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May 20, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(20):2039-2040. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800200001011

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It is customary in the treatment of infections of the extremities to utilize the beneficial effects of moist heat. The routine at St. Luke's Hospital has consisted in wrapping the arm or leg in double folded blankets which have been heated in the steam sterilizer, encasing them with a sheet of oiled silk and wrapping both with a bath towel. The blanket is applied at the highest temperature that the patient can tolerate and is allowed to remain for two hours. Thus in the application of continuous moist heat the fomentations are changed by the nurses from eight to twelve times a day.

For several reasons this method, which is not unlike that used in many other hospitals, is inconvenient and unpractical and, as will be shown, fails to maintain an atmosphere of moist heat for more than a fraction of the total time applied. More specifically, it is next

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