NICE Supports Inditherm Patient Warming

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have issued guidance that supports the use of Inditherm patient warming systems for patients undergoing operations which carry a risk of inadvertent hypothermia.


Previous NICE clinical guideline CG65 (Inadvertent perioperative hypothermia) recommends active intraoperative warming for all patients undergoing anaesthesia for longer than 30 minutes and for patients at higher risk of hypothermia undergoing anaesthesia for less than 30 minutes. Following on from this, new technology guidance has been issued supporting the use of Inditherm patient warming systems.

After rigorous evaluation of the clinical evidence, NICE concluded that the Inditherm patient warming mattress is similar to that of forced air warming in maintaining patient core body temperature above 36°C and that the Inditherm system may have practical advantages.

The key recommendations from NICE and the benefits it identifies, include:

  • Effectiveness of the Inditherm patient warming mattress in maintaining patient core temperature is similar to forced air warming (FAW)
  • Annual cost saving is estimated to be £9,800 per operating theatre compared with current technology
  • Reduction in surgical site infections with consequent cost savings
  • Low running costs and faster turnaround times for patients
  • Reusable device with no consumables and low energy consumption offering environmental as well as economic benefits
  • Silent and easy to maintain

Inadvertent hypothermia, a common complication of anaesthesia, can lead to increased risk of wound infection, increased blood loss, increased heart problems, longer recovery times and longer hospital stay. NICE concluded that the Inditherm mattress is a practical, economic and effective patient warming device which can help prevent these complications and reduce hospital costs.

The main alternative to Inditherm's mattress in preventing hypothermia is forced air warming (FAW) but this is a costly option, using disposable, single-use blankets. NICE estimated that the average NHS cost saving from using the Inditherm patient warming system is in the region of £9,800 per operating theatre each year. This could save the NHS in England alone well over £15 million if FAW was replaced by Inditherm's mattress for eligible procedures* in most of the 3,030 operating theatres in England.

Nick Bettles, Chief Executive of Inditherm commented: "We are delighted that NICE has recognised the value of our patient warming mattress both in terms of improving patient safety and significantly reducing hospital expenditure. I am confident that this positive recommendation will see an increase in interest in our product and it's more consistent use across NHS operating theatres. The NICE recommendations recognise the clinical advantages and enormous cost savings Inditherm can offer and also highlight that these may be understated."

For more information click here or for the full guidance document click here.

  *Eligible procedures are those where a patient is under anaesthetic for more than 30 minutes. In the UK these amount to more than 2 million operations per year.

For further information contact:
Carly Street
Inditherm Medical
Houndhill Park
Bolton Road
S63 7LG
Tel: +44 (0) 1709 761000
Fax: +44 (0) 1709 761066
e-mail: cstreet@indithermplc.com
Web: www.inditherm.com/medical

About The Operating Theatre Journal

The Operating Theatre Journal, OTJ, is published monthly and distributed to every hospital operating theatre department in the UK. The distribution includes both the National Health Service and the Private Sector.

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