Anesthesia & Clinical Research

Anesthesia & Clinical Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-6148


Post-operative Hypothermia in Surgical Patients at University of Gondar Hospital, Ethiopia

Tadesse Belayneh, Abebaw Gebeyehu and Zewditu Abdissa

Background: Hypothermia (i.e., temperature <36°C) is a common incident in the immediate postoperative period. However, it is usually diagnosed and treated infrequently. Maintaining normal body temperature will reduce hospital stay, surgical site infection, postoperative blood transfusions, pressure ulcers, subjective discomfort and mortality. The aim of this study was to identify magnitude and factors associated with postoperative hypothermia.

Methods: Hospital based cross sectional study was conducted at University of Gondar Hospital. All consecutive postoperative (N= 384) patients that underwent scheduled or emergency surgery were included. Tympanic membrane temperature was measured before surgery and on arrival at recovery room via clinical nurses. Analysis was done using version 20 SPSS and binary logistic regression was utilized to identify associated factors.

Result: The incidence of postoperative hypothermia at Recovery Room was 30.72%. Of these, 30 (27.96%) and 43 (34.44%) were mild and moderate respectively, with no severe hypothermia. Surgical patient operated under general anesthesia was more likely to develop postoperative hypothermia than spinal anesthesia (AOR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.17; 3.24). Additionally, those with higher ASA physical status were at higher risk of postoperative hypothermia (AOR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.16; 3.44). Temperature was not routinely taken by health care providers in the preoperative and intraoperative period.

Conclusion and recommendation: Incidence of postoperative hypothermia at Recovery Room was high. Patient with high ASA physical status and operated under general anesthesia were significant factors for the development of postoperative hypothermia. Anesthesia providers along with perioperative surgical team should participate to reduce the occurrence of postoperative hypothermia with early prediction and diagnosis, especially in high risk groups.