A global exploration of operating theatre temperatures during severe burn repair

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The perioperative maintenance of a patient's core temperature is a challenge during burn care. While patient warming devices are sometimes used to prevent intraoperative hypothermia, raising the ambient temperature of the theatre is the most common practice. Theatre temperature can impact on the performance and comfort of surgery staff but standards for theatre temperatures in burn care are poorly defined. Therefore, in this study we investigated the current, global, clinical practices in burn care with respect to the ambient temperature of theatres that are used to treat severe burn injuries. An internet-based, descriptive, QualtricsXM survey was distributed electronically to 81 burn professionals to identify the temperatures at which the surgical teams operate on severe burn injuries. The survey was completed by 33 participants from 15 countries and revealed that there is a wide range of temperatures (24–45°C) at which burn injuries are treated. The prevention of hypothermia was the clinical justification most reported for those theatre temperatures. Temperatures between 26 and 30°C appear to be most comfortable for the staff. One respondent mentioned that surgeries are often limited to 5 h to avoid hypothermia in patients, however, others noted surgery durations of up to 8–12 h in raised temperatures, which may impact the physiology and performance of the team, potentially impacting the safety of the patients. The adoption of an optimal theatre temperature to address the surgical team's comfort levels, their performance, and patient hypothermia, may improve outcomes in cases of severe burn injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-104
Number of pages4
JournalBurns Open
Issue number2
Early online date18 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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