Raw silk is an excellent substitute for linen. It clings well to the body, does not cause any discomfort, and has an excellent absorbing quality for water and other substances.
The proper application of the pack is of course of great importance. Adults can easily apply many of the packs without assistance, but generally speaking a third person is necessary, whether in the case of children or patients. It is consequently advisable for every mother to become thoroughly familiar with the methods of applying packs, and she should always have the necessary material on hand. It should be cut to the proper size, and there should be duplicates of each piece for the necessary changes. The approximate measurements for adults are:
=Width= =Length= Neck pack 5” 40” to 60” Shoulder pack 10” 40” Abdominal pack 28” 40” to 60” Breast or stomach pack 16” 52” to 60” “T” pack 16” 52” to 60” Cross piece alone 5” 24” The shawl 32” to 40” 32” to 40” Scotch pack (undivided) 16” 80” to 100” Same for children 10” to 16” 60” to 80” Calf pack 24” 26” Leg pack 24” 30” Three-quarter pack 56” 52” to 60” Whole pack 68” 80”
The measurements for children are accordingly shorter and narrower.
As to the application of packs, a mother can learn a great deal by experimenting on her own body. Packs at night are by no means detrimental to adults, and the application of a regular abdominal pack, a three-quarter pack, and a whole pack once a week or once every two weeks is decidedly advantageous. Three-quarter and whole packs should be occasionally tried on the body of children with dry linen so that in case of disease the mother will be a well trained nurse, at least in this respect.
To go about the application of the pack quietly and without much talking is very comforting to the patient, who usually grows excited during the procedure.
In case of acute feverish disease the packs and the changes must be applied very quickly, so that the patient will not catch cold. While, as a rule, the patient should not be disturbed in a quiet sleep, unconsciousness or delirium must not prevent change of the pack.
Packs should be applied so as not to cause any creases which may hurt the patient.
The temperature of the water used for packs should be as follows:
For the cooling packs, 59 degrees to 64 degrees.
For dissolving packs, 64 degrees to 71 degrees.
The higher temperature is used in the treatment of infants, nervous and anaemic persons.
In chronic diseases a gradual return to a lower temperature by about 2-1/2 degrees per week is advisable.