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AORN J. 2005 Feb;81(2):379-82, 385-92.

Is postanesthesia care unit length of stay increased in hypothermic patients?

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  • 1Anesthesiology Department, General University Hospital of Patras, Greece.


Inadvertent hypothermia is one of the most common complications experienced by surgical patients who are transferred to the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Appropriate pacu length of stay (LOS) is defined as the time required for a patient to achieve a physiologically stable condition after anesthesia administration. In studies measuring appropriate LOS, patients who arrived hypothermic in the PACU had longer stays than those who arrived normothermic. The aims of this study were to determine whether the actual and appropriate LOS in the PACU differs between hypothermic and normothermic patients and to identify differences between subgroups of patients according to age, gender, and type of anesthesia administered.

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