“Keeping Them Warm”—A Randomized Controlled Trial of Two Passive Perioperative Warming Methods

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PurposeInadvertent perioperative hypothermia is a common problem for patients undergoing surgery. Heat redistribution from the body's core to the periphery after induction of anesthesia is the major contributor.DesignA prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted to determine if reflective blankets are more effective than cotton blankets in reducing the core-peripheral temperature gradient and increasing peripheral compartment heat content during the preoperative phase among adult patients undergoing elective surgery of less than 1 hour. About 328 adult patients undergoing general anesthesia were randomly allocated into two groups.MethodsData were analyzed using independent t tests for continuous variables and chi-square tests for categorical variables.FindingsThere was a significantly smaller reduction in temporal artery/foot temperature gradient (1.13 vs 1.64°C, P < .001) and a significant increase in foot temperature (0.64 vs 0.11°C, P < .001) in the reflective blanket group.ConclusionsReflective blankets are more effective than cotton blankets in warming patients' periphery and reducing core-peripheral temperature gradient preoperatively.Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry NumberACTRN12614000931673 (retrospective registration).

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