A HOSPITAL has stopped using gas and air in its maternity unit due to concerns raised about nitrous oxide levels.

Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow made the decision following tests and said it would temporarily suspend the use of Entonox while further safety equipment was installed.

The hospital noted a key factor in making the decision was to protect its midwifery and medical team.

Giuseppe Labriola, director of midwifery at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: “On Wednesday, January 18, in light of concerns raised at other NHS hospitals, we have undertaken thorough testing of the atmosphere in our maternity unit with regard to nitrous oxide levels arising from the patient use of Entonox.

“There is no risk to mothers, birthing people, their partners and babies.”

After the use of Entonox was suspended, the hospital provided women and pregnant people with a full range of other pain relief options on an individual basis.

Mr Labriola added: “There are no risks to people attending, staying or visiting the hospital.

“Our thanks go to everyone in the maternity and medical team for their professionalism and commitment to caring for women and birthing people at such a special time whilst the ongoing testing is completed.”