Pregnant women warned as use of gas and air for pain relief SUSPENDED over midwife safety fears | The Sun

PREGNANT women are being warned as the use of gas and air is suspended over midwife safety fears.

Some NHS Trusts have temporarily stopped administering the pain relief.

It comes after nitrous oxide levels have been measured at 50 times over the safety limit.

Concerns are now growing for the staff who are exposed to the fumes every day.

According to the Sunday Times, the Princess Alexandra hospital in Essex suspended Entonox gas last month.

They have however ordered machines which break the gas down ensuring it's not harmful – but they only have three.


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Amy Fantis is due to have her baby there and said taking away gas and air completely is "madness".

She said: "It’s not available to everyone and I might not get it.

"My birth might only be 40 minutes. It is a stress that you don’t need.

"I understand they have to keep midwives safe but to just take it away seems madness.

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"It is the poor mums who are paying the price."

Joanna Keable, head of midwifery at the Trust, has reassured expectant mums gas and air will bring no harm to them or their babies – and the issue is only because of prolonged exposure.

She said: "Please be reassured that there is no risk to mothers, birthing people, their partners and babies.

"The use of Entonox was temporarily suspended to protect our midwifery and medical teams from prolonged exposure to nitrous oxide in the atmosphere arising from the patient use of gas and air."

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, and Watford General Hospital have both reported high levels of nitrous oxide.

Ipswich Hospital temporarily suspended its use of the pain relief last year.

They have since re-introduced it after new ventilation units were installed.

The executive director of the Royal College of Midwives added "poor ventilation in delivery suites" was "just the tip of the iceberg" in maternity units unfit for purpose. 

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