Vol 6, No 3 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-07-20

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Warming the oxygen with the rescuer’s body as a possible method of heat loss prevention in a prehospital setting. Initial report

Tomasz Kłosiewicz1, Radosław Zalewski1, Magdalena Wieczorek2, Joanna Fąferek3, Maciej Sip1, Leszek Różański2, Ewa Stachowska2
Disaster Emerg Med J 2021;6(3):137-143.


INTRODUCTION: Discomfort from cold is a significant problem for trauma victims. Prehospital treatment of a hypothermic patient is hugely challenging for medical rescue teams. Preventing heat loss is a basic treatment in all levels of care. The main aim objective of this report was to examine the influence of low ambient temperature on cooling oxygen in a rescue set and to check whether heating the oxygen tube with the rescuer’s body is a legitimate method.  

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In the control test, an oxygen tube was disposed of across a styrofoam board, whereas a study group was an oxygen tube hidden underneath the paramedic’s jacket. A thermographic camera was used to define oxygen’s temperature in different parts of the medical setting. The research was carried out in the winter season in the natural environment, which was comparable to the regular work conditions of the services.  

RESULTS: In a control group, the oxygen temperature in an oxygen mask was similar to the ambient temperature. This research has found that warming up an oxygen tube underneath the paramedic’s jacket resulted in a 12.9 degree increase in temperature in an oxygen mask.  

CONCLUSIONS: Keeping the oxygen tube underneath a jacket may serve as an additional method of preventing patients’ heat loss. The authors express the need for further research on providing hypothermic patients with warm oxygen. The authors believe that introducing such an easy method of warming up the oxygen may positively influence treatment results and give rise to a discussion on the presented method.

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