Epidural Related Maternal Fever Study

Recruitment Complete

Epidural Related Maternal Fever Study


 a study to assess why some mothers develop fever associated with epidural in labour


Principal Investigator – Dr. Anne Doherty

Epidural pain relief is regarded as one of the safest and most effective form of pain relief in labour. Occasionally women who get an epidural may also develop a fever. The reason for this rise in temperature has not been found to date. This rise in temperature is not always related to infection. It may be because of the bodies’ response to the epidural medication over time. This response is referred to as “inflammation”. Inflammation is the body’s response to an outside substance, which can be infection but can also be due to medication.

In this study, we want to find out whether it is the dose of local anaesthetic given or just the presence of the anaesthetic in the epidural space that can cause the inflammation. We also want to measure the amount of local anaesthetic absorbed into the mothers’ circulation to see if this influences inflammation. Finally, we want to see if this inflammation affects the placenta or the baby.