Frequently Asked Questions

What is gasexchange?

The quick answer is that is a question and answer site for anesthesia, critical care, and pain medicine practitioners.

The real answer is however far larger — gasexchange is a worldwide community of consultant anesthetists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, pain medicine specialists, anesthesia technicians, nurses, trainees and specialists of all levels of experience and seniority. We also provide written, video, audio and opinion-based educational content.

As an open and inclusive community the site hopes to encourage the discussion and sharing of our common knowledge — a creative commons of anesthesia knowledge, up-to-date and evolving as our field does.

We hope that through this sharing we will assist both those beginning their learning and training, as well as continuing the education and development of even the most senior anesthetist. Our learning should never stop.

How does it work?

Simple. If you have a question about anything related to anesthesia you ask it on gasexchange. It will be listed on our question page awaiting answers from other users.

If you see a question that you think you can contribute towards answering, then go ahead and post an answer. It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to post the final and authoritative answer to a question — as long as your answer is on-topic and relevant to the question, it will be welcomed.

There is much more to gasexchange than just questions and answers though. By having users vote on questions and answers, the gasexchange system highlights the good questions and answers and filters out the not-so-good ones so that when you search gasexchange for information, the highest quality, and most relevant information will be easy to find.

gasexchange also utilises the concept of reputation. Users who post high quality questions and answers will have their posts voted up by other users. When this happens, that user accumulates reputation. This means that when you see a post from a high reputation user you can be more confident about the quality of the information that they are providing. High reputation users also have more control over the way they use gasexchange. This is discussed in more detail below.

Do I have to register to use gasexchange?

Yes, to preserve the quality of information on gasexchange and to help avoid spam, you will need to register in order to ask, answer or comment on questions.

You can naturally browse all of the questions and answers on gasexchange without registering!

How do I register for an account on gasexchange?

Registering an account on gasexchange is easy and it’s free! Simply click on the “Create New Account…” link in the toolbar at the top of any page, then choose a username and enter your email address. Then check your email for your activation link and a new password. Easy!

Help, I’ve lost my password – what can I do?

Simply click on the “Log In” link in the toolbar at the top of any page, then click on the “Retrieve Lost Password…” link in the box – or simply go here. After entering your email address or username, you will receive a Reset Password link in your email inbox.

What kind of questions can I ask on gasexchange?

Any question related to anesthesia, critical care or pain medicine. Good questions are those that are detailed, clearly written, and specific. No question is too simple or “newbie”. The better written your question is, the more likely you are to get the answer that you want.

Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and maybe even answered!) before you ask. If you end up asking a question that has been asked before, that is OK and deliberately allowed. Other users will hopefully edit in links to related or similar questions to help future visitors find their way, or a moderator may merge the two questions.

It’s also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, but try to ask it in the form of a question. We also strongly encourage editing, fine-tuning and thus improving the questions that you ask over time. This also applies to your answers!

Please ask only one question per question. Do not fill up the question description with multiple related questions. Be specific. Be succinct.

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

Questions that are subjective or require extended discussion will not work as well here as questions that can be answered definitively. The voting system for answers means that responses will end up out of order; gasexchange is not designed to be a discussion board. Having said this, some questions in anesthesia are subjective and do require discussion so feel free to ask anything that you think will be of interest, and the community will decide on the merit of your question. Comments beneath answers will tend to remain in order so this is the best place to discuss things.

What do the numbers next to questions and answers mean?

These numbers represent votes from other users. When users see a question or answer that they think is good, they can vote it up by clicking the arrow above the number. The number represents the total number of positive votes that a question or answer has received. Questions or answers that are unhelpful or off-topic can be voted down resulting in the score being reduced or even becoming negative.

This system enables the best answer to a question to be listed above other answers. It also enables the best questions on a topic to be listed above others when you search gasexchange for questions on that topic. Similarly, highest scored answers to a question are listed first below the question.

These numbers are also important because they represent the amount of reputation that a user has gained (or lost) by asking or answering a question.

What does a green tick next to an answer mean?

If an answer has a green tick next to it then that means that the person who asked the question has accepted that answer as the best answer to that question. The person who answered the question receives additional reputation points for having an answer accepted in this way.

If you asked a question, then when you look at it later all of the answers will have an outlined tick next to them. Simply click on one of these ticks to select that answer as the best answer. The user that gave the answer will receive 15 reputation points (You’ll receive a small reputation boost yourself if you do this).

What do the numbers on the front page mean?

The numbers next to the list of questions on the front page are in 3 columns.

No accepted answer Accepted answer No answers (yet!)


The number on the left (votes) is the number of votes that a given question has received from other users.

The middle number (answers) is the number of answers that have been given for that question. If the number is yellow on a white background that means no answer has yet been selected as the best answer. If the number is white on a yellow background that means an answer has been selected. If the number is blue that means no answers have yet been posted (so the number will always be zero of course).

