Close look on a cold compress

A cold compress is an essential in various injuries and conditions. It is an important component in first aid care.

What are the benefits?

A cold compress can lessen the swelling and inflammation as well as control bleeding. The cold restricts blood circulation which numbs the pain. It also helps in reducing any bruising.

An instant cold pack can be kept in a first aid kit or in the vehicle in case of emergencies. These packs contain chemicals that are activated if the pack is squeezed.

A cold compress can also be prepared with materials present at home. The extra ice in the freezer will come in handy.

Using a cold compress

A cold compress can be used on injuries within the initial 48 hours. Remember that prompt treatment is better.

Do not use a compress for more than 20 minutes at a time. It is recommended to alternate between 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue with the application if needed. If there is no evident improvement within 48-72 hours, a doctor should be seen.

It is vital to follow the steps of the RICE method if there is an injury:

  • Rest – allow the injured site to rest
  • Ice – apply a cold compress on the site right away to lessen the bleeding, inflammation and bruising
  • Compress – cover the site with a bandage
  • Elevate – the site must be raised above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling

A cold compress is handy when it comes to unforeseen injuries at home or in the workplace. It is best to keep cold packs in the first aid kit in case of emergencies.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a cold compress is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about the uses of a cold compress, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.

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