Evid Based Nurs 5:48 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.2.48
  • Treatment

Warming patients before clean surgery reduced the incidence of postoperative wound infection

 QUESTION: In patients having minor elective surgery, does preoperative warming reduce the incidence of wound infection after surgery?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded (outcome assessor), controlled trial with 6 weeks of follow up.


A district general hospital in the UK.


421 patients who were having elective hernia repair, varicose vein surgery, or breast surgery that would result in a scar >3 cm in length. Exclusion criteria were <18 years of age, pregnancy, use of long term oral steroids, radiotherapy (to the incision site) or chemotherapy in the previous 4 weeks, or infection at the time of surgery. Follow up was 99% (mean age 50 y, 58% women).


Patients were allocated to local warming (n=141), systemic warming (n=139), or standard treatment (n=141). All patients were given standard preoperative care. In addition, patients in the local warming group …

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