Question 18

Outline the consequences of mild hypothermia in a patient following major surgery.

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College Answer

This is another very important, and not an infrequently seen, aspect of almost daily intensive care
practice which was poorly understood by candidates. For a good answer candidates were
expected to outline pharmacological (eg alteration in drug behaviour), physiological (eg shivering,
vasoconstriction, impaired coagulation, etc) consequences. Additional points such as poor wound
healing, discomfort also attracted a small number of marks. Candidates would have benefited by
illustrating their answers with examples, eg prolonged recovery from anaesthesia and duration of
neuromuscular blokade.
Syllabus: L2e
References: Hemmings, Foundation of Anaesthesia: Basic and Clinical Science pg 815