Efficacy of Prewarming With a Self-Warming Blanket for the Prevention of Unintended Perioperative Hypothermia in Patients Undergoing Hip or Knee Arthroplasty

J Perianesth Nurs. 2017 Oct;32(5):419-428. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Dec 9.


Purpose: Unintended perioperative hypothermia (UPH) is a common and serious complication for patients undergoing anesthesia. The purpose of this study was to identify the incidence of UPH and evaluate the efficacy of a self-warming blanket on the drop in core temperature and risk of UPH in patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty.

Design: A case-control study was used.

Methods: Sixty patients were included. Thirty patients received prewarming with a self-warming blanket and forced-air warming intraoperatively; thirty patients received only forced-air warming intraoperatively.

Finding: The incidence of UPH (<36°C) was identified in 13% of the patients in the prewarmed group and 43% of the patients in the control group. Mean core temperature in the prewarmed group was significantly higher and remained above 36°C in the perioperative period.

Conclusions: The study suggests that preoperative warming with a self-warming blanket reduces the incidence of UPH and decreases the drop in core temperature.

Keywords: core temperature; hypothermia; prewarming; warming devices.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Denmark
  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perioperative Period*