Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Missal, Bernita


Abstract: Background: The World Health Organization estimated the number of surgical procedures for 2012 to be 312.9 million around the world (Weiser et al., 2016). Children may be at an elevated risk of hypothermia in the perioperative environment due to their size and inconsistent use of nursing interventions. Maintaining normothermia during surgery is vital, but practices between organizations and even nursing staff can affect hypothermia rates. Research has found that even mild hypothermia can increase the incidence of surgical site infections, the need for oxygen, adverse cardiac events, blood loss, changes in medication absorption, and impaired wound healing (Rosenberger, Politano, & Sawyer, 2011). Determining if there is an ideal warming protocol throughout the perioperative environment is vital to improving patient outcomes. Purpose: To review current literature to determine that implementing a patient care bundle would decrease the risk of perioperative hypothermia in children. Results: Studies identified (n=21) examining the interventions used to maintain normothermia of surgical patients throughout the perioperative period. These studies were analyzed using Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory which states that when nurses meet the patient's needs, the patient can maintain a system of wellness or homeostasis. Conclusions: Findings from the studies (2005-2017) support the use of forced air warming throughout the entire perioperative environment to prevent the complication of unplanned hypothermia during surgery. However, many of the studies included many active and passive warming interventions and it was difficult to determine which intervention was the most responsible for decreasing the risk of unplanned hypothermia. Implications for Research and Practice: Further research is needed to determine the best practices to prevent unplanned hypothermia in pediatric patients. This would include best active and passive warming interventions, costs associated and environmental impact of the different interventions. A common nomenclature is needed to allow more straightforward comparison of research across all disciplines practicing in the perioperative environment. Keywords: normothermia, unplanned hypothermia, pediatric population

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons