if...McCain doesn't suddenly kick the bucket....

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GoodhartKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

Maybe the two could be elected under the restraint that, under no conditions is she allowed to get near the office of presidency. She is clearly a victim of the Peter Principle (for those that read the book)

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KentsOkayGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

*wikipedias PP* I supose so... Personally, I don't think she'd make the best leader of our country...

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GoodhartKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

In fact she would be in serious competition for the worst leader, I am afraid ;-)

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KentsOkayGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Well thank goodness I don't think she will be a major policy maker...

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KitemanLithium Rain

Reply 10 years ago

It's hard to tell from most news coverage over here. We tend to get distilled hype in the news programmes that are on when I'm watching TV (60-second slots in between other programmes).

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Lithium RainKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

Ahhh...a world with little news coverage of the current election...can I visit 'till November?

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Lithium RainKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

*Confused* Why? To bury our bodies in?! Rocketscientist, let's ixnay on the ightflay...

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KitemanLithium Rain

Reply 10 years ago

No, just to find the floor so I can lay a spare roll-mat out. "Tidy" is one of the few words that is not part of #2 son's vocabulary.

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Lithium RainKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

*Phew*

Sorry, #2, but some strange Americans are coming to spend the night, they'll have to sleep on your floor...don't do anything mean...NO PUT DOWN THAT MACE, THAT FEATHER AND THE CANNONBALL!

Haha...'tis the same with 3 certain boys I know... :D

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KentsOkayLithium Rain

Reply 10 years ago

*steals Adrian's ticket* Sorry! I'm guessing you're old enough to vote, I'm not, you gotta stay! *jumps into plane and flies away*

Well an excess of helium is poisonous, not to mention the oxygen deprivation it causes. I can just hear it in 50 years time after helium is a banned substance, politicians saying 'I did not inhale!'

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NachoMahma

10 years ago

> the man had inhaled the gas direct from a pressurised canister . VERY bad idea. . If anyone wants to try this, put it in a balloon first. NEVER directly from the tank. And limit the amount of Helium you breathe - you're getting less Oxygen when doing this.

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Big BwanaNachoMahma

Reply 10 years ago

No kidding, if you can't blow a tire pressure gauge upto 5 PSI, sucking from a tank with upto +3000 PSI is just stupid....