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Case Reports in Anesthesiology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7306341, 6 pages
Case Report

Use of an Esophageal Heat Exchanger to Maintain Core Temperature during Burn Excisions and to Attenuate Pyrexia on the Burns Intensive Care Unit

Welsh Centre for Burns, Morriston Hospital, Swansea SA6 6NL, UK

Received 26 October 2015; Accepted 24 January 2016

Academic Editor: Renato Santiago Gomez

Copyright © 2016 David Williams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Burns patients are vulnerable to hyperthermia due to sepsis and SIRS and to hypothermia due to heat loss during excision surgery. Both states are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We describe the first use of a novel esophageal heat exchange device in combination with a heater/cooler unit to manage perioperative hypothermia and postoperative pyrexia. Material and Methods. The device was used in three patients with full thickness burns of 51%, 49%, and 45% body surface area to reduce perioperative hypothermia during surgeries of >6 h duration and subsequently to control hyperthermia in one of the patients who developed pyrexia of 40°C on the 22nd postoperative day due to E. coli/Candida septicaemia which was unresponsive to conventional cooling strategies. Results. Perioperative core temperature was maintained at 37°C for all three patients, and it was possible to reduce ambient temperature to 26°C to increase comfort levels for the operating team. The core temperature of the pyrexial patient was reduced to 38.5°C within 2.5 h of instituting the device and maintained around this value thereafter. Conclusion. The device was easy to use with no adverse incidents and helped maintain normothermia in all cases.