The effect of a commercially available burn-cooling blanket on core body temperatures in volunteers
BACKGROUND:Cooling of burns is one of the oldest therapies, yet there are concerns that excessive cooling may result in hypothermia. OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To determine the effects of surface cooling with a commercially available cooling blanket on the core temperatures of volunteers and to test the ability of the cooling blanket to reduce water evaporation from plastic containers. The null hypothesis was that rectal temperatures would not be reduced by surface cooling and that the cooling blanket would reduce evaporative water loss. METHODS:This was a prospective, noncomparative, interventional study. Ten healthy adult volunteers were recruited. Subjects were completely unclothed, and their entire body (excluding the head) was circumferentially wrapped with a commercially available gel-soaked cooling blanket at room temperature. A rectal temperature probe was inserted, and continuous monitoring of vital signs was performed during a 30-minute period. In addition, six plastic containers were filled with 50 mL of room-temperature water, half of which were covered with the cooling blanket. The amount of water remaining within the containers was measured at hourly intervals over four hours. RESULTS:The subjects' mean age was 38 years; 50% were female. There were no significant changes in core body temperatures over time in any of the study subjects. Mean (95% confidence intervals [CI]) core temperatures at the beginning and at the end of the study period were 37.2 degrees C (95% CI = 37.0 degrees C to 37.4 degrees C) and 37.3 degrees C (95% CI = 37.1 degrees C to 37.5 degrees C), respectively. Water evaporation in the blanket-covered containers was less than in the uncovered containers. CONCLUSIONS:The authors conclude that covering healthy volunteers with a room temperature burn-cooling blanket for 30 minutes does not result in hypothermia and that the cooling blanket reduces evaporative water loss.