Archive Anesthesia 2019

Don't Put Off Patient Warming

Efforts to prevent hypothermia work best when they begin in pre-op.

Connie Garrett

Connie Garrett, MSN, RN, CNL, CNOR

BIO

WARM AIR
Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR
WARM AIR Pre-warming prevents the significant temperature drop that can occur during anesthesia induction.

Think of patient warming like saving for retirement — the sooner you begin, the more effective it is. Applying active warming measures in pre-op builds up a bank of thermal heat in patients so they're better able to withstand the chilling effects of donning a thin gown and laying in a cool OR while being subjected to the vasodilation properties of general anesthesia. During induction, thermal energy shifts from the body's core to its periphery, putting patients at increased risk of hypothermia-related complications. Hypothermic patients are more likely to suffer cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia and arrest. Their immune systems are impaired, putting them at increased risk of post-op infection. They're less likely to be satisfied with the care they receive and might not be ready for timely discharges.

There's no question active warming should be an important part of your efforts to ensure core body temperatures don't dip below 36°C before, during or after surgery, and it should begin as soon as patients shed their street clothes.

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

Did You See This?

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Primed for Recovery

Optimizing patients' nutrition before surgery prepares their bodies for the physical rigors of surgery.

Tools to Improve Medication Safety

To eliminate administration mistakes, you have to eliminate the human factor.

Your Options in Patient Warming

The benefits of preventing hypothermia extend well beyond warm welcomes.