Arizant Healthcares Prevent Hypothermia Campaign Targets Reduction in SSIs


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Among the 27 million people undergoing surgery annually in the United States, 14 million suffer from unintended hypothermia and nearly 750,000 will acquire a surgical site infection (SSI). Remarkably, an estimated 40 to 60 percent of these infections are avoidable.

Arizant Healthcare Inc. is launching its Prevent Hypothermia initiative to heighten awareness of the relationship between unintended hypothermia and SSIs and the simple, cost-effective ways to reduce the frequency of these surgical complications.

Arizants Prevent Hypothermia campaign includes a comprehensive educational kit featuring an informational brochure, ready-to-use educational presentation, 16-month calendar, warming measurement tools, and how-to guides for the implementation of SSI and hypothermia prevention techniques. Educational kits may be requested by calling 1-888-WARM-36C or online at

Thousands of healthcare facilities are participating in national initiatives to reduce SSIs, and we fully support their efforts, said Teri Woodwick Sides, Arizant Healthcare vice president. As the industry leader in forced-air warming, we want to do our part. For example, recent research has shown that maintaining normothermia in colorectal surgery patients results in a decreased risk of SSIs. Our Prevent Hypothermia educational package provides useful information on how facilities can better utilize patient warming in the fight against SSIs.

Unintended perioperative hypothermia has been called the most frequent, preventable complication of surgery, and has been associated with an increased rate of wound infection (SSIs), increased length in hospital stay and higher mortality rates.

Recent research has established that patients who acquire SSIs are five times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital and 60 percent more likely to spend time in the Intensive Care Unit. Most importantly, patients acquiring SSIs are twice as likely to die compared to patients without infections.

Maintaining normothermia with forced-air warming has been shown to reduce the risk of complications. And the good news is, maintaining normothermia is simple and cost-effective.

For an average price of less than $10, adverse outcomes from unintended hypothermia can be reduced, said Woodwick Sides. By using forced-air warming blankets and gowns throughout the perioperative setting, these facilities can do something very simple and very beneficial for their patients.

Arizant Healthcare Inc. pioneered the concept of forced-air warming in 1987 with the launch of the Bair Hugger® system. Today, the Bair Hugger system features its warming units and 23 different models of disposable warming blankets for use before, during and after surgery.

Arizant also incorporates forced-air warming into the patient gowning process with the Bair Paws® system, the worlds first warming gown and warming unit in one convenient system.  The company recently introduced a new OR gown that offers the ease and efficiency of forced-air warming throughout the perioperative process including the operating room.

The Bair Paws OR gown is designed to provide patient-controlled comfort warming in the pre-op and post-op setting. The same gown offers effective clinical warming during surgery involving the head, neck, knees or extremities. The Bair Paws gown can also be used anytime a patient gown is needed.

Source: Arizant Healthcare Inc.


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