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Paramedic Blood Warmers: Frequently Asked Questions

June 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 179

Intravenous (IV) infusions are commonly administered to injury victims. Three of the most common maladies of injury victims - blood loss, dehydration, and pain - can be treated with IV fluids. However, another common malady, hypothermia, has proven difficult to treat with conventional IV equipment. Injury victims experience hypothermia for various reasons, including:

  • Bloodloss
  • Brain injuries
  • Drug overdose
  • Exposure to cold temperatures

In each case, administering cold IV fluids makes the hypothermia worse. That is why Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should administer IV fluids using a paramedic blood warmer. If you need information about the specifications, benefits, and operation of EMS blood warmers, the answers below can help.

How quickly can portable warmers be set up and heated?

Some models take as long as eight minutes to set up and heat, but the most efficient model can be set up and heated in seventy-five seconds. To administer infusions with urgency, a warmer should be fully functional in less than two minutes.

How much do warmers weigh with the battery attached?

Some models weigh several pounds with the battery attached, while others weigh less than two pounds. EMS crews that traverse challenging terrain to reach injury victims should use a model that has a total weight of less than two pounds. The model that weighs the least with its battery attached weighs 1.81 pounds.

What is the maximum flow rate for a portable warmer?

2-150 ml/min is maximum flow rate for a portable model. Because injury victims require various types of infusions, using a product that offers this variable flow rate is highly advisable.

How do warmers control the temperature of the liquid?

Different models use different methods of temperature control. Some control temperature by measuring the temperature of heating plates that heat the liquid, while others measure the temperature of circulating water that heats the liquid. Still others control temperature by placing a sensor in the fluid path. The third option is the most accurate method of temperature measurement.

Do portable warmers use proprietary tubing or regular tubing?

Warmers commonly use both types of tubing. Proprietary tubing rarely offers a therapeutic benefit, but it makes the customer dependent on the manufacturer for more tubing. Because proprietary tubing is more expensive than regular tubing, choosing a model that uses the latter is the best choice financially.

What benefits do disposable warmers offer?

Disposable models offer at least three benefits to any organization:

  • They reduce operating costs by not requiring sterilization
  • They prevent bacterial infections that result from improper sterilization
  • They reduce operating costs by not requiring maintenance

However, the greatest benefit of disposable models is that they make it possible to deliver heated infusions in a non-clinical setting, which can save the lives of some injury victims.

Conclusion

Portable EMS blood warmers improve the care of injury victims by preventing hypothermia. As the answers above demonstrate, not every portable paramedic blood warmer is the same. When an EMS service invests in a portable IV warmer, it should evaluate the product in terms of flow rate, setup time and heat up time, weight with the battery attached, method of temperature control, and the type of tubing the product uses.

A portable paramedic blood warmer is essential for treating injury victims who have hypothermia. Portable EMS blood warmers can be purchased online.

Source: EzineArticles
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