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Patient Warming in the ICU

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Megan Brashear, CVT, VTS (ECC), discusses the different ways hospital staff can re-warm or keep patients warm while in the hospital.

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Megan Brashear's picture
Megan Brashear

CVT VTS(ECC)

Enrolled: 07/2011

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Brennen Johnson's picture

We use a Bair-Hugger at our clinic for quick warming or maintaining a temp. I've been taught to create a warming igloo by placing the hose under a thick blanket and allowing the air to bubble over the patient. Its nice because unlike a hot pad or hot bottles its out of the way of urine and stool so the patient can be kept cleaner. Its also nice to blow on your face when it feels like -40 in the treatment area.

Melissa McLaughlin's picture

Where can one get information on the "Chill Buster" (product and ordering info)? Is it similar to the Hot Dog by any chance?

Megan Brashear's picture

Brennen, we've also taped the Bair Hugger hose to the front of a kennel and used it similar to a cage dryer to try and keep cats warm, and yes, it's nice to stand by those particular cages on a cold overnight shift!

Megan Brashear's picture

Melissa, the ChillBuster is similar in many ways to the Hot Dog warmer (both mats) but with more temperature settings and no 'control box' so it's a bit more portable for the ICU. We use a Hot Dog warmer in our surgery prep room and for scopes and the Chill Buster in ICU and surgery prep, Bair Huggers in surgery and for critically freezing popsicle patients. A LOT of warming going on!

Stephanie  Cowan 's picture

I am very leery of water bottles and rice bags. Have seen way too many patients burned, even with towels in between patient and source. I'm not 100% sure, but I do not think that AAHA endorses those types of heat support. I like circulating water pads, bair huggers and iv fluid warmers......

Megan Brashear's picture

SO TRUE Stephanie! Even the most careful of technicians can cause some serious burns using warm water bottles and rice, those tend to get 'hot spots' that you may not notice until the patient is in trouble. I'm a MUCH bigger fan of the warming pads and circulating blankets, warm air, etc. Good point!