If you are searching for advice about “hypothermia prevention” you are likely to be genuinely concerned for your own health or of someone you care for. Hypothermia is a very serious health concern and can be fatal. It occurs when the body core temperature drops below normothermic levels, i.e. 35 degrees Celsius.
Hypothermia can happen in a variety of situations, such as being exposed to freezing cold temperatures, especially if wearing wet clothes. Also, a person is at risk of becoming hypothermic if they have had an accident which causes an injury. Likewise, a severe shock can cause hypothermia. It doesn’t have to be a cold day for someone to be at risk of hypothermia.
Some websites suggest wearing a hat will prevent hypothermia, but this isn’t the full picture. Covering up the head will prevent some heat loss but it won’t help to circulate body heat to start to increase the body’s core temperature.
Introducing Thermarmour hypothermia prevention range
This year we launched a new brand, THERMARMOUR, to supply innovative lightweight insulation material products to the Medical & Emergency sectors to assist in preventing hypothermia in casualties and patients.
The material comprises four layers – The outer top layer is waterproof, the outer bottom layer is soft to the touch. The two inner layers comprise of an environment to trap warm air generated by the body which re-circulates it back to the body.
Prevent hypothermia in emergency situations
To prevent hypothermia, the Emergency or Rescue team apply the Thermarmour Emergency Blanket or Emergency Poncho to the person straight away. The blanket needs to be wrapped around the person’s body to eliminate draughts and breezes as much as possible. If the casualty is wet or wearing wet clothes, this is fine – the Thermarmour blankets and ponchos are actually more effective if put on a wet person as this creates a vapour next to the person’s body. Vapour warms up more quickly than dry air.
The Thermarmour blanket or poncho should be left on the casualty for as long as possible. The material is suitable for putting in an X-ray or MRI machine, so it can stay on the person until they have recovered fully.
Hypothermia prevention during surgery
In addition to the situations listed above, a person is at risk of becoming hypothermic during an operation at hospital. This occurs because the operating theatres tend to be cooled by air conditioning. This is to prevent the surgical team from getting too hot while they work. Also, the patient’s body temperature drops as they are under sedation. Some anaesthetics contain ingredients which cause a drop in body temperature. Blood transfusions can also cause a drop in body core temperature. All these factors combine to a potentially dangerous situation for the patient’s health.
To prevent this happening, some hospitals wrap up the patient in a Medical Blanket before the operation. This warms up the patient before leaving the ward. The blanket stays on them during the operation. Surgical staff can cut the blanket to access the area of the body that is being operated on.
Cutting Thermarmour blankets doesn’t compromise the effectiveness of the hypothermia prevention. Nor does it release any fluff into the surgical site. After the operation is finished, the Medical Blanket stays on top of the patient while they recover. A nurse will monitor the patient in the post-op recovery ward to ensure that their core body temperature returns to normal, before they are released back to the ward.