Hospital Uses Laughing Gas For Special Deliveries

Hospital Uses Laughing Gas For Special Deliveries

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Naomi Barbour gave birth at Lewis Country General Hospital less than a week ago. At the time, she was too far along to receive an epidural. So, she was introduced to Nitronox.

It's a machine that allows a woman to control the amounts of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relieve some of the pain while giving birth.

"It dulls the contractions and I have anxiety, so it helped with that. It's very helpful," said Barbour.

Dr. Gerard Crawford, an obstetrician-gynecologist, introduced it to the hospital several years ago, but started using it on February 1. Crawford says not only does it help alleviate the pain, but, "It's an extremely safe method as compared to something like a narcotic."

Although this technology used to be used in maternity units across the country, it's again becoming a growing trend. The Barbour says if she's given the chance to use it again, she definitely will.

"We're moving back to North Carolina and if they have it, I will use it. If not, I'll be very sad," said Barbour.

Dr. Crawford says in the many patients who have used Nitronox, none have had an issue, though it might not be for everyone.

"Nobody's going to be 100 percent, but in general for the people we've used it on, they've been quite pleased with it," he said.

The auxiliary at Lewis County General paid for the first Nitronox machine and proceeds from the hospital's foundation golf tournament this summer will help pay for a second one.

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