Studies

Why warm iv fluids?

Hypothermia
Douglas M. Smith, President
NREMT-P

– Hypothermia is common in trauma patients, geriatric patients, pediatric patients, burn patients and patients exposed to moderate and hostile environments.
– 20% of all trauma patients become hypothermic. The 2 major causes include exposure to the environments and/or infusion of below normal body temperature iv fluids.
– Geriatric patients who are sick or injured often become hypothermic due to the same reasons listed above plus a slower metabolism.
– Pediatric patients have a relatively fast metabolism but a small body mass and are susceptible to exposure to moderate or inclement weather conditions and cold iv infusions.
– Burn patients require rapid cooling of the burn area and may require large infusions of iv fluids due to plasma loss through the burn areas of the body. They are at high risk for a lowered body core temperature.
– Patients exposed to moderate temperatures may easily develop hypothermia. Even inside a home in the summer, an elderly patient with a hip fracture lying on a tile floor can rapidly become hypothermic.
– Immersion into a cold body of water leads to very rapid loss of body temperature. Heat travels to cold and the body is in direct contact with a circumferential heat sink. Hypothermia is a high hazard for these patients.
– Patients without hypothermia may develop mild to moderate hypothermia from a below normal body temperature infusion of iv fluids.
– Medications are 10% less effective with each degree Fahrenheit of body core temperature drop in medical patients.

When a sick or injured patient as described above becomes hypothermic, the body will divert energy to attempt thermoregulation; further compromising the patient and possibly worsening the outcome of the attempted patient care rendered.

In summary,
– The infusion of warmed iv fluids is good patient care. Improved outcomes can be expected on every sort of patient that has an opportunity to survive.
– To risk patient outcomes by infusions of below normal body temperature fluid is not in the best interest of the patient or the care providing agency.
-With exception of patients that qualify for ROSC Protocol.

Smithworks Medical, Inc. is owned and operated by a (now retired) firefighter paramedic. It is our mission to build the finest equipment specific to promoting improved patient outcomes as it relates to the infusion of warm or cooled iv fluids.

In our nearly two decades of operation building thousands of iv fluid warmers, we have assisted agencies like yours in delivering hundreds of thousands of warmed iv fluids, with many reports of favorable patient outcomes as well as reports of lives saved.

We will continue to innovate and improve our product line and pledge our efforts to nothing less than excellence.

Douglas M. Smith, President of Smithworks Medical, Inc.

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