The blood–gas partition coefficient
A partition coefficient (λ) describes the relative affinity of a volatile anaesthetic for two phases and how that anaesthetic distributes itself between the two phases when equilibrium has been achieved. The blood–gas partition coefficient (λb/g), or Ostwald coefficient for blood–gas, is a pharmacological term used to describe the solubility of a volatile anaesthetic agent. Volatile agents with a low blood–gas partition coefficient (less soluble) will exert a high partial pressure and produce a more rapid onset and offset of anaesthetic action.
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