Epidural Labor Analgesia and Maternal Fever

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Abstract

Women receiving an epidural for labor analgesia are at increased risk for intrapartum fever. This relationship has been supported by observational, before and after, and randomized controlled trials. The etiology is not well understood but is likely a result of noninfectious inflammation as studies have found women with fever have higher levels of inflammatory markers. Maternal pyrexia may change obstetric management and women are more likely to receive antibiotics or undergo cesarean delivery. Maternal pyrexia is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes. With these consequences, understanding and preventing maternal fever is imperative.

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