IntroductionImmersion bath is also known as the full bath. It is administered in a bath tub made of porcelain or enameled iron or fiberglass. The tub should be properly fitted with hot and cold water connections to administer the bath at cold, neutral, hot, graduated and alternate temperatures.
Cold Immersion BathTemperature: 18–24°C.
Duration: 15 minutes
Method: Before entering the bath tub, the patient’s head, neck and chest should be made wet with cold water and the head should be protected preferably with a cold moist towel (compress). The patient should enter the bath tub as quickly as possible so as to generalize the immersion. Vigorous rubbing of the body should be done by the patient himself or by the attendant during the bath. The bath should be terminated if the patient feels chill. Soon after the bath, the patient should be given a quick dry–up and covered with a warm blanket. If the climate is favorable, he should undertake moderate exercise.
Uses: The full cold immersion bath is advantageously employed as a routine hygienic measure. This bath is helpful in reducing high temperature during fever. It is prescribed in cases of obesity and in dyspepsia to improve the appetite. This bath also improves the skin by increasing the blood circulation and stimulating the activities of nerve endings. When used for this purpose, bath should be of short duration 3 to 15 seconds.
Contra–indications: This bath should not be given to young children and very old persons. It should not be given in febrile conditions caused due to acute inflammation as in Acute Peritonitis, Gastritis, Enteritis, Endometritis, Oopheritis etc. and in cases of fever with chills. The cold bath is contra–indicated in Hematuria (blood in urine), because this condition indicates a disease either in the bladder or kidneys (In such conditions a short hot bath, followed by cold friction, wet sheet rubbing and a cold compress should be repeated a number of times). It should be avoided in cases of Asthma and Sinusitis.
Cold Immersion with FrictionTemperature: 18–24°C.
Duration: 2–5 minutes
Procedure: The patient should quickly enter the tub and lie down. The attendant should massage the body with a Turkish towel or Turkish gloves, starting from the legs upwards. The massage should be continued for 2 to 5 minutes or until the skin turns red. Then the patient should take a quick shower for 30 seconds, washing the head at the same time. Thereafter, he should dry himself quickly and cover with a blanket. Hyperemia of the skin continues for 15 to 30 minutes. Until this reaction is completed, the patient should not expose his body to cold water or cold breeze.