26 November/December | 2015 | www.SurgicalProductsMag.com
SP: What should facilities be aware of
before they make purchasing decisions?
Troy Bergstrom, marketing communications manager of
patient warming at 3M: With patient warming gaining greater
attention as a key tool in infection prevention efforts, more and
more companies are entering the market touting their products
as the latest and greatest warming option.
Now, more than ever, hospitals should ensure products being
considered have ample clinical evidence to demonstrate that
they help patients achieve normothermia under actual surgical
conditions. It is important to challenge product claims that fly in
the face of published research or your own clinical experience.
Ask for efficacy studies and learn the facts.
SP: Are there still out-of-date tools and
methods being used?
Kent Ellis, inventor and principal of Pintler Medical Patient
Warming and Pressure Reduction: Many facilities are married
to underbody water pads for warming. This is a practice
dating back to the 1970s. Water as a warming product is
a skin issue, and when foam is added, the benefit of water
warming is insulated. Perfusion controls temperature very well
and has for years. It can do all the temperature control, and,
when the patient comes off the pump, let conductive warming
maintain the 36 degrees C.
Forced-air warming (FAW) systems were introduced in 1987
as a safe, reliable way to increase patient comfort while also
improving patient outcomes. Recently, the safety of FAW in
orthopedic surgeries has been questioned. Surgical Products
does not endorse viewpoints, and instead provides a forum for
all points of view to be shared.
Dr. Scott Augustine, anesthesiologist and inventor at
Augustine Temperature Management, expresses his concerns: FAW is an out-of-date tool even though it’s still used
regularly. Almost 20 years ago, FAW became the standard of
care because it was the best available technology. Now, it has
been discovered that FAW has an unintended consequence:
the waste hot air vents near the floor, heats the contaminated
air resident near the floor, and then rises alongside the table
into the sterile surgical field. One study showed 2000 times
more airborne particles were present near the surgical site
when FAW was used compared to air-free conductive fabric
Based on the research, many facilities have discontinued
warming in orthopedics. That’s concerning because
hypothermia has been shown in many studies to adversely
affect outcomes. Many clinicians do not know that there are
“Medicare reimbursements are
tied to clinical outcomes, and
temperature management is one of
the areas that is measured.”
— Matthew Rotterman, vice president of sales
at Enthermics Medical Systems
Temperature Management Temperature Management