Mylar hypothermia blankets are a product of the space race when scientists needed a lightweight material to reflect the sun's heat. The resulting product is comprised of a thin plastic sheet coated with a shiny, reflective aluminum metallic film. Thanks to its high gloss and impervious nature, this material is strong, has excellent reflective properties as well as being wind- and waterproof. Because it was initially produced for NASA, Mylar blankets are colloquially known as space blankets.
It was not long before it was realized that Mylar's heat-reflective properties could also be used to retain heat and prevent hypothermia.
Physical Characteristics of Mylar Hypothermia EMS Blankets
While some properties are obvious, the thermal capabilities of Mylar EMS blankets require an explanation.
- Heat reflection: Because Mylar is impervious to infrared radiation, it has excellent heat-reflective properties, redirecting approximately 90 percent of radiant heat. This property can be used to reflect the sun's heat and keep patients cool. Mylar withstands temperatures up to 150 °C (302 °F).
- Heat retention: The human body loses heat through conduction, convection, evaporation, and radiation, but most, approximately 60 percent, is lost through radiation. Because of its heat-reflective properties, Mylar blankets reflect patients' body heat keeping them warm.
- Water resistance: Mylar is completely water-resistant and keeps patients dry in rain and snow.
- Wind resistance: Mylar is impervious to the wind and can be used as a windbreak or barrier.
Packaging of Mylar EMS Blankets
The adult-sized Mylar Hypothermia blankets by Graham Medical are designed to be large enough to completely cover an adult. Each blanket is individually wrapped and usually supplied in packs of 50. They are easy to store and carry in an ambulance.
- Compact size: Each packed blanket takes up very little space and several can be carried in EMS emergency kits. A full pack of 50, more than enough for most emergencies, takes up very little storage space in an ambulance.
- Lightweight: Mylar EMS blankets are extremely light.
- Low Cost: Single-use Mylar blankets are inexpensive.
Mylar hypothermia blankets should always be included in EMS emergency kits. Thanks to their compact size when packed, it's easy to include several, and their myriad uses make them indispensable. Here are some practical ways Chrome Mylar EMS blankets can be used during emergency care:
- To retain body heat: In cold weather, Mylar blankets can be used to retain body heat after exposure, accidents or physical exertion.
- Prevent hypothermia: Mylar blankets reduce the effects of exposure in cold weather by blocking wind and rain while reflecting body heat inward.
- Reduce shock: Mylar blankets are effective in limiting the effects of shock after trauma.
- Blanket liner: When used in conjunction with conventional medical blankets, Mylar blankets limit heat loss, keep patients dry and minimize wind chill.
- Protect from sun and heat: Mylar blankets reflect infrared radiation from the sun, helping keep patients cool when necessary.
- Fluid barrier: Mylar blankets can be used as a fluid barrier.
Contact us at Graham Medical to find out more about Chrome Mylar single-use EMS blankets.