The Overall Know-how of Fluid Warming Cabinets
Fluid-warming cabinets are predominantly found in hospitals and leading nursing homes. IV fluids are required to be warmed up every now and then. There is a medical scenario namely hypothermia. A patient shivers profusely especially before and after performing a major surgical procedure. This scenario can be averted if the patients’ blankets and IV fluids are warmed up on a periodic basis. Apart from giving a reasonable level of care and comfort to the patient, the warmed fluids can help retain the patient’s body temperature from going below the permissible limits.
The hospital staff would have to be trained thoroughly on how to warm up IV and irrigating fluids at the hospital. There are certain guidelines and procedures that are required to be followed. The nursing staffs also have a number of other functionalities to be performed. These include:
- Monitoring and checking for cleanliness of sterilizers at OPD and other succulent departments prevalent within the hospital premises.
- Supplying intravenous fluids to patients sitting at their hospital beds.
- Taking stock of the inventory.
Apart from these, they also have to keep track of temperatures at fluid warming cabinets. There are certain specifications for warming IV fluids from time to time.
Specific reasons as to why IV fluids have to be warmed up using IV fluid warmers
You need to understand the specific reasons why warming chambers are set up to heat IV fluids. These follow:
- The patients are made to wait at the pre-operative area for a long period of time. The specialist doctor will have to arrive to look at the patient’s case-history in depth.
- Anxiety level of patients can go high. They can be worried on how the outcome of the surgery will turn out to be. They may also get unduly worried about the pain they would need to sustain post a major surgical operation.
- Fluids are warmed using IV fluid warmers as the body temperature of the patients may drop down considerably post a major operation.
- Air conditioned operation theatres coupled with fewer layers of clothing can cause a chill within patients. Warm IV fluids and heated up bed sheets can help patients retain their overall body temperature.
Guidelines for IV fluids to be warmed up from time to time
In this particular segment, we are going to have a look at the temperature considerations and other guidelines for IV fluids to be heated up across time-zones.
- IV fluids are packed in plastic pouches. They cannot be warmed up for a duration exceeding 14 days. This is approximately 2 weeks. Fresh IV fluids have to be replaced at the patient’s bed side from time to time.
- The temperature at the IV warming cabinets cannot exceed 40 degree Celsius or 104 degree Fahrenheit.
- Once IV pouches are taken out from the inventory, the fluids have to be used up within 24 hours.
- Irrigating fluids can be stored for 60 days at a temperature of 150 degree Fahrenheit or 65 degree Celsius. One can place these in semi-rigid containers. Once removed, the fluids have to be utilized within 72 hours.
Models of warming cabinets for your display
You will need to understand the latest models of IV warming cabinets. The sophisticated version of these cabinets comes to you with singular or dual chambers. You can warm blankets in one chamber and heat up IV fluids using the other. More so, the IV warming cabinets come with glass or solid doors. The other facilities at IV warming cabinets include
- Mobile charging units
- Surgical suite consoles and
- Other free-standing installations.
Separate drawers are provided within the cabinets for you to keep your warm blankets and IV fluids sans pilferage. The IV fluid warming chambers also provide health-care professionals with other multi-specialty features. They provide a dual temperature reading at which the fluids are getting warmed up. These include Celsius and Fahrenheit in degrees. Plus there is an LED read-out facility confirming the set-point and the actual temperature that is needed to warm up the irrigating fluids in an optimal manner.
The IV fluids have to be heated in an optimal range and over-heating is also not ideal for patients’ safety. The fluids enter the intravenous veins and the temperature of the fluids has to be withstood by patients on an overall basis. Hence it becomes the need of the hour for health-care professionals to exercise maximum level of safety protocols in having the IV fluid warmers operated.
Major surgical procedures which require patients to be draped up in warm bed sheets and given warmer IV fluids
Hypothermia is a consequence wherein the body temperature of patients drops down considerably. This should never be the case especially when major operations are being performed in your body. Medical conditions which can accelerate events of hypothermia include those of
- Cardiac diseases
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Trauma arising from a majorly suffered accident
- Arthritis and
- Appendicitis removal operation
If the patient’s body temperature reduced below 36 Degree Celsius or 98.6 degree Fahrenheit, it can cause shivering among patients. The palpitations among heart patients can shoot up as well. Medical complications can arise on account of elevated hypothermia. This means the patients will have to stay on the hospital beds for a longer period of time. Hypothermia can also impact Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.
It is on account of the above stated reasons that they need warmer IV fluids to be fed into their bodies and draped with warmer bed sheets.
Other medical reasons for hypothermia to occur amongst patients
Health-care professionals have to be extremely careful especially while inducing general or oral anaesthesia amongst patients. General Anaesthesia can cause heat loss from the lungs. This happens while you inhale gases. Induced vasodilatation can also result in reduced temperature of the body. The loss of internal heat from your body basically results in reduced metabolic rate and decreased tissue perfusion.
Hence utmost care and caution must be induced by doctors while taking care of patients and performing surgical procedures.