How long does post anesthesia shivering last?

Answered by James Kissner

Post anesthesia shivering can be a common occurrence after both general and regional anesthesia. It is not usually a cause for concern and typically resolves on its own within 20 to 30 minutes. However, in some cases, it may last longer or be more severe.

The exact cause of post anesthesia shivering is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the body’s response to the anesthesia drugs and the cooling effect of the operating room environment. When you are under anesthesia, your body’s temperature regulation mechanisms may be affected, leading to a drop in body temperature. This drop in temperature can trigger shivering as a way for your body to generate heat and maintain its core temperature.

The duration and intensity of post anesthesia shivering can vary from person to person. Factors such as the type and duration of anesthesia, the individual’s sensitivity to the drugs, and the ambient temperature in the operating room can all influence the severity and duration of shivering.

In most cases, the shivering will gradually subside as your body temperature returns to normal and the effects of the anesthesia wear off. It is important to note that shivering does not necessarily indicate a serious problem and is often just a temporary side effect of the anesthesia.

During this period, it is common for healthcare providers to take measures to help you stay warm and minimize shivering. These measures may include providing warm blankets or using warming devices, such as forced air warming systems or warmed intravenous fluids. These interventions can help raise your body temperature and alleviate the shivering.

It is worth mentioning that post anesthesia shivering can be more pronounced in certain individuals, such as those who are elderly, have a lower body mass index, or have a history of cold intolerance. Additionally, individuals who are undergoing lengthy or extensive surgeries may be more prone to experiencing prolonged shivering.

If you are concerned about the duration or severity of post anesthesia shivering, it is always best to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your individual situation and provide appropriate guidance and reassurance.

Post anesthesia shivering is a common occurrence that typically lasts between 20 to 30 minutes. It is a temporary side effect of anesthesia and is usually not a cause for concern. However, if you have any concerns or if the shivering persists or worsens, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure that there are no underlying issues.