Preoperative Warming for Inadvertent Perioperative Hypothermia
Post-BSN for Nurse Anesthetists (DNP-NA)
Inadvertent perioperative hypothermia (IPH) is a significant contributor to adverse patient outcomes, and ultimately translates to increased hospital expenditures. Evidence strongly supports the efficacy of prewarming surgical patients to reduce risk of IPH. While various surgical facilities have successfully implemented different methods of warming to reduce the frequency of IPH at their respective sites, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) does not currently have a standardized protocol for prewarming. With input and discussion from site stakeholders and project leaders, the authors developed a data collection tool to record temperatures at five pre/intra/postoperative intervals in 30 patients undergoing robotic procedures. The intervention was a minimum of 10 minutes of forced-air warming prior to surgery. More than half the patients (63%) experienced IPH. These findings suggest that IPH occurrence in a modest-sized patient group exposed to prewarming is not different than the national occurrence of IPH when compared to the national IPH frequency.