Temperature management during the perioperative period and frequency of inadvertent hypothermia in a general hospital
Introduction: Perioperative hypothermia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Consequently, surgical patient temperature should be the fundamental concern but, nonetheless, it is still the least valued physiological parameter
Objectives: To assess temperature management during the perioperative period and determine the frequency of inadvertent hypothermia and related factors.
Materials and methods: Prospective observational study in adult patients scheduled for surgical procedure with anesthesia time >30 min. Hypothermia is defined as a forehead skin temperature <35.9 °C. The null hypothesis of no difference between patients with normoth-ermia and hypothermia was proposed. Comparison of quantitative variables was analyzed with the Student "t" test, and the Chi square was used for the qualitative variables. The analysis was followed by a logistic regression analysis.
Results: We included 167 consecutive patients; intraoperative monitoring of temperature was used in 10% of patients, and the use of warm intravenous fluids and forced air heating in 78% and 63%, respectively. The frequency of inadvertent hypothermia was 56.29%, associated with age >65 years, female gender and BMI > 30 kg/m2. This last variable might have been influenced by the method of temperature measurement.
Conclusion: Warming measures without temperature monitoring do not result in the desired effect. The high frequency of inadvertent hypothermia requires action guidelines for prevention and management, especially in high-risk patients who, in this study, were patients > 65 years of age and females.
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