Surgeons use irrigation during open cavity procedures to improve their view of the patient’s anatomy and to reduce the patient’s risk of infection. However, there are no standard guidelines that recommend a specific type of fluid, additive, or volume of irrigation to use during open procedures. Intraoperative hypothermia can occur if irrigation fluids have not been warmed or have cooled before use, causing adverse patient outcomes. In addition, failing to manage (eg, measure and document) fluid volume accurately may affect clinical decision making and cause other complications. Perioperative personnel should evaluate new technologies that may improve the efficiency and accuracy of irrigation temperature and volume measurements. More research is needed to develop standardized practice guidelines for intraoperative irrigation and fluid management.
Key words: irrigation fluid, irrigation solution, fluid management, perioperative hypothermia, fluid warming.