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Pregnant Swedes in labour gas ban outrage

The Local
post 10.Mar.2012, 01:23 PM
Post #1
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 22.Dec.2004

Use of laughing gas during labour may soon be no more than a memory for women giving birth in Sweden. Gävleborg hospital, in northeastern Sweden, is first to cut off the use of nitrous oxide as pain relief.

"It feels like a slap in the face," said pregnant Lina Forslund to newspaper Aftonbladet.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is to be phased out, hopefully by 2014, because of its damaging effect on the environment and on the hospital's staff and patients.

"Research has shown that patients with a shortage of vitamin B can suffer lasting neurological damage from nitrous oxide. It's also a question of our work environment. Laughing gas causes documented higher frequencies of miscarriage and deformities," Ingegerd Lantz, head of Gävleborg's gynaecological section, explained to Aftonbladet.

Click to read the full article.
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johnny1939
post 10.Mar.2012, 03:05 PM
Post #2
Joined: 18.Dec.2010

Relaxation exercises...my foot!!!!!!!
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krrodman
post 10.Mar.2012, 03:13 PM
Post #3
Joined: 6.Oct.2009

Welcome to the 20th century, Sweden.
The deleterious effects of nitrous are well know. Here is a short list:
1. Bone marrow suppression
2. Neurologic complications
3. Environmental disaster. 300 times more destructive than carbon dioxide at depleting the ozone.
4. Increased incidence of nausea and vomiting.
In an obstetrical suite, the nitrous would not only impact on the mother and child, but the hospital staff would be exposed to low levels of nitrous on a daily basis.
Most anesthesiologists in the USA have stopped using nitrous entirely - no less in a pregnant mother - because of its safety profile and environmental impact. It is inconceivable to me that Sweden would allow a child in-utero to be exposed to nitrous. In my hospital, as soon as we learn that an operating room nurse is pregnant, we do not allow her into an operating room in which she may be exposed to nitrous.
Shameful
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Miss Kitten
post 10.Mar.2012, 04:44 PM
Post #4
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

Meh, screw the environment! Who cares about the baby? SHE doesn't want to be without it. She's selfish and proud of it.
Cry me a river, hon. Didn't anyone tell you that giving birth is painful.
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Opinionfool
post 10.Mar.2012, 04:49 PM
Post #5
Joined: 22.Aug.2011

"Research has shown that patients with a shortage of vitamin B can suffer lasting neurological damage from nitrous oxide."
RIght so one group of patients may develop postnatal issues. Surely the appropriate tactic is to treat the vitamin B deficiency first.
"It's also a question of our work environment. Laughing gas causes documented higher frequencies of miscarriage and deformities,"
Maybe better ways of delivering the NO2 to the vitamin B-enriched patient only could be sort. The use of face masks rather that nasal tubes maybe. Put a sensor in the mask so it shuts off when not over the gravid's face.
" I don't want to be in pain giving birth," there are other "natural" methods such as TENS. Like gas it does not work for all but it only affects the woman in labour.
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*Guest*
post 10.Mar.2012, 06:15 PM
Post #6


krodman: No offense, but what the hell are you talking about? "300 times more destructive than carbon dioxide at depleting the ozone"???
There is absolutely no relationship between the depletion of the ozone layer and carbon dioxide. Nitric Oxide? Sure. Nitrous Oxide? Sure. Chlorine? Sure. Bromine? Sure. Hydroxyl? Sure. CO2? CFLs? Sure.
Carbon dioxide? Not even remotely. Although of course CO2 is implicated in the greenhouse effect, that is totally unrelated to the ozone layer.
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krrodman
post 10.Mar.2012, 07:02 PM
Post #7
Joined: 6.Oct.2009

