Researchers from SINTEF, medical experts from Haukeland University Hospital and three industry partners, supported by the Norwegian Research Council and Innovation Norway, have now developed a next generation hypothermic rescue bag, based on scientific methods and laboratory testing.
The new concept is named Thermosaver. Thermosaver has capabilities that makes covering the pasient faster, the insulation is improved by using new and synthetic materials, it absorbs fluids, it is compact and is of light weight. Further refining of the rescue bag is done in cooperation with the Norwegian Defence through their research arm, FFI, aiming at developing models tailored to their needs. Future user groups such as the Red Cross and the Norwegian Sea Rescue Society take part in test programs in order to further finetune the rescue bag.
Thermosaver consists of four layers; a water-proof/water resistant exterior fabric, an insulation layer with high loft, an inner liner and finally a disposable emergency sheet which serves as a vapour barrier and fluid absorbent. All fabrics and insulation materials are made of 100% polyester. This combination of materials is documented to have a high level of insulation.
The inner layer of the Thermosaver serves as both vapour barrier and fluid absorbant. The emergency sheet absorbs a minimum of 10 liters of water. The sheet absorbs water and body fluids from the clothing, which
ensures a higher degree of comfort.
In order to regain body temperature, Thermosaver includes a heating pad across the chest. The pad reaches 50° to 55°C within 1 minute, and is based on a chemical reaction between salt and water. The pad is reusable some 50-60 times.
The inner layer of the Thermosaver serves as a reliable vapour barrier. The combination of both fluid absorbtion and vapour barrier is a “one-of-its-kind” among hypothermic rescue bags. The emergency sheet is designed to enable carrying persons up to 150 kilos and is to be disposed of after use. The sheet has a biological barrier film and is Nordic Ecolabelled and biodegradable.
Due to the combination of new materials, the Thermosaver is well suited for vacuum packing. This gives the hypothermic rescue bag a very compressed size, suitable for environments where space is a critical factor. The bag’s weight is some 2,2 kiloes.