Epidural anesthesia, fever get new look

New evidence shows that testing baby when mom has a fever may be a waste of money. Epidural anesthesia is strongly linked to fevers in mothers, and could lead to unnecessary blood tests and antibiotics for newborns. The fact is, says new research, those babies are not likely to have infections, and the antibiotics could rarely cause side effects such as kidney damage or hearing loss. Mom’s fever is noninfectious and no risk to baby.1

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines on sepsis in newborns recommends that healthy babies whose mothers have fevers not be treated, as long as the mother received at least two doses of penicillin during childbirth.


1. Lieberman E, Lang JM, Frigoletto F, et al. Epidural analgesia, intrapartum fever, and neonatal sepsis evaluation. Pediatrics 1997; 99:415-419. t