May 11, 2018

Effect of ambient OR temperature on patient temperature

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Ambient intraoperative OR temperature had a negligible effect on core temperature when patients were warmed with forced air in this study. The effect was larger when patients were passively insulated, but the magnitude remained small.

A total of 292 adult patients were randomized to ambient temperatures 19º, 21º, or 23º C, and to passive insulation or forced-air warming.

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Final core temperature at the end of surgery increased 0.13º C per degree increase in ambient temperature with passive insulation, but was unaffected by ambient temperature during forced-air warming.

The researchers concluded that ambient temperature in the OR can be set to comfortable levels for staff in cases when patients are actively warmed.


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