Inadvertent Perioperative Hypothermia Risks and Postoperative Complications: A Retrospective Study

J. Luke Akers, Amanda C. Dupnick, Elisa L. Hillman, Andrew G. Bauer, Lauren M. Kinker, Amy Hagedorn Wonder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Inadvertent perioperative hypothermia is a widely known patient condition that is associated with postoperative complications. This retrospective comparative study of 298 surgical patients was conducted at a single hospital site in the midwestern United States. Our aims were to describe risk factors and outcomes associated with perioperative hypothermia. We compared the type and frequency of patient factors, clinical factors, and postoperative complications during the inpatient stay of the sample patients to determine whether there were factors or complications associated with perioperative hypothermia. Significant factors associated with the occurrence of perioperative hypothermia included older age and type of surgery. Hypothermia in patients was associated with a higher rate of postoperative complications when compared with normothermic patients. Nurses and perioperative leaders should understand the risk factors and complications associated with perioperative hypothermia to collaboratively develop and test evidence-based initiatives, improve care, and promote optimal patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
JournalAORN journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • normothermia
  • perioperative hypothermia
  • postoperative complications
  • temperature monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical

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