Keeping warm IV fluids during the winter months
Submitted by 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.