Cold Compress Procedure:How To Apply Cold Packs

Cold Compress Procedure is used for to calm an irritable and restless patient,to improve blood circulation and reduce pulse and to bring down body temperature.

Materials Required

Tub or big basin with cold water at 6S°F or 18.3°C tem­perature. 2. Bath thermometer. 3. Large wringer or two cotton sheet for pack. 4. Bed side screen. 5. One big macintosh. 6. Two blankets. 7. Hot water bottle. 8. One tray. 9. Bottle of spirit. 10. Bowl of extra piece of ice. 11. Ice cap. 12. Feeding cup. 13. Towel 14. Clinical thermometer.


  • Intimate the patient about the procedure.
  • Put bed side screen.
  • Put the mackintosh on the bed.
  • Allow the patient to lie on the macintosh.
  • Cover the patient with blanket.
  • Take two bed sheet for pack, fold one sheet crosswise and one length wise.
  • Put bed sheet in tub of cold water.
  • Roll patient one side and place bed sheet folded crosswise under patient.
  • Cover patient with bath blanket.
  • Wring out second sheet and place it over the front of the patient.
  • Place cold compress on the head.
  • When sheet becomes warm repeat the procedure for 15-20 minutes.
  • Dry the patient by wiping with towel.
  • Apply pack with spirit, rub and then apply powder.
  • Observe for any symptom of chill or other abnormality.
  • Take temperature of the patient.
  • Record the procedure in chart.

Points to remember About Applying Cold Compress Procedure

Make sure that the patient who is going for the cold treat­ment or his attendants or relative come to know what you are going to do. So that they will assist and co-operate your procedure.

Have the patient assume a comfortable position.

Maintain privacy to patient especially a female patient or young girl.

  • If the compress is to be used repeatedly cut or fold the cloth to fit to the part like eye, ankle or wrist if locally applied.
  • Apply cold compress without any covering to allow for better evaporation and better cooling.
  • Cold compress must be repeated every few hours for more effectiveness or take advice of an attending doctor.
  • Apply cold compress to the body or part when the part is not badly injured or where there is good blood circulation with­out any loss of sensation otherwise it will harm the part.
  • Stop cold compress or application at area if the skin becomes blue or mottled or if numbness develops.

by Abdullah Sam
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