Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 February 2007
In this review, we are concerned primarily with pyrexia (hyperthermia; increased maternal temperature in labour) as hypothermia is rare and usually iatrogenic (as in hypothermia for cardiac bypass surgery). We start by reviewing the factors determining maternal temperature, and how it can be measured. We move on to the effects of the commonest cause of maternal pyrexia in labour in modern obstetric practice in developed countries, epidural anaesthesia. We then discuss the most feared cause of maternal pyrexia in labour, chorioamnionitis.