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Unplanned Perioperative Hypothermia


Is it acceptable to warm a patient by using the hose of the force air warming machine without connecting it to a blanket?

Answer:

An air hose without a blanket attached should never be used to warm a patient. Dangerously high air temperatures flow through the hose and patients have suffered serious burns as a result of this unsafe practice. Always use warming equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions for use.

Resource

  • Recommended practices for the prevention of unplanned perioperative hypothermia. In: Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. Denver, CO: AORN, Inc; 2013:375-386.

Updated January 28, 2013 

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Why are infants and neonates more susceptible to hypothermia than adults?

Answer:

Neonates and infants have a high ratio of body surface area to weight, which leads to more heat loss through their own skin. Studies show that greater temperature decreases occurred in infants and neonates when undergoing major surgery involving an open procedure.

Resource

  • Recommended practices for the prevention of unplanned perioperative hypothermia. In: Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices. Denver, CO: AORN, Inc; 2013:375-386.

Updated January 28, 2013 

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