Center uses nitrous oxide to ease discomfort

  • By Kelly Wilson
  • 23 Feb, 2017

Hannibal Regional Hospital pleased to pioneer use of gas during labor

Hannibal Regional Chris Coons Women’s Care Center nurse Tiffany Serandos stands with Kim Runquist and her newborn daughter. The center is now offering nitrous oxide to relieve pain for women during labor. Submitted Photo

Nitrous oxide now is offered to women in labor at Hannibal Regional Chris Coons Women’s Care Center.  

“The use of nitrous oxide has been shown to be safe and effective in taking the edge off contractions, thus relieving some pain of childbirth, and we are excited that Hannibal Regional is pioneering its use in the Northeast Missouri area,” said Linda Dinges, Chris Coons Women’s Care director.  

Dr. John Bennett, medical director of the Hannibal Regional Hospital maternity ward, said nitrous oxide is preferred by some women over other pain-management remedies.

“This is a great option in pain management for women who want as little intervention as possible during labor or if they are not an ideal candidate for spinal anesthesia or another form of pain management,” Bennett said.

For some women, the colorless, slightly sweet-smelling gas takes enough of the edge off contractions to allow them to better cope with their labor.

“Others say it reduces anxiety and may elicit feelings of well-being during contractions,” Dinges said. “Yet, as in natural childbirth, the woman remains fully aware of her labor contractions and fully attentive during the delivery.”

Dinges explained how the gas can be effective.

“Choosing nitrous oxide can be beneficial. It is less invasive than spinal anesthesia, has fewer risks and is easy to administer,” Dinges said. “A woman in labor simply puts a small face mask over her mouth and nose and then inhales the gas, which she feels immediately. She then naturally releases the mask as she begins to feel more relaxed. Nitrous oxide does not have a numbing effect like spinal anesthesia; it’s mild and nontoxic and leaves the patient’s system within minutes once the patient stops using it.”

Obstetricians who assist mothers with the birth of their babies at Hannibal Regional educate them during their prenatal appointments about the opportunity to use nitrous oxide in labor and delivery. The Women’s Care nursing team teaches women to use the gas mixture in labor. The woman breathes normally into a mask, and with those breaths she inhales the 50/50 nitrous/oxygen mixture. The process is initiated approximately 30 seconds before each contraction for the full effect, and it wears off within a few seconds between contractions. A mother develops her own rhythm using the gas and has a trained RN at her bedside at all times while using the nitrous mixture.

By the conclusion of delivery, the nitrous has left the patient’s body completely. It does not interfere with feeding or caring for the baby after birth.

Women in labor may stop using nitrous oxide at any time during labor and switch to another form of pain management, if they choose.

Kim Runquist recently gave birth at Hannibal Regional to a 9 lb. 10 oz. baby girl. Runquist used the nitrous oxide technique instead of other interventions frequently used in labor and delivery.

“It was easy to use and very effective. It definitely helped me to focus, relax and stay calm. I inhaled slowly several times during a contraction. When the contraction was over, the effects were gone. After usage, I felt more in control and relaxed,” Runquist said, adding, “I would definitely use this technique again.”

Nitrous oxide was used for labor pains in the United States until the 1970s when its popularity diminished with the advent of spinal anesthesia. It is routinely used in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe, as well as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“We’re pleased to take this leadership step and make nitrous oxide available to our maternity patients,” said Dinges. “It’s one of the many advances we’ve made to provide women and babies with state-of-the-art, individualized care before, during and after childbirth. This alternative comfort measure continues with the availability of inflatable therapy balls, wireless fetal monitoring and the use of hydrotherapy in labor with a shower or tub.”

“As a Baby Friendly-designated hospital since July 2009, Hannibal Regional is committed to creating the best evidence-guided birth experience for every mother, every time,” Dinges said.

Today, there are approximately 300 hospitals using nitrous oxide for childbirth experiences, according to manufacturers of nitrous oxide systems. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has issued a bulletin in support of nitrous oxide. Nitrous is cheaper than an epidural by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.  

Hannibal Regional says more than 600 babies will be born at the Chris Coons Women’s Care Center in 2017. 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
The Historic Hannibal Marketing Council again will present the Victorian Festival of Christmas, a month-long celebration that will kick off Saturday, Nov. 25, and run through Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24.
Now in its fourth year, the festival celebrates the magic and wonder of Christmas in cozy, decorated, family-owned shops and restaurants. The sounds of carolers strolling the streets, bells from a horse-drawn wagon ride and warm greetings will take you back in time to an authentic and genuine Christmas.

