Bair Hugger

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I. Situation Analysis

A. The Industry
* About 21 million surgical operations are performed annually. Averaging 84,000 operations per eight-hour work day. * About 5,500 hospitals have operating rooms and postoperative recovery rooms. * According to research done by Augustine Medical, the hospital industry has 31,365 postoperative recovery beds and 28,514 operating rooms in the U.S. * The research estimated that hospitals with less than seven beds would not be interested in the Bair Hugger® Patient warming system making hospitals with more than seven recovery room beds the target market. * Research also estimated that one system would be sold for every eight postoperative recovery room beds. * 60 to 80 percent of all postoperative recovery room patients are clinically hypothermic due to: 1) their exposure to cold operating room temperatures, 2) heat loss due to evaporation of fluids used to scrub patients, 3) evaporation from the exposed bowel, 4) breathing of dry anesthetic gases.

Competition- The technology that is available for the prevention and treatment of hypothermia fall into one of two broad types of patient warming: Surface warming or Internal warming. Surface-Warming Technologies

Warmed hospital blankets- the most commonly used treatment for hypothermia in recovery rooms and other places. * Almost all patients get at least one application; estimated that 50 percent of the postoperative patients require more than one application * Advantages of warmed hospital blankets: simple, safe, and inexpensive. * Disadvantages: cool quickly, provide only insulation, and require the patient’s own body heat to regenerate warmth.

Water-circulating blankets- the second most popular postoperative hypothermic treatment. * Can be placed under or over a patient or both.
* Placing the blanket under a patient has proven to be less effective than placing it over the patient or over and under as it only affects 15 percent of the body’s surface area where the later encloses 85 to 90 percent. * Disadvantages: heavy, expensive, and can cause burns on pressure points. They are also considered slightly to moderately effective.

Air-circulating blankets and mattresses- not commonly used in the United States. * Relies on warmed air flowing over the body to transfer heat. * It is advantageous in its ability to be safe, lightweight, and more effective than warmed hospital blanks or water-circulating blankets.

Thermal drapes (reflective blankets) - recently introduced and are gaining acceptance as a preventive measure used in the operating room. * Consist of head covers, blankets, and leggings that are placed on the uninvolved portions of the patient’s body. * Use is recommended when 60 percent of a patient’s body can be covered. * Advantages: simple, safe, inexpensive, and has been shown to reduce heat loss. * Disadvantages: merely insulated the patient and doesn’t transfer heat to someone who is already hypothermic.

Infrared heating lamps- popular for infant use.
* Radiates warmth when placed at a safe distance from the body and shone on the skin. * Advantages: effective and illuminate the patient for observation or therapy. * Disadvantages: skin needs to be exposed so modesty prevents extensive use among adults. Nurses dislike the heat lamps and panels because they tend to heat the entire recovery room making in uncomfortable to work in.

Partial warm-water immersion- has been used in the past when a patient was deliberately cooled to slow down metabolism. * Advantages: it transfers heat effectively and simple.
* Disadvantages: the system is inconvenient to set up and requires close monitoring of the patient, which increases labor costs. Furthermore, Water baths must be carefully monitored for bacterial progression and they are very expensive to purchase and use.

Increasing room temperature- the most obvious way to prevent and treat...
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