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Construction and evaluation of a manikin for perioperative heat exchange

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During surgery hypothermia can be avoided only if the heat exchange between the body surface and the environment can be controlled. To allow a systematic analysis of this heat exchange, we constructed and evaluated a copper manikin of the human body. Methods:

The manikin consists of six tubes (head, trunk, two arms and two legs) painted matt-black to simulate the emissivity of the human skin. Hot-water mattresses are bonded to the inner surface of the copper tubes to set the surface temperature. Calibrated heat flux transducers were placed on the following points to determine the heat exchange coefficient for radiation and convection (hRC) of the manikin: Forehead, chest, abdomen, upper arm, forearm, dorsal hand, anterior thigh, anterior leg and foot. Room temperature was set to 22°C. Surface temperature of the manikin was set between 22°C and 38°C. The hRC was determined by linear regression analysis as the slope of the temperature gradient between the manikin and the room versus the measured heat flux. Subsequently we studied five minimally clothed volunteers in a climate chamber. Initial chamber temperature was set to 29°C and was lowered slowly to 12°C. The hRC was determined as described above for each volunteer. Results:

The hRC of the manikin was 11.0 W m−2°C−1 and hRC of the volunteers was 10.8 W m−2°C−1. Conclusion:

The excellent correlation of hRC between the volunteers and the manikin will allow the manikin to be used for standardised studies of perioperative heat exchange.

Keywords: Hypothermia; heat exchange; manikin; measurement techniques; perioperative

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany 2: Department of Anaesthesia, Montreal General Hospital and McGill University, Montreal, Canada 3: Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Evangelisches Bethesda-Krankenhaus, Essen, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2002


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