Infusing a heated crystalloid fluid through an intravenous catheter during the resuscitation a patient with hypothermia can be associated with complications.


Situations associated with the potential for complications:

(1) heating the fluid in a microwave oven

(2) malfunctioning fluid warmer that overheats the fluid

(3) fluid warmer set too high


Complications of infusing a hot fluid through an intravenous catheter:

(1) full thickness dermal burn over the vein

(2) venous thrombosis



(1) Use a fluid warmer rather than microwave heated fluid if possible.

(2) Make sure equipment operates properly and has working safety features.

(3) If a microwave is used to heat the fluid, check the temperature before infusing it.


NOTE: Heating a blood component in a microwave oven has its own set of problems.


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