Keeping veterinary patients at normothermia, or the average body temperature is very important for their health and healing. Physiological processes can be affected by changes in body temperature, which can also cause problems in postpartum care. In this blog post, we'll talk about effective strategies and tools that vets can use to keep their patients at the right temperature.
Why Normothermia Is Important
When you're in a medical setting, degrees matter. Keeping a patient's core body temperature average, or normothermia is very important for their safety. Keeping the body temperature regular is very important for keeping veterinarian patients from having problems like slower healing, a weaker immune system, and a higher risk of getting illnesses. Core temperatures that are outside the normal range are dangerous for all surgery patients and have been linked to a higher chance of problems after surgery, such as surgical site infections.
The process of controlling body temperature is critical during surgery, when the body's standard systems may not work as well.
Factors Influencing Body Temperature in Veterinary Patients
In a healthy patient who has not been given anesthesia, the body temperature will remain stable even if the temperature drops below 37.8 degrees Celsius. However, hypothermia that is brought on by anesthesia is quite common, and it is believed that this is because of an anesthetic-induced impairment of thermoregulatory responses.
When anesthesia is used, it slows down the central nervous system. This makes the hypothalamus less sensitive to changes in body temperature, which means the animal can't move on its own or make muscles work to create heat. Hypothermia often makes people shiver. This uncontrollable action is the body's way of trying to raise its temperature, but the sedative effects of anesthesia make this impossible.
There are fewer heat-making chemical and physical processes in the digestive system after food intake when people don't eat before surgery.
Considering that the ratio of surface area to volume increases with the size of the animal, it follows that animals weighing less than 5 kilograms are more likely to experience hypothermia because they have a greater surface area from which heat can be lost. Different animals have different ways of controlling their body temperature. Younger animals have less body fat to keep them warm, and their thermoregulatory systems are not yet fully formed. On the other hand, older animals may have worsening thermoregulatory systems.
The MRI-Safe ConRad Thermal Blanket has been tested extensively under clinical conditions at a busy Veterinary MRI center and was shown to maintain normothermia.
Strategies that are Effective in the Maintenance of Normothermia
Following are the strategies that are effective in the maintenance of normothermia
1. Planning Before Surgery:
An increase in the patient's core body temperature can be achieved through the utilization of pre-warming techniques prior to surgical procedures. Things like forced-air warming blankets, hot operating tables, and warm fluids that are injected into the veins can be used to get the animal ready for the operation.
The patient's temperature should be continuously monitored throughout the surgical procedure, so it is essential to make an investment in high-quality monitoring equipment. These can be rectal probes, esophageal probes, or tympanic thermometers based on the type of animal and the process.:
2. Care During Surgery:
During surgical procedures, the utilization of warm air systems is beneficial in that it helps to counteract the cooling effects of anesthesia. A constant flow of warm air can be given to the patient by putting devices like the Bair Hugger on them.
The use of reflective materials or the covering of exposed body parts with sterile drapes are two techniques that can be utilized to reduce the amount of heat that is lost during surgical procedures. It is essential to pay attention to the limbs, which lose heat more quickly.
3. Management after Surgery:
Maintaining a warm and comfortable environment in the recovery area is the first step in controlling the temperature in the recovery area. This can be done with heating pads, warming healing cages, or warm blankets.
Monitoring the patient's temperature on a regular basis during the recovery phase and taking prompt action in the event that hypothermia is detected is the second step in the close monitoring procedure. This could mean changing the surroundings, giving them more warming devices, or giving them warm drinks.
4. Environmental Concerns for Hospitalized Patients:
Make sure that the environment of the hospital or clinic is adequately climate-controlled in order to protect against temperature fluctuations that are not necessary. This is very important for people who are very sick or who are in critical care.
In order to assist hospitalized patients in maintaining their body temperature, it is essential to provide them with the appropriate bedding and insulation. Places that are comfortable and don't cause stress can help people heal faster.
5. Instruction for the Client:
Educate pet owners on the significance of ensuring that their homes are kept at a warm temperature during the treatment period. Give instructions on how to use covers, change the temperature of the room, and watch the pet's behavior for signs that it is uncomfortable.
Training pet owners to recognize the signs of hypothermia, such as shivering, lethargy, or pale mucous membranes, is an essential step in effectively managing hypothermia in their animals. Early discovery lets help be given quickly and stops problems from getting worse.
New Technologies in Veterinary Care
New technologies in healthcare have also been used in animal medicine, which has led to better results and lower costs. Veterinary offices that use the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) can watch animals from afar, which cuts costs and improves care for patients.
Keeping veterinary animals at an average body temperature is very important for their health and healing. By using both old-fashioned methods and new tools, vets can make sure that temperatures are kept at the right level, which improves patient outcomes and lowers healthcare costs.