Advanced search

Lynne Bowers
The Veterinary Nurse, Vol. 3, Iss. 5, 25 Jun 2012, pp 283 - 287

Inadvertent hypothermia is not uncommon in the immediate post-operative period and is associated with impairment and abnormalities in various organs and systems that can lead to adverse outcomes. While there is much research to support the negative effects of hypothermia, often the focus is aimed towards minimizing heat loss in the peri and intra-operative period, however patients continue to lose heat post operatively, which can contribute to both short and long-term problems. Veterinary nurses have a pivotal role to play in minimizing such losses, with the main objectives consisting of detecting and recording post-operative hypothermia, as well as minimizing further heat loss and correcting any temperature deficits. Simple nursing interventions including careful positioning of post-operative patients away from draughty areas of the ward, frequent monitoring and recording of body temperature, and a combination of passive and active rewarming techniques can prove extremely beneficial to the recovery of hypothermic patients in the post-operative period.
Using the recommendations highlighted within this article it may be possible to minimize the physiological effects of hypothermia as well as to improve patient comfort during this important recovery phase.

Return to article listing

To view this article

Existing users sign in Personal subscription