A Survey of Temperature Management Practices among Burn Centers in North America

Kaitlin A. Pruskowski, Julie A. Rizzo*, Beth A. Shields, Rodney K. Chan, Ian R. Driscoll, Matthew P. Rowan, Kevin K. Chung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Maintaining body temperature is a unique challenge with burn care. We sought to describe core temperature goals in the operating room (OR) and the methods used to achieve and maintain these goals, along with current methods of warming in the intensive care unit (ICU), the perception of effect of increased ambient temperature on work performance, and concerns with contamination of sterile fields due to increased ambient temperature. A 24 question survey was disseminated to burn centers in the United States and Canada. The questions included demographics, target core and ambient temperatures, warming methods, and beliefs on ambient temperature's effects. Of 121 burn centers, 52 questionnaires were completed (43% response rate). The majority of centers targeted a core temperature between 36 and 38°C in the OR and an ambient temperature between 75 and 95°F in the ICU. The most common methods for maintaining core temperature included warmed ambient temperature, forced air devices, and intravenous fluids. Although the majority of centers reported the belief that increased ambient temperature benefits patients, many also reported that there is a negative impact on staff performance and risk of staff perspiration contaminating sterile fields. Burn centers reported a range of target core temperatures and methods to reach target temperatures. More than a third of respondents perceived a negative impact work performance while more than half acknowledged the potential for contamination of sterile fields. A prospective observational study is needed to determine actual temperature regulation practice patterns and its impact on outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-617
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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