Convection warmers - Not just hot air

M. S. Avidan, N. Jones, R. Ing, M. Khoosal, C. Lundgren, D. F. Morrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We sought to determine whether the forced air convection warmers (nine Bair Huggers, Augustine Medical, and one Warm Touch, Mallinkrodt Medical) used in our operating theatres could be a source of microbial pathogens. Agar plates were placed directly in the air stream of the warmers. Four of these grew potentially pathogenic organisms. When the warmers were set to blow through perforated blankets, no growth occurred. Three of the warmers were swabbed and sites of colonisation were found in their hoses. After fixing a microbial filter to the end of the hose, organisms were no longer detectable. We conclude that these warming devices are a potential source of nosocomial infection. They should only be used in conjunction with perforated blankets, should have their microbial filters changed regularly and their hoses sterilised. The inclusion of a microbial filter into the nozzle of the hose could be incorporated into the design of the warmer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1076
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 25 1997


  • Equipment; temperature blankets
  • Hypothermia
  • Infection


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