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Paramedic IV Equipment: Tips for Choosing a Portable IV Warmer

June 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 199

Portable IV warmers were invented to solve a dangerous medical problem: unchecked hypothermia in injury victims. Due to the tendency of serious injuries to cause hypothermia, the malady commonly occurs among those who need emergency medical attention. For example, four of the most common maladies that paramedics treat - head trauma, lacerations, gunshot wounds, and drug overdoses - can cause hypothermia. Without a paramedic IV equipment kit that contains a portable IV warmer, paramedics have difficulty treating hypothermia, and administering a cold infusion - a common practice in emergency vehicles - can make the condition worse.

Choosing a Portable Warmer

Supplying paramedics with portable IV warmers is not difficult - the products can be researched and purchased online from suppliers of EMS products. As an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) shops for a warmer to include in its paramedic supplies, it should answer the following questions before it makes a selection:

How long should take to set up and heat up the warmer?

Ideally, a portable warmer should be fully functional within two minutes. The most efficient model only takes thirty seconds to set up and forty-five seconds to heat up. It is important to remember that administering an infusion even a few seconds earlier than it could be administered with a different warmer makes a significant difference in the health of some injury victims.

How much should the warmer weigh?

The ideal weight for paramedic IV equipment depends on how it is used. If paramedics carry EMS products in situations where they must travel light (e.g. climbing ladders to assist trapped injury victims), then the warmer should ideally weigh less than two pounds with the battery attached. With its battery attached, the lightest warmer weighs 1.81 pounds.

Should the Warmer be Disposable or Non-disposable?

There are four reasons to use disposable warmers. First, disposable models help reduce operating costs by not requiring sterilization. Second, disposable models eliminate the chance of bacterial infections due to improper sterilization. Third, disposable models help reduce operating costs by not requiring maintenance. Fourth, disposable models allow EMS crews to travel light, which is helpful for reaching injury victims who are located in areas that are difficult to traverse, such as war zones and remote natural areas.

What flow rate should the warmer have?

Because different injury victims require different types of infusions - blood transfusions, hydrating infusions, medicinal infusions, etc. - using a warmer that has a generous flow rate is helpful. Ideally, a warmer should have a flow rate of 2-150 ml/min. Warmers that have a narrow flow rate range do not facilitate all types of infusions.

Conclusion

A portable IV warmer is a crucial piece of paramedic IV equipment. Without it, paramedics must administer intravenous liquids at room temperature - a practice that causes hypothermia, and makes existing hypothermia worse. Because paramedics must administer medical treatments quickly, and in various situations, choosing a warmer that has the right specifications is important. Before they buy a portable warmer from a supplier of EMS products, an EMS service should evaluate the warmer based on the questions above.

Because it helps save lives by combating hypothermia, a portable blood warmer is one of the most valuable EMS products for paramedic IV equipment.

Source: EzineArticles
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