Liquid Cooling Garment Adaptation to Enhance Surgical Outcomes 2003-01-2339
Hypothermia is a well documented problem for surgical patients and is historically addressed by the use of a variety of warming aids and devices applied to the patient before, during, and after surgery. Their effectiveness is limited in many surgeries by practical constraints of surgical access, and hypothermia remains a significant concern. Increasing the temperature of the operating room has been proposed as an alternative solution. However, operating room temperatures must be cool enough to limit thermal stress on the surgical team despite the heat transport barriers imposed by protective sterile garments. Space technology in the form of the liquid cooling garment worn by EVA astronauts answers this need.
Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International (HSSSI) has been working with Hartford Hospital to adapt liquid cooling garment technology for use by surgical teams in order to allow them to work comfortably in warmer operating room environments. This has resulted in a new patented cooling garment design approach that offers improved heat transfer performance and enhanced comfort and safety in hospital use. Efforts are now underway to extend the project to clinical trials and further develop the concept as a commercial product for widespread surgical use.