Archive Patient Safety 2009

Are You Warming Patients Effectively?

See if you're making any of these 5 common errors.

Sue Seitz, MSN, RN


The Surgical Care Improvement Project, a national collaboration of healthcare organizations that aims to engineer a reduction in surgical complications, has identified the maintaining of patient normothermia — a core temperature of greater than or equal to 96.8ºF (36ºC) — within the first 15 minutes after the patient exits the OR as a key infection prevention measure. SCIP has been monitoring this measure only among colorectal surgery patient populations, but has announced that hypothermia prevention is such a high priority to patient safety that it plans to expand the measure to surgical patients receiving general or neuraxial anesthesia lasting 60 minutes or more by next year. Here are 5 common missteps than can sink your efforts to warm patients effectively. Are you guilty of making any of them?

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