King Koti hospital to use a device to alleviate labour pain

Doctors give patients a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide

Hyderabad: Pregnant women can now deliver by natural birth without going through the immense pain usually associated with the process, at a government hospital.

District Hospital, King Koti is using a device wherein the pain felt by women in labour is alleviated by giving them a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This is also a step towards the health department's larger objective to encourage women to opt for natural births over Caesarean sections, a doctor said.

The gas is inhaled during every contraction. The gases act within 15-20 seconds by acting on the sensory nerves and give relief from pain for one to two minutes, depending on the pain threshold of the patient. They act as an analgesic, rather than as an anaesthetic.

Each patient uses the device for about one-and-a-half hours. The device is used only upon the women's demand.

The device was acquired as part of a pilot project, and is the first of its kind to be used in a government hospital in Hyderabad.

It was first used on May 12, and until now, six women have availed it while delivering babies at the hospital.

Speaking about the device, Dr Jalaja Veronica, head of the gynaecology department at the District Hospital, King Koti, said, “The device has arrived at the right time because the government wants to reduce the rates of C-sections. Most of the time, patients are scared of the pain they will go through during a natural birth, and thus opt for a C-section. Patients have been hearing about this and coming to us.”

The kit along with two cylinders cost Rs.65,000. Dr Veronica said a cylinder can cater to three to four patients, and refilling it costs Rs.6,000, making it quite cost effective.

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