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By Press Release
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Mercy Birthing Center adds wireless monitor and nitrous oxide option


January 24, 2019

Provided Photo

Mercy's Birthing Center recently added nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to the pain management options available to mothers in labor. Pictured from left: Cindy Johnson, RN, Bob Kauffman, Pro-Nox Rep, Senja Ruuska, RN, Inpatient Manager, and Amanda Paull, RN.

The Rhonda Kay Skelton Birthing Center at Mercy Hospital received two grants from The Mercy Foundation that enabled Mercy to add wireless technology used for fetal monitoring and a new option for pain intervention for moms in labor.

Wireless Fetal Monitor

The new Monica Novii wireless fetal monitor allows moms the freedom to move around during labor without having to readjust belts or cables. For mothers at 37 weeks or above, the bluetooth device monitors fetal heart rate, maternal heart rate and contractions.

"The new wireless monitor allows laboring mothers more freedom to move around the room or hallway without having to readjust equipment," said Senja Ruuska, RN, Mercy Inpatient Manager. "It is more comfortable for moms, while still allowing our OB staff to get the information they need to provide optimal care."

In addition to the wireless monitor, The Mercy Foundation also funded three new standard fetal monitors for the Birthing Center.

Nitrous Oxide

Mercy now offers a new pain management option for laboring mothers, nitrous oxide. Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a non-invasive anesthetic that is controlled by the patient.

"Used during contractions, nitrous oxide makes moms a little more comfortable, taking the edge off," Ruuska explained. "It's a nice option for our moms and requires less monitoring than other interventions."

Administered through a facemask controlled by the mother during contractions, nitrous oxide is odorless and tasteless. It can be used throughout labor and is short acting.

"Because it doesn't last long in a mother's system, other pain interventions are still available to mothers if they so choose," Ruuska said. "Our OB staff is excited to offer this new option to mothers in our care."

Mothers considering using nitrous oxide during labor should discuss this option with their doctor.

For more information about Mercy's OB services, including free childbirth education classes and breastfeeding support, call us at 218.485.5521. Tours of the Birthing Center are also available by request. Mercy is a designated Baby-Friendly® Hospital (2018-2023).


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