Purpose: Elderly patients under spinal anesthesia are vulnerable to hypothermia, leading to increased morbidity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of preoperative forced-air warming on perioperative hypothermia and shivering in elderly patients undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) under spinal anesthesia.
Materials and Methods: Patients (> 65-year-old) scheduled for TURP under spinal anesthesia were randomly assigned to receive preoperative forced-air skin warming for 20 min (the pre-warmed group, n = 25) or not (control group, n = 25). Core temperatures were measured at 15-min intervals after spinal anesthesia, and intra- and post-operative shivering were also assessed.
Results: Incidences of intraoperative hypothermia (< 36ºC) in the pre-warmed and control groups were not significantly different (10/25 [40%] .vs 15/24 [62.5%], P = .259). However, severities of hypothermia were significantly different (P = .019). No patient in the pre-warmed group showed moderate or profound hypothermia, whereas of patients in control group 21% and 13% did so, respectively.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that a brief period of preoperative forced-air warming did not completely prevent intraoperative hypothermia or shivering, but it could significantly reduce its severity in elderly male patients under spinal anesthesia.