Purpose: To document the preoperative core temperature of adult elective su
Methods: A prospective audit obtained sublingual temperatures from 446 adul
t elective surgical patients on arrival in the preoperative holding area.
Results: Temperatures ranged from 35.7 degreesC to 37.8 degreesC with a mea
n of 36.5 degreesC (0.4 SD). The median was 36.4 degreesC and the mode was
36.1 degreesC. There was a skewed distribution with a clustering of values
at the lower end of the range. AM recordings were within the accepted normo
Conclusion: The asymmetric distribution we observed differs from previously
published normothermia data which shows a symmetrical distribution of temp
eratures, This skewed distribution has not previously been documented and w
e interpret it as being due to the effect of preoperative cooling factors.