Degree Awarded Date
December 22, 2022
Perioperative hypothermia (PH) is a preventable complication of surgical procedures that has been linked to postoperative conditions such as coagulopathies, increased cardiac morbidity, surgical site infection, increased incidence of pressure ulcers, increased length of hospital stay, and increased financial expense. Anesthetic agents given to patients during surgery directly contribute to PH and associated complications.
Background: Perioperative is a time frame involving the three stages of surgery (preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative). Hypothermia is defined as body core temperature below 36 degrees Celsius. The incidence of PH ranges from 11% to 90% depending on the anesthesia administered, type of surgery, length of surgery, age, gender, and body mass index.
Purpose: Investigate the effectiveness of prewarming surgical patients and increase compliance of a normothermia pilot project via education.
Methods: Pre-education and post-education quantitative data was collected and evaluated for effectiveness of the intervention.
Implementation Plan/Procedure: Education was given to the perioperative nursing staff explaining the benefits of prewarming surgical patients to prevent PH. Surgical patients received a ten to thirty minutes of forced air warming prior to the initiation of general anesthesia.
Implications/Conclusion: Based on the review of literature indicating the high incidence of PH and the associated complications associated with PH, it is concluded that prewarming via active forced air warming should be investigated to decrease PH.
Results: The results of the project did not demonstrate a statistical difference in PH after the educational intervention.
Walsh, Robert CRNA (Chair) Barnes Jewish College, Goldfarb School of Nursing
Boyd, Teri EdD, MNSc, RN, CNE (Committee member) Barnes Jewish College, Goldfarb School of Nursing
Henrichs, Bernadette PhD, CRNA, CCRN, CHSE, FAANA (Mentor) Barnes Jewish College, Goldfarb School of Nursing
Geisler, Bethany, "Educating Perioperative Nurses on Preventing Hypothermia in Surgical Patients" (2023). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Student Projects. Paper 2.