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22nd November 2023

How do emergency blankets work?

How does using a blanket for hypothermia prevention work? We take a deep dive into the technology of our emergency blankets to show you how they save lives.

The Thermarmour range of emergency products are designed to prevent hypothermia in challenging environments. Used by the emergency services, search and rescue, outdoor enthusiasts, recovery, and breakdown providers and others.

 

What is an emergency blanket?

An emergency blanket is a blanket is used specifically for preventing hypothermia. The key difference between this and a regular blanket, is the uniquely and scientifically designed fabric.

It requires no secondary heat source. Making it ideal for emergency situations where resources and shelter are limited. The emergency blanket uses the person’s own body heat, recirculating it to keep them warm whilst waiting for emergency or medical personnel to arrive.

 

The technology

Thermarmour fabric is a multi-layered system. The finished materials make the ideal combination of  properties for maintaining human normothermia at 37C. The system consists of the following layers:

Outer foil layer: Non-conductive, soft-touch, waterproof and windproof

Central foil layer: Reflective and insulating

Inner foil layer: Provides strength & a moisture barrier

Thermal fleece layer: Optimised for airflow

These layers combine to work effectively in maintaining normothermia. Body heat is captured from the user, this is then re-circulated. Avoiding the loss of body heat is crucial in preventing hypothermia.

 

How heat loss works

Thermarmour emergency blankets work by alleviating heat loss. In situations where trauma may have occurred, heat loss becomes even more dangerous.

People lose heat from their bodies through evaporation of water from the skin, radiation, conduction, and convection.

Evaporation: Heat can be lost this way when clothing is wet, when sweating, and some when breathing.

Radiation: This is the process of heat moving away from the body, which is the most common way to lose body heat.

Conduction: The direct heat transfer from one object to another. Imagine putting something cold on your forehead in the summer.

Convection: This is heat loss via the movement of air or water around us. An example of this would be sitting in front of a fan or being out in the wind. The thin layer of air close to our skin is heated by convection from the body. This is then carried away from the body by the air or water around us.

Emergency blankets work to reduce the amount of heat lost, keeping body heat circulating until further attention can be given. Thermarmour blankets can be used when a patient is wet, reducing the heat lost from evaporation. This is a significant reason why Thermarmour is ideal for water rescue teams.

 

Shop emergency products

Our emergency range of hypothermia prevention products are designed for urgent situations that require simple solutions. People stuck in cold conditions are at risk of hypothermia, and those who are experiencing medical issues or injuries are at an even greater risk.  Our emergency products include:

 

More useful information: Clinical evidence | Product videos | About us | Contact us

Categories: Emergency, Interesting info

Tags: emergency, emergency blanket, hypothermia, hypothermia in rescue, hypothermia prevention

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