An Analysis of the Temperature Change in Warmed Intravenous Fluids During Administration in Cold Environments

Warren Singleton, Michelle McLean, Michael Smale, Mohammed Alkhalifah, Ahmad Kosahk, Neli Ragina, Chin I. Cheng, Bethany J. Figg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This nonhuman simulation study was conducted to determine the decrease in temperature that occurred to 1-L bags of normal saline in a cold environment. The bags were warmed to 39°C and administered through intravenous (IV) tubing at a set flow rate while in a cold environment. The goal was to determine if there was a significant decrease in fluid temperature from the bag to the catheter site. Three trials were completed at temperatures of 0°C, −7°C, −12°C, and 22°C (control). Each bag of normal saline was warmed to 39°C using the SoftSack IV Fluid Warmer (Smithworks Med Inc, Lindale, TX). Fluid was collected and temperatures recorded at 5-minute intervals. The results showed a statistically significant (P = .003) change in temperature between the IV bag and the administration site. The most rapid change occurred within the first 5 minutes. The temperature change was more significant with colder ambient temperatures, with an average of a 28.7°C difference at −7°C and −12°C after 30 minutes. It appears that the most significant heat loss occurs through the IV tubing itself. Therefore, it may be beneficial to insulate the tubing on a trauma patient receiving warmed IV fluids in a cold environment to help prevent hypothermia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-130
Number of pages4
JournalAir Medical Journal
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

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