'Muskauraiye': King Koti Hospital's laughing gas for a painless child birth

District Hospital King Koti is the first government hospital and medical institution in the state to provide laughing gas as a painless delivery option. While the method is widely used in several private hospitals across the state, the District Hospital does not charge for it.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  24 Jun 2022 3:25 AM GMT
Muskauraiye: King Koti Hospitals laughing gas for a painless child birth

Hyderabad: When Ramya (name changed) went into labor a few weeks ago, she was in severe pain.

"Everything they say about labor pain being the most painful thing is true. After my first contraction, I was not sure if I could take the pain. I didn't want a C-section but I couldn't afford an epidural either," she said.

To Ramya's luck, the District Hospital, King Koti had another painless delivery option. Breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen during labor contractions gives relief to the pain, and makes it bearable. "I don't remember how many contractions I had, but it helped me quite a lot. I was able to give a normal delivery," she said.

District Hospital King Koti is the first government hospital and medical institution in the state to provide laughing gas as a painless delivery option. While the method is widely used in several private hospitals across the state, the District Hospital does not charge for it.

"The laughing gas and oxygen mixture option was introduced in May 2022. So far, around 20-25 patients have opted for it. In all the cases, women have been able to successfully deliver without C-section or epidural," said the Superintendent of King Koti Hospital, Dr. Rajendra.

Dr. Rajendra stated that breathing laughing gas is safe and that it does not have any side effects for the baby and mother. "We mostly prefer using this for mothers who are delivering for the first time," he said.

After breathing the gas through an oxygen mask, the mother will feel relief between and during each contraction.

According to doctors, the laughing gas and oxygen mixture is perhaps the cheapest and most easy-to-use option out there. While most private hospitals charge no extra amount for it, a few hospitals charge Rs 1000 - Rs 2000.

"Just because a patient is breathing in laughing gas, doesn't mean she will begin laughing in the middle of the delivery or fall unconscious. Since it's a mixture of Entonox (nitrous oxide) and oxygen, it will only help in easing the pain," said Dr. Laxmi Kiran, an obstetrician at a private hospital. "Entonox does not provide 100% pain relief. But it reduces the pain by 50-60% and makes it bearable," she explained. She added that while the pain relief period is short-lived, it is effective.

The major advantage of using laughing gas during labor is that it can be used anywhere- at any medical institution in urban and rural India. "It can also be used by patients themselves," Dr. Laxmi said.

She also stressed that laughing gas is usually given for short labor periods as breathing between each contraction would be difficult for a longer time.

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