Preventing inadvertent perioperative hypothermia, a complication that can cause a host of problems such as vasoconstriction, tissue hypoxia and an increased likelihood of acquiring an SSI, ultimately comes down to keeping your patients warm throughout the entire surgical journey — not just when they’re in the OR. Many facilities go to great lengths to keep patients warmed intraoperatively, which makes sense. That’s when patients’ core body temperatures tend to plummet.
Unfortunately, the practice of prewarming, or warming the patient preoperatively, still doesn’t get the emphasis it deserves. And that’s a mistake on several levels. Not only does prewarming decrease the chances of inadvertent hypothermia, it’s also a universal patient-pleaser.