Blood loss in primary total knee arthroplasty—body temperature is not a significant risk factor—a prospective, consecutive, observational cohort study
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Hypothermia related to anaesthesia and operating theatre environment is associated with increased blood loss in a number of surgical disciplines, including total hip arthroplasty. The influence of patient temperature on blood loss in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has not been previously studied.
We recorded patient axillary temperature in the peri-operative period, up to 24 h post-operatively, and analysed the effect on transfusion rate and blood loss from a consecutive cohort of 101 patients undergoing primary TKA.
No relationship between peri-operative patient temperature and blood loss was found within the recorded patient temperature range of 34.7–37.8 °C. Multivariable analysis found increasing age, surgical technique, type of anaesthesia and the use of anti-platelet and anticoagulant medications as significant factors affecting blood loss following TKA.
Patient temperature within a clinically observed range does not have a significant impact on blood loss in primary TKA patients. As long as patient temperature is maintained within a reasonable range during the intra-operative and post-operative periods, strategies other than rigid temperature control above 36.5 °C may be more effective in reducing blood loss following TKA.
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