Comparing forced-air to resistive-polymer warming for perioperative temperature management: A retrospective study


PURPOSE: Compare perioperative temperature management between forced-air warming (FAW) and resistive-polymer heating blankets (RHBs).

DESIGN: A retrospective, quasi-experimental study.

METHODS: Retrospective data analysis of nonspine orthopedic cases (N = 426) over a one-year period including FAW (n = 119) and RHBs (n = 307).

FINDINGS: FAW was associated with a significantly higher final intraoperative temperature (P = .001, d = 0.46) than the RHB. The incidence of hypothermia was not found to be significantly different at the end (P = .102) or anytime throughout surgery (P = .270). Of all patients who started hypothermic, the FAW group had a lower incidence of hypothermia at the end of surgery (P = .023).

CONCLUSIONS: FAW was associated with higher final temperatures and a greater number of normothermic patients than RHBs. However, no causal relationship between a warming device and hypothermia incidence should be assumed.

Document Type


PubMed ID


Link to Full Text