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Epidural analgesia for labor pain and its relationship to fever.

The association between labor epidural and maternal fever is well established. The direct effect of epidural on maternal temperature appears due to its interference with heat dissipation and rarely results in overt fever. This effect is unlikely to adversely affect the fetus, the majority of women in labor do not appear to be at risk, and the full ramification of the fever is not yet well understood. Thus it seems unreasonable to avoid labor epidurals due to the risk of fever. Epidural analgesia remains one of the most effective forms of pain relief in labor and is a reasonable option for most women.

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