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EMS Medical Equipment Tips

Keeping warm IV fluids during the winter months


Name: EMS1 Staff


EMS personnel usually see an increase of patients presenting with hypothermia during the cold winter months. A challenge for EMS providers is administering "room temperature" IV fluids (65-70 degrees Fahrenheit) for these patients, which can drastically decrease their body temperature and further exacerbate hypothermia.

To avoid this problem, try keeping your IV fluids in an insulated bag, which can be purchased for under $25. At the beginning of your shift, carefully microwave a few bags of IV fluid, paying particular attention to temperature and amount of time in the microwave. Heat the bags to no more than 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the warmed IV fluids in an insulated bag and carry them in your truck.

Keep in mind that the IV fluids will slowly cool after a few hours. However, they should be sufficient in having "room temperature" fluids handy on your shift during the winter months.


Comments
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JaLayne Kathleen JaLayne Kathleen Sunday, January 08, 2012 12:57:59 PM Our staff might throw an IV back into the front window of the truck and turn on the defrost, this warms the bag but doesn't over heat it.
Troy Fay Troy Fay Monday, March 25, 2013 1:03:01 AM How does one check the internal temperature of the fluid post microwave, and in regards to denaturing of the fluid due to resonance produced by the microwave is there any research to support this practice?