Effects of intraoperative temperatures on postoperative infections in infants and neonates

Sarah Walker, Ruchi Amin, Marjorie J. Arca, Ankur Datta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Perioperative hypothermia has been shown to increase surgical site infection (SSI) rates in adults. We sought to characterize whether intraoperative hypothermia or hyperthermia is associated with postoperative infections in infants. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients ≤ 6 months old who underwent surgical procedures from November 2013 to October 2015 at a Level I ACS Children's Surgical Center. The outcome was infections within 30 days after operation, with particular attention to SSI. Data obtained included weight and age at surgery, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physiologic status, wound class, case length, blood transfusion within 72 h of surgery, and administration of prophylactic antibiotics. Temperatures were classified as hypothermia (T < 36 °C), normothermia (T = 36.0 to 37.9 °C), and hyperthermia (T ≥ 38 °C). Results: The 885 patients had 25 SSIs (2.8%) and 11 nonsurgical site infections (1.2%). On univariate analysis, weight at surgery, higher ASA, perioperative transfusions, and longer case length were associated with higher rate of SSI. Higher median Thigh, higher median T low, and any hyperthermia were associated with higher rate of SSI. On multivariable logistic regression adjusted analyses, hyperthermia at any time during the case was associated with SSI (OR 3.47, [95% CI 1.34, 9.04], p = 0.011). Transfusions were also associated with higher SSI rates (OR 3.60 [95% CI, 1.28, 10.3], p = 0.016). Conclusions: Intraoperative hyperthermia is associated with increased SSI rates in infants. Level of Evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypothermia
  • Infant
  • Neonate
  • Surgical site infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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