Incidence of postoperative hypothermia and the relationship to clinical variables

J Perianesth Nurs. 2010 Oct;25(5):286-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2010.07.001.


A prospective, quantitative, correlational study was conducted to determine the incidence of postoperative hypothermia and the relationship of hypothermia to numerous clinical variables previously studied. The study reflects the researchers' interest in updating previous data regarding the incidence of hypothermia. Although hypothermia remains a significant clinical concern, interventions aimed at minimizing hypothermia have evolved over the past 20 years, thus prompting new interest in determining the extent to which hypothermia exists in today's PACU patients. A convenience sample of 287 adult, nonemergency patients scheduled for surgery were included in the study. Hypothermia (temperature <36°C) was demonstrated in only 4% of the sample (N = 287). Because of the low incidence of hypothermia, correlation statistics were not performed. The study provides a foundation for future research regarding this important clinical phenomenon while offering evidence supporting efforts to avoid hypothermia in today's surgical patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / epidemiology*
  • Hypothermia / nursing
  • Hypothermia, Induced / nursing
  • Hypothermia, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Perioperative Nursing*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery Room / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult