Heat production and loss

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Abstract

Under general anesthesia the body cannot compensate for hypothermia because anesthetics inhibit central thermoregulation by interfering with hypothalamic function. Anesthetic-induced vasodilatation causes redistribution of heat from the warm central compartment to cooler peripheral tissues. Even mild core hypothermia can be detrimental and lead to patient harm. It is therefore important to monitor core temperature during general anesthesia and take active measures to conserve heat. Induced hypothermia has proved to be protective during times of cerebral or cardiac ischemia as metabolic oxygen requirement is lowered by systemic cooling. Hyperthermia during sepsis, hyperthyroidism, malignant hyperthermia, and drug or transfusion reactions if not recognized and treated promptly can lead to life-threatening physiological disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-187
Number of pages6
JournalUpdate in Anaesthesia
Volume24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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