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Thomas Jefferson University Research

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Abstract

General anesthesia during surgery can impair the body’s autonomic temperature regulation and lead to patients having dangerously low body temperature. That, in turn, increases an array of clinical risks, including poor wound healing and infection, excess blood loss, cardiac arrhythmias and impaired renal function. Unfortunately, current surgical gowns— which have very little thermal capability—provide no significant protection against heat loss.

For that reason, a cross-disciplinary team of Jefferson students and faculty—with expertise in anesthesiology, mechanical engineering, textile engineering, textile technology and fashion design—is creating a new type of patient garment that is intended to mitigate the problem of surgically related hypothermia.

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