We compared the effect of delivering fluid warmed using two methods in 76 adult patients having short duration surgery. All patients received a litre of crystalloid delivered either at room temperature, warmed using an in-line warming device or pre-warmed in a warming cabinet for at least 8 h. The tympanic temperature of those receiving fluid at room temperature was 0.4 °C lower on arrival in recovery when compared with those receiving fluid from a warming cabinet (p = 0.008). Core temperature was below the hypothermic threshold of 36.0 °C in seven (14%) patients receiving either type of warm fluid, compared to eight (32%) patients receiving fluid at room temperature (p = 0.03). The administration of 1 l warmed fluid to patients having short duration general anaesthesia results in higher postoperative temperatures. Pre-warmed fluid, administered within 30 min of its removal from a warming cabinet, is as efficient at preventing peri-operative hypothermia as that delivered through an in-line warming system.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.