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Fever in Obstetric and Gynecologic Patients

Joseph G. Pastorek II, MD
JAMA. 1983;249(9):1149-1150. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330031017.
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To the Editor.—  A recent article by Klimek et al (1982;247:3340) showed that fever may be caused by noninfectious causes in almost two thirds of hospitalized obstetric and gynecologic patients is somewhat disturbing. The practitioner could surmise from this article that most of the "fevers" of the obstetric-gynecologic patient are unimportant, leading to a false sense of security in the care of this type of patient.While I have no argument with the methods or the conclusions of their article, I must take issue with one of the basic definitions of the study— namely, the definition of fever as a "rectal temperature greater than or equal to 38.3 °C (101 °F) developed on at least two different occasions."The vast majority of references in the obstetric-gynecologic infectious disease literature record an oral temperature of 38.0 °C as the cutoff point for fever. In our own service, we believe two oral


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