Ingrid L Gustafsson
Linnaeus University, Sweden
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Nurs Care
Background & Aim: When the body temperature falls below 36 oC during the pre-operative period, mild hypothermia can develop. Between 46-77% of patients are affected. Patients with mild hypothermia have an increased risk of developing complication such as postoperative wound infection, pressure ulcers, shivering or requiring a blood transfusion. In order to prevent complications research has shown that the best practice is to maintain the patient's temperature by using passive and active warming and also as early as possible in the perioperative period. The research also led to guidelines and algorithms to prevent mild hypothermia in some countries. However, there is a lack about adherence to the recommended passive and active warming and if the nurse anesthetist's have knowledge and access to them. The aim of this study is to investigate these areas. Methodology: Two questionnaires were used and data was analyzed with descriptive statistics. Findings: The nurse anesthetist's have a high access to the recommended warming but their adherence was between 5-67%. The most common reason why the patients did not get the recommended warming was due to short surgery. Approximately 60% of the nurse anesthetists have knowledge about the recommendations. More than half of the patients were in an operating room with a temperature below the lowest recommended. Conclusion: The access to the recommended warming was high and the adherence to them was mostly low. To reach higher adherence, the organization in the operating department have an important role when new recommendations will be implemented. By offering frequent education and ensuring their own guidelines will be readjusted by the new recommendations. It is also important that a key person is used as an advocate to implement the guidelines. It is imperative that the person with this role gets the appropriate time and resources to support them in this position.
Ingrid L Gustafsson is a Registered Nurse, worked at maternity ward, medicine and surgical wards, emergency department and with prehospital care. She has received her Diploma as Nurse Anesthetist and worked in the operating department in Vaxjo, Sweden. Presently, she is working at Linnaeus University and is a Doctoral student in Caring Sciences.
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