A blanket warmer, also known as a warming cabinet, stores and warms linens, blankets, and sterile intravenous (IV) and surgical irrigation fluids in a medical environment. Blanket warmers often come in various sizes, and may have one, two or three compartments. Blanket warmers are often used to warm IV and surgical irrigation fluids to reduce the risk of hypothermia in a patient following a surgical procedure. Other environments like spas, dentist offices, and veterinary offices may also utilize blanket warmers.
Low temperatures of medical procedure rooms and surgical suites as well as factors like anxiety or long wait periods in the preoperative areas can have adverse effects on the patient. This requires a method for maintaining a patient’s normal body temperature. A blanket and/or IV fluids that have been warmed in a blanket warmer can be the first method for keeping the patient’s body at a normal temperature.1
The risk of hypothermia during and after a procedure is a primary factor for using a hospital blanket warmer. Hypothermia increases the risk of surgical site infection (SSI), which often increases the patient’s hospital stay and costs to the facility. Other consequences of hypothermia may include cardiac events and coagulation difficulties. By providing the patient with linens and sterile IV/surgical irrigation fluids warmed in a medical blanket warmer throughout all phases of the procedure, the healthcare facility is taking proactive steps to prevent a hypothermic event.