You know that you need a new blood and fluid warmer, but how do you choose the right one? Here, you will find 7 things to consider that will help you select the right blood and fluid warmer for your organization
1. Portable, stationary or both?
The First thing to consider is how and where the blood and fluid warmer will be used. Will you need a portable blood warmer for transfusions outside the hospital, or is your need covered by a stationary blood and fluids warmer? If you have a need for both, a good option is to get a portable blood and fluid warmer with a stationary power supply. With this solution the blood and fluid warmer can follow the patient from point of injury to point of treatment and throughout the different departments in the hospital.
2. Ease of use
Today’s healthcare systems are characterized by complex treatments and advanced technologies. This, together with an increased workload, has boosted the requirements for simple and user-friendly equipment that enables health care workers to do their job fast and correctly.
Blood and fluid warmers are often used in emergency situations pre-hospital or in-hospital, which means that they must be simple to use in stressful situations where fast intervention can mean the difference between life or death. Therefore, ease of use should be a key criterion when selecting a new blood and fluid warmer.
3. Set-up time
Cumbersome and long set-up times can result in errors and delays before warm blood or IV fluids can be given to the patient. A long warm-up time can result in large volumes of cold IV fluids being infused, which increases the risk of hypothermia. The set-up time for a blood and fluid warmer should ideally not take more than 1 minute to ensure optimal patient outcome.
4. Priming volume
Blood products are a scarce resource in our health care systems, and blood and fluid warmer with a large priming volume can cause that valuable blood is being wasted. This not only increases the cost of the blood transfusion, it increases the use of blood product, that should be saved for the patients who need it. Priming volumes in blood warmers vary from just a few millilitres to several hundred millilitres. Priming volume is therefore an important parameter to consider.
5. Cleaning and maintenance
Blood warmers vary in how complicated they are to clean and if they need regular maintenance. This is, together with priming volume, one of the hidden costs related to using a blood and fluid warmer. Before you decide on a blood and fluid warmer you should investigate if it requires regular maintenance and what the cost of this will be. Also, ensure that cleaning procedures are simple and easy to follow, to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
6. Use during transport (ground or air)
If your blood and fluid warmer is to be used during transport in planes, helicopters, or ambulances you must ensure that it is approved for use in these. E.g. does it meet the Safe-to-Fly and Air-Worthiness requirements? For use during transport the blood and fluid warmer should also be durable. You can check the blood and fluid warmer’s IP rating to see if it can handle dust, dirt, and wet environments.
An IP rating of 54 or more documents that it is resistant against water, drop, and rough treatment.
7. Learn from others
A good way to learn more about how a blood and fluid warmer works in reality, is to talk with someone who is already using it today. Look for an organization with a similar need to your own and ask them how they experience working with this specific blood and fluid warmer. If you need help finding a relevant user, ask the manufacturer of the blood warmers that you are interested in. They should be able to provide contact information of some of their users.
The ˚M Warmer System
°MEQU has developed a revolutionary solution for blood and IV fluid infusions that meets the need for modern health care organizations.