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COMPRESS. When effusion of blood or lymph is likely to occur in an injured part, a., for instance, with a severe bruise or sprain, the application of a cold wet dressing, and a firm bandagc will help to limit the amount of effusion. Such a dressing is called a cold compress. It must be frequently renewed.
A hot compress should not be firmly bandaged since it is intended to promote the circulation in the injured part. A dry compress consists of a pad of dry dressing firmly bandaged on to a wound to check bleeding by local pressure.
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1) When it is desired to apply not only cold but some pressure atso to a part of the body, a cold compress is used. A double thickness of lint is wrung out of cold water.
(2) The lint having been applied (in the illustration it is to the wrist), it is covered with oiled silk or some other protective material and then with a layer of cotton wool of moderate thickness (3) Finally a bandage is put on to exert firm and equal pressure on the part, though not firmly enough to hurt. When a compress is applied to an arm a sling may be adopted
ABDOMINAL PACK: - Some of the chronic abdominal disorders attended by congestion and inflammation may be benefited by an abdominal pack. Amongst these, mention may be made of gastritis, appendicitis, peritonitis, congestion of the liver, enteric fever, and inflammation of the stomach and bowels in the children
Cold packs are of great use in the control of fever, and in allaying nervous excitement. On a firm mattress or coucli is spread a large waterproof sheet, and on this are laid two thick, dry blankets. A cotton or linen sheet is tben wrung out of cold water at a temperature between 60 and 80˚ F., and spread out evenly upon the blankets so that its upper edge comes within ten inches of the top of the blankets and its sides hang down over the side of the bed. The patient is stripped and laid upon this wet sheet with his head resting upon the dry blanket; then quickly and closely shrouded in the sheet each blanket in turn is closely wrapped around liim, firmly enveloping the whole of his trunk and limbs, and is well tucked in round his neck. In order to obtain the desired result from the pack it is important that an should be excluded by the closeness of the wrappings. The patient lies in this pack for 0 to 30 minutes, and is then rapidly dried and put into a dry bed.
The first effect of the application of the pack is to produce a sharp sensation of chill accompauied by contraction of the vessels of the skin and a reflex dilatation of the internal vessels after a few minutes this early effect gives place to a later and more lasting dilatation of the skin vessels with a strengthening and slowing of the heart a fall of blood pressure, a deepenixy and slowing of respiration and a generad sense of comfort. From the now vascular skin free sweating may occur, and in this way elimination of toxins is encouraged. It is advisable to exercise caution in prescribing the temperature of these packs at hrst; it is better to commence cvith those that are merely cool, and later, as the patient becomes more tolerant, mentally and phyeically, to reduce the temperature of the sheet by a degree or two at a time, until this can be applied at 65 or 70˚ F.
The patient and bed are prepared in advance application of the cold pack. A waterproof sheet is spread on the mattress and over this two blankets. A sheet is wrung out of cold water by the bedside as illustrated.
In febrile disorders when the temperature is unduly high, the patient restless and irritable, much relief may be afforded by a cold pack. A tub of water, at tap temperature or even colder is brought to the bedside, and out of this a cotton sheet is wrung firmly.
The wet sheet ts then wrapped round the patient's body and imbs and a cold cloth may also be applied to his forehead, as illustrated.
A hot pack is a rapid way of inducing perspiration, and it has a soothing effect on the nervous system. Hot packs are used in Bright's Disease to assist the exeretion of the poison through the skin. lt also sometimes increases the secretion of urine.
The pack is applied as follows: The bed is covered with a waterproof sheet. and over this are laid one or two blankets. Another blanket is quickly wrung out of water at a temperature of 110˚ F. and in this the patient is enveloped, laid apon the prepared bed and covered with dry blankets. A cold compress may be applied to the head. The treatment lasts about 20 minutes. After the pack has been removed, the patient should he dried, but should be left for a short time under a blanket befcre being dressed.
A hot abdominal pack is made of strips of old linen long enough to go round. the body and reaching from the lower end of the breastbone to the lowest part of the belly. Two to four strips may be used. Grcat care must be taken to avoid scalding the skin. A strip of linen is wrung out of the water, passed beneath the patient's body. and the two ends brought together in front. Over all the strips is placed a piece of flannel or old blanket sufficiently, broad to overlap the pack both above and below. The pack may with advantage. be left on for several hours. A cold pack may be given in the same way.
Conditions benefited by an abdominal pack are gastritis, appendicitis, peritonitis, liver congestion and inflammation of the stomach and bowels in children.
First stage: A blanket is wrung out in a sheet after soaking in very hot water. A hot pack of this kind promotes perspiration and eliminates poisons.
Second Stage: The patient is quickly enveloped in the steaming blankets, the wholebody except the head being covered. Scalding must be carefully avoided.
Last Stage: Dry blankets are then wrapped around the patient and a cold cloth applied to his head. The treatment lasts for about twenty minutes
Strips of linen, two to four in number, are wrung out of water at a temperature of abaut 110F, and passed beneath the body, the ends being brought together in front. Over them a strip of blanket is placed, overlapping the pack above and below.