Archive Employee & Patient Safety 2012

Why We Pre-Warm Our Patients

Maintaining normothermia throughout surgery gets a head start in pre-op.

Jackie Miller, MSN, RN, NE-BC


keeping patients normothermic THERMAL THROUGHPUT Pre-warming gives you a head start on keeping patients normothermic throughout the surgical process.

Several years ago, we noticed that patients' temperatures dipped when we brought them into the OR, then evened out once we'd finished positioning, prepping and draping. We wondered: Would pre-warming make a significant difference in helping maintain normothermia throughout the perioperative process? Turns out, it did. Let's look at the essential elements of the warming plan we came up with in order to reduce patient discomfort and limit surgical complication risks (see "Warming's Link to Patient Safety" on page 16).

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