New equipment improves emergency room care

Hardin Memorial Hospital staff members pose with the ThermaCor 1200, a portable fluid infusion device capable of warming and infusing fluids at rapid rates and of sustaining patients in traumatic injury situations.

A patient arrived at the Har­din Memorial Hospital Em­er­gen­cy Department unre­spon­sive and required fluids and blood resuscitation. Her con­di­tion was critical and unstable.

Emergency Department Unit-­Based Educator Tara Daven­port said staff quickly de­ter­mined the ThermaCor 1200 rapid infuser would be beneficial in treating the patient. She said staff were able to infuse multiple units of blood and fluids that were warmed to body temperature within minutes.

“By providing the blood and fluids quickly and safely, the patient was able to be stabilized and treated,” she said.

The equipment used in the June 10 lifesaving real-life story is available courtesy of the Hardin Memorial Hospital Foundation and the WHAS Crusade for Children.

According to Davenport, ThermaCor 1200 is a portable fluid infusion device capable of warming and infusing fluids at rapid rates and of sustaining patients in traumatic injury situations.

“The ThermaCor 1200 is the newest technology in rapid infusers,” she said. “Fluids and blood can be administered at a rate as high as 1,200 milliliters per minute.”

The emergency staff first approached the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation in 2018 about the technology to help stabilize trauma patients.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to get funding then,” she said, noting the need was great. “Providers must rapidly assess and re-assess pediatric patients to determine the need for fluid replenishment and initiate replacement quickly. Inadequate fluid replacement is a significant issue for trauma patients. No one piece of equipment was considered more essential to improve trauma care.”

The HMH Foundation finally secured money for the equipment in July 2019 thanks to the WHAS Crusade for Child­ren. The organization at the time awarded $95,000 to purchase equipment for Hardin Memorial Health’s emergency department and its Bardstown pediatric therapy center.

The ThermaCor 1200 was among the new equipment acquired.

Previously, the hospital’s emer­gency department staff warm­ed fluids and administered them with a pressure bag. Davenport said this was a slow process.

“A rapid thermal infuser alleviates this risk and will help HMH save lives,” she said.

Dr. William C. Nash, a retired physician and secretary of the HMH Foundation Board of Directors, said the foundation provides leadership and resources to strengthen Hardin Memorial Health.

“When HMH Emergency Department officials approached us about their need for a rapid thermal infuser, we began looking for funding sources. The Crusade for Children was a perfect resource and funded the technology to help HMH care for its more than 12,000 annual pediatric patients,” he said.

“It was equally meaningful as it available to adult patients as well.”

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or

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