Prevention of Maternal Hypothermia After Scheduled Caesarean Section Using Active Intravenous Warming

2018-07-17 11:27:12 | BioPortfolio


Maternal hypothermia is very frequent after caesarean delivery under spinal anaesthesia and should be prevented, as it induces discomfort and increases the risk of postoperative complications. Several modalities of active warming have been explored, with contrasting results. EnFlow® IV Fluid warming system offers effective and safe IV fluid warming without discomfort, and is very easy to use. The investigators hypothesize that this device can efficiently prevent hypothermia after caesarean section. The purpose of this study is to determine whether active fluid warming reduces the occurrence of maternal hypothermia after scheduled caesarean section, as compared with no active warming. The investigators plane to conduce a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Seventy women undergoing scheduled caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia in 3 different maternity units will be included. The primary outcome is the occurrence of maternal hypothermia (<36.0°C) on admission to the post anaesthesia care unit. The secondary outcomes are perioperative maternal hypothermia, maternal thermal discomfort, maternal recovery and neonatal well-being


Hypothermia is a well-known complication of general and neuraxial anaesthesia. After a caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia, 30 to 40% of the mothers have a core temperature <36°C. Perioperative hypothermia induces maternal thermal discomfort and shivering, but also increases the amount of blood loss and the risks of postoperative wound infections and cardiac complications. In addition, maternal hypothermia may also have an impact on neonatal outcomes. Prevention of maternal hypothermia in women scheduled for caesarean delivery is consequently necessary, and is an important part of enhanced recovery after surgery. Active warming is efficient in preventing postoperative hypothermia. Forced-air warming is the most commonly used modality of active warming. However forced-air warming should be applied for at least 60 minutes to be efficient. As surgical duration for a caesarean is lower than one hour, this technic does not appear really appropriate in this context. In addition, upper body forced-air warming is uncomfortable for women and can interfere with bonding. Consequently forced-air warming is not generally used during caesarean delivery. Warmed IV fluid is another option to prevent perioperative hypothermia, but with contrasting results, depending mainly on the device and on the amount of perioperative fluids infusion. Co-loading IV fluid is recommended to prevent maternal hypotension induced by spinal anaesthesia in the context of caesarean delivery. The device enFlow®, routinely used in scheduled surgery, is able to warm IV fluid administered with high flows, such as in co-loading IV fluid. But the efficiency of enFlow® to prevent maternal hypothermia has never been explored in the context of caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia with co-loading.

The investigators hypothesized that warmed IV fluid administered in co-loading with enFlow® decreases the incidence of postoperative maternal hypothermia after caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia.

The investigators will perform a double blinded randomized controlled trial comparing active IV warming with enFlow® versus placebo.

After obtaining written informed consent from the patients, 70 pregnant women ASA status 1 or 2 and scheduled for caesarean delivery will be enrolled and randomized into two groups: active IV fluid warming vs no active warming. Written informed consent will be obtained before randomisation using an Internet based randomisation system. Participants will be randomized just after their arrival in the operative room. The clinicians in charge of the patients, the researcher and the woman will be blinded. In the operative room, a venous cannula will be inserted into the forearm, and an infusion of Ringer's lactate solution fluids will be initiated. An enFlow® device will be placed on the IV for all the patients, but turned on only in the group active warming. The device will be hidden in all the patients. Every patient will have a spinal anaesthesia in sitting position with hyperbaric bupivacaine 10mg, sufentanil 3µg and morphine 100µg. An IV co loading with Ringer-Lactate 1000 ml will be started at the beginning of the spinal administration. All the women will be monitored using heart rate, continuous SpO2, non-invasive arterial blood pressure every 1-minute until the baby is born, and then every 5 minutes. Maternal arterial hypotension will be corrected with ephedrine or phenylephrine as appropriate. All the women will receive carbetocin 100µg just after baby extraction. While in the operative room, all the data will be collected on a standardized data collection sheet. In case of maternal temperature <35°C during surgery, an active warming blanket will be used. The enFlow® device will be taken off at the end of the surgery just before leaving the operative room.

In addition, postoperative data will be collected during the admission to the post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU). In case of maternal temperature <36°C in the PACU, a warming blanket will be used.

The sample size calculation revealed that 62 participants were required to ensure that a 30% decrease in the incidence of postoperative maternal hypothermia will be detected (power = 0.9 ; α= 0,05). The investigators decided to enroll 70 women because of the risks of secondary exclusions and of lost of follow up.

Study Design


Postoperative Hypothermia


enFlow® IV fluid warmer


Cochin Hospital, Port-Royal Maternity


Not yet recruiting


Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-07-17T11:27:12-0400

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