Patients are warmed during surgery (and ideally before and after, too) for several reasons. The most important is to maintain a normal body temperature (normothermia) during surgery.
When a person is under anesthesia, he or she loses the ability to regulate body temperature. Patient warming before and during the surgical procedure can help keep the body temperature within the normal range. This helps avoid unintended hypothermia – a condition that can lead to easily preventable surgical complications, including:
- Increased blood loss and a greater risk that you will need a blood transfusion1
- A higher chance of wound infection2
- A longer recovery period after the operation, which may require a longer stay in hospital2
- A greater chance of heart problems3