Is Entonox Safe to Use During Labour?

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Author: Tricia Calilung

As a midwife or obstetrician, you’ve likely been asked by many pregnant women whether or not entonox (commonly nas gas and air is safe to use during labour. You may have even seen news articles or social media posts claiming that it can be risky. So, what’s the truth? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the safety of entonox and whether or not it’s a viable option for pain relief during labour.


Firstly, let’s start with some basic information about entonox. Entonox, , is a mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide. It’s a popular form of pain relief for women in labour, as it can help to reduce anxiety and alleviate pain without affecting the progress of the labour. Entonox is self-administered by the woman in labour, using a mask or mouthpiece provided by the healthcare provider.


So, is entonox safe to use during labour? The short answer is yes. Entonox is a safe and effective form of pain relief for most women in labour. It has been used for decades in maternity units around the world and has a long history of being a safe option. In fact, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), entonox has no known harmful effects on the woman or the baby.


However, like any form of pain relief, entonox does come with some potential side effects. The most common side effect is dizziness or feeling lightheaded, which can be exacerbated if the woman hyperventilates while inhaling the gas and air. Other less common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty concentrating. It’s important for healthcare providers to monitor the woman’s oxygen saturation levels while she’s using entonox, as prolonged use can lead to hypoxia.


It’s worth noting that entonox may not be suitable for women with certain health conditions, such as severe asthma or B12 deficiency. Additionally, some women may not feel that entonox is effective enough to manage their pain and may require additional pain relief such as epidural anesthesia. As with any form of pain relief, the healthcare provider should discuss the risks and benefits of entonox with the woman before she makes a decision about whether or not to use it.


In conclusion, entonox is a safe and effective form of pain relief for most women in labour. It has minimal side effects and a long history of use in maternity units around the world. However, as with any form of pain relief, it’s important for healthcare providers to assess the woman’s suitability for entonox and monitor her closely while she’s using it. By providing accurate information about the safety and effectiveness of entonox, midwives and obstetricians can help women make informed decisions about their pain relief options during labour.


If you are a health care worker and have any concerns about exposure, please be advised by the links below


Entonox exposure: are you at risk? | RCN Magazine | Royal College of Nursing

Entonox safety in workplace (1) – RCM


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