Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

ORX Awards and the Winners Are ... - September 2014 - 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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1 2 3 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | O U T P AT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E operative bleeding? Yes, reduced anxiety is a common theme when it comes to touting the benefits of warming. Warming patients pre-operatively can be the emotional equivalent of tucking in a child at night. "It keeps patients warm, it lowers their anxiety level and it shows that we really care about them," says Mary Radke, BSN, RN, ASC manager of Dakota Surgery and Laser Center in Bismarck, N.D. Practitioners say it's a tonic that calms the nerves. "We warm all of our patients with a warm blanket," says a facility leader. "It reduces anxiety and makes patients feel as if we're really paying attention to their needs." Exactly. When you warm patients, you are, in fact, pay- ing attention to their needs — not only in terms of comfort, but in ways that can be easy to overlook, and that most patients would never imagine. 1 Warming reduces intra-operative bleeding. Studies ( tinyurl.com/pdl3mz4 ) show that patients who aren't ade- quately warmed intraoperatively are likely to need significantly more units of red blood cells, plasma and platelets. That's because as core temperatures decrease, so do platelet circulation and function. One benchmark: A patient whose temperature drops 2ºC during sur- gery is likely to lose twice as much blood as one who's kept warm. That's bad enough, but transfusions also increase the risks of infec- tion, reaction and immune suppression. 2 Warming decreases the chance of a cardiac event. The literature ( tinyurl.com/lu9jxyq ) reinforces the point. One study found that a core temperature drop of 1.5ºC can triple the likelihood of ventricular tachycardia, heart attack or even cardiac arrest. P A T I E N T W A R M I N G

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