Background: Perioperative warming is recommended for surgery under anaesthesia, however its role during Caesarean delivery remains unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the efficacy of active warming on outcomes after elective Caesarean delivery.
Methods: We searched databases for randomized controlled trials utilizing forced air warming or warmed fluid within 30 min of neuraxial anaesthesia placement. Primary outcome was maximum temperature change. Secondary outcomes included maternal (end of surgery temperature, shivering, thermal comfort, hypothermia) and neonatal (temperature, umbilical cord pH and Apgar scores) outcomes. Standardized mean difference/mean difference/risk ratio (SMD/MD/RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using random effects modelling (CMA, version 2, 2005).
Results: 13 studies met our criteria and 789 patients (416 warmed and 373 controls) were analysed for the primary outcome. Warming reduced temperature change (SMD -1.27°C [-1.86, -0.69]; P=0.00002); resulted in higher end of surgery temperatures (MD 0.43 °C [0.27, 0.59]; P<0.00001); was associated with less shivering (RR 0.58 [0.43, 0.79]; P=0.0004); improved thermal comfort (SMD 0.90 [0.36, 1.45]; P=0.001), and decreased hypothermia (RR 0.66 [0.50, 0.87]; P=0.003). Umbilical artery pH was higher in the warmed group (MD 0.02 [0, 0.05]; P=0.04). Egger's test (P=0.001) and contour-enhanced funnel plot suggest a risk of publication bias for the primary outcome of temperature change.
Conclusions: Active warming for elective Caesarean delivery decreases perioperative temperature reduction and the incidence of hypothermia and shivering. These findings suggest that forced air warming or warmed fluid should be used for elective Caesarean delivery.
Keywords: anaesthesia; body temperature, hypothermia; caesarean section; obstetric; temperature.
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