Stop Blowing It

Air-free patient warming eliminates several risks caused by forced-air patient warming systems

How to Keep Surgical Smoke Away from Your Lungs

Can Forced-Air Warming Make Skin Cells and Bacteria Fly?

Surgical Smoke is STILL in the air…and you’re breathing it.

  • Smoke evacuators only clear about 50% of surgical smoke(CITE)
  • Rising waste heat from hot-air patient warming creates a vortex that interferes with ventilation airflow.
  • The vortex traps unevacuated surgical smoke in your breathing zone.

Who is at risk of inhaling surgical smoke?

  1. Surgeon
  1. Technicians
  1. Nurses

Surgical Smoke is STILL in the air…and you’re breathing it.

  • Smoke evacuators only clear about 50% of surgical smoke(CITE)
  • Rising waste heat from hot-air patient warming creates a vortex that interferes with ventilation airflow.
  • The vortex traps unevacuated surgical smoke in your breathing zone.

Who is at risk of inhaling surgical smoke?

  1. Surgeon
  1. Technicians
  1. Nurses

It’s accurate to say that everyone in the operating room is at increased risk from forced-air patient warming. Learn more…

How Patient Warming Can Contribute to Airborne Transmission of Infectious Aerosols

  • Rising waste hot-air from forced-air patient warming transports airborne contaminants including viruses and bacteria from contaminated areas into the breathing zone of anesthesia personnel
  • Eliminating waste heat is essential for minimizing staff exposure to aerosolized transmission of infectious particles.

You can watch the whole experiment here. It is 11 minutes long and unedited to show every step we took.

Who is at risk of aerosolized transmission of infectious particles?

  1. Anesthesia Provider
  1. Nurses

Blowing Air is Risky for the Patient: linked to increased infection rates in H&K replacement surgery.

The waste heat from forced-air warming is proven to be a vector for contaminating the surgical site. As a result, the sterility of the surgical field is negatively affected in a variety of ways:

  1. Waste Heat Rises From Under the Drapes

McGovern, et al, JBJSBr, Nov 2011

“The risks of developing deep joint infections were significantly greater for patients… treated with forced-air warming (FAW) versus conductive fabric warming [3.1% vs 0.8%]”

“Excess heat from (FAW) resulted in [hot air convection currents] that transported floor-level air upwards and into the surgical site. In contrast, conductive fabric warming did not release sufficient excess heat to establish these convection currents.”

“Air-free warming, therefore, is recommended over (FAW) for orthopedic procedures.”

  1. Exhaust air travels over the anesthesia drape

Belani, et al, A&A, Aug 2013

“The direct mass-flow exhaust from forced-air warming generated hot-air convection currents that mobilized [non-sterile] air over the anesthesia drape and into the surgical site.”

  1. Excess radiant heat creates a vortex

Legg & Hammer, Bone and Joint J, Mar 2013

The waste heat from forced-air warming (FAW) blankets radiated through the surgical drape to form tornado-like vortices of rapidly spinning air near the surgical site. The vortices sucked contaminated air from the operating room floor and deposited it over the surgical wound.

2,000 times more contaminant particles were found in the air over the wound with FAW than with air-free HotDog conductive warming. With HotDog, only 1,000 particles per m³ of air were present. With FAW, the particle count was 2,174,000 per m³.

Who is at risk of increased infection?

  1. Patient

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Conclusion

With HotDog air-free patient warming, heat is efficiently directed at the patient—no waste heat.

In contrast, everyone in the operating room is at increased risk from forced-air patient warming.

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Check-out the NEW Controller and Improvements to the HotDog Temperature Management System:

HotDog Patient Warming WC77 Temperature Management Controller

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