|Hot Dog Warmer|
|The Hot Dog warming unit is one of the newest contenders in the battle against hypothermia in the anesthetized patient. So how does it measure up? |
While there have been limited clinical trials, a study out of Iowa State University indicates that two Hot Dog blankets used together are significantly more effective in preventing and treating hypothermia than a combination of a Bair Hugger and a circulating warm water blanket in 28 clinical orthopedic cases. The unit consists of a control box and a flexible, vinyl conductive blanket (available in several sizes) connected by a cable. A series of straps attached to the blanket may be secured around a patient to maximize contact with the patient. The cord and blanket conduct 12 volts, so, although it will damage the unit, the patient will not be harmed if it punctures the cord or blanket. This also greatly reduces the risk of thermal injury in the event of malfunction, compared to other electric heat sources. Electric heating pads that are sold for home use are usually wire coils covered in plastic. Unlike most heating pads, the Hot Dog is a conductive polymer which is not radiopaque making it ideal for use in fluoroscopy, provided the stitching along the edges of the blanket are not over the areas of interest. The blanket only heats on one side, directing all the heat to the patient, not the surgery table. The sides are color coded (black to the patient, purple to the environment) to ensure proper placement. The unit is silent and the narrow cord allows complete closure of Shoreline kennel doors without modification or adaptors. The blanket is not disposable but is submersible for easy cleaning. Disposable paper barrier sleeves are also available. Since the Hot Dog works by conduction, there is no airflow created by the unit in the operation room. The connection point on the front of the control box is a weak point and is easily damaged if the blanket is jerked away from the unit.
Overall, the Hot Dog seems like it may prove to be a cost effective way of maintaining patient body temperature with minimal disposable parts and minimal risk of thermal damage to the patient, although the control box cannot withstand as much abuse as some of the older warming systems.
Augustine Biomedical + Design