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How to Apply Hot or Cold Fever Sponge Bath

Updated on May 23, 2013

How to Apply Hot or Cold Fever Sponge Bath?

A sponge bath is usually performed to an individual with fever.

Here are the Wonderful Effects of Hot or Cold Fever Sponge Bath:

  • The sponge bath can reduce fever and body temperature.
  • It has calming sedative effects.

Here are things you will need while you apply fomentation:

  • Basin filled water – the temperature is specified on the procedure below.
  • Sheet or blanket for draping the patient.
  • Two bath towels.
  • One face towel or a piece of cloth.
  • Ice cubes.
  • Alcohol.

Hot Sponge Bath

The hot sponge bath is provided on a patient with a very high fever and whose legs and arms are cold. As much as possible the water used should be as hot as can be tolerated by the patient. Perform the hot sponge bath as fast as you can and with friction to enhance blood circulation. The hot sponge bath maybe performed at an interval of two hours if the fever doesn’t subsides.

Here is the procedure in carrying out the hot sponge bath:

Keep your patient relaxed. Remove the patient’s clothing and drape her or him with a sheet or blanket. To prevent drafts make sure that the windows are closed.

Keep the bed with the towels as each part is being sponged. Place one bath towel on the upper body (chest area). Rub the sponge on the face, ears and neck. Wipe the areas that was been sponged with the towel placed on the upper body.

Sponge a part of the body one at a time in this sequence: arms, chest, abdomen, legs, feet and back. For the arm and leg, spread another towel under the whole length of the arm or leg as you apply the sponge. Sponge the skin quickly with a face towel to stimulate the blood to circulate. Let the area get dry to prevent the patient from chilling. Make sure that the patient is dry before changing clothing and covers.

Cold Sponge Bath

A cold sponge bath is used when the skin is dry and hot. Cold water is used as a sponge bath but if the skin is so hot, you may opt to place ice cubes into the water. Dip the face towel into the cold water or water filled with ice and sponge the body just like in the sequence mentioned in the hot sponge bath. Refrain from chilling the patient. A cold compress maybe placed on the forehead or armpits whilst performing the sponge bath. Keep in mind that chilling may raise the temperature of the patient further. The sponge bath can be repeated or can be lengthened until you meet the desired effects or until such time the fever plummets.

Here is the procedure in carrying out the cold sponge bath:

Take off the clothing and drape the patient with a sheet or blanket. Perform a cold compress on the forehead and armpits. Replace compress until you obtain the desired effects.

Sponge a part of the body one at a time just like what is stated in the procedure in handing out the hot sponge bath. See to it that there is a rubbing action to enable the blood to circulate on the surface and to speed up the cooling process. You may leave the skin to some extent moist. Fan lightly the sponged area until the skin becomes dry. The evaporation of the moist in the skin may aid reducing the body temperature. You may give the patient hot lemonade or water.

Tepid Sponge Bath

The tepid sponge bath is usually provided to an agitated and edgy patient experiencing a fever. This has a sedative effect as it can aid lighten up a patient. Water with a temperature of 94 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit or comfortably warm when tested with your elbow. There is no rubbing action here. Sponge and let the skin becomes dry. Do this very gently and with just little amount of friction. You may lengthen the tepid sponge bath to acquire the desired relaxing effect and to allow more evaporation.

Here is the procedure in carrying out the tepid sponge bath:

Take off the clothing and drape the patient with a sheet or blanket. Keep the room a bit dark and silent. There should not be glaring lights on the room. Sponge a part of the body one at a time just like in hot sponge bath. Let the patient’s body dry thoroughly with very tender rub using a bath towel. You may give a gentle alcohol rub on the back after carrying out tepid sponge bath.

Saline Sponge Bath

The saline sponge bath is provided to the patient who is not very active and usually sleeps most of the time. Saline or tonic bath may give a mild tonic or triggering effect as it makes the patient static. Water used in the sponge bath should be in the vicinity of 96 through 100 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly warmer than the tepid sponge bath. A half cup of salt is mixed with the basin with water. You may provide a rubbing action as you apply the sponge and repeat until the desired effects is gained.

Here is the procedure in carrying out the cold sponge bath:

Sponge the patient just like that of the cold sponge bath


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