Switching Warming Devices To Help Achieve Net-Zero

The National Green Theatres Programme (NGTP) team, in conjunction with the Centre for Sustainable Delivery and NHS Scotland, has produced guidance on how hospital trusts can rationalise fluid giving sets and warming devices to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

In many Scottish hospitals, warming units that heat fluid as it flows to the patient are utilised to warm IV fluids – contemporaneous warming (CW).  An advantage of these units is their ability to warm cold fluids or blood products rapidly while being delivered to the patient.  The downside is the cost, the single-use plastic waste created and energy consumption.  The guidance states that in elective cases, where appropriate, an alternative warming system should be used to help reduce the cost and environmental impact.

The NGPT team recommends a clinician led change to using warming cabinets or shelf warmers, such as Enthermics ivNow® warmers, in preference to the high flow warming devices (CW).  By switching to an alternative cabinet or shelf warming device, a clinician will use approximately 100g less plastic per case when compared with the CW systems.  Preliminary figures indicate that reducing the use of the CW single use product by 50 per cent could save over 3.5 tonnes of plastic waste per year across NHS Scotland.

In addition to the carbon savings, there is also a significant green dividend.  According to National Procurement in Scotland, each single use set costs an average of £6.74 and extrapolated figures based on the NRAC funding indicate that over 73,000 units are ordered each year; equating to an annual spend of £514,140.68.  Reducing the use of these single use devices by 50 per cent would generate a saving of over £257,000 nationally in Scotland.

Full details of the ‘Rationalising fluid giving sets and warming devices – Opportunity for Change’ paper can be found at https://www.nhscfsd.co.uk/media/ntidtm1t/ngtp-rationalising-fluid-giving-sets-and-warming-devices-v10-october-2023.pdf

Enthermics ivNow® modular fluid warmers heat up fluids when and where they are needed.  Convenient and easy to use, ivNow® fluid warmers quickly heat and maintain safe temperatures of intravenous and irrigation fluids, saving both space and staff time.  The warmers record each bag’s warming time, to increase safety, comply with regulations and reduce waste.  Using ivNow®, a one litre bag of fluid can be warmed in approximately twenty five minutes, while a three litre bag can be warmed in around forty five minutes.  Enthermics ivNow® fluid warming products are available from Central Medical Supplies (CMS), which has been the UK distributor of Enthermics warming equipment for over twenty years.  CMS, a specialist in temperature management, can also provide a range of warming cabinets available via NHS Supply Chain. Working with hospital trusts, CMS uses its expertise in the area of temperature management to find the right solution for the needs of different patients.

For advice on fluid warming and warming cabinets, along with information on products in the Enthermics ivNow® range, contact Tracey Pavier-Grant, Sales & Marketing Director at Central Medical Supplies, on 01538 392 596 or email tracey@centralmedical.co.uk.