First anesthesia with LENOXe™ in France, at the Nîmes Teaching Hospital

March 13, 2008

LENOXe™, the first xenon-based anesthetic to be marketed in Europe, was used for the first time in France on December 18, 2007 at the Nîmes University Hospital. Since that date, several other anesthesia procedures using xenon have been successfully performed at the hospital.

LENOXe™, an Air Liquide innovation, is composed of xenon, a gas present in very small quantities in the air, which offers remarkable anesthetic properties. LENOXe™ is administered in a mixture containing oxygen, thanks to the FELIX DUAL™ anesthesia workstation, another Air Liquide innovation. LENOXe™ acts on central cerebral receptors. As an inert gas, xenon is not metabolized; it is flushed, unchanged , through the lungs.

As xenon is a normal component of air, it can be discharged into the atmosphere without any risk. Its quick elimination from the body once anesthesia is complete facilitates the patient’s post-operative recovery.

As Professor Jacques Ripart, Head of Anesthesia & Pain treatment at the Nîmes Teaching Hospital explains, “LENOXe™ is a true innovation in the field of anesthesia, particularly during long procedures. Xenon’s unique pharmacological properties really offer us new perspectives. I have observed how this product leads to a very rapid recovery, even after a several-hour anesthesia. In addition, xenon’s hemodynamic effects on patients are particularly limited. This molecule is now available for normal use and represents an added benefit to the safety and comfort of patients.”

Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President of Air Liquide in charge of Healthcare commented, “Within the March 2007 European marketing authorization, our teams have been working with physicians to introduce Xenon in France and Germany, soon to be followed by other European countries. As our research people explore the medical potential of xenon and other medical gases, particularly for anesthesia, intensive care and pain relief, new fields are opening for Air Liquide in healthcare.”