Forced-air patient warming blankets disrupt unidirectional airflow

The Bone & Joint Journal, 03/13/2013

Authors have recently shown that waste heat from forced–air warming blankets can increase the temperature and concentration of airborne particles over the surgical site. The mechanism for the increased concentration of particles and their site of origin remained unclear. The convection currents increased the particle concentration 1000–fold (2 174 000 particles/m3 for forced–air warming vs 1000 particles/m3 for radiant warming and 2000 particles/m3 for the control) by drawing potentially contaminated particles from below the operating table into the surgical site.

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