How do operating theatres prevent hypothermia?

Typically associated with prolonged exposure to the elements in cold climates, hypothermia probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an operating theatre.

However, between 25–90% of patients who undergo elective surgery suffer from inadvertent postoperative hypothermia.

Hypothermia is defined as having a core body temperature below 36°C. Recent studies have proven that patients who experience hypothermia, either during or after surgery, have a higher risk of wound infections, cardiac complications, and a greater need for blood transfusions. Even mild hypothermia can increase a patient’s risk of mortality.

Operating theatre equipment used to prevent hypothermia

Maintaining normothermia – the ideal temperature of the body – is crucial during and after surgery.

There are a number of patient warming devices on the market that are suitable for use as operating theatre equipment.

Theatre supplies: Blanket warming cabinets

Warm blankets before, during and after surgery are crucial not only to patient comfort, but also to patient safety.

General anaesthesia can cause shivering and a drop in body temperature. A blanket warming cabinet is a vital piece of operating theatre equipment, providing warm blankets at a moment’s notice to reassure and soothe patients, whilst preventing hypothermia.

Theatre supplies – Fluid warming cabinets

A study of 1,250 patients showed that individuals who received warmed IV fluids had a body temperature half a degree higher than those who received fluids at room temperature.

All operating theatres should have a fluid warming cabinet as part of their theatre equipment, as warming IV fluids to body temperature prior to infusion reduces shivering and improves patient comfort.

Theatre supplies: Patient warming systems

Accurately controlling a patient’s temperature, patient warming systems are an effective piece of operating theatre equipment, which can help to prevent hypothermia and contribute to faster recovery.

With built in alarms, these vital theatre supplies feature a temperature range between 30°C and 40°C. Their easy to use, battery powered controls ensure they can be used during transport from the operating theatre to the recovery room.

Where can I purchase operating theatre equipment?

QED Scientific are a leading UK supplier of operating theatre equipment, specialising in theatre supplies to prevent hypothermia. Their range includes blanket and fluid warming cabinets, patient warming systems, and other theatre equipment.

To find out more about any of their products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with their knowledgeable team.

Leave a Reply