Can skin temperature be a clue for predicting excessive postoperative bleeding? [A temperatura da pele pode ser um indicador para hemorragia grave no pós-operatório?]
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether postoperative hypothermia evaluated by skin temperature can be a clue of excessive bleeding requiring re-exploration. Methods: In this retrospective study, the records of 12 patients who needed re-exploration due to bleeding in the postoperative period were reviewed and the time from the first minute in the intensive care unit until the skin temperature reached 36.5°C was measured. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) durations were noted as were preoperative and postoperative Activated Clotting Times (ACT) and the lowest body temperatures during the operation. A control group was formed of 16 randomly chosen patients who did not need re-exploration with CPB times similar to the study group. All parameters were compared between the two groups using the SPSS software version 10.0. Results: The length of time from the first minute in the intensive care unit until skin temperatures reached 36.5°C were significantly longer in the study group (p=0.0001). Preoperative and postoperative ACT were not significantly different (p=0.312 and p=0.576 respectively). The lowest body temperatures were also not significantly different (p=0.157). Conclusions: Our findings show that skin temperature is an important indicator of excessive bleeding with a need for re-exploration. Hypothermia may be a reason for this or may be a result of the bleeding. Descriptors: Induced hypothermia, adverse effects. Blood loss, surgical. Preoperative care, methods. Cardiopulmonary bypass.