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Heat and Cold

Fundamentals of Nursing

What should you assess before applying heat and cold therapy? Skin integrity, neurologic function, and identify conditions that contraindicate heat or cold therapy
When do systemic responses to heat and cold occur? Through heat loss mechanisms, mechanisms promoting heat conservation, and heat production
When do local responses to heat and cold occur? Through stimulation of temperature-sensitive nerve endings
Describe the effects of heat application. Improves blood flow to an injured site, relieves edema, provides muscle relaxation
What happens if heat is applied for more than 1 hour? Blood flow is reduced by a reflex vasoconstriction
What happens with continuous exposure to heat? It damages epithelial cells, causing redness, localized tenderness, and blistering.
What are the effects of cold application? Initially diminishes swelling and pain
What results from prolonged exposure to cold? Reflex vasodilation, causing tissue ischemia.
What are signs of tissue ischemia? Skin first appears reddened, and then appears as bluish-purple mottling. Numbness and burning occur
Which type of temperature adjustments does the body best respond to? Minor
What does uneven temperature distribution suggest? Equipment that isn't functioning properly.
True or False: You do not need a doctor's order to provide heat and/or cold therapy. False
What is the benefit of warm, moist compresses? Improve circulation, relieve edema, and promote consolidation of purulent drainage
What is the benefit of warm soaks? Increases muscle relaxation
What is the ideal temperature for a warm soak? 40.5-43 degrees Celsius (105-110 degrees Fahrenheit)
When are sitz baths beneficial? Ideal for rectal surgery, an episiotomy, during childbirth, hemorrhoids, or vaginal inflammation
How long should you apply a cold compress? For 20 minutes
What is the temperature for a cold compress? 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit)
Why are cold compresses used? To relieve inflammation and swelling
How long should a cold soak last? 920 minutes, at 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit)
When are ice bags ideal? For muscle sprains, localized hemorrhage, hematoma, or dental surgery
How should you fill the ice bag? 2/3 full with ice
How should you apply an ice bag? For 30 minutes and reapply after 1 hour
Created by: shrewsbury_sd