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Hot Packs are a way of transferring heat to
the patient by conduction.
Commercial hot packs is one of the most
common ways to deliver superficial moist
The heating unit is called a HYDROCOLLATOR
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The hydro-collator unit is a stainless steel tank in which silica
gel packs or BENTONITE crystal packs are heated.
The capacities of the machines vary, and all units have
insulated bases, the larger machines being insulated with
The units contain a wire rack which acts as divider for the
packs and prevents contact of packs with the bottom of the
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These packs are stored in thermostatically
controlled and maintains water in the unit at a
temperature between 70°C and 80°C.
It can be left on continuously as long as there is
enough water in the tank.
A hydrocollator pack is good in any situation that
requires penetrating heat.
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A hydro collator pack is a fabric envelope
containing silica gel or BENTONITE crystal
The main property of the gel or crystal is its
capability to absorb many times its own
volume of water,
provides a considerable store of heat
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These packs are heated in a hydro-collator unit.
It give moist heat for 30 to 40 minutes
Packs come in various sizes and shapes
A special collar pattern pack for the neck is usually
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The packs are wrapped in:
Turkish towels – 6- 8 layers of toweling
Special / commercial terry cloth blankets
Large packs may be wrapped in bath
The packs last about six months.
When they begin to wear out the filler
leaks out and makes the water cloudy;
they should then be replaced.
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The pack is applied to the body after being
wrapped adequately in toweling or blankets.
This provides THERMAL INSULATION
The pack is at above 75˚C &
The skin temperature does not rise above
42˚C or so.
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Spinal cord dorsal
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Increased pain threshold
Changes in muscle strength
Increased metabolic rate
Increased tissue extensibility
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1. Impaired Skin Sensation
2. Circulatory dysfunction
3. Analgesic drugs
4. Infections and open wounds
5. Cancer and Tuberculosis
6. Gross Oedema
7. Lack of Comprehension
8. Deep X-Ray Therapy
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1. A hydro-collator pack is easy to apply
2. The packs are of various sizes which fit most clinical
3. Moist heat has a more sedative effect than dry heat.
4. low cost, minimal maintenance, long life
5. Maximal temperatures are more uniform than in
6. The patient does not need much handling.
7. The pads can be laid out ready for the patient to place
on the affected part.
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1. A hydro-collator pack is not easily applied
around shoulders and hips.
2. It is somewhat heavy and should not be
used on extremely sensitive patients, since
it can create discomfort.
3. Sometimes moist packs have a tendency to
cause a skin rash.
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BURNS may occur due to;
The temperature of the pack could be too
DEHYDRATION – Excessive sweating may
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Remove the pack from the unit & place it on
Fold another towel into 4 – 6 layers & place it
over the pack.
Wrap the whole pack up with the bottom
The temperature of the wrapped pack should
not exceed the 44˚C
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Monitor the initial response from the patient to
treatment during the first 5 to 10 min
ask the patient for feedback & by visually inspecting
If necessary, adjust the layers of toweling.
During the treatment maintain the position of hot
ensure that it does not exacerbate pain,
produce discomfort or occlude circulation.
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The water level should be kept up to 3/4th full
of water or slightly over the top of the packs
at all times
The unit should be cleaned periodically