Forced-Air Warming Line Expands Options to Accommodate Children

Facilities will soon have access to a novel wearable warming device for children a patient demographic whose warming resources have historically been limited. The worlds first pediatric forced-air warming gown was unveiled at the 58th Annual Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Congress in Philadelphia held earlier this week.

Currently, the 3M Bair Paws gown is used in more than 1,500 facilities in the U.S. and provides both comfort and clinical warming throughout the perioperative period.

"Clinicians and long time Bair Paws system users have seen the benefits of our forced-air warming devices and asked if something could be developed to meet the needs of their smallest patients," says Julie Wick-Powell, Bair Paws senior product manager. "By expanding our current range of gowns to include a pediatric size, we will be able to cater to elementary-aged patients, filling a significant void of care."

The CMS Normothermia Measure (SCIP-Inf-10) also emphasizes the need to protect children, as it applies to surgical patients of all ages undergoing general or neuraxial anesthesia for 60 minutes or longer, including pediatrics. The measure specifically requires active warming to be used intraoperatively or at least one temperature of 36°C or higher to be attained within 30 minutes before or 15 minutes immediately after anesthesia end time.

Some of the new Bair Paws pediatric warming gowns features include:

- Refastenable strips to provide quick access to the arms and chest

- Side ties that ensure full, secure coverage, even in the back

- Dual air-channel inserts and hose ports that enable prewarming and comfort warming with a Bair Paws 800 series warming unit or clinical warming with a 3M Bair Hugger 500 or 700 series temperature management unit

- A convenient Bair Paws hose port on the lower right side of the gown and a Bair Hugger hose port on the upper left shoulder

- Soft material for greater personal comfort

With a single gown and a Bair Paws warming unit, a pediatric patient may be prewarmed before surgery or receive comfort warming while awaiting a procedure. Once in the OR, the same gown offers warming for select surgical procedures when connected to a Bair Hugger warming unit. The gown will continue to warm in PACU, with both comfort and clinical capabilities.

With the Bair Paws system, forced-air warming can be used to keep pediatric patients warm before, during and after surgery.

Hypothermia can lead to adverse patient outcomes and significant additional healthcare costs.1 Even mild intraoperative hypothermia can prolong postoperative recovery, produce marked postoperative thermal discomfort and more than triple the rate of surgical wound infections.

In the first 60 minutes of anesthesia, unwarmed surgical patients can lose up to 1.6°C. This drop in core body temperature, known as redistribution temperature drop (RTD), increases the risk for unintended hypothermia and its associated complications. The Bair Paws gown is designed to prewarm surgical patients before surgery, which adds to the heat content of the bodys periphery, helping reduce the initial temperature drop associated with anesthesia induction.

It is an effective way of preventing intraoperative hypothermia in surgeries lasting less than one hour. In addition, combining prewarming with intraoperative forced-air warming can prevent unintended hypothermia in longer procedures.

All Bair Paws gowns use forced-air warming, which is considered to be the most effective means to maintain normal intraoperative patient temperatures. With a 23-year track record of safety and efficacy supported by its use on more than 135 million patients, forced-air warming is the only warming modality with published clinical outcome data supporting effectiveness in reducing surgical site infections. Studies have found forced-air warming to be the most effective method in general for preventing and treating unintended hypothermia.

For more information about the Bair Paws system, visit