@registererer
Sorry, but I was so shocked about the Nitrous that I misspoke. Nitrous is both a depleter of the ozone (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827141344.htm) as well as a very potent greenhouse gas.
@Opinionfool
Nitrous interferes with both folate and B12 metabolism by binding methionine sythetase. Taking excess folate and B12 can mitigate the effects of nitrous oxide. Neurologic problems from nitrous were first identified in dentists who were subjected to constant low level exposure in their offices. While scavenging operating rooms helps, as would using masks with automatic shut off valves, it would not eliminate the problem because the mother, as she exhales, becomes a constant source of nitrous oxide which is released unchanged from the body.
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gpafledthis
post 10.Mar.2012, 08:11 PM
Post #8
Location: United States
Joined: 10.Mar.2012

It's a PLOT !! To make swedes stop having babies to make room for the browning of sweden- just import your babies !!
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hipersons1
post 11.Mar.2012, 09:26 AM
Post #9
Joined: 20.Nov.2009

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/14/l...h_n_822657.html
in contrast
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terriergirl
post 11.Mar.2012, 01:41 PM
Post #10
Joined: 30.Mar.2011

A lot of ladies have a whiff of the gas, realise that it is a distraction rather than pain relief, and ask for diamorphine. Given all the other environmental issues we have to contend with, a few women using only gas and air through their labours is nothing. Get a grip and let them have their gas.
And, yes, we know giving birth is painful, but that does not mean women should just put up with pain. I can only assume that the earlier commenter has never given birth!
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krrodman
post 11.Mar.2012, 02:12 PM
Post #11
Joined: 6.Oct.2009

@Terriergirl,
The intent is not to deprive women of pain relief during childbirth. Quite the contrary, the point is to provide women with the best possible pain relief which would be an epidural for labor pain.
My understanding is that the countries that still allow anesthesia gases such as nitrous to be administered during labor are countries in which there are an insufficient number of anesthesiologists.
The standard in the United States is for an epidural to be placed within 30 minutes 24/7/365. We are a typical small anesthesia group in the USA with 7 anesthesiologists. Every night of the year we have 2 MDS on call - one for surgical emergencies and one for obstetrics. The work load is high but we provide a high level of service.
What is the standard wait time in Sweden for a labor epidural? Are labor epidurals available within 30 minutes 24/7/365? Is nitrous used because epidurals are not readily available?
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terriergirl
post 11.Mar.2012, 04:54 PM
Post #12
Joined: 30.Mar.2011

Yes, but sometimes it is enough to 'take the edge' off the pain with gas and air. I have friends who have found gas and air provided enough relief/pain control in their labours and would not have wanted the loss of movement of an epidural. Myself, I found gas and air to be totally useless (and don't get me started on the TENS machine) but I am glad I had the chance to try these milder methods of pain control before stepping up to something stronger.
My first experience of birth in the UK was an 18 hour induction with no offer of an epidural. The midwives were very pro gas and air and, as a first timer, I did not ask for an epidural as I assumed the staff would suggest it if they thought necessary.
If I have a fourth child I'll book in with you in the USA !
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johan rebel
post 11.Mar.2012, 06:55 PM
Post #13
Joined: 26.Apr.2011

"But I'm selfish. I don't want to be in pain giving birth,"
Well then, how about just not giving birth at all? What a certified moron!
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johnny1939
post 11.Mar.2012, 08:02 PM
Post #14
Joined: 18.Dec.2010

yea, yea why go through that horrible ordeal anyway...wish that I had not and then they turn bad on you...
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krrodman
post 11.Mar.2012, 09:52 PM
Post #15
Joined: 6.Oct.2009

@Terriergirl
First and foremost, it would be a pleasure to help you with an epidural should you need one in the future.
As for the present, one of the OB nurses that I work with on a daily basis was a midwife in the UK before moving to the States. She is marvelous and dedicated, as is every midwife that I have ever met. As she tell it, patients often had to make due without an epidural in the UK for lack of an anesthesiologist. Which brings us right back to my original question. Is gas used in Sweden for lack of available anesthesiologists?
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