Publication Date

Fall 11-18-2015


School of Nursing


Nursing (B.S.N.)


general anesthesia, prewarming, hypothermia, unplanned perioperative hypothermia, adults


Perioperative, Operating Room and Surgical Nursing


Unplanned perioperative hypothermia (UPH), a common event in the surgical setting, is associated with many adverse patient outcomes. In current perioperative practice, patient core temperature is monitored and active warming interventions are implemented during the intraoperative and postoperative phases in response to UPH. The literature suggests preoperative warming of patients as a proactive measure may be more effective in the prevention of UPH. In the form of an integrative review, this thesis seeks to address the research question: For adult patients undergoing general anesthesia, how does preoperative warming compared to no preoperative warming affect UPH incidence? A database search yields ten studies for inclusion and study findings are synthesized and summarized. The conclusion is drawn there is sufficient evidence to support preoperative warming as an effective measure to decrease UPH incidence and should be considered for implementation in clinical practice as the benefits outweigh the risks.