Suggested Guidelines for Blood Warmer Use
Use a blood
- For massive transfusions (50% of body blood
- When therapy calls for 25% of body blood volume,
but the potential exists that more units may be required or that these
units may be administered rapidly
- When transfusing blood to patients with cold
Special consideration should be given when transfusing blood to neonates,
pediatric or elderly patients, and patients susceptible to cardiac dysfunction.
When you can't
- Analyze the patient's condition and consider the
risks of heat loss.
- Consider whether other warming devices (radiant
warmers, HMEs, heated humidifiers, hypo-/hyperthermia units, warmed
irrigation fluids, forced-air blanket warmers, etc.) can adequately
offset expected temperature losses.
- If in doubt (especially with neonates or pediatric or elderly
patients), use a blood warmer and assess its
Don't postpone setting up the
- Waiting to set up the blood warmer until it is
needed may interrupt the procedure, compromise the sterile field, and/or
cause a significant drop in patient temperature.
- Blood warmers can help offset expected heat losses but cannot
compensate for such losses once a patient's temperature has begun to