The rapid infusion of refrigerated blood products can worsen the hypothermia seen in trauma patients.

Risk factors for hypothermia:

(1) shock with peripheral vasoconstriction

(2) unclothed status in the resuscitation area

(3) rapid infusion of refrigerated blood products

(4) ventilation gases at room temperature (or lower if gas expands from the cylinder)

(5) rapid infusion of other fluids at room temperature


Prevention of hypothermia may include:

(1) elevating the room temperature (although this can cause sweating in personnel wearing surgical gowns)

(2) surface warming of the patient with heating blankets or heating lamps

(3) heating inspired gases from ventilators

(4) use of blood and fluid warmers for infusates


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