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Going Green for the Greater Good - March 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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M A R C H 2 0 2 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 8 9 I was recruited to work at NewYork- Presbyterian Queens Hospital and assigned the task of reducing the rate of surgical site infections among colorectal surgery patients. I immediately noticed all patients weren't being warmed preoperative- ly and asked OR leadership, "That's interesting, you don't prewarm patients here?" I was told, "No, they're warm." But were they? Consider these eye-opening statistics: • Research shows 70% of surgical patients develop inadvertent perioperative hypothermia (IPH). • Patients who lose just one degree or more of body heat are at increased risk for a morbid event. • SSIs are responsible for 40% of infections in the surgical population, and IPH is associated with an increased incidence of post-op infection. The OR leadership's response spoke volumes, not only about how things were done at our facility back then, but also about the attitude far too many surgical staff have regarding patient warming. When it comes to maintaining normothermia, there's sim- ply no excuse for not actively prewarming your patients. Anita Volpe, DNP, APRN | Flushing, N.Y. Standardize Your Patient Warming Protocols Preventing inadvertent perioperative hypothermia demands placing a premium on active prewarming. • REAL TIME Prewarming should be done for procedures lasting as little as 15 min- utes because, ultimately, the patient will be in the OR for more than 30 minutes.

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