Comparison of the efficacy of a forced-air warming system and circulating-water mattress on core temperature and post-anesthesia shivering in elderly patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty under spinal anesthesia

Hye Young Kim, Kyu Chang Lee, Myeong Jong Lee, Mi-Na Kim, Ji-Sub Kim, Won Sang Lee, Jung Hwa Lee
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2014, 66 (5): 352-7

BACKGROUND: In the present study, we compared changes in body temperature and the occurrence of shivering in elderly patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty under spinal anesthesia during warming with either a forced-air warming system or a circulating-water mattress.

METHODS: Forty-six patients were randomly assigned to either the forced-air warming system (N = 23) or circulating-water mattress (N = 23) group. Core temperature was recorded using measurements at the tympanic membrane and rectum. In addition, the incidence and intensity of post-anesthesia shivering and verbal analogue score for thermal comfort were simultaneously assessed.

RESULTS: Core temperature outcomes did not differ between the groups. The incidence (13.0 vs 43.5%, P < 0.05) and intensity (20/2/1/0/0 vs 13/5/3/2/0, P < 0.05) of post-anesthesia shivering was significantly lower in the forced-air system group than in the circulating-water mattress group.

CONCLUSIONS: The circulating-water mattress was as effective as the forced-air warming system for maintaining body temperature. However, the forced-air warming system was superior to the circulating-water mattress in reducing the incidence of post-anesthesia shivering.

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