Preventing Unplanned Perioperative Hypothermia in Children

Susan E. Beedle, Amy Phillips, Shirley Wiggins, Leeza A Struwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Unplanned perioperative hypothermia is a common surgical risk. Unplanned hypothermia is defined as a body temperature below 36° C (96.8° F) during any phase of the perioperative period. Perioperative nurses at a Midwestern tertiary pediatric hospital developed an evidence-based clinical practice guideline (CPG) designed to maintain normothermia for the pediatric surgical population. This CPG outlined standard thermoregulation nursing interventions and required the consistent use of a temporal artery thermometer. A test of this CPG before full implementation established a baseline incidence of unplanned hypothermia at 16.3% (n = 80). The purpose of this study was to measure the rate of perioperative hypothermia in children after implementing the evidence-based CPG. The study results demonstrated that the CPG, guiding research-based nursing practice, consistently prevented unplanned hypothermia. The incidence rate of unplanned perioperative hypothermia after CPG implementation was 1.84% (n = 1,196).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-183
Number of pages14
JournalAORN journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • clinical practice guideline
  • pediatric
  • perianesthesia nursing
  • thermoregulation
  • unplanned hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical


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