1. Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain medicine, Konyang University Hospital, Myunggok Medical Research Center, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
2. Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain medicine, Konyang University Hospital, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
Background: Short-term prewarming effectively reduces intraoperative hypothermia in adult patients. However, few data exist regarding its efficacy in elderly patients. Elderly people have a reduced ability to regulate their body temperature, which affects the efficacy of prewarming. This study aimed to compare the clinical efficacy of short-term pre-warming in elderly patients with that in adult patients.
Methods: We enrolled 25 adult (20-50 years) and 25 elderly (> 65 years) patients scheduled for ureteroscopic stone surgery under general anaesthesia. All patients received preanaesthetic forced-air warming for 20 min. The core temperature was measured using an infrared tympanic thermometer during awakening and nasopharyngeal thermistors during anaesthesia. Incidence and severity of intraoperative hypothermia (< 36°C) was compared. Postoperative shivering and number of patients requiring active warming in the post-anaesthesia care unit were also assessed.
Results: Intraoperative hypothermia was more frequent in elderly than in adult patients (58.3% vs. 12.0%; relative risk 2.6; 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 4.6; effect size h = 1.010; p = 0.001). The severity of intraoperative hypothermia showed a significant intergroup difference (p = 0.002). Postoperative shivering was more frequent in elderly than in adult patients (33.3% vs. 8.0%, p = 0.037). A greater number of elderly patients in the post-anaesthesia care unit required active warming (33.3% vs. 8.0%, p = 0.037).
Conclusions: The effects of short-term prewarming on the prevention of hypothermia and maintenance of perioperative normothermia are not the same in the elderly and adult patients.
Keywords: Hypothermia, Geriatrics, Incidence, Perioperative care