Funster No : 13324
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Oxford
About Me: Retired computer engineer
Interests: Motorbikes, Ham radio.
MH Type: C Class
MH Model: Compass Avantgarde
Years Motorhoming: Started 2011
Thanked 43 Times in 17 Posts
Taken from "Out and about" website re: gas attacks
This might have been posted before but I couldn't find it..........
Since this debate rattles on from time to time, with much deliberation over how and what, I thought I'd try to get an expert view on the feasibility of using narcotic gases to knock out the occupante of motorhomes/caravans.
Since they do this all the time, so to speak, I thought I'd ask the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Somewhat to my surprise, they provided the following reply. Interesting isn't it? Sleep tight folks!
Dear Mr Kirby,
Thank you for your enquiry. I would like to inform you that you are not the first enquirer with this question. Professor Hatch, our Clinical Advisor, has given the following previous comments:
"I can give you a categorical assurance that it would not be possible to render someone unconscious with ether without their knowledge, even if they were sleeping at the time. Ether is an extremely pungent agent and a relatively weak anaesthetic by modern standards and has a very irritant affect of the air passages, causing coughing and sometimes vomiting. It takes some time to reach unconsciousness, even if given by direct application to the face on a rag, and the concentration needed by some sort of spray into a room would be enormous. The smell hangs around for days and would be obvious to anyone the next day.
There are much more powerful agents around now, some of which are almost odourless. However, these would be unlikely to be able to achieve the effect you describe, and the cost would be huge enough to deter any thief unless he was after the crown jewels. The only practicable agent is probably the one used by the Russians in the Moscow siege - I advised the BBC on their programme about this. The general feeling is that they used an agent which is not available outside the KGB!
Finally, unsupervised anaesthesia, which is what we are really talking about is very dangerous. In the Moscow siege about 20% of victims died from asphyxia, because their airways were unprotected. If the reports you talk about are true I would have expected a significant number of deaths or cases of serious brain damage to have been reported."
I hope this information is helpful to you.
The Royal College of Anaesthetists
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.