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Ohio birth injury risk could increase with epidural-related fever

Epidurals are a commonly accepted practice in Ohio, Kentucky and across the entire nation. In fact, of the 4 million mothers who give birth each year more than 60 percent received an epidural during the labor process. Although it is an accepted practice, it is not without risk and can be administered improperly by a doctor.

A new research study found a link between epidurals, fevers and complications during birth that could increase the risk of a birth injury for the baby.

The study found that women who receive an epidural have a higher increased risk for developing a fever during the labor. When a mother suffers from a fever during labor, the baby's chance of having problems such as complication with breathing, poor muscle tone and seizures increase. These problems often lead to a birth injury.

Data showed that over 19 percent of the women who participated in the study and received an epidural developed a fever that increased beyond 100.4 degrees F. Only 2.4 percent of women who did not receive an epidural had a similarly high fever.

One shocking piece of data was that 12 percent of the babies born in fever conditions required the resuscitation efforts. When the temperature increased to 101 degrees, there was a noticeable increase in the risk that the baby would experience a seizure.

After a mother gives birth, it should be one of the most precious times in her life spent bonding with the child as it feels her heartbeat on her warm chest. It should not be spent worrying about the child's health and future quality of life or frantically trying to determine how to pay for expensive medical treatment required for a baby with a birth injury.

Source: US News, "Epidural Plus Fever in Mom May Raise Risks for Baby," Jenifer Goodwin, Feb. 3, 2012

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