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Anesth Analg. 2003 Aug;97(2):358-63, table of contents.

A comparison of flow rates and warming capabilities of the Level 1 and Rapid Infusion System with various-size intravenous catheters.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA.


Cases involving massive blood transfusion may require the use of specialized blood warmers, such as the Level 1 (L-1) (Level 1 Technologies, Inc., Rockland, MA) or the Rapid Infusion System (RIS) (Haemonetics Corp., Braintree, MA). In this in vitro study, we compared the infusion and warming capabilities of the L-1 (model 1000) versus the RIS using pediatric- and adult-sized IV catheters. The time to infuse 2 L of lactated Ringer's solution and the end temperature after infusion through 20-, 18-, 16-, and 14-gauge catheters, and 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, and 8.5-French catheters using both the L-1 and RIS were measured. The flow rates of both systems were similar for 18- and 20-gauge catheters; however, the flow rates with the RIS were progressively faster than the L-1 as catheter size increased to >18 gauge. The heating capabilities of the RIS were superior to the L-1 for all catheters >or=16 gauge. We conclude that the RIS was superior to the L-1 for both flow rates and warming capacity for all IV catheters >18 gauge, i.e., those used for cases with massive blood loss. The RIS provided no advantage (with regard to heating and flow) when used with typical pediatric-sized catheters.


The rapid infusion system is superior to the Level 1 for warming and flow of crystalloid for IV catheters >18 gauge in vitro. The rapid infusion system provides no advantage with catheters typically used in small children (<or=18 gauge). Safety and cost are additional factors to be considered when choosing one system over the other.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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