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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2008 December;74(12):687-90


language: English

Comparison of forced-air warming and resistive heating

Perl T. 1, Flöther L. 2, Weyland W. 3, Quintel M. 1, Bräuer A. 1

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany; 2 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Hospital of Soest, Academic Teaching of the Wilhelms University, Soest, Germany; 3 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University of Halle, Halle, Germany


Background. Perioperative hypothermia is common during anesthesia and surgery and is accompanied by several complications. Forced-air warming is recognized as an effective procedure to prevent hypothermia. The aim of this study was to compare a resistive heating device with a forced-air warming device.
Methods. Prospective randomized trial. Setting: heat transfer laboratory of a University hospital. Participants: six healthy volunteers. Interventions: warming with a forced-air warming device (BairHugger™ 505 and Upper Body Blanket 522; Arizant Healthcare Inc., Eden Prairie, MN, USA) or a resistive heating device (Geratherm Adult system™; Geratherm Medical AG, Geschwenda, Germany). Measures: heat transfer was measured with 11 calibrated heat flux transducers on the upper body. Additionally, blanket and skin temperatures were measured. The t-test for matched pairs was used for statistical evaluation.
Results. Skin temperature under the covered surface was not statistically different between the two groups (37.3±0.2°C in the forced-air warming group and 37.8±0.2°C in the resistive heating group). In contrast, blanket temperature (40.3±0.6°C vs 38.1±0.4°C, P=0.002) and heat transfer (13.2±3.6 W vs 7.8±1.9 W, P=0.048) were significantly higher in the resistive heating group.
Conclusion. Heat transfer in the resistive heating system was significantly greater than that of the forced-air warming system.

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