Effect evaluation of a heated ambulance mattress-prototype on thermal comfort and patients’ temperatures in prehospital emergency care -an intervention study
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Background: The ambulance milieu does not offer good thermal comfort to patients during the cold Swedish winters. Patients’ exposure to cold temperatures combined with a cold ambulance mattress seems to be a major factor leading to an overall sensation of discomfort. As far as we have seen, there is still little research on the effect of active heat delivered from underneath in ambulance care. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of an electrically heated ambulance mattress-prototype on thermal comfort and patients’ temperatures in the prehospital emergency care.
A quantitative intervention study conducted in ambulance care in the north of Sweden. The ambulance used for the intervention group (n=30) was equipped with a heated mattress on the stretcher compared to the control group (n=30) where no active heat was provided on the stretcher. Outcome variables were measured as thermal comfort on the Cold Discomfort Scale (CDS), finger, ear, and air temperatures along with subjective comments on cold experiences.
Thermal comfort, measured by CDS, was improved during the ambulance transport to the Emergency Department (ED) in the intervention group (p= 0.001) but decreased in the control group (p=<0.014). A significant higher proportion (57%) of the control group rated the stretcher as cold to lie down on compared to three percent in the intervention group (p<0.001). Concerning finger, ear, and compartment air temperature no significant difference between groups was found. Mean transport time was approximately 15 minutes.
The use of active heat, from underneath, increases the patients’ thermal comfort and may prevent the negative consequences of cold stress.
thermal comfort, thermal discomfort, finger temperature, cold exposure, Cold Discomfort Scale (CDS), cold stress, active heat, heat transfer
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102597OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-102597DiVA: diva2:808452