No packs or compresses should be put on when parts of the body are cold. In such cases the parts in question must first be warmed.
The linen should be wrung out less for short cooling compresses than for dissolving packs of longer duration.
Cooling compresses must be changed as soon as the patient indicates that he feels oppressed or irritated by the heat.
As a general rule, packs on the legs may be left on feverish patients twice as long as packs on the upper parts of the body.
No fever being apparent, the abdominal pack may be changed after about 2-1/2 hours, the leg pack after 5 hours, and even not at all during the night. Packs should be renewed according to requirements of the individual patient, not in accordance with fixed rules.
Great care must be exercised to fasten the packs well and tightly. This is usually done with good strong safety pins; these should be fastened perpendicularly, or at right angles to the length of the material.
When changing the pack on feverish patients who are to receive an ablution or a bath two or three times a day, all pins must be loosened under the bedcovers so that the pack may be removed quickly.
If ablutions only are to be given, the pack is removed gradually as the respective parts of the body are to be washed.
When the fever is moderate, there should be ablutions morning and evening, or a bath in the morning and an ablution in the evening.
When packs are applied only at night, patients require only an ablution in the morning.
If the packs are not renewed, an ablution must follow the removal. This refreshes and strengthens the skin, closes the wide open pores and prevents taking cold.
Dissolving packs, if annoying at night, may be removed under the bedcovers without an ablution.
If the pack is changed without intervening ablution, the new pack must be ready to be applied before the old, hot one, is taken off.
While in a pack, the patient should not leave his bed, not even for the purpose of urinating or for stool.
The following general rules must be applied in connection with the directions given anon for packs during different diseases.
In case of inflammation, the inflamed spot is cooled off by local compresses, and diverting packs of longer duration are applied on other parts of the body.
For instance, in case of inflammation of the brain or tonsils.
The first step is to cool off the blood which flows to the neck and head by short-time compresses on the neck and on the cervix. At the same time an attempt must be made to divert it through lengthier packs on the abdomen, the legs and the wrists, thereby to prevent a further delivery of diseased matter to the centre of inflammation. The solution and excretion of diseased matter from other points than the inflamed spots will thereby be effected, and these will be unburdened and calmed accordingly.