Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sponge bath

There are many ways of applying sponge bath to a person with fever. These are hot sponge bath, cold sponge bath, tepid sponge and saline sponge bath. Sponge bathe relieves fever and lowers body temperature and has sedative effect.
  1. Hot Sponge bath - is given to patients with very high fever but whose skin on legs and arms are cold. Water for sponge bath is as hot as can be tolerated. The sponge bath should be made fast and with friction to encourage blood to the surface. Should be done every 1 to 2 hours if fever persist.
  2. Cold Sponge bath - is employed where the skin is dry and hot. Cold water is applied for sponge bath but in case where skin is burning hot, ice cubes may be added in the water. Avoid chilling the patient. A cold compress on forehead or armpits may be made while the sponge bath is being done. Chilling with shivering will cause the temperature to go high. Sponge bath may be done again or prolonged until fever goes down.
  3. Tepid Sponge bath - is provided to restless and very tensed patient with fever, it relaxes the patient. The temperature of the water is 94-98 degrees Fahrenheit or comfortably warm if tested with the elbow. This time there should be no friction or rubbing on the skin. Sponge the dry skin very gently with very slight rubbing. Put off the treatment for relaxing effect and to allow more evaporation.
  4. Saline Sponge bath - is applied to a person having a fever who is inactive and sleeps most of the time. Saline or salt bath has a mild tonic or stimulating effect. It makes the sick person active. Temperature of water should be 96-100 degrees Fahrenheit or a little bit warmer than tepid bath. One half cup of salt is added to a basin of water. Do the sponge bath with friction and repeat till the desired effect is obtained.

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