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Your Paramedic IV Kit Should Contain a Portable IV Warmer

June 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 159

Paramedics treat various types of maladies, but hypothermia is a malady that they often find difficult to treat. This is because most Emergency Medical Services (EMS) do not supply paramedics with portable IV warmers that warm blood transfusions, hydrating infusions, and medicinal infusions. A paramedic IV kit that lacks a portable IV warmer is not only useless for treating hypothermia; it can make hypothermia worse by administering cold liquids. A portable IV warmer is not counted among traditional paramedic supplies, but its value to EMS crews is obvious for the following reasons.

Drug Overdoses Cause Hypothermia

A drug overdose can cause hypothermia in two ways: by interfering with the ability of the brain to regulate body temperature, and by dulling the senses to the point that cold weather does not feel cold. In either case, a warm IV infusion helps resolve the low body temperature.

Surgery Could Cause Hypothermia

Anesthetic and open body cavities can cause surgical patients to lose body heat. Because the loss of body heat that occurs during surgery can cause fatalities in hypothermic injury victims, administering warm IV fluids to injury victims who need surgery immediately after reaching the hospital can be a life saving measure.

Exposure to Coldness Causes Hypothermia

Many injury victims become hypothermic due to exposure. Car accident victims who are thrown from a vehicle, hikers who are stranded in remote areas, and drug users who become desensitized to cold weather are common examples of hypothermic injury victims. When EMS crews assist hypothermic injury victims, having a paramedic IV kit that contains a portable IV warmer is a necessity.

Blood Loss Causes Hypothermia

As blood leaves the body, heat leaves with it. Consequently, people who have serious lacerations or gunshot wounds typically experience hypothermia. Transfusing cold blood can address the blood loss, but it contributes to low body temperature. This is another reason why paramedic supplies should include a portable IV warmer.

Brain Injuries Cause Hypothermia

Traumatic brain injuries may affect the ability of the brain to control body temperature. Consequently, a person who experiences a head injury can become hypothermic even if his surroundings are warm. When this happens, administering a warm IV infusion may be the only way to raise his body temperature until the person reaches the hospital.

Exposure to "Warmth" Could Cause Hypothermia

Contrary to popular perception, people can experience hypothermia in spite of being healthy in a warm environment. Warmth induced hypothermia typically occurs when a person is in warm water whose temperature is below body temperature. If a person with a body temperature of 98°F swims in water that is 90°F, his body heat will move toward the area of lower heat. Staying in the water too long will induce hypothermia.

Conclusion

A paramedic IV kit that contains a portable IV warmer allows paramedics to administer warm IV infusions - a practice critical for treating and preventing hypothermia in various types of injury victims. If an EMS service does not include portable IV warmers in its paramedic supplies, it should add them as soon as possible for the reasons mentioned above.

Conventional paramedic supplies do not treat hypothermia. This makes a portable IV warmer an essential component of a paramedic IV kit.

Source: EzineArticles
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