WHAT IS A BLANKET WARMER? From hospital hallways to spa counters, blanket warmers (also known as “blanket warming cabinets”) can be found in a variety of facilities. The terms “blanket warmer” and “blanket warming cabinet” refer to the same equipment: a heated compartment used to keep linens warm. A blanket warmer/warming cabinet can also be referred to as hospital blanket warmer, medical blanket warmer, blanket warmer cabinet, and portable blanket warmers.
BLANKET WARMER OR WARMING CABINET? A blanket warmer is specifically designed to hold linens at a warm temperature, the term “warming cabinet” has a broader definition. Warming cabinets may be used to store fluids, including biological samples, surgical IV fluids, and blood. Patient blankets and fluids should never be stored in the same cabinet. Instead, many blanket warmer manufacturers make stackable equipment, making it easier to access a variety of materials while keeping them stored independently.
FEATURES OF BLANKET WARMERS While there are a variety of blanket warmers in the market, most share certain construction and design features. Adjustable shelving is common, as this allows staff to accommodate several rows of blankets rather than stacking the pieces on top of each other. Some blanket warmers include locks to prevent unauthorized access and there are portable blanket warmers to provide a quick warm blanket anywhere it is needed.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A BLANKET WARMER While cost is obviously a factor in a buying decision, size will also be a prime consideration. When deciding on a blanket warmer for your facility, always measure the area around the equipment to make sure there is proper clearance. While some blanket warmers are designed for built-in installation, many require a minimum of 4 inches around each side to ensure proper functionality. If you need a warmer for multiple areas of your facility, consider one large central blanket warmer and portable blanket warmers for the multiple smaller areas to provide a warm blanket quickly without having to ever leave the patient alone.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF BLANKET WARMERS Blanket warmers are generally upright front-opening cabinets with a built-in heating device. Solid and glass door versions are available from a variety of equipment manufacturers. Many facilities prefer glass door options, as this keeps the blanket inventory in view at all times. The glass doors used in blanket warmer design are usually double pane tempered glass, with an argon filling to help prevent condensation from fogging up the door. There are also portable blanket warmers that can be purchased with AC or DC power to make them truly a one-of-a-kind!
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