Hyperthermia, pregnancy, fetus

Hyperthermia (high body temperature ) has been shown to be capable of producing birth defects. The defects in the fetus vary with the amount of fever elevation and the stage of the fetus during exposure. Adverse effects include abortion, stillbirth, congenital malformations and embryonic resorption. Mental retardation, spina bifida, changes in muscle tome, and neurogenic arthrogryposis (limb defects) have occurred in association with hyperthermia in humans, while animal studies have demonstrated microcephaly (small brain), and clubfoot. Pregnant women should not be given fever treatment and should avoid hot tubs and sauna baths. (Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, August, 1987,p. 512-513) Copyright1987 Phylis Austin

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