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Anesthesiology and Pain Management - Surgery


Methods of Patient Warming during Abdominal Surgery
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Author: Li Shao et al.

by Li Shao, Hong Zheng, Feng-Ju Jia, Hui-Qin Wang, Li Liu, Qi Sun, Meng-Ying An, Xiu-Hua Zhang, Hao Wen

Background

Keeping abdominal surgery patients warm is common and warming methods are needed in power outages during natural disasters. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of low-cost, low-power warming methods for maintaining normothermia in abdominal surgery patients.

Methods

Patients (n?=?160) scheduled for elective abdominal surgery were included in this prospective clinical study. Five warming methods were applied: heated blood transfusion/fluid infusion vs. unheated; wrapping patients vs. not wrapping; applying moist dressings, heated or not; surgical field rinse heated or not; and applying heating blankets or not. Patients’ nasopharyngeal and rectal temperatures were recorded to evaluate warming efficacy. Significant differences were found in mean temperatures of warmed patients compared to those not warmed.

Results

When we compared temperatures of abdominal surgery patient groups receiving three specific warming methods with temperatures of control groups not receiving these methods, significant differences were revealed in temperatures maintained during the surgeries between the warmed groups and controls.

Discussion

The value of maintaining normothermia in patients undergoing abdominal surgery under general anesthesia is accepted. Three effective economical and practically applicable warming methods are combined body wrapping and heating blanket; combined body wrapping, heated moist dressings, and heating blanket; combined body wrapping, heated moist dressings, and warmed surgical rinse fluid, with or without heating blanket. These methods are practically applicable when low-cost method is indeed needed.

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