The FDA published an open letter to health care providers highlighting the benefits of thermoregulation devices, such as forced-air warming systems, during surgery. The letter states that the FDA is aware of hesitation by many providers to use the technology due to a possible increased risk for infection.
The FDA wrote the letter, after a “thorough review of available data,” because it has determined that there is no “consistently reported association between the use of forced air thermal regulating systems and surgical site infection.” The agency reaffirmed its position that the use of these systems is recommended for surgery when necessary.
Forced-air warming systems are devices used to regulate a patient’s body temperature during surgery. They use an electrical blower to circulate temperature-controlled, filtered air through a hose into a blanket, which is placed above or below the patient.
The FDA letter reminded readers that these thermoregulating systems “have been demonstrated to result in less bleeding, faster recovery times, and decreased risk of infection for patients.”