Antipyretics and hypothermia blankets are used to treat elevated body temperature. Both have been shown clinically to be relatively effective alone or in combination. Guidelines for temperature setting of hypothermia blankets are scarce and conflicing. Hypothermia blanket temperatures used to reduce body temperature generally range from 38 degrees F (3.3 degrees C) to 85 degrees F (29.4 degrees C) or higher. In the automatic mode, most hypothermia equipment cools the blanket to a temperature of 40 degrees F (4.4 degrees C) during most of the cooling treatment. The need for extremely low blanket temperatures has not been demonstrated. Further, cold temperatures are uncomfortable for the patient and stimulate the body's defenses to react with shivering which conserves heat, thus counteracting the therapeutic goal. Warmer temperatures with other cooling media, have been shown to produce body cooling. This study examines the cooling effects and compares the relative discomfort of four cooling blanket temperatures in combination with the use of antipyretics on subjects with fever. One hundred twenty subjects will be assigned equally by randomization by starting temperature into the four blanket temperature groups, 45 degrees F (7.2 degrees C), 55 degrees F (12.8 degrees C), 65 degrees F (18.3 degrees C), 75 degrees F (23.9 degrees C). The subjects in each group will be examined for length of time to reach a desired temperature, after-fall, shivering and discomfort. The study will provide data for developing clear guidelines for the use of hypothermia blankets with the use of antipyretics.
|Caruso, C C; Hadley, B J; Shukla, R et al. (1992) Cooling effects and comfort of four cooling blanket temperatures in humans with fever. Nurs Res 41:68-72|