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GMAT Question of the Day – 12/01/2021

QUESTION

It is well established that surgical patients whose core body temperatures fall below 36°C (around 96.8°F) during surgery have much higher mortality rates than surgical patients whose core body temperatures remain above 36°C. Consequently, mortality rates could be significantly reduced during surgery if operating rooms were kept significantly warmer than they are presently kept under standard hospital guidelines, which call for temperatures of 21°C (around 69.8°F).

Which of the following, if true, argues most strongly against the view that surgical mortality rates could be reduced by raising operating room temperatures?

ANSWER SELECTION

ANSWER EXPLANATION

The stem indicates that the answer choices will argue against the stimulus, so this is a Weaken question.

The stimulus states that operating rooms should be kept warmer than their current 21°C, since the mortality rate during surgery increases as body temperature decreases.

In order to weaken the proposal, find the answer choice that provides a disadvantage that the author may have overlooked.

If, as (E) asserts, manual dexterity and mental alertness go down as the operating room temperature is raised above 21°C, this would definitely weaken the plan to warm up the room. Few activities require more mental alertness and manual dexterity than performing surgery, so any potential gains that might be made by keeping patients warmer might be offset by the increased likelihood of surgical error.

(A) presents irrelevant information; there’s no information about why surgical mortality rates are slightly higher in the summer, or even whether operating rooms are kept warmer or colder in the summer versus the winter.

(B) would, if anything, slightly strengthen the author’s claim, because it suggests that some patients are very susceptible to cold, implying that warmer operating rooms would make sense.

(C) is completely irrelevant to the argument, as cost is not under consideration here.

(D) is also irrelevant to the argument. The concern here is with saving lives, not catering to the preferences of nurses and medical technicians.

Clever Academy

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