Body temperature in elderly surgical patients



Body temperatures of 37 elderly surgical patients with fractured hips were measured using tympanic membrane probes. Comparisons were made between patients having the usual body coverings and those protected by extra body coverings. Of 21 patients with the usual body coverings, eight were hypothermic as compared with one of 16 patients with extra body coverings. Temperatures were significantly different between groups in-traoperatively (p < 0.001) and in the recovery room p < 0.002) where the lowest temperatures were recorded. Anxiolytics given preoperatively had a significant negative relationship with lower body temperatures. Careful monitoring of temperatures and extra coverings are recommended for elderly hip fractured patients perioperatively.