Perioperative Hypothermia

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Maintaining normal thermoregulation in the perioperative period is a critical objective that can prevent unwanted side effects postoperatively and contributes to substantial cost savings (Roberson, Dieckmann, 2013). Normothermia is defined as a core body temperature between 36 and 38 degrees Celsius. Hypothermia occurs when a patient’s core temperature drops below 36 degrees Celsius (Lynch, 2010). The most common methods for measuring core body temperature is in the distal esophagus, nasopharynx and tympanic membrane (Lynch, 2010). It is estimated between 50% and 90% of surgical patients experience inadvertent perioperative hypothermia. This statistic equates to more than 14 million patients annually affected by inadvertent perioperative hypothermia…show more content…
It is estimated that maintaining perioperative normothermia can reduce costs from $2,500 to $7,000 per patient (Roberson, Dieckmann). In addition to the cost associated with IPH, and potentially dangerous risks, patients experiencing hypothermia report a decreased level of comfort (Burger & Fitzpatrick, 2009). Shivering increases oxygen demand and consumption, increasing the workload on the myocardium causing increased blood pressure and decreased patient comfort (Lynch,…show more content…
In patients receiving general anesthesia, does the usage of active warming perioperatively decreased the incidence of postoperative complications? Providing FAW is a simple intervention that can be initiated by a nurse to significantly improve patient outcomes, lessen patient suffering and decrease length of stay (Leeth, Mamaril, Oman & Krumbach, 2010). Due to the staggering incidence general anesthesia patients suffering from hypothermia, the intervention of FAW should be a priority to the nursing profession in providing optimal patient care and decreasing the potential risk of surgical site

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