Fever, also known as pyrexia, is a natural bodily reaction to an infection in the body. Generally a fever raises the body temperature from its normal level (usually by only a few degrees) until the infection is fought. Fever can also be the body’s response to trauma, also releasing more white blood cells to fight whatever aggressive attack the body perceives. Often, an infant with a fever will go on to heal without any major medical issues, but it’s important to understand why it happened in the first place and rule out any other underlying medical conditions.
Misuse of Medication
If your newborn has a fever and you’re still at the hospital, there is a possibility of medication misuse. Although it’s rare, sometimes when the hospital staff administers medication, the medicinal machine may be malfunctioning or the wrong medication or the wrong dose is administered. The infant’s body often reacts in a fever, responding to the influx of the chemical, therein causing a reaction of white blood cells.
Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection that an infant is exposed to in utero. Often as the baby is born, the mildest symptom of chrioamnionitis is a fever, with other symptoms that follow, such as fetal tachycardia, maternal leukocytosis, purulent or foul-smelling amniotic fluid, and/or uterine tenderness.
Group B Strep Infection
Another maternal infection, group B strep infection is carried around by 1 in every 4 women, and if their physician hasn’t tested them at 37 weeks of pregnancy, they can pass the bacteria onto the baby during childbirth.
Fever is one of the infant’s responses to bacterial exposure, but a fever alone is not indicative of group B strep. Other symptoms include breathing problems, grunting sounds, a bluish tint and/or pale skin, seizures, limpness, stiffness, heart rate and blood pressure abnormalities, poor feeding, and fussiness.
The Difference Between Side Effects and Symptoms
Children with cerebral palsy often take a number of medications to treat symptoms of that birth injury. When these children have different kinds of medications, they’re creating a chemical reaction in their body to treat some symptoms. It’s this chemical reaction that creates another chemical reaction –fever- within the body as a response. Often a high fever can be a side effect of the medication, though not a symptom of another injury.
Beware that your child’s fever does not exceed 107 degrees. Fever as a symptom of a birth injury does not relate to brain injuries, but if the fever exceeds 107 degrees, the taxing on the brain will, then, create a brain injury that is coupled with the preexisting birth injury.
Depending on the source of the fever, your child’s infection can be treated if caught soon enough. Your physician can prescribe medications that can treat the infections and eliminate it before the infections grow to something worse.