Here is a preview of what you can expect throughout the 2017 Victorian Festival of Christmas:
• Pictures with Santa Claus
• Holiday horse-and-wagon rides
• Magical holiday decorations throughout downtown
• A children’s stocking-decorating contest
• House-decorating contest.

Events
Here is a sampling of events planned for Victorian Festival of Christmas:
• Saturday, Nov. 25: Small Business Saturday and Christmas tree-lighting ceremony
• Saturday, Dec. 2: Jaycees Christmas parade and Hannibal Elementary School Carolers
• Saturday, Dec. 9: Living Windows displays throughout downtown, Babes in Toyland parade and Polar Express.
• Saturday, Dec. 16: Holiday open house and holiday historic homes tour
• Saturday, Dec. 23: Hat parade
Updates and more information about various events and locations are available at historichannibalmo.com/christmas.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
Miss Hannibal and Miss Mark Twain scholarship pageants will be 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Hannibal High School Auditorium, 4500 McMasters Ave.

The two pageants are for contestants ages 13 to 24.

Thousands of dollars in scholarships and awards from local colleges and merchants will be presented to young women in the local area. The two winners and two Outstanding Teen winners will go on to compete in the Miss Missouri Pageant in June in Mexico, Mo., with the chance to move on to Miss America — the largest scholarships program for young women.

Jennifer Davis, Miss Missouri and first runner-up to Miss America, also will appear at the December pageants along with the four reigning queens — Miss Hannibal Leah Rawlings, Miss Mark Twain Ashley Monasmith, Hannibal Outstanding Teen Ashley Krueger and Mark Twain Outstanding Teen Kierston Holstine.

Master of ceremonies will be David Almelotti of KHQA TV.

More information is available by calling Barbara Stewart at 573-221-5414 or Rita Nelson at 217-406-9986.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
The holiday season may not be so joyful for those who have lost a family member or close friend.

To help make the holidays a little easier, the James O’Donnell Funeral Home will host its annual Candlelight Memorial
Service at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the home, 302 S. Fifth St. The free service is open to everyone, not just families served by the funeral home.

At the candlelight ceremony, each loved one’s name will be read and the individual will be recognized with a keepsake ornament provided by the funeral home.

The Rev. Mike Quinn of Holy Family Catholic Church, Hannibal, and the Rev. Tim Goodman of Clover Road Christian Church, Hannibal, will lead the service. Clover Road Christian Church will provide music. Reservations may be made by calling 573-221-8188.

More information is available by calling the home at 573-221-8188 or visiting jamesodonnellfuneralhome.com.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
Seven-time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner will bring his one-man comedic stage reading to Hannibal in January, courtesy of Bluff City Theater and Hannibal Regional Healthcare System.

Called “A Man and His Prostate,” the play puts a decidedly funny spin on what is in reality a potentially tragic situation.

Written by Asner’s longtime friend and collaborator, Ed Weinberger — nine-time Emmy nominee and winner of the Outstanding Comedy Series award for his work on “Taxi” — this is based on a true story of a man who “discovered his inner self in more ways than one.”

Best known for his masterful portrayal of Lou Grant, first as Mary Tyler Moore’s boss on her eponymous show, then in the dramatic spin-off of his own, “The Lou Grant Show,” Asner has been touring the production across America for over a year with stops on both coasts and many cities in-between.

“That he has chosen America’s Hometown for an exclusive performance speaks volumes about how Hannibal is coming into its own as a significant theater center,” Bluff City Theater Executive Director Joe Anderson said.

Hannibal became the location for the first Missouri performance of “A Man and His Prostate” after Anderson responded to an enquiry from Asner’s daughter and manager, Liza.

“We receive a large number of proposals from writers, performers and producers each year,” Anderson said. “As soon as I received this one, I knew we wanted to book the show. Ed Asner was an icon to my generation and is one of the truly great actors from the Golden Age of TV.

“At age 88, Ed Asner is a remarkable example of how vibrant today’s seniors can be. He delivers this show with a skilled comedic timing that leaves audiences in tears from laughing.

“Obviously, our 90-seat theater was not large enough for a production of this importance so we’re glad that Hannibal High School has a great performing space available to the community. At 810 seats, it’s quite spacious, but still intimate enough for a one-man show to succeed,” Anderson said.

Described by critics as “not just a play, but a public service in a comedy format,” “A Man and His Prostate” takes an unflinchingly serious look at a disease that afflicts nearly a quarter of a million American men every year. That’s what brought Hannibal Regional Health System to the table as a sponsor. Over 27,000 American men die each year from prostate cancer, and it’s a disease that is treatable, even curable, when diagnosed early. Yet, men are often reluctant to admit to, let alone discuss, their symptoms, which delays treatment, sometimes fatally.

