Patient experiences first-hand the importance of carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring during pregnancy
Mum to be, Michela Andreana, recently attended her 36 week antenatal appointment as part of essential routine appointments in place throughout a pregnancy to ensure the pregnant woman/person and baby are healthy.
During the appointment, Midwife Jo Duke noted Michela’s Carbon Monoxide (CO) level was more than 10, although the patient is a non-smoker.
A non-smoker should have a reading below 5 parts per million (ppm), as it should be unlikely they are exposed to smoke or other sources of CO.
Midwife Jo, who is based at Bedford Hospital (part of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), first asked the patient if she may have been smoking. As the answer was no, Jo advised her that there might be an issue with the boilers in her home and explained the importance of getting them checked.
Later that day, the boilers were thoroughly checked by a professional who confirmed there was a carbon monoxide leak in Michela’s home.
Michela said: “I was in shock. If it wasn’t for the CO test, it could have been a very different story for my baby and me. My baby saved my life!
She continued: “I am so glad that Jo, my wonderful midwife, did the test otherwise I would have carried on oblivious. A CO test is absolutely fundamental – it causes no harm and takes only 15 seconds. If you are pregnant then I urge you to get it done to ensure you and your baby are safe.”
Carbon monoxide monitoring during pregnancy is an effective way of ensuring a healthy pregnancy for pregnant women/people. Babies exposed to high levels of CO during pregnancy are at risk of stillbirth, low birth weight, premature birth, and miscarriage.
If you have any concerns about carbon monoxide exposure affecting your pregnancy, please speak to your midwife at your next appointment.
If you would like to be extra vigilant, carbon monoxide alarms that detects the presence of the odourless gas can be purchased online or in many stores.