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MILITARY

The military has long led the way when it comes to the prevention of hypothermia in trauma patients. It helps that military medicine tends to be doctrine, rather than guidelines, and must be followed by all practitioners.

 

All branches of the military have fielded various battery-powered fluid and blood warmers. In spite of the military experience with pre-hospital fluid warmers, there still remain significant capability gaps for truly portable, light weight, and low complexity warmers.

Combat casualty care has particular unique elements that must be considered in any medical device used in combat. Care is often provided under fire and with rapidly shifting battle lines. The basics of tactical combat casualty care include hypothermia prevention from the initial contact with the casualty, or point of injury.

 

From the user perspective, they are exposed to high levels of adrenaline and audiovisual overstimulation; and all of this in the context of having to make rapid critical decisions. Thus, devices need to have significant simplicity, immediate effectiveness, and ideally remain ingrained in the muscle memory from other common techniques the user knows and employs in standard care.

Drawbacks of current fluid warmers

Currently fielded fluid warmers have similar dated technological approaches with similar drawbacks:
  • Warm fluids in some add-on “box/chamber” very near to the patient, thus cluttering the care area.
  • Prime and attach a conventional infusion set to that box/chamber.
  • Attach the heater box via short extension set or proprietary disposable cartridge to the patient.
  • Attach the box to a large power source/battery.
  • Transport and manage these multiple, large components in addition to the normal IV infusion set during casualty evacuation.
  • Add too much weight, cube, complexity, and potential failure points to basic IV infusion necessities carried.
HOW LIFEWARMER IS UTILIZED CIVILIAN