Purpose: Children undergoing operative intervention while induced under general anesthesia are at risk for experiencing a significant decrease in core body temperature that can lead to adverse systemic effects. Given that the head contributes an estimated 18% of a child’s body surface area, we theorized that a liquid-warming garment applied to the head could control a pediatric patient’s core body temperature during surgical procedures. Methods: Patients undergoing elective, non-cranial, general surgical procedures were enrolled in the study. A head garment with an embedded network of tubing was placed on the patient. The garment connected to a computer-controlled water bath that managed the temperature of the water in the tubing through a feedback mechanism. Results: Ten patients with ages ranging from 1 day to 3 years (mean age 10.5 months) were enrolled in this study. The average procedure length was 82.5 min. The mean core body temperature throughout the procedure for all-comers was 36.5 ± 0.9 °C with an overall mean difference in maximum and minimum temperatures of 1.32 ± 1.1 °C. Conclusion: A liquid-warming garment applied to the head of pediatric surgical patients is an innovative and relatively low-cost means to regulate and to maintain the ideal core body temperature of patients undergoing surgical procedures.
- Conductive heat exchange
- Liquid cooling/warming garment
- Pediatric surgery