The right number (views) is simply the number of unique visitors that have looked at that question.

What is reputation?

All users have a reputation score that appears next to their user name on questions and answers, or as a ‘tool tip’ when you hover the cursor over their name in a comment. This score is earned when other users vote on your questions and answers. In this way, reputation becomes a rough measurement of how much the gasexchange community trusts the quality of your questions and answers.

Reputation serves 2 purposes;

  • It gives other users an indication of how well trusted or respected a user is within the gasexchange community. When you see a post from a high reputation user you know that their post is more likely to be worth your time and attention.
  • It increases the range of actions you are allowed to perform on gasexchange. Higher reputation users are able to perform actions such as creating new tags or editing other users posts.

Here’s how it works: if you post a good question or helpful answer, it will be voted up by other users: you gain 10 reputation points. If you post something that’s off topic or incorrect, it will be voted down: you lose 2 reputation points. You can earn a maximum of 200 reputation points per day. (Note that votes for any posts marked “community wiki” do not generate reputation.) You also receive 15 reputation points if an answer you provide is accepted as the best, or most useful, answer by the person who asked that question. If you accept an answer as the best, or most useful, answer to your question, you will receive 2 reputation points for doing this.

How do tags work?


Tags are the grey labels that appear below questions. Tags are a way of categorizing questions so they can be easily found and grouped. When you ask a question you can label it with a small number of relevant tags. If you think of better tags later you can always edit them.

Tags are a better way of organising questions than categories. Many questions touch on several categories so by using tags you are not restricted to simply filing your question away in a single category. With multiple tags you maximize the possibility of other users finding your questions.

How do I get a picture next to my user name in my posts?

By default your account is associated with an anonymous silhouette that will appear next to all of your questions and answers. If you want to change this to a customized picture you can do this by creating an account and uploading your picture at The picture is linked to your account via your email address so make sure you have the same email address linked to the photo at that you have registered in your user details with us. Gravatar photos are used by a lot of websites so if you don’t want the photo you use on gasexchange showing up on other websites where you post entries then make sure you are using a unique email address for your gasexchange account, or set up different profiles at gravatar.

Why was my question (or answer) edited?

All entries on gasexchange can be edited, but not just by anyone. Questions can only be edited by high reputation users (1000 points or higher) or by gasexchange administrators.

Edits are only performed with the aim of improving a question or answer. This may mean simple changes like correcting spelling or grammar (the gasexchange robot likes to do this), adding links (e.g. to PubMed), or correcting minor factual errors (major factual errors in an answer probably warrant down-voting rather than editing).

The ability to edit questions or answers is one of the strengths of gasexchange. It is one of the ways it will evolve into an authoritative source of anesthesia information. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your posts being edited by trusted users then gasexchange may not be the right community for you.

People here spell funny!

gasexchange is a global site. Users from all over the world are welcome regardless of whether they are interested in anaesthesia, anesthesia, or anesthesiology (or even anaesthesiology)! Feel free to use whatever spellings or drug names you are comfortable with (eg Lidocaine or Lignocaine, Adrenaline or Epinephrine). If you want to help others find your questions then consider including an alternative spelling if you know that one exists.

We believe that one of the great contributions that gasexchange can make to the global anesthesia and intensive care community is to foster the sharing of knowledge between medical professionals from all over the planet, regardless of language or location.

Can I reuse or publish content from gasexchange?

Yes. All user contributed content (questions, answers, comments) on gasexchange is licensed back to the community under a Creative Commons ‘Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike’ license. Basically this means that you are free to share and remix the question & answer information on gasexchange as long as you attribute all authors, do not use the information for commercial purposes, and re-license your work under the very same by-nc-sa license.

More information on licensing and re-using gasexchange content is available here.

Does gasexchange have a privacy policy?

We do. gasexchange will never release or share with a third party any personally identifying information, in particular your email address, that you have shared with us in confidence. Obviously this does not apply to any information you yourself have shared publicly in your user profile.

How is gasexchange funded? is entirely privately funded.

We are staunchly and fiercely independent, tempered by our past experience when technical dependence on StackExchange LLC lead to our shutdown. We have no affiliation with or accept any funding from any pharmaceutical, medical equipment or other company. We have no affiliation with any university, college or other institution. We have no affiliation with any medical journal, medical publishing group or research group, and we have no affiliation with any professional medical society or training college. gasexchange does not currently accept advertising.

We strongly believe that our independence is a prerequisite to achieving our goal of improving access to medical information for the world’s anesthetists, anesthesiologists and critical care physicians.

Where can I find out more information about gasexchange?

We maintain a question category called faq with how-to type questions and answers. It’s both a good place to learn more about the site as well as a place to ask questions specifically about the system and how you can get the most out of gasexchange.

For more information, check out other questions tagged as FAQ.


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