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Open Access Letter to the Editor

The rewarming benefit of anterior torso heat pad application in mildly hypothermic conscious adult trauma patients remains inconclusive

Joseph Yuk Sang Ting

Author Affiliations

Retrieval and Clinical Coordination Physician, Careflight Medical Services, 160 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina QLD 4226, Australia

Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2012, 20:17  doi:10.1186/1757-7241-20-17

Published: 4 March 2012

Abstract

The rewarming benefit of anterior torso heat pad application in mildly hypothermic conscious adult trauma patients remains inconclusive in this randomized comparative clinical trial. There was no between-group rewarming gain in ear canal temperature when an anterior torso chemical heat pad was compared with blankets. Patient awareness, and favorable perception of, being administered the active intervention (heat pad) could explain the significant improvement in patient-rated cold discomfort discerned with the heat pad. In the context of marginal demonstrated benefit, it would have been informative to ascertain adverse effects related to the heat pad, including burn injury to the chest wall.

Keywords:
Hypothermia; Trauma; Rewarming; Heat pad