CHICAGO, IL – In an effort to remove excess body heat that orthopedic surgeons generate, OR manufacturer Slyker has paired with refrigerator maker Frigid-Air to market the first sub-zero operating room.

penguinsRecent studies have shown that orthopedic surgeons generate more metabolic heat than the average human.  This is due to the large amounts of protein shakes and B-vitamins consumed as well as their ox-like grip strength.  This excess heat has reduced the efficiency of surgeons around the country.  Up until now, a practical means for providing a personal heat sink, such as a cooling suit, have failed.  It seems the obvious solution is to cool down the entire room.

Slyker CEO Paul Sherman explains, “I was at the aquarium with my two children and we were visiting the penguin exhibit.  I thought to myself, if that penguin can be comfortable, then there is no reason I can’t make an orthopedic surgeon comfortable.”  From this, the sub-zero operating room was born.

“There were a few issues to consider,” continues Sherman.  “Even with the current OR environment there always seems to be a short supply of warming blankets because anesthesia is wearing them like shawls.  You can always tell who the anesthesiologist is by who is wrapped up in the most blankets.”  To combat these problems, Slyker has also come out with Parka-inspired scrubs for the anesthesiologists and CRNAs.

Patient safety with the sub-zero temperatures was also addressed.  “What we learned from the Arctic-Sun Protocol is that patients do better the colder they are,” Sherman adds.  “Sure every single one of them under current conditions complain about how cold the room or table is the moment they enter the room, but patient comfort is only a secondary concern.”  Nevertheless, in order to prevent denaturing of essential proteins, a radiation-heated OR table has been installed that uses the X-rays emitted from the C-arm to warm the patient.  “Now there is a direct relationship between number of fluoro shots and patient warming.”

Each operating room, complete with accessories to prevent frost-bite for ancillary staff, costs $2.7 million to install and $40 a minute to operate, which is 200% over the current OR operating costs.  Sherman concludes, “The cost of chilling the entire room and making everyone else adapt to it is justified if it makes our orthopedic surgeons more comfortable, more productive.”

However, the first trial of the sub-zero OR was not as successful as expected.  In spite of the irrigation at the end of the case being frozen over, the orthopedic surgeon asked on 4 occasions to turn the temperature down in the room.  When removing his lead at the end of the case, his scrubs were still saturated in sweat.  Luckily, there was one unexpected benefit revealed during the trial; blood loss truly was minimal.  “Apparently blood has the viscosity of molasses at arctic-like temperatures,” confesses Sherman, “which gave ample time for the orthopedic surgeon to coagulate all the bleeders.”  Further design modifications are expected prior to release for hospital use.


  • Show Comments

  • Kathey Tucker

    Patients have warmed IV fluids & bear huggers….

  • Susan Lafayette

    Ha! Love it… But just ask the L&D nurses how hard it is to keep two pregnant Ob-Gyns cool during a C-section!!

  • Marci Delaney

    Edokiya Housman ;)

  • Yvette F. Crosby

    Omg lmao

  • Megan Cassidy

    I want this OR! Alex, you in?

  • Jennifer Lee

    Eunice Lee

  • Barbara Carson

    I know the surgeon involved. Worked with him in Virginia!

  • Kathey Tucker

    I’d come out of retirement to work in a sub-zero OR! Sign me up!

  • Melanie Paral

    Hilarious!! But only too close to true!

  • Mario Osseis

    I really need this… Elige Karam

  • Elige Karam

    Mario Osseis

  • Penelope Benny-José

    they’re unconscious, how would they know?

  • Taufiq Salahuddin

    Kmann Krauty

  • John Francie Goll

    Should we send you a kuspuk?

  • Laykan Butler

    Interesting …. & the Artic-Sun is really awesome to use!

  • Anissa Tyler

    Lol!!! Hilarious!!!

  • Patti Dodson

    Sounds wonderful to me KO!!

  • TJ Jackson

    It really can’t be cold enough in there, under the hooded with a hammer in hand.

  • Heike Johnson


  • Amanda Goll Sherman

    Would also be a good option for any pregnant OR staff!

  • Deanna Marie Pollen

    Chris Hedeen
    “This is due to the large amount of protein shakes…”
    “Short supply of warming blankets because anesthesia is wearing them like shawls”

  • Sam Lumb

    We cooled the theatre today for the surgeons until the entire OR converged into a Bose-Einstein condensate

  • Jennifer Long Illig

    Doug Roeshot hahaha!

  • Kate Young

    The patients are freaking cold too.

  • Dana McMillan Strokos

    Brandy Conrad Bergeron. Hahaha

  • Phillip Workman

    Laykan Butler, Leslie Shoemaker Penny, Kaitlyn Harbin Walling

  • Courtney Parker Fischer

    Cindy Fite Sadler hahahahaha :)

  • Stephanie King

    Andreas Chen

  • Diane Knight

    Of Couse it would be Ortho surgens asking!!! Or any surgen!! Have they all forgotten their term in anaesthetics!!!!!??????

  • Nate Schneider

    Kami Sorenson-Olthoff, Carol Swartzendruber, Scott Frisbie, Andrea Hahn

  • Charles Oehrlein

    Sophia Lal Natalie Giammanco Hadley Phillip Workman Lauri Traver

  • Jennifer Young Molina

    Jenny Hughes

  • Heidi Huser

    Staci Lemieux, funny!

  • Dave Schwabacher

    In a related story… CRNA now providing anesthesia from inside the blanket warmers.

  • Allan Holiday

    So true!

  • John Hatley


  • Luke Bursle

    Anaesthetist still not wearing lead.

  • Kathleen Lyons O’Bryan

    Patti Dodson

  • Michelle Lynam

    Those theatre jackets just don’t cut it. Bring on the shawls! LOL.

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