Review decision date: April 2015

Review decision: 

We checked this guideline and decided that it should be updated at this time. For details, see the update decision and the process for deciding if an update is needed. Details of the update will be available on the guidelines in development webpage in due course. This guideline will be checked again for update at its scheduled time point according to the methods described here.

Next review date: September 2016

This guidance covers the care and treatment of people who are having an operation in hospital, in the NHS in England and Wales, to reduce their risk of getting cold before, during or after their operation.

It was previously called inadvertent perioperative hypothermia: the management of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia in adults.

Responsibility for undertaking a review of this guidance at the designated review date has passed to the National Clinical Guidelines Centre for Acute and Chronic Conditions (NCGC-ACC). The National Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Supportive Care is no longer active.

NICE has published inditherm patient warming mattress for the prevention of inadvertent hypothermia (NICE medical technology guidance 7). The medical technology guidance does not supersede the guideline recommendations on pre- or perioperative warming. It also does not update the guideline with respect to the recommendation about forced air warming as a cost-effective use of resources. However, it does, for this product, update the recommendation for further research on the use of different warming devices. When considering new investment in warming devices, consideration should be given to whether use of the Inditherm patient warming mattress would be beneficial.


Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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