Date of Award

Spring 4-18-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Kacy Ballard DNP, CRNA

First Committee Member

Dr. Chai Sribanditmongkol, PhD, RN, IBCLC, CNS

Second Committee Member

Dr. Amy Bishop, DNP, AGCNS


Hypothermia, Inadvertent Perioperative Hypothermia, Complications, Length of Stay, Total Joint Arthroplasty, Perioperative

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


Hypothermia is a core body temperature below 36 degrees Celsius. Hypothermia is a common occurrence for many surgical patients that presents with many complications. When patients experience hypothermia during the perioperative setting, it is defined as Inadvertent Perioperative Hypothermia (IPH). During surgery, the patient typically has large body areas exposed to perform surgery in a room that is kept cool leading to lower body temperature and under general anesthesia the body’s ability to regulate body temperature is impaired. Patients who are undergoing total joint arthroplasties (TJA), a hip or knee replacement, are a high-risk population for IPH, therefore, increasing their overall length of stay postoperatively. Complications that can result from hypothermia include decreased wound healing with a high risk of surgical site infection, decreased coagulation ability leading to excessive blood loss, and delayed awakening from anesthesia due to decreased metabolism of medications. Currently, there are measures in place perioperatively to help regulate patient’s temperature such as heated intravenous fluids, warm blankets, or forced air warmers. With these interventions there are roughly 20 to 70% of TJA patients that unintentionally suffer from IPH. Due to the high incidence of IPH and the associated complications, it is increasing the overall cost to the patients and healthcare systems. Many facilities lack compliance with overall policy and clinical guidelines to prevent IPH in the at-risk population of TJA patients. The goal of this project is to implement evidence-based practice guidelines for perioperative management of hypothermia and maintenance of normothermia with the use of qualitative and quantitative data and assess the effectiveness in a rural hospital in the Midwest.

Acknowledgement 1


Acknowledgement 2


Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use



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