Warming up nicely – Geratherm UniqueTemp

Warming up nicely – Geratherm UniqueTemp

A report of the trial of the Geratherm UniqueTemp patient warming system in and by the staff of the operating theatres at Homerton University Hospital, London

The Homerton Hospital in London required an alternative to the existing forced air system which was felt to be noisy, bulky and expensive. The Geratherm UniqueTemp device was postulated as an alternative, and was trailed in the theatre environment.

It has been known for some time that effectively warming a patient can reduce surgical site infections (SSIs) [1–4]. More effective patient warming means that fewer immediate post-operative interventions should be needed and that recovery beds are freed up more quickly as patients are already normothermic at the end of the operation.

Case report

Anaesthetists were asked to evaluate the Geratherm UniqueTemp patient warming system. The main objectives of the trial were to assess the device’s effectiveness in warming the patient as measured by an increase in the monitored patient core temperature; to assess the device for ease of use; and to assess its ease of decontamination.

Over a three-week period, 19 assessment forms were completed by different anaesthetists. Other theatre staff, anaesthetic and otherwise, were familiarised with the warming system in active use, which included placement and connection of the blankets on the patient, operation of the controller and post-operative blanket inspection and decontamination as per the AAGBI guidelines.

Results

This was a subjective trial and so the marks given were the observer’s subjective comparison with forced air warming and other previously used warming systems. A natural human bias towards the familiar and aversion to the unfamiliar should be taken into account.

Observers were asked to award a score ranging from zero (poor) to 5 (excellent) for both ease of use and effectiveness (measured in terms of increase in patient core temperature).

Patient temperature

All scores given were collated and subject to analysis. The average scores for these characteristics were…

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