oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Temperature monitoring : the consequences and prevention of mild perioperative hypothermia : SASA refresher course texts

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Homeothermic species require a nearly constant internal body temperature. Significant deviations from "normal" internal temperature cause the metabolic function to deteriorate. Usually, the human thermoregulatory system maintains a core body temperature within 0.2°C of normal, near 37°C. Hypothermia results from exposure to cold, or exposure combined with drugs or illness that decrease thermoregulatory efficacy. Exposure to a cold operating room environment during anaesthesia and surgery commonly combines with anaesthetic-induced inhibition of thermoregulation to produce hypothermia. The prevention and management of temperature-related complications is expedited by an understanding of both normal and drug-influenced thermoregulation.

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