[Perioperative thermal management]

A Bräuer, T Perl, M Quintel
Der Anaesthesist 2006, 55 (12): 1321-39; quiz 1340
Perioperative hypothermia can influence clinical outcome negatively. It triples the incidence of adverse myocardial outcomes, significantly increases perioperative blood loss, significantly augments allogenic transfusion requirements, and increases the incidence of surgical wound infections. The major causes are redistribution of heat from the core of the body to the peripheral tissues and a negative heat balance. Adequate thermal management includes preoperative and intraoperative measures. Preoperative measures, e.g., prewarming, enhance heat content of the peripheral tissues, thereby reducing redistribution of heat from the core to the peripheral tissues after induction of anesthesia. Intraoperative measures are active skin surface warming of a large body surface area with conductive or convective warming systems. Intravenous fluids should be warmed when large volumes of more than 500-1000 ml/h are required. The body surfaces that cannot be actively warmed should be insulated. Airway humidification and conductive warming of the back are less efficient.

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