Managing pain using heat and cold therapy
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Managing pain using heat and cold therapy

Elaine Lane Clinical nurse specialist, Children’s pain service, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Tracy Latham Clinical educator, Children’s surgery, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Elaine Lane and Tracy Latham discuss the benefits of using non-pharmacological interventions to help improve children’s experience of pain in hospital settings

Evidence supports the use of superficial heating and cooling of tissues to provide pain relief in low to moderate levels of acute and chronic pain in adults, but there are no standards or guidelines in children’s centres across the UK for administering these modalities in children, so a project was undertaken to develop these locally. Evidence from the literature was used to identify best practice in relation to equipment, safety and infection control. Implementation was supported by educational input and a detailed protocol for assessment and application of the devices.

Three years after their introduction a review of the guidelines and an audit demonstrated that these modalities have been beneficial, providing cost-effective, holistic care for children experiencing pain in hospital.

Nursing Children and Young People. 21, 6, 14-18. doi: 10.7748/paed2009.07.21.6.14.c7146

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