Intraoperative hypothermia and its clinical outcomes in patients undergoing general anesthesia: National study in ChinaReport as inadecuate

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Inadvertent intraoperative hypothermia core temperature <36°C is a frequently preventable complication with several adverse consequences. Our study aimed to determine the overall incidence of inadvertent intraoperative hypothermia and its risk factors associated with clinical outcomes in this national survey in China.


We conducted a national cross-sectional study with 30 days postoperative follow-up from November 2014 through August 2015. A total of 3132 eligible patients underwent general anesthesia were randomly selected from 28 hospitals in the nationwide of China.


The overall incidence of intraoperative hypothermia was as high as 44.3%, in which cumulative incidence rates of hypothermia being 17.8%, 36.2%, 42.5% and 44.1% within 1 h, 2 h, 3 h and 4 h respectively following induction of anesthesia. All patients were warmed passively by covering of surgical draping, sheets or cotton blankets, whereas only 14.2% of patients received active warming with space heaters or electric heater or electronic blankets. Compared to normothermic patients, patients with hypothermia is associated with more postoperative ICU admit, longer PACU and more postoperative hospital days, but no difference in surgical site infection SSI rates or 30-day mortality. Several factors were shown to be associated with decreased risk of hypothermia. They are active warming OR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.26–0.81, BMI ≥ 25 OR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.45–0.65, higher baseline core temperature OR = 0.04, 95% CI 0.03–0.06, and higher ambient temperature OR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.78–0.88. Risk factors associated with an increased risk of hypothermia included major-plus surgery OR = 1.49, 95% CI 1.23–1.79, and long anesthesia >2 h OR = 2.60, 95% CI 2.09–3.24.


The incidence of intraoperative hypothermia in China is high, and the rate of active warming of patients during operation is low. Hypothermia is associated with more postoperative shivering, increased ICU admissions, and longer postoperative hospital days.

Author: Jie Yi, Yongjing Lei, Shiyuan Xu, Yongyu Si, Shiyang Li, Zhongyuan Xia, Yisa Shi, Xiaoping Gu, Jianshe Yu, Guohai Xu, Erwei Gu, Y



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