Brighton student died after inhaling laughing gas

Posted On 25 Jun 2015 at 5:31 pm

A Brighton university student died after inhaling nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas.

An inquest took place at Brighton Coroner’s Court on Monday (22 June) which found that Aaron Dunford, 22, of Roundhill Crescent, Brighton, died as a result of misadventure.

The Brighton University student’s death has prompted Sussex Police to issue a warning, urging people not to inhale the gas.

The coroner found that Mr Dunford died from asphyxiation, resulting from inhalation of nitrous oxide, and chronic nerve pain.

His neural pain was probably the result of due to vitamin B12 deficiency caused by chronic use of nitrous oxide gas.

Mr Dunford was found dead at his home on Monday 2 March this year. The investigation into his death found that he was a regular laughing gas user. About 200 empty canisters were found in his room.

Sussex Police said: “Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to a laughing gas, has several legitimate uses but when inhaled it can give a person a feeling of light headedness or euphoria.

“It is becoming more and more popular to use as a way of achieving a short-term high and although it is not an offence to be in possession of it this does not mean it is safe to use.”

Detective Inspector Mick Jones, who has overseen the investigation on behalf of the coroner, said: “Anyone considering using this substance in this way should think again.

“The effect of asphyxia through inhalation could happen on the first occasion it is used or after repeated use.

“This tragic case has highlighted that even when it does not result in a fatality that there are longer-term effects on your health as, despite the deceased being a young man, he was unable to walk down a simple flight of steps due to the chronic pain he had in his knees which was a direct result of using nitrous oxide gas.”

  1. BrightonCitizen Reply

    Tragic news but chronic use cannot be equated to single use. There is no data to suggest that using nitrous oxide occasionally leads to death unless there are other mitigating factors.

  2. pernicious anaemia sufferer Reply

    To the comment above, the fact the gas destroys your b12 should be enough. They obviously don’t realise low b12 can be fatal. As a pernicious anemia suffer I can tell you first hand how bad it is. Without my 8 weekly b12 injections I’d be dead. I’m bedbound with legs that don’t work, short term memory loss, anda paralyzed bowel etc due to low b12. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody

    • N20 chronic user no symptoms Reply

      None of that is from N20 though. That must have been a condition from something else.

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