Burn victims avoid hypothermia with new protocol

by Nora Plunkett

Loyola University Health System has established new guidelines to protect burn victims at risk for hypothermia during surgery.

The skin regulates body temperature and when a large portion of skin is burned, the body loses heat. Loyola nurses recognized this threat and established a warming process for burn victims at risk for dangerously low .

"Burn victims are in an extreme amount of pain and are at risk for severe complications from their injuries," said Sharon L. Valtman, RN, BSN, CNOR, the Loyola nurse who initiated the warming process for patients. "It is our job as nurses to listen to our patients and identify ways to ease their discomfort and prevent further ."

The warming process Valtman established involves using Bair Hugger® technology to elevate the patients' body temperature. The device carries warm air through a hose to a blanket that is draped over the patient. Nurses initiate this process in a patient's hospital room one hour before surgery and continue it during the procedure. Studies have shown that keeping a patient warm during surgery results in less bleeding and faster recovery.

The success of this program led Loyola's Burn Center and operating room doctors, and staff to adopt this process as hospital protocol for burn .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Virtual game helps children escape realities of burn unit

Oct 09, 2007

Nurses and physicians at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are using the latest technology to help young burn victims endure the extreme pain of dressing changes and wound care. Instead of traditional distraction ...

Recommended for you

Preemptive celecoxib cuts post-op face-lift surgery pain

Jul 23, 2014

(HealthDay)—Preemptive treatment with oral celecoxib appears to be effective in decreasing acute postoperative pain in patients undergoing face-lift surgery, according to a study published online July 10 in JAMA Facial Pl ...

Decompression surgery linked to reduced risk of falls

Jul 22, 2014

(HealthDay)—Decompression surgery in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis cuts their risk of falls, compared to similar patients utilizing nonsurgical interventions, according to a study published in the ...

User comments