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Preoperative Warming Does Not Appear to Be Beneficial

Two studies show no difference in patients' post-op temperature; no decrease in post-op hypothermia

MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Prewarming devices do not seem to affect patients' postoperative temperatures, nor do they reduce the proportion of patients who experience postoperative hypothermia, according to two studies published in the March issue of the AORN Journal.

Sondra Fettes, M.S.N., R.N.C., from Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, Mich., and colleagues conducted a quality improvement project to evaluate the effectiveness of preoperative warming on patients' postoperative temperatures. Surgical patients were randomized to a forced-air warming blanket group (54 patients) or no warming blanket group (74 patients). The researchers found that there was no significant difference between the groups in patients' postoperative temperatures.

In an effort to examine their effect on preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative temperatures, Martha Nicholson, D.N.P., R.N., from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., compared two warning interventions (cotton blankets and forced-air warming gowns) provided in the preoperative setting for 66 patients undergoing colorectal surgery. The author found that use of prewarming devices did not result in a reduction in the proportion of patients who experienced postoperative hypothermia.

"The results of the study indicate that prewarming in the same day admission setting did not reduce the proportion of patients who experienced subsequent hypothermia," Nicholson writes.

Abstract - Fettes
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Abstract - Nicholson
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