A hypothermia treatment system to help wounded soldiers in combat is being developed by a team of bioengineering students from Stevens Institute of Technology and the U.S. Army.
Presently, the treatment for such patients employs an IV drip and a blanket to warm the body. The new system is better as it heats up the body effectively via the lungs.
The 'Heat Wave System' employs heated, humidified air through an oxygen mask to capitalize on the patient's respiratory system. Here the complete blood volume passes through the lungs, and the heat is quickly transferred to the blood via convection. This system has proved more effective than current treatments during tests.
"We can decrease the time needed to resuscitate a hypothermic patient to just four hours, a 75% reduction in treatment time.Not only does this increase survival rates for the patient, but it also frees up field medics so they can attend to others," the team said.