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Pregnant women and epidurals during labor

Pregnant women from Pittsburgh need to be aware of risks that occur when medical providers give epidurals during labor. There can be adverse effects to the epidural analgesia provided while a mother is in labor that lead to spiked fevers in the mother and oxygen deprivation for the newborn child.

Resultant birth injures from such fevers are all too common and can lead to poor muscle tone, breathing difficulties, poor APGAR scores (appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration observations at birth) and seizures. This is especially true when the mother has a fever of above 100.4 degrees.

It appears that it is the fever itself that is related to the birth injuries suffered. At least 19 percent of women taking epidurals had fevers above this range. At the same time only 2.4 percent of women had fevers without epidurals being prescribed.

Babies would require resuscitation nearly three times as often when a mother experienced such a fever. Women who didn't experience such fevers were more likely to deliver babies without any significant health problems.

Proving up birth injuries related to the providing of epidurals may prove difficult. However, medical providers need to provide such information concerning such risks so that they can make an informed medical choice. When trying to prove up negligence following a birth injury, attorneys will point to what information has and has not been provided to the parents of such a child.

One in five children of mothers taking epidurals experienced adverse outcomes. Doctors need to be aware of this information and in turn provide that information to expectant parents.

Source: U.S. News, "Epidural Plus Fever in Mom May Raise Risks for Baby," by Jennifer Goodwin, Feb. 3, 2012

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