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Br J Anaesth. 1991 Nov;67(5):565-8.

Maternal temperature regulation during extradural analgesia for labour.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


We have studied the effect of analgesia on maternal temperature (oral and tympanic membrane) progression in 53 women during normal spontaneous labour. Three groups were studied: two received extradural analgesia with a continuous infusion of 0.25% bupivacaine with or without the addition of fentanyl; the third group received only parenteral opioid analgesia. All patients were afebrile and without clinical evidence of infection at the beginning of the study. Both groups of patients receiving extradural analgesia had a consistent and significant increase in temperature after approximately 5 h of analgesia; no such trend was observed in the parenteral opioid group. Alterations in mechanisms of heat dissipation may explain these findings.

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