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Emergency and Trauma

Innovative Medication Options for Pediatric Patients

A unique feature St. Mary now offers is the capacity to provide the light sedation of nitrous oxide, especially in treating young children who tend to be quite fearful and highly agitated by routine medical procedures, including stitches for cuts and lacerations. Nitrous oxide, an odorless gas frequently used in dentistry, is considered an ideal analgesic agent for use in emergency rooms. It is simple to use, does not require an injection, and is administered using a breathable gas mask. It has few side effects, is quick to work and quickly offsets with no lasting effects or known interactions with other drugs.
In 2012, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Emergency Care Center at St. Mary Medical Center treated 17,000 children.

Dr. Nathan Ruch, Associate Director of Pediatric Care at St. Mary, has seen the benefits in the use of nitrous oxide. “We believe we are the first pediatric emergency care center in the area to implement the use of nitrous oxide,” says Dr. Ruch. “The gas works very quickly and allows the physician to perform a medical procedure on a young child without the pain or stress. And parents are more relaxed because their child is not crying hysterically or vehemently resisting treatment.  As a parent, I certainly would want my child to have the most safe and comfortable experience possible when receiving emergency care.”

Nitrous oxide sedation is available in the new pediatric resuscitation room, which also is fully equipped as a level-one trauma room with dedicated staff, equipment, and supplies to treat young patients.  The pediatric resuscitation room includes dedicated space for the safe sedation of children to minimize the anxiety and discomfort of procedures.