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Mil Med. 2000 Dec;165(12):903-4.

Avoiding hypothermia in trauma: use of the flameless heater pack, meal ready to eat, as a field-expedient means of warming crystalloid fluid.

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Department of Surgery, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC 28307, USA.


Forward-deployed medical units do not have the capability to warm intravenous (i.v.) fluids before their administration. We intend to demonstrate a field-expedient means of warming i.v. fluids and preventing hypothermia using the flameless heater available in the Meal, Ready to Eat (MRE). Room-temperature and refrigerated lactated Ringer's solution were organized into three data collection groups using either one or two MRE heaters. The temperature change of the fluid was recorded. Average temperature increases ranged from 15.8 to 31.2 degrees C in times ranging from 8 to 20 minutes. Therefore, we conclude that the flameless MRE heater provides a simple, field-expedient means of warming i.v. fluids before their administration.

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