Improving the rate of surgical normothermia in gynecologic surgery

Amanika Kumar, David P. Martin, Sarah R. Dhanorker, Sharon R. Brandt, Darrell R. Schroeder, Andrew C. Hanson, Robert R. Cima, Sean C. Dowdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To increase the rate of normothermia (core temperature ≥ 36 °C) in patients undergoing gynecologic surgery. Methods: The rate of surgical normothermia was evaluated in a single institution. A two-phase quality improvement project was undertaken; Phase 1 included the use of intra-operative room temperature regulation and intra-operative patient warming and Phase 2 included pre-operative patient warming. Clinical characteristics, median temperatures, and rate of normothermia were abstracted for patients in each phase. Cohorts were compared using chi-square and t-tests. Results: The project was performed in two phases, each with a historic and intervention cohort. There were 503 patients in the historical cohort and 636 patients in the intervention cohort in phase 1; there were 291 patients in the historical cohort and 259 patients in the intervention cohort for Phase 2. Patient characteristics and anesthetic type and duration did not differ between cohorts. After intra-operative temperature regulation and patient warming in Phase 1, significantly more patients achieved normothermia (79% versus 68%, P < 0.0001). However operating room staff were more likely to rate the temperature as very hot in 40% of cases post-intervention, compared to only 2% historically. In Phase 2, after the intervention of pre-warming patients, there was no difference in achieving normothermia, 78% versus 83%, P = 0.09. Staff had no statistical difference in personal comfort with the temperature, however did feel efforts were very effective more frequently, 7.7% historic versus 32.7% post-intervention, P < 0.0001. Conclusions: Quality improvement methodology can be applied to pre- and intra-operative decision making to improve rates of surgical patient normothermia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-594
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Health care
  • Hypothermia
  • Normothermia
  • PACU
  • Postanesthesia care unit
  • Surgical site infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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