Fever, convulsions and death following surgery on children is a sequence of complications that has long been dreaded by surgeons and anesthesiologists. Dr. Isabella C. Herb1 pointed out in "Abt's Pediatrics" in 1925 that operating room temperatures should be between 65 and 70 F., and that temperatures above this are exhausting to the patient. Although the staff at The Children's Memorial Hospital was conscious of this danger, our only preventive measures were the usual ones—such as light draping, cancelling of elective surgery on excessively hot days and ice packs following surgery if the temperature was noticeably elevated at the conclusion of surgery.
In the summer of 1947 we were suddenly jolted out of our complacency by two deaths due to postoperative hyperthermia.
REPORT OF CASES
—T. M., 1 year of age, was operated on for correction of webbed fingers. The day before surgery his temperature was 100.4