IV bag frozen?

Hockey

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While in a discussion with my partner today, he said the chances of a bag of fluid freezing would be pretty small unless it was extreme cold. He said because its "basically salt water" :glare:


I must have been seeing things the other day when an old bag of fluid was about half froze then eh? ^_^;)


Yes we have heaters in the truck. Was just in a general discussion today.
 
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Dominion

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Atleast you have heaters. We have to hope our fluids warm up on the way to the run, if the truck fluids are cold we have to hope the medic has a bag in their jump kit.
 

Hockey

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Atleast you have heaters. We have to hope our fluids warm up on the way to the run, if the truck fluids are cold we have to hope the medic has a bag in their jump kit.


I would think there is a policy/safety protocol that would cover that.
 

Linuss

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I put an IV bag on the defroster at the front windshield anyhow, per PHTLS guidelines of giving warmed fluids.
 

Ocean711

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I guess it could happen, saltwater freezes at around 28 F. I know normal saline is not the same as seawater, but I think you get the point. I don't think you want to use it even if you thawed it, but you could use it as an ice pack, I suppose. I don't know too much about cold weather and IV fluids, I live in a warm climate.
 

xgpt

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I put an IV bag on the defroster at the front windshield anyhow, per PHTLS guidelines of giving warmed fluids.
Do the guidelines really say to throw it on the defroster? Or was that something you came up with? Some of these guidelines are so random...
 

JPINFV

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0.9% NaCl is essentially salt water? Well... technically it is salt water. How ever you aren't going to get that much freezing point depression with a 0.9% salt concentration. Any liquid can be frozen, the question is just how cold you want to go (0 kelvin anyone?).
 

TransportJockey

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Do the guidelines really say to throw it on the defroster? Or was that something you came up with? Some of these guidelines are so random...
They mention warm IV fluid is helpful with shocky patients. The tossing it on the defroster just helps it get warm
 

Linuss

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Do the guidelines really say to throw it on the defroster? Or was that something you came up with? Some of these guidelines are so random...
Nope, just a piece of advice my EMT teacher gave us back in EMT school should any of us continue to paramedic... it has since stuck with me.
 

lightsandsirens5

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I put an IV bag on the defroster at the front windshield anyhow, per PHTLS guidelines of giving warmed fluids.
Linuss, you live in TX! You don't have IV bags freeze there in the trucks, do you!?!?

~~~~~~~~~

Sometimes, if the crew forgets to turn on the hot plate, we will have bags feeeze while the rig is sitting outside the hospital while we are inside doing report. I have never forgot the heater or had a bag freeze on me. *knock on wood* If you pay attention, you don't have to worry about it.
 

Linuss

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It's not so much the freezing aspect (although Texas can't make up its mind... one day it's 20 next day it's 70), but more for the shocky trauma pts.
 

18G

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I remember being on a call once during the winter and it was extremely cold outside in the early AM. We were on an entrapment call where a vehicle was wedged underneath the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer.

I remember holding the IV bag for the Paramedic on the call and the fluid was freezing as it was going through the line into the patient! Not cool at all I know.... just thought I'd share that.
 

lightsandsirens5

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I remember being on a call once during the winter and it was extremely cold outside in the early AM. We were on an entrapment call where a vehicle was wedged underneath the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer.

I remember holding the IV bag for the Paramedic on the call and the fluid was freezing as it was going through the line into the patient! Not cool at all I know.... just thought I'd share that.

No not cool at all, cold.

I really hope that medic decided to d/c fluids until they could be warmed. Even if it was not freezing it would be way too cold, right? (Must find firefighter to have put bag inside turnout jacket and get up really close to pt so to minimize exposure of lines to cold air. See......us firefighters are good for some things!
 

wyoskibum

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Your partner was wrong....

While in a discussion with my partner today, he said the chances of a bag of fluid freezing would be pretty small unless it was extreme cold. He said because its "basically salt water" :glare:


I must have been seeing things the other day when an old bag of fluid was about half froze then eh? ^_^;)


Yes we have heaters in the truck. Was just in a general discussion today.
Trust me, normal saline will freeze. I've been on many wilderness rescues in the Rocky Mountains and it was a challenge to keep the fluids warm. I forgot about one bag of fluid in a pack and it was frozen solid when I found it.
 

Tincanfireman

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Atleast you have heaters. We have to hope our fluids warm up on the way to the run, if the truck fluids are cold we have to hope the medic has a bag in their jump kit.
Maybe an extension cord, a space heater for the back of the unit and a heating pad for keeping fluids warm might be a good idea? In addition, I wouldn't want to be the patient on a 20F (or colder) cot mattress; that cold pad would suck the heat right out of you, no matter how many (20F) blankets are piled on.
 

WolfmanHarris

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To control the temperature in the back our trucks are required to stay running whenever they are outside of the base or a garage at the hospital. Anywhere else they're left running. This has only been reinforced since we started the thrombolytics study since the various trial meds have incredibly stringent temperature ranges. So I've never had a problem with fluids freezing.

That being said, freezing and being too cold for the patient are very different. If you don't have an IV warmer keep the hot packs handy and wrap the tubing around a hot pack.
 

mycrofft

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Carry the IV fluid on you.

Have kept it in the sleeping bag or in a jacket pocket. Cold tubing is harder to manage than warm tubing also. Ditto the adhesives involved.
Wonder what Army mountain troops do?
 

Dominion

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Maybe an extension cord, a space heater for the back of the unit and a heating pad for keeping fluids warm might be a good idea? In addition, I wouldn't want to be the patient on a 20F (or colder) cot mattress; that cold pad would suck the heat right out of you, no matter how many (20F) blankets are piled on.
Some of our trucks have heating pads but they suck. We also have a powered unit that we plug in if we're not at the garage that can keep the back warm to prevent drugs and fluids from freezing or dropping too low. But the fluids are hardly warm at all, just enough heat to keep it around 50's in the back.

Generally we keep a couple bags up on the dash to warm up while we're on a way to a run and keep the back blasted to keep the stretcher and re-warm the stuff in the back.
 

zmedic

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I'd say that if your truck get cold enough that your fluids are freezing you should be keeping the jump bag somewhere else like inside the house. Especially if it's an ALS bag, drugs really aren't supposed to be that cold either. (Same goes for the summer, if your rig lives outside and it's going to be 110 inside it, the bag should be stored inside at normal temps.)
 
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