Scientific article
Open access

Benefits of intraoperative skin surface warming in cardiac surgical patients

Published inBritish journal of anaesthesia, vol. 80, no. 3, p. 318-323
Publication date1998

We have investigated patients undergoing cardiac surgery with hypothermic bypass to see if the addition of skin surface warming during systemic rewarming on bypass (heated group, n = 43) would improve perioperative thermal balance compared with conventional management without skin warming (control group, n = 43) in an open, randomized, controlled study. Intraoperative skin warming with a water mattress and forced warm air over the face, neck and shoulders attenuated the afterdrop in nasopharyngeal temperature after weaning from bypass (2.3 (1.2) degrees C and 1.3 (0.5) degrees C in the control and heated groups, respectively) (P < 0.05) and resulted in higher rectal temperature 4 h after surgery. Despite similar standard coagulation tests, heated patients had lower blood loss via the chest tubes (600 (264) ml vs 956 (448) ml in control patients) (P < 0.05) and less requirements for i.v. colloid infusion (1662 (404) ml vs 1994 (389) ml) (P < 0.05). There was a significant inverse correlation between rectal temperature on arrival in the ICU and postoperative blood loss (r = 0.57, P < 0.001). These data suggest that additional skin surface warming with a water mattress and forced warm air helped to preserve perioperative thermal balance and may contribute to reduced bleeding after cardiac surgery.

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Blood Loss, Surgical/prevention & control
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Female
  • Heating
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Intraoperative Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Temperature
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance
Citation (ISO format)
HOHN, Laurent et al. Benefits of intraoperative skin surface warming in cardiac surgical patients. In: British journal of anaesthesia, 1998, vol. 80, n° 3, p. 318–323. doi: 10.1093/bja/80.3.318
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0007-0912

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