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Ice Pack Application

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Ice can be used to decrease swelling and pain after an injury or surgery. Common injuries that may benefit from ice therapy are sprains, strains, and bruises. The use of ice is most effective in the first 1 to 3 days after an injury.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

How to apply ice:

  • Fill a bag with crushed ice about half full. Remove the air from the bag before you close it. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables.
  • Wrap the ice pack in a cloth to protect your skin from frostbite or other injury.
  • Put the ice over the injured area for 20 to 30 minutes or as long as directed.
  • Check your skin after about 30 seconds for color changes or blistering. Remove the ice if you notice skin changes or you feel burning or numbness in the area.
  • Throw the ice pack away after use.
  • Apply ice to your injured area 4 times each day or as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how many days you should apply ice.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You see blisters, whitening of your skin, or a bluish color to your skin after using ice.
  • You feel burning or numbness when using ice.
  • You have questions about the use of ice packs.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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