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auburnchick
07-14-2008, 06:28 PM
Hey all.

I took my daughter to the doctor today for what I thought was a spider bite.

Not.

She has a staph infection...not good.

The doctor lanced it, gave her antibiotics, and advised us to keep warm compresses on it to help it heal completely.

I've never done this before. We're have a hard time keeping the compress warm.

I'm using a washcloth...wetting it, warming it up in the microwave in a plastic baggie, and then putting it on her affected area (after the cloth cools off a bit).

The problem is that it's cooling off too quickly.

I tried covering the wet cloth with a thin towel and put a heating pad over that, but the cloth is still cooling off too quickly.

Ideas?

Thanks a bunch!

Dangles
07-14-2008, 06:41 PM
Try insulating the compress. It should keep it warm longer.

Or, if you are handy with a sewing machine:

Materials for Wet Hot Compress
* Three washcloths cut in half
* Sewing machine or needle and thread (sewing machine is best)

Lay all six pieces of washcloth material together and sew around the edges and diagonally across. Wet with water as hot as can be bared, wring out and apply to area in need. While this sounds very basic, it works much better than a washcloth that is simply folded, as the firmly sewn pieces will hold the heat well. Wash and dry after each use.

Materials for a Dry Hot Compress

* Fabric scraps in assorted sizes
* Pinking shears
* Needle and Thread or sewing machine
* Flax Seeds (one half cup per 5x7 inch area)
* Optional additives can include eucalyptus, peppermint, spearmint
leaves, chamomile, and lavender

Different fabrics will provide different results in the heating phase. Cotton works well, but can become very hot. Some nylons work well also, but experimentation with your individual choice will provide you with information on what scrap fabrics you have, can or cannot be used. Small sample compresses should be made and heated to assure you of fabrics compatibility.

Assembly

A basic size compress, good for across the forehead, wrist or ankle area, is 5 x 7. With pinking shears, cut four pieces of fabric 6 x 8. Sew two pieces of fabric together on all four sides, wrong sides of fabric together, with a one-inch seam all around. Sew remaining two pieces of fabric together in the same manner. Sew these two together on three sides. Fill with flax seed and optional additives. Sew closed.

Use and Caution

The easiest way to heat your compress is to lay it flat in the microwave for approximately 30 to 60 seconds. Larger compresses may take more time to heat and should be both rotated, flipped, and shaken throughout the heating process at regular intervals to help distribute the heat evenly. Different microwaves heat differently so experimentation will give you the best results. Keep in mind that an overheated compress will burn so be extremely cautious when using.

Storage

Your hot compress should be stored between uses in an airtight container, such as a Ziploc bag or plastic container with airtight lid.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-14-2008, 06:41 PM
does your microwave or oven have a "warming" setting? You can keep a few spares in there so when ones gets cold, you can swap easily.

Is she sitting in a drafty area :??

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-14-2008, 06:42 PM
IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What about the crock pot???

auburnchick
07-14-2008, 06:47 PM
IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What about the crock pot???

So, do I keep the crockpot going with washcloths inside so we can switch them out easily?

Also, it's my thought that we need to immediately throw the used cloths in the washing machine so it doesn't spread, right?

I'm seriously thinking I'm gonna have to take a couple of days off of work to help her manage this...even though she's 16.

Oh, and I keep my house at 80 degrees during the day. Sounds awful, I know, but I don't like expensive electric bills. She is sitting under a ceiling fan, though.

Oh, and how would I insulate the cloