Commingling, Like Other Forms of Misuse, Can Come With Many Risks
In a number of instances, compatibility is claimed and self-certified by one manufacturer while not all elements of compatibility have been addressed. Specific potentially hazardous conditions can arise with the use of mixed manufacturers' forced-air warming products.
Another concern involves inconsistent labeling issues that occur as a result of mixed manufacturer product usage. When inconsistent or contradictory instructions are provided to a clinician, it leaves the user to decide what is the correct usage, putting the patient at potential risk of injury and creating a possible safety and compliance issue for clinicians.
Although products from two different manufacturers may each have effective safety systems, they can be different and may prove incompatible with other devices, which in turn could be injurious to patients.
Additionally, the safety system of a warming unit can be affected by the properties of the blanket. Historical testing has demonstrated the over-temperature back-up system of one manufacturer's warming unit was adversely affected when used with the blanket of a different manufacturer.1 In tests, the backpressure developed by the different manufacturer's blanket caused a system mismatch, which allowed a hazardous event to occur in a fault condition. With the proper manufacturer's blanket attached, no hazards were created, even in an induced fault condition.