Objective—To determine in vitro output temperature differences of 3 IV fluid warmers.
Design—Prospective, randomized study.
Sample—3 IV fluid warmers.
Procedures—Warming capabilities of a distance-dependent blood and fluid warmer marketed for human and veterinary use (product A) and a veterinary-specific distance-dependent fluid warmer (product B) were compared at 0, 4, 8, and 12 cm from the device to the test vein and at flow rates of 20, 60, 100, 140, 180, 220, 260, and 300 mL/h with room temperature (approx 22°C) fluids (phase 1). The superior warming device was compared against a distance-independent IV fluid warmer (product C) with room temperature fluids at the same flow rates (phase 2). The effect of prewarmed fluids (38°C) versus room temperature fluids was evaluated with the superior warming device from phase 2 (phase 3).
Results—In phase 1, product B produced significantly warmer fluids than product A for all flow rates and distances. Both distance-dependent devices produced warmer fluid at 0 cm, compared with 4, 8, and 12 cm. In phase 2, product B produced warmer fluid than product C at 60, 100, 140, and 180 mL/h. In phase 3, there was no significant benefit to use of prewarmed fluids versus room temperature fluids. Output temperatures ≥ 36.4°C were achieved for all rates ≥ 60 mL/h.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Product B had superior warming capabilities. Placing the fluid warmer close to the patient is recommended. Use of prewarmed fluids had no benefit. Lower IV fluid flow rates resulted in lower output fluid temperatures.