Accidental peri-operative hypothermia has long been recognized as a serious complication of anesthesia and surgery. Patients who become very cold postoperatively are prone to cardiac events, increased infection, coagulation problems and post operative respiratory failure. Clearly it is a problem all anesthesia providers take very seriously today.
There are many techniques used today to help keep a patient warm starting from the most simple such as warm blankets to cover the patient as they are wheeled out the room on their stretcher. In the operating room there are warming blankets that are inflated with hot air and warming pads that are placed beneath the patient. There are also heating mechanisms they use to warm the intravenous fluids that are administered to the patient. Sometimes even the operating room is warmed to help maintain a normal body temperature