Narrator: This is Science Today.
Dr. Daniel Sessler of the University of California,
San Francisco wanted to know if keeping patients
cold during surgery is a bad idea. Surgical patients
get cold because operating rooms are kept cold for
the surgeon's comfort.
Sessler: And that's important, because the surgeons are working, they have a job to do, and they get very hot because they're heavily gowned and working under hot lights. And so if the room is not cool enough for them, they get so uncomfortable that they can't do their job well.
Narrator: But Sessler and his research team found that cold patients were three times more likely to get infected after surgery than warm patients, and stayed in the hospital two days longer. One solution: cover patients with a forced-air blanket.
Sessler: This is a quilt-like device that's placed over the patient, but instead of feathers in the quilt baffling we put warm air through it.
Narrator: The blanket adds about 30 dollars to the cost of surgery, prevents infection and saves thousands in additional costs. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.