from Hydrothermic Remedies...
Because alcohol evaporates rapidly it is an effective agent in cooling the body. As such it can be used externally in place of cold friction after a "sweating" treatment, or to bring down a fever. Its use is limited to external applications.
The application of rubbing alcohol to the body surface.
Purpose and Effects
- Astringent effect on the skin
- Removal of heat from the skin surface by rapid evaporation; the effect is to lower the total body temperature.
- To cool the body after local or general applications of heat
- To lower body temperature in Production Fevers or where the body temperature is over 40°C.
- To protect areas of skin that receive unusual pressure (toughens the skin)
- To refresh the bed patient when it is not possible to give a bath.
- Do not use on infants or very small children because of alcohol absorption.
- Rubbing alcohol or 95% pure grain alcohol diluted to make a 70% solution (2/3 alcohol to 1/3 water.)
- Basin to pour alcohol and water in, if diluting alcohol.
- Basin of hot water to warm bottle of alcohol if necessary.
- Bath blanket for patient and Turkish towels to protect bedding.
- Pour alcohol into cupped hands to avoid chilling the patient or dip hands into water-alcohol mixture.
- Be sure such areas as the neck, axilla, under the breasts, umbilicus, groin and the gluteal cleft are left dry.
- Keep alcohol away from eyes, mouth and genitalia.
Preparation for Treatment
- Assemble equipment
- Replace the top bedding with a bath blanket, and drape the patient.
- Have the room free from drafts, and comfortably warm.
- Rub upper extremities first
- Apply alcohol with upward stroke returning with rotary movements to cover the entire surface; repeat as needed.
- For cooling effects use short alternate strokes to aid evaporation of alcohol.
- Finish with three superficial strokes from shoulder to hand, using both hands to cover surface (be sure the patient is dry.)
- Rub chest
- Apply alcohol with one long stroke up to shoulders returning with rotary movements to sides of chest; repeat as needed.
- Use short, brisk strokes (for evaporation of alcohol) beginning at the shoulder, first on one side and then the other side.
- Finish with superficial strokes downward from shoulder on both sides.
- Rub lower extremities.
- Modify movements as used for upper extremity, being sure to cover posterior surface of the leg thoroughly.
- Rub back.
- Assist patient to turn on side or abdomen placing a pillow under the patient's lower chest or abdomen.
- Apply alcohol with both hands from buttocks to shoulders; follow with firm rotary movements to shoulders, scapulae, ribs, hips and buttocks. Repeat as needed.
- Apply circular kneading with right hand over coccygeal area.
- Finish with superficial stroking from shoulders to buttocks using both hands to cover the surface. Stroke the spine from the neck to the buttocks with alternate hands.
Completion of Treatment
- Leave the patient comfortable and in good alignment.
- Take temperature at intervals to check on fever reduction. (only in production fevers)
from Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques...
1 part medical alcohol or white vinegar to 3 parts of water for evaporating Sponge in
- Night Sweats of pulmonary Tuberculosis and
- Refrigerants in Fevers
from Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions...
Following Diaphoretics instead of tonic cold - prevent chilling
- 1 part proof alcohol to 1 part water
- Dip hands once or twice as needed then rub each part
- No towel drying needed