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

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Abstract

Purpose

Inadvertent 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.

Design

A 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.

Methods

Data were analyzed using independent t tests for continuous variables and chi-square tests for categorical variables.

Findings

There 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.

Conclusions

Reflective blankets are more effective than cotton blankets in warming patients' periphery and reducing core-peripheral temperature gradient preoperatively.

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number

ACTRN12614000931673 (retrospective registration).

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