According to experts, it’s often the woman in a relationship who recognizes the symptoms and pushes her husband or partner to seek medical advice. A production like this has the ability to open men and women up to talking about the problem, in much the same way other plays have drawn attention to women’s health issues.
The combination of Weinberger’s writing and Asner’s talent makes for 90 minutes of pure enjoyment despite the serious subject.

More information
“A Man and His Prostate,” starring Ed Asner, will be performed Jan. 13 at Hannibal High School Auditorium for one show only at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and range from $25 to $45. For an additional $15, audience members may participate in an after-show meet-and-greet with Asner.

Purchase tickets online at eventshannibal.com or call the box office at 573-719-3226.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
Winners of the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department’s Freaky Friday Halloween decorating contest were selected by Hannibal Chamber of Commerce staff.

Here are the results:
• Overall Design: 2715 Chestnut St.
• Scariest: 400 Country Club Drive
• Most Creative: 908 Park Ave.

Winners received a prize donated by FACT — Families and Communities Together — and a yard sign.

Photos of the houses may be seen on the Parks & Recreation Facebook page.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
Mary Frances Quinlin has repeatedly turned to Hannibal Regional to provide her with excellent medical care. Why does she continually put her trust in their clinical expertise? For Mary Frances, it’s because she’s been part of their team as a member of the Auxiliary since before St. Elizabeth Hospital and Levering Hospital merged to become what is now known as Hannibal Regional.

“I was a member of Levering Auxiliary, and I got to be part of the development of Hannibal Regional,” Mary Frances said.

“The team at Hannibal Regional is an extension of my family. At Hannibal Regional you’re surrounded by loving and caring people who are great at what they do. There is no reason to leave the area for expert care.”

Not only does Mary Frances choose to receive medical care at Hannibal Regional, she has been a longtime member of

Hannibal Regional Auxiliary, which allows her to support her community.
“Volunteering has blessed my life beyond all measure and has been such a wonderful experience — and still is,” Mary Frances said. “It truly is a good feeling to know you are part of something successful and can take pride in knowing so many goals have been achieved.”

Mary Frances has been a patient at Hannibal Regional Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit and was impressed with the high-quality, compassionate care she received.

“When it was time for me to go home, they gave me a certificate that my caregivers signed with well wishes” says Mary Frances. “It was a sweet gesture and that kind of care is hard to find, but it is the kind of care you find throughout Hannibal Regional.”
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
Most coffee and tea lovers own that special cup that makes their first sip on a quiet morning absolutely satisfying.

Meet Naomi Peterson, the Alliance Art Gallery’s December guest artist, who invites everyone into her deep connection between environment, history, culture and beauty through her ceramic cups.

“I am drawn to nostalgic imagery,” she said. As a child growing up in Quincy, Ill., her world revolved around humidity, cicadas, bluegill fish, dogwood blossoms and ginko leaves. Today, she lives in Laramie, Wyo., in a dry desert-like environment with trout, sagebrush and cacti.

“As we go through life many factors influence us,” she said. “We are imprinted by internal and external influences that shape and change us. I am interested in the interactions between people and their environment — how we react and how that relationship has a hand in shaping our perception, personality and culture.”

Indeed, her ceramic cups invite the holder to reflect upon how we view our world and change.

“I’ve looked at the wildlife from Illinois and Wyoming and thought about how those differences make an impact on people,” she said.

She added, “We look back on childhood and remember things that surrounded us that we never really noticed, only to miss them when we move or travel.” In her case, she keenly feels the environmental influences on her life, internal and external, as she transitioned from a John Woods associate degree in green, tree-lined Illinois to the brown and gold mountainous landscape she experienced while working for a bachelor of fine arts degree in Wyoming.

In addition to a geographical transition, in order to graduate, she had to diversify from her preferred medium, painting.

She chose ceramics and never looked back.

“My aim is to integrate painting and drawing more with ceramics. I love the melding of different medias. It gives more personality to the piece.”

True. Just as a symphony needs silence (negative space) between notes, Peterson’s ceramic cups offer a quiet stillness.

The image — whether influenced by Illinois or Wyoming — allows us to hold in our hands a craft, an art, that began centuries before us and will continue centuries after us. A cup, filled with beauty and drink, gently coaxes us into our day.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
At 16, Joe Noonan was too young to understand why the upstairs of the two buildings his parents purchased downtown was laid out the way it was. There were 15 small bedrooms with a steel bed spring in each one, and Noonan wanted to know why.

One day, he saw the elderly neighbor who had lived next-door for decades, and he asked about the rooms and beds.

“The guy laughed and said, ‘Son, that used to be a whore house,’ ” Noonan recalls, chuckling at the memory. “I was like,
‘Oh, I didn’t know.’ So finding that out was interesting.”

That utilization of the current Ole Planters Restaurant, 316 N. Main St., is one of many before Noonan’s parents, John and Betty Noonan, purchased and opened the restaurant in 1976. In the years since, Noonan has come to know the entire history of the building, and he’s adding to that historic narrative by remodeling the upstairs of the restaurant into residential apartment space for his family.

From a general store to restaurant
The building that houses Ole Planters Restaurant was built in 1836 and was originally two separate commercial spaces.

If facing the restaurant, the business on the left was a general store, and the business on the right was a men’s and women’s tailoring shop. The couple who owned the general store also owned the tailoring business, and they lived above both properties.

For several years after those initial businesses shuttered, there were retail stores in the space, and saloons and dance halls occupied it, also.

However, all business in the building halted after the 1973 flood destroyed it and other downtown buildings. The following year, a group of residents concerned about the downtown’s historic preservation formed the Historic Hannibal organization. They purchased 316 N. Main St. and other buildings for $1 and extensively renovated the properties to their original historic appearance.

Family-run for 42 years
In the 1970s, the Noonan family moved from Texas to Missouri to be near Betty’s elderly mother, who lived in Shelbina.

“My father had big parties in Texas, traditional Texas barbecues, gourmet meals, that kind of thing. And he worked as a traveling apparel salesman, so he got recipes from all of these different ladies,” Noonan said. “He was basically the internet of today because he was trading recipes, and then on weekends he worked as a sous chef at the local country club.”

John took those experiences and started Ole Planters Restaurant in 1976, which he named after the former Planters hotel across the street that was torn down in the ’60s.

“We started small and worked our way up. We had this (first) section, then two years later we got this (second adjoining) section,” Noonan explained. “We started as basic as basic can be with two electric home stoves.”

At first when ordering at Ole Planters, customers ordered their meal at a counter, took a number, then their meal was brought out to them. The restaurant switched to table service after being open for about six years. The original menu from those first several years still hangs inside of the restaurant.

After Noonan’s parents died, he and his brother, Jack, took over the business. Today Jack is semiretired from running it, and Joe does all of the cooking, using his parents’ same recipes.

“My mother is the one who taught me to make pies, and I’ve taught my kids how to make them,” Noonan said. “I don’t even have to tell them how much to put in. They just know it. It’s nice to have them involved a little bit.”

One of the things Noonan is pleased to say is that Ole Planters has served a meal to every Democratic president or presidential hopeful since Jimmy Carter — either in the restaurant itself or by taking the dish to their bus.

“The only one we weren’t able to serve was (Barack) Obama, who didn’t come to downtown Hannibal,” he said.

But Noonan’s proudest moments from running the restaurant over the years are when people try the family’s pies.

“The thing I get a kick out of is when someone eats a pie like gooseberry or strawberry rhubarb and they say to me, ‘Thank you. That reminded me of my grandmother,’ ” he said. “Giving them their memory back (of their grandparent’s baking) is something I feel proud about.”

— By Ashley Szatala
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
Members of the Mark Twain Chorale are offering an evening of peace and harmony during what can be a chaotic holiday season.

The 57th annual Mark Twain Chorale Christmas Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec . 2, at the Parker Theatre in the Roland Fine Arts Building on the Hannibal-LaGrange University campus.

The chorale is under the direction of Ben Kendall.

Joining the chorale this year will be the Hannibal Area String Orchestra, under the direction of John Ferguson, which will present “Christmas Around the World.”

The evening will finish with the two groups performing together.

The concert is free, and a freewill offering will be accepted.

For information contact, Jim Dewey at 217-242-9220 or jimbacca74@yahoo.com.
By Kelly Wilson 05 Dec, 2017
A crisp fall day, along with entertainment and artistry, greeted visitors to the Pumpkin Path at Hannibal’s Nipper Park during the fifth annual Pumpkins in the Park, sponsored by Hannibal Parks & Recreation.

The Pirate Pride singers, a group of fourth- and fifth-grade students from Eugene Field School, performed, led by Teresa Paszkiet.

Prizes were donated by SC Data Center.

Here are winners in the youth category:    
• Spooky: Lilly Houghton, first; Andrew Clark, second; Autumn Seaman, third.
• Artistic: Kameil Crane, first; Tenay Griffith, second; Tyler Clark, third.
• Silly: Camron Story, first; Coleton Hall, second; Amara Coffey, third.

Here are winners in the adult category:
• Spooky: Josephine Crane.
• Artistic: Andrea Altiser.
• Silly: Claudia Nichols.
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