Intraoperative patient warming using radiant warming or forced-air warming during long operations

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Forced-air warming is the most commonly used and effective method of active warming. A new radiant warming device (Suntouch™, Fisher and Paykel) may provide an alternative when the skin surface available for warming is limited. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare the efficacy of the Suntouch™ radiant warmer and forced-air warming. With ethics committee approval, 60 surgical patients having procedures anticipated to be more than two hours in duration were recruited. Patients were randomized to either radiant warming or forced-air warming. All intravenous fluids were warmed but prewarming was not used. The final intraoperative core temperatures (°C) for the radiant warming and forced-air warming groups were 36.0±0.5 and 36.4±0.6 (P=0.002) respectively. No other patient variables were significantly different. The Suntouch™ is not as effective as the forced air warming for intraoperative warming during long surgical procedures. The device may be useful when forced-air warming is not possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-361
Number of pages4
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaesthesia
  • Forced-air warming
  • Radiant warming
  • Temperature: Thermoregulation

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