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That hot wet dressings are definitely of value in the treatment of certain conditions is an unquestioned fact. Also it is readily acknowledged that the efficiency of the compress is in direct ratio to the constancy of its temperature. How to maintain hot wet compresses at constant temperature has been the problem for solution. While making daily rounds of the wards I have found compresses too cold or, on occasions, have encountered evidence of their having been applied too hot. It was this circumstance that prompted me in 1933 to start experimental work on the subject. The inadequacy of the present methods is experienced in all hospitals, large or small, and this experience is no reflection on a busy nursing staff.
Five objectives for which one should strive in using a hot compress were first listed as follows:
1. Constant or nearly constant temperature at the surface of the skin.
KENNETH L. COOLEY. A NEW APPARATUS FOR MAINTAINING HOT COMPRESSES AT CONSTANT TEMPERATURE. Arch Surg. 1938;37(1):123–131. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200010128008