The TacMed IV Evaporative Cooling System (IVECS) was developed to prevent IV fluids from reaching excessively hot and potentially dangerous temperatures. Hot fluids are counter-productive when treating heat casualties. When operating in a desert or any low humidity hot environment, this becomes a serious concern.
The IVECS’ efficient design maintains fluids at a safe temperature for up to 18 hours without additional cooling assistance. The cooling systems are cost effective and re-usable. They can easily be converted to a pressure infuser with the addition of a standard blood pressure cuff. It will accommodate both 500ml and 1000ml bags. The IVECS provides an effective, power free means of delivering IV fluids at a safe temperature under adverse conditions and in harsh climates.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The IVECS does not need to be cooled prior to inserting the IV bag. The only step required is to soak the pouch for approximately 15 minutes. It is not like a cold pack that absorbs or transfers heat energy from one mass to another to cool. The pouch cools through the method of evaporation. The temperature is controlled by the movement of water in the form of gas traveling over the surface area of the IV bag. While the circulation of air around the bag is important to allow maximum efficiency, it is not required.
The IVECS is an essential piece of equipment for any care provider operating in extreme conditions.
According to guidelines established by the leading authority on patient care and safety in the US, fluids stored at ambient temperatures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other desert areas around the world are not maintained at a safe temperature. The average daily temperatures in these areas can be in excess of 54º C (130º F). Other studies indicate that the administration of fluids at temperatures exceeding 52.2º C (126º F) can damage tissue and blood cells. While forward surgical units, combat support hospitals, and vehicle-based heath care providers have the ability to store fluids at safe temperatures, the combat medic or wilderness medical provider do not.
Recent reports from Iraq have shown the IVECS to maintain fluids at temperatures well below the established maximum. One soldier reported a temperature of 35.5 C (96º F). This demonstrates the impact of the addition of a light breeze and occasional shade, which make the IVECS even more effective.
Tests conducted by USAMRMC (US Army Medical Research & Material Command) proved the IVECS is effective in extremely harsh, unrealistic conditions. The bag was tested over a period of 13.5 hours at a temperature of 54º C (130º F) and a maximum of 5% humidity with no wind. The chart below displays the results of the test.
Within 2.5 hours, the control bag was already at an ambient temperature of 54º C (130º F). The bag stored in the IVECS was only 43.3º C (110º F) and then began a very slow climb to a maximum temperature of 50º C (122º F), four degrees below the maximum recommended temperature for blood products and fluids.
NSN # 6515-01-530-7024