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Anaesthesia. 2013 Jun;68(6):605-11. doi: 10.1111/anae.12129. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Postoperative hypothermia and patient outcomes after major elective non-cardiac surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Austin Health, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.


Using a multicentre adult patient database from Australia and New Zealand, we obtained the lowest and highest temperature in the first 24 h after admission to the intensive care unit after elective non-cardiac surgery. Hypothermia was defined as core temperature < 36 °C; transient hypothermia as a temperature < 36 °C that was corrected within 24 h, and persistent hypothermia as hypothermia not corrected within 24 h. We studied 50,689 patients. Hypothermia occurred in 23,165 (46%) patients, was transient in 22,810 (45%), and was persistent in 608 (1.2%) patients. On multivariate analysis, neither transient (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.96-1.20) nor persistent (OR = 1.50. 95% CI 0.96-2.33) hypothermia was independently associated with increased hospital mortality.

Anaesthesia © 2013 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

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