Core temperature is the temperature of blood and internal organs; influenced by biorhythm, metabolism, activity and hormones. It is regulated within a narrow range, but this is impaired during general and/or neuraxial anaesthesia. Inadvertent peri-operative hypothermia is defined as a core temperature of <36C, the prevalence of which can be as high as 90%. This may lead to increased peri-operative complications (ranging from surgical site infection, pressure sores, cardiac morbidity, bleeding and delayed drug metabolism leading to longer hospitalisation and increased healthcare costs), patient discomfort and distress.
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