When intravenous (IV) liquids are administered cold, they can cause the recipient to experience hypothermia. Hypothermia is dangerous in itself, but it can also lead to other health problems, such as cardiac arrest and hospital-acquired infections. Using an IV warmer is the easiest way to prevent hypothermia that results from cold infusions, but not every warmer is the same. If your organization needs these devices, you should base your choice on the eight criteria below:
Most warmers available today use one of the following heating methods: water circulation, heating plates, or dry heat. Dry heat provides the fastest heat up time, making it ideal for versions that are used on an emergency basis.
Temperature is typically measured by gauging the temperature of the circulating water, the temperature of the heating plates, or the temperature of the liquid in the tubing. The latter provides the most accurate form of temperature measurement.
The delivery path affects the temperature of the liquid and the cost of maintaining the unit. For the best temperature control, the heating mechanism and the delivery path should be combined into a single unit. To minimize the cost of maintenance - and to make it easy to acquire tubing-a fluid warming system should use non-proprietary tubing.
To meet the demands of every situation, a warmer should have a flow rate range of two to one hundred and fifty milliliters per minute. To ensure the heating mechanism responds quickly to flow rate changes, an IV fluid warming system should have a low mass heating mechanism that stores minimal heat.
Setup time can range from thirty seconds to four minutes. If the device is used in an emergency setting, it should have a setup time of thirty seconds. When set up takes a long time, the health of the patient can be significantly affected.
Heat Up Time
Heat up time can range from forty-five seconds to eight minutes. As with setup time, a device that is used in an emergency setting should have the shortest heat up time possible. Otherwise, the health of the patient could be jeopardized even further.
Portable, lightweight, battery-powered versions are valuable to emergency medical service (EMS) crews, as they are the only type of warmers that can be used in outdoor settings and inside emergency vehicles. Because they make it easier to transport patients, portable models are also useful in hospitals.
Disposable units have several advantages. They eliminate the cost of sterilization, require no maintenance, and can prevent the spread of infection due to improper sterilization. Disposable versions are ideal for EMS crews.
An IV fluid warming system can be a crucial component of medical care. When infusions are administered without being subjected to a fluid warming system, they can cause hypothermia to set in, which can lead to additional maladies such as cardiac arrest and hospital-acquired infections. If you need an IV warmer, be sure to choose one that performs well according to the criteria above.
Author: Joe LoPiccolo
An IV fluid warming system helps prevent hypothermia due to cold infusions. Organizations that deliver IV infusions should use an IV fluid warming system.
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