Warmed IV fluids. Forced-air warming devices. Booties and hats in the OR. No single intervention can prevent perioperative hypothermia on its own. The secret to making sure your patients stay warm is to combine measures to maintain body temperature from the time patients enter your facility through discharge. This offers the greatest likelihood of minimizing body temperature change and maximizing comfort in surgical patients.
As one of the measures, using warmed IV fluids, blood warmers and warmed irrigants can help to minimize heat loss during surgery. Warming irrigating solutions before instilling them into open body cavities promotes blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues. As in the OR, warmed IV fluids and warmed, humidified oxygen aid in promoting normal body temperature in PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit).
Keeping patients warm should be a primary concern during their stay in your facility. Unintentional hypothermia can cause physiological changes that affect all body systems and can cause extended anesthesia care, myocardial infarction, coagulopathy, and poor wound healing. In fact, wound infection is 3 times higher in hypothermic patients with a core body temperature less than 36 °C.