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J Perianesth Nurs. 1998 Aug;13(4):229-35.

Prevalence of inadvertent hypothermia during the perioperative period: a quality assurance and performance improvement study.


The inadvertent hypothermia that is often seen after anesthesia in a cool environment has been associated with delays in recovery from anesthesia and longer stays in the PACU. This quality assurance/performance improvement study was undertaken to determine the following: (1) the effectiveness of current interventions for preventing intraoperative hypothermia, (2) whether there were any apparent differences in effectiveness among the current methods for preventing intraoperative hypothermia, and (3) was intraoperative hypothermia associated with delays in discharge from the PACU. Data were completed on 502 patients. Despite longer surgical procedures, those patients treated intraoperatively with the Bair Hugger (Augustine Medical Inc, Eden Prairie, MN) were less likely to arrive in the PACU hypothermic than those who did not receive this treatment. Patients who arrived in the PACU hypothermic had longer PACU stays than patients who arrived normothermic. As a result of these findings, changes in nursing practice in the PACU and in the availability of the Bair Hugger in the operating rooms were made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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