The linen is saturated in two parts of water with one part of vinegar, at 64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, well wrung out, and is placed on the woollen material in such a way that the latter extend about 2 to 3 inches on the upper and lower edge. The pack is now placed around the back of the patient, who sits in bed or is held in position by another. The patient’s shirt is lifted and he is laid down on the moist linen, which is then quickly raised on both sides and folded over the abdomen. The same is done with the woollen material, which is then fastened tightly in the middle, the upper and lower corners with three safety pins. Then the shirt is pulled down and the patient is warmly covered.
In individual cases it is advisable sometimes to divide the pack into a back and front compress of greater proportions.
In such cases the woollen cloth, which is used for the abdominal pack is placed underneath the patient as before. A towel is folded 6 to 8 times, so that it will grow warm slowly and thus may remain on the body for a longer time. This is placed under the back of the patient. Then two properly folded towels, which are not wrung out very thoroughly, are put on the abdomen, and tucked down a little on both sides. The woollen cloth is thereupon fastened so as to keep the compresses in place, the arrangement being otherwise exactly as before. In such cases the back compress only needs to be changed every 2 to 3 hours, even in case of severe fever. The front towels may be changed several times in the meantime.
Since this system permits the application of the pack without disturbing the patient and making him sit up too often, it is very desirable in cases of severe illness.
The undivided pack is often very uncomfortable for patients suffering from respiratory complaints.
It is better to treat very excitable patients with front compresses only.
When the stomach pack only is prescribed, as in catarrhal and nervous, stomach or liver complaints, which pack may be worn during the night as well as the day, a long, wide mesh shawl, with a bandage, 7 to 8 inches in width at each end, is most servicable, as it will reach around the body 4 or 5 times. In order to exclude the air as much as possible, the moist compress is first applied, and then the shawl is placed around the body in such a way that each succeeding turn covers the previous one to about one-half, in bandage form.
This is applied in case of men’s diseases and women’s diseases of the sexual organs. To the woollen material and the linen crash of the abdominal pack, another piece, about half as long and about 7 inches wide, is sewed or pinned before application, in the form of a T.
[Illustration: No. 2]
Before the two ends of the abdominal pack are folded over on the front of the abdomen, the narrower piece is drawn up between the legs from behind, so that the end of it can be fastened to the two sides of the abdominal part of the pack that are folded over in front.