Peri-operative hypothermia is when a patient’s core body temperature drops considerably before, during or after surgery. It is a common but preventable complication of surgical procedures that most commonly appears after induction of general anesthesia. Through clinical studies and among healthcare practitioners it is well established that patients benefits from being warmed prior to, during and after surgery.
The outcome for patients as a result of peri-operative hypothermia is poorer, with an increase in surgical site infections, cardiac complications and bleeding as common complications. Patient’s distress and discomfort as well as increased treatment costs and prolonged hospitalisation are other consequences associated with peri-operative hypothermia. Preoperative patient warming in order to increase the body warmth and reduce the drop in temperature during surgery as well as active warming during surgery, has shown to be effective for avoiding hypothermia.