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Odd as it may seem the body isn't good at detecting a lack of oxygen in the blood.What it normally relies on to maintain the right breathing rate is the presence of acid. In normal circumstances the only acid that the body produces lots of is carbonic acid. There's a pH sensor in the brain that registers this pH change and raises the breathing rate.If there's too much acid, the body assumes it's too much CO2 and increases the breathing rate to flush it out.So, CO2 increases the breathing rate, and that's the "basis" for using it in resuscitation.Subsequent work has found that the CO2 doesn't help so now they just give oxygen.http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(38)90525-3/abstract(How old is that book you cited?)High concentration sof CO2 are (pratically) immediately asphyxiating.You only get through a few breaths without oxygen before you faint. " However CO2 that is allowed to mix with water over time "That reaction is already fairly fast and your lungs are well stocked with an enzyme (carbonic anhydrase) that speeds the reaction up enormously.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22599/That's how you can manage to breathe out CO2.However, since the CO2 has to dissolve in the blood, get carried round to the brain and affect a pH sensor there, it's effect on the lungs (usually a bit of coughing) has little to do with respiration or resuscitation."So the oxygen it picks up from the cylinder walls "The walls of the tank are made of steel.There's little or no oxygen there (there certainly shouldn't be because they don't want the metal to be corroded.)As you say in the title- it's an "Old Method".it was found not to workIt has been abandoned.