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August 2, 1971

Beneficial Effects Of Polyethylene

Author Affiliations

Attleboro, Mass

JAMA. 1971;217(5):695-696. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190050151019

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To the Editor.—  Heat producing modalities in the treatment of muscular and joint complaints are often accompanied by complications. Skin burns of all degrees have occurred in patients upon using hot compresses, electric heating pads, heating lamps, and others. Most doctors prefer to employ types of treatments which are effective and yet be devoid of the danger of injury to the patient. Consequently, the use of polyethylene fabric as a form of wrapping should be given first choice."In the good old days," flaxseed meal poultices, special broad leaf mattings, and furs and pelts of animals produced added heat for comfort and alleviation of symptoms. Then came the moist compresses, with or without saline or magnesium sulfate ingredients. These were followed by hot water bottles, electric pads, heating lamps, and ultraviolet radiation. More recently, patients have been impressed with other devices such as ultrasonics, diathermy, and spontaneous heat producing water