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15 Questions on Patient Warming
Can you ace our pop quiz on preventing hypothermia?
Carrie Frederick
Publish Date: June 4, 2015   |  Tags:   Patient Experience
patient warming BLANKET COVERAGE The passive insulation provided by a warm blanket will reduce heat loss by as much as 30%.

We know that keeping patients warm from admission to discharge dramatically improves their chances of avoiding such post-operative complications as surgical wound infections and increased bleeding, and such stressful consequences as delayed discharge and thermal discomfort (shivering). See what else you know about warming by taking this 15-question quiz.

1. The majority of heat loss in the first
30 minutes of surgery occurs via __________ .

a. conductive heat loss
b. convective heat loss
c. evaporative heat loss
d. radiant heat loss

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2. Which factor does not contribute
to heat loss in the perioperative period?

a. the use of inhalational agents
b. anesthetically induced increases in the thermoregulatory threshold
c. use of large amounts of intravenous fluids
d. average ambient OR temperatures

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3. The anesthetic that affects thermoregulation the least is __________ .

a. Versed
b. fentanyl
c. propofol
d. sevoflurane

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forced hot air PREWARM RITUAL Forced hot air warming devices are most effective at preventing hypothermia when applied in the pre-operative period.

4. Which anesthetic technique will
safely avoid the risk of hypothermia?

a. total intravenous anesthesia
b. spinal/epidural anesthesia
c. local infiltration anesthesia
d. none of the above

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5. Patients at increased risk for developing hypothermia include all of the following except __________ .

a. pediatric patients
b. geriatric patients
c. obese patients
d. cachectic patients

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warming IV fluids PREWARMING IV FLUIDS One of the advantages of warmed IV Fluids at normal body temperature is the improved absorption of administered medications.

6. Which statement
regarding shivering is false?

a. It is surprisingly ineffective at generating heat compared to exercising
b. It does not occur in infants and is not effective until a child is several years old
c. It consists of fast synchronous muscular activity
d. It can increase metabolic heat production in the adult by 50 to 100%

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7. Adverse consequences of even mild hypothermia include __________ .

a. hypercoagulability
b. decreased drug metabolism
c. hypoventilation
d. hypoglycemia

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8. Which statement about the
cardiovascular effects of mild hypothermia is false?

a. It increases post-op myocardial oxygen demand.
b. It decreases cardiac output.
c. It causes ventricular fibrillation.
d. It causes a threefold increase in post-op cardiac morbidity.

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9. Adverse affects of hypothermia on the
surgical wound include __________ .

a. decreased tissue acidosis
b. decreased infection rates
c. decreased wound dehiscence
d. decreased neutrophil function

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10. Post-anesthetic shivering __________ .

a. occurs in 50% of patients
b. is directly correlated with myocardial ischemia
c. can improve wound healing by increasing blood flow
d. is largely determined by age and core temperature

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11. Which pharmacologic agent is
not commonly used to treat shivering?

a. Meperidine (Demerol)
b. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
c. Clonidine (Catapres)
d. Doxapram (Dopram, Stimulex)

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12. Forced hot-air warming is most effective __________ .

a. pre-operatively
b. intra-operatively
c. post-operatively
d. it is not an effective means of warming

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13. Which of the following is least effective in
preventing hypothermia in adults during anesthesia?

a. prewarming patients via forced-air systems
b. prewarming IV fluids
c. maintaining warm room temperature during induction
d. heating and humidifying anesthetic gases

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14. One liter of room temperature crystalloid will
decrease mean core body temperature by __________ .

a. 0.10 ?C
b. 0.25 ?C
c. 0.50 ?C
d. 1.00 ?C

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15. The most important factor influencing heat loss is __________ .

a. the temperature of the operating table
b. the temperature of the IV fluids
c. the temperature of the OR
d. the type of warming device you choose

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