Highland Hospital is now the first hospital in the Rochester region to offer nitrous oxide as an additional pain relief option to mothers in labor.
Nitrous oxide is a safe, odorless, and colorless gas that is administered to patients through a mask that covers the nose and mouth. The machines at Highland are set up to deliver 50 percent nitrous oxide and 50 percent oxygen, to provide some pain and anxiety relief. New technology allows for women to personalize their use. Patients will hold the mask to their own face so they will be able to control the amount of nitrous oxide they receive and will be monitored closely by medical personnel.
“Nitrous oxide is another option moms can use for pain relief during labor, and is especially helpful for women who may not be able to have an epidural or may not want one,” said Steven Finkelstein, M.D., Chief of Anesthesiology for Highland Hospital. “This is an example of how Highland is continuously bringing the very best in cutting edge technology to our patients.”
The use of this technology for mothers in labor at Highland is thanks to the efforts of anesthesiologists, midwives, nurse anesthetists, obstetricians/gynecologists, pediatricians, and nurses all working together as a team to evaluate its use and train for patient safety.
Strong Memorial Hospital will also start offering nitrous oxide for maternity patients in the next few weeks.