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Many surgical patients are at risk for developing unplanned perioperative hypothermia due to environmental and personal risk factors. Hypothermia is defined as a core body temperature less than 35° to 36° C and can cause multiple perioperative complications. These include adverse myocardial outcomes, alteration of the pharmacodynamics of anesthetics and other medications, thermal discomfort, increased length of stay in the postanesthesia care unit, and shivering. Perioperative RNs play an important role in reducing the risk of unplanned perioperative hypothermia through proper patient assessment and implementation of appropriate interventions.

Gap Analysis/Purpose

Perioperative RNs are not aware of the potential risk to the surgical patient as a result of hypothermia during surgery. After completing this course, perioperative RNs will take actions to reduce the risk of a patient developing unplanned perioperative hypothermia.


  • Identify the physiological aspects of unplanned perioperative hypothermia.
  • Recognize patients at risk for unplanned perioperative hypothermia.
  • Identify methods of measuring core body temperature.
  • Identify interventions to prevent unplanned perioperative hypothermia.

0.8 Contact Hours

Expires 6/24/20

Course Requirements

To receive 0.8 contact hours for this course, you must achieve mastery of the content and submit an evaluation as instructed at the end of the course. This course contains 34 questions.

Accreditation, Disclaimer, and Copyright


This program is approved for0.8 hours of AEU credit by BASC provider #0102.

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