Blanket & Fluid warming cabinets – Temperature recommendations

Nice does not specify regulatory guidelines on temperature management for blanket and fluid warmers. The operational and temperature recommendations are predominantly set out by the manufactures and this information should be provided with the product.

Fluids, lotions, and contrast media should be warmed at lower temperature than blankets and linens, hence dedicated cabinets should be used. A fluid/blanket combination cabinet is an ideal solution if you need to heat both fluids and blankets. Combi warming cabinets consist of 2 chambers with independent temperature controls.

Combi-fluid/blanket warming cabinet.
Combi-fluid/blanket warming cabinet.

These recommendations are based on findings from the ECRI Institute where they found that fluids/solutions were often being warmed in the same cabinets as blankets, which of course posed a serious burn risk.

What are the recommended temperature settings for blanket warming cabinets?

  • Blanket or linen warming cabinets:  These should not exceed 130°F (54.4 C).

 What is the recommended temperature range for solution warming cabinets?

  • Fluid, lotion cabinets: Should be limited to 110°F. (43.3°C).

 What is the recommended temperature range for contrast media warming cabinets?

  • Contrast Media cabinets: Ideal temperature is 98.6°F (37°C).

 Can I warm blankets and fluids in the same cabinet with care and caution?

If a hospital or healthcare department chooses to use the same warming cabinet/chamber for both blankets and fluids, then the temperature should be limited to 1100F (430C). However this is not good practice as the safety of setting the correct temperature relies on individual operators, thus poses a risk to the safety of patients.

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