[Air conditioning units and warm air blankets in the operating room].


Nowadays almost all operating rooms are equipped with air conditioning (AC units). Their main purpose is climatization, like ventilation, moisturizing, cooling and also the warming of the room in large buildings. In operating rooms they have an additional function in the prevention of infections, especially the avoidance of postoperative wound infections. This is achieved by special filtration systems and by the creation of specific air currents. Since hypothermia is known to be an unambiguous factor for the development of postoperative wound infections, patients are often actively warmed intraoperatively using warm air blankets (forced-air warming units). In such cases it is frequently discussed whether such warm air blankets affect the performance of AC units by changing the air currents or whether, in contrast, have exactly the opposite effect. However, it has been demonstrated in numerous studies that warm air blankets do not have any relevant effect on the functioning of AC units. Also there are no indications that their use increases the rate of postoperative wound infections. By preventing the patient from experiencing hypothermia, the rate of postoperative wound infections can even be decreased thereby.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1333077

Cite this paper

@article{Kerwat2013AirCU, title={[Air conditioning units and warm air blankets in the operating room].}, author={Klaus M Kerwat and Karolin Piechowiak and Hinnerk F. Wulf}, journal={Anästhesiologie, Intensivmedizin, Notfallmedizin, Schmerztherapie : AINS}, year={2013}, volume={48 1}, pages={36-7} }