Nearly one-quarter of emergency department (ED) patients in the United States are treated with intravenous (IV) fluids. These fluids are typically stored at room temperature and infused into patients without prior warming. During infusion of room temperature IV fluids, some patients experience shivering, chills and discomfort. Small studies of patients undergoing surgery suggest that warming IV fluids to body temperature prior to infusion may reduce shivering and improve patient comfort in the perioperative period.

 

In this pilot study of adult ED patients, the authors compared the level of discomfort associated with the infusion of IV fluids warmed to body temperature with those infused at room temperature. The study suggests that warming IV fluids to body temperature before infusion is associated with improved comfort for ED patients compared to room temperature fluids.

 

IV fluid treatment is often initiated in the ED to increase intravascular volume in dehydrated patients. In addition to achieving physiologic endpoints, such as normalization of vital signs, an important secondary goal of IV fluid treatment is to improve patient comfort. As the practice of emergency medicine has evolved, the specialty has increasingly recognized the importance of patient-centered care and promoting patient satisfaction and comfort.

 

Learn about °MEQU ’s IV fluid warming device, the °M Warmer System. https://mequ.dk/product/#mwarmer/  

 

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