Cold Compress

Please read Important Points to be Observed with all Treatments before performing this treatment.


  1. Local Skin Inflammation

  2. Patients who cannot tolerate cold

  3. Patient who is chilled - wait until the entire body is warm


A cloth wrung from cold or ice water which may be applied to any part of the body.


  1. Compress may be a wash cloth or hand towel (terry cloth) cheesecloth, etc. (The size depends on the part to be treated.) Use a friction mitt if Cold Mitten Friction is to follow the heating.

  2. Basin for ice water


Important Considerations

  • Some patients cannot tolerate moist cold over sinuses

  • Keep bed dry

  • Do not drip cold water on patient

  • Do not let patient get chilled

  • Never cover a cold compress, it heats too quickly

Preparation for Treatment

  • See that the patient is in a comfortable position

  • Have the room warm with no drafts

  • Protect pillow and bed with plastic

  • Assemble equipment


  • Place compress in cold water and wring out just enough so it does not drip

  • Apply and press firmly; if patient is sitting up while receiving treatment, compress must be long enough to be wrapped around head so it will stay in place, otherwise just across patient's forehead is adequate

  • Renew frequency, every 1-5 minutes; have basin right beside the patient.

Completion of Treatment

  • Remove compress and dry skin thoroughly

  • Make sure patient's hair is dry.