#72: Sleeping bag with active thermal management

If you have a fever, current medical advice is simply to attempt to adjust your temperature by varying the amount of clothing or bedclothes surrounding you and thus achieve as great a level of comfort as possible. For those who are unconscious, or infants that may not be possible.

Today’s invention is an attempt to promote heat transfer from hot regions of the body to cold regions and thus minimise the danger of thermal organ damage.

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A close fitting body-shaped sleeping bag lined with a network of copper tapes is envisaged. This alone would be enough to promote a more nearly uniform body temperature, but in addition, I’d suggest the following extra measure: a kind of thermal ‘nervous system’.

In its crudest form, there could be a tape running from each of say 20 recognised thermal centres each to a peripheral part of the body (requiring about 200 tapes in total). Each tape would contain a small switch capable of turning ‘on’, to allow heat flow along its tape, only if the temperature difference between that tape’s ends was sufficient. This would have the effect of allowing a fever to progress to the level required to overcome eg a viral infection but not to the point where fitting sets in.

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