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Anesthesiol Clin. 2017 Mar;35(1):125-143. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2016.09.011.

Should Nitrous Oxide Be Used for Laboring Patients?

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 4202 VUH, 1211 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37232, USA. Electronic address: michael.g.richardson@vanderbilt.edu.
2
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
3
Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 4202 VUH, 1211 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

Abstract

Nitrous oxide, long used during labor in Europe, is gaining popularity in the United States. It offers many beneficial attributes, with few drawbacks. Cost, safety, and side effect profiles are favorable. Analgesic effectiveness is highly variable, yet maternal satisfaction is often high among the women who choose to use it. Despite being less effective in treating labor pain than neuraxial analgesic modalities, nitrous oxide serves the needs and preferences of a subset of laboring parturients. Nitrous oxide should, therefore, be considered for inclusion in the repertoire of modalities used to alleviate pain and facilitate effective coping during labor.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesic effectiveness; Drug safety; Labor analgesia; Maternal satisfaction; Nitrous oxide

PMID:
28131115
DOI:
10.1016/j.anclin.2016.09.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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