- Although controlled hypothermia is used in some instances in neuro, cardiac and vascular surgery it is to be avoided in orthopaedic surgery to minimise the risk of delayed anaesthetic recovery, bleeding diathesis and surgical site infections.17
- Forced air warming uses a disposable blanket placed in top of the patient and connected via a hose to a warming unit that filters, warms and pumps the air. It is turned on after the surgical site has been prepared and draped. N.B. Any leakage of warm air may upset laminar flow.
- Fluid warming: intravenous fluids (≥500 ml) and blood products should be warmed to 37° using a fluid warming device.
- Patient warming mattress: NICE approves the inditherm mattress, a flexible, carbon-based conductive polymer that generates a uniform direct heating surface. A pressure redistribution foam pad is designed to mould itself to the shape of the patient.18
Figure 1.Bair Hugger
Figure 2.Blood and fluid warmer
Figure 3.Patient warming mattress