The term “intraoperative” refers to the time during surgery. Intraoperative care is patient care during an operation and ancillary to that operation. The purpose of intraoperative care is to maintain patient safety and comfort during surgical procedures. Some of the goals of intraoperative care include maintaining homeostasis during the procedure, maintaining strict sterile techniques to decrease the chance of cross-infection, ensuring that the patient is secure on the operating table, and taking measures to prevent hematomas from safety strips or from positioning.
Patients undergoing surgery most often are given some type of anesthesia. The administration of general anesthesia has a relaxing effect on the patient’s body, which can suppress cardiovascular function or heighten cardiovascular irritability. It may also result in respiratory depression, loss of consciousness, paralysis , and lack of sensation. It is the responsibility of the health care team in the operating room to maintain the patient’s safety and yet facilitate surgery.