A nurse-midwife was charged nearly $ 5,000 for the use of laughing gas to control her own pain during delivery.
Karli-Rae Kerrschneider from Baldwin, Wisconsin, used an epidural in 2016 at the birth of her first child, her daughter Eleanor, but didn't like it limiting her movement during labor.
That is why in December 2018 she decided to use nitric oxide, or laughing gas – with which she walked around her hospital room – during the birth of her second child, her son Leviathan.
During the 11-hour delivery, Kerrschneider, 32, estimates that she has inhaled the laughing gas about 10 to 15 times per hour, Kaiser Health News.
She was shocked when she and her husband, Christopher, received a hospital bill that charged around $ 12,000, including $ 4,836 for the laughing gas alone.
Nurse-obstetrician Karli-Rae Kerrschneider, 32, from Baldwin, Wisconsin, gave birth to her second child in December 2018. Pictured: Kerrschneider, right, receiving nitric oxide during delivery with her husband Christopher
After using an epidural during her first delivery, and did not like it, Kerrschenider opted for laughing gas, or laughing gas, to control her pain over an epidural. Pictured: the Kerrscheniders with their son Leviathan
According to Kerrschneider, her birth of the water, that is when a woman gives birth in warm water, had no complications at Hudson Hospital.
& # 39; It was great. I would like to do it all over again, & she said to Kaiser Health News.
She and her son were in the hospital for two days after he was born before they were fired.
Kerrschneider said that during her stay she received no pain relief other than nitrogen oxide, which consists of 50 percent gas and 50 percent oxygen.
The gas is inhaled through a mask that is held over the nose and mouth and is intended to help patients manage pain without losing the feeling.
In recent years, the number of hospitals that offer laughing gas to women in employment has increased.
In 2011, fewer than 10 hospitals in the US reported laughing gas to women in employment NPR in 2016.
Porter Instrument, one of the makers of nitrogen oxide systems, told the media organization that today it serves nearly 300 hospitals and birth centers.
Nitric oxide was common in the first half of the 20th century in women who gave birth before more powerful drugs became available.
Epidural anesthesia, now used by more than 50 percent of women in labor, was introduced in the 1970s.
Although women can get little or no feeling in the lower half of their body because of this, epidurals have disadvantages, such as making movement difficult.
Nitrous oxide is very popular abroad and is used by nearly 50 percent of women in childbirth in Canada and around 60 percent in the UK. The Atlantic Ocean.
Kerrschneider had to pay $ 12,000 for her hospital stay, including $ 4,836 for the laughing gas alone. Pictured: Kerrschneider who inhales nitric oxide during labor
She says that this is about five times more than the hospital where she works for a fee. After negotiations with the hospital, the nitrous oxide was reduced to $ 496, forcing Kerrschneider to pay $ 3,635, including deductibles and co-pays. Pictured, left and right: the Kerrschneiders with their daughter Eleanor and son Leviathan
Most hospitals will cost between $ 100 and $ 500 for women to use the machine and gas.
When Kerrschneider first received the bill, she called the hospital, assuming she would accidentally charged for an epidural.
In the hospital where she works, West Wisconsin Health in St Croix County, laughing gas costs only $ 100, Kaiser Health News reports.
Kerrschneider discovered that she was being charged per minute, actually for $ 120 for every 15 minutes the tank had in her room, even if she wasn't using it.
Her insurance company, Medica, refused to pay the bill because it was higher than the agreed price she had agreed with Hudson Hospital.
After negotiating with the hospital, Kerrschneider's charge for the laughing gas was reduced to $ 496, which would take an hour.
She says this is about five times as much as the hospital where she works for a fee, according to Kaiser Health News.
In total – including the laughing gas tax, deductible amounts and credits – Kerrschneider paid $ 3,635 off the bill of nearly $ 12,000.
& # 39; I was just tired of handling it, & # 39; she told Kaiser Health News. & # 39; I had a newborn who I was breastfeeding and I didn't want to let it hang over my head anymore. & # 39;
Kerrschneider encourages other expectant mothers, if they are considering using nitric oxide during labor, to ask what the hospital charges, so that they are not surprised by an astronomically high bill as it was.
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