The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 2, 624 - 627

Reflective Blankets Are as Effective as Forced Air Warmers in Maintaining Patient Normothermia During Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Surgery

Tjoakarfa, Clarissa et al.
Hip Knee

Background

The use of forced air warming devices in the operating room has been shown to cause disruption of laminar airflow and a potential for increase in surgical site contamination. In contrast, conductive warming devices such as reflective blankets do not disrupt airflow and therefore have no potential for this increase in surgical site infection. However, some studies have shown them to be inferior to forced air warming devices in maintaining normothermia. We tested the hypothesis that the use of reflective blankets is as effective as forced air warming devices in maintaining intraoperative normothermia after adequate prewarming.

Methods

We performed a randomized, controlled trial of 50 patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty using a protocol of prewarming followed by application of either forced air warming device or a reflective blanket and recording the patients sublingual temperature at a 15-minute interval till arrival in the post-anesthesia care unit.

Results

There was no significant difference in the sublingual temperatures in the 2 groups at any time point.

Conclusion

Our study shows that after a period of adequate prewarming, the use of reflective blankets is as effective as the use of forced air warming devices in maintaining normothermia in patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty.


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