Fluid Warmers Placed on All Jackson County Ambulances
In 2000, Jackson County EMS realized the need to equip all of its ambulances with IV fluid warmers due to many of the ambulances being stationed outside. Keeping IV fluids in a fluid warmer, Paramedics were able to continue to appropriately care for patients by administering IV fluids that were warmer than had the fluids been left out in the truck to reach the ambient temperature in the trucks which commonly was near or equal to the temperature outside the ambulance.
Administering cold fluids to many, especially elderly and geriatric patients, would potentially place patients into hypothermia. Cold fluids are also known to increase cardiac irritability which could have produced life threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Before fluid warmers, Paramedics would have to carry IV fluids into the station during cold weather to prevent the fluids from becoming too cold outside. Often, Paramedics would have to place IV fluids on the dashboard and turn the defrost on high to warm up the cold IV fluids while they would respond to a call.
Today, all Jackson County ambulances have onboard fluid warmers which keep IV fluids just above the normal body temperature. Depending on the problem the patient is experiencing, Paramedics can administer the warmed fluids or other fluids that are kept at room temperature when administering IV fluids is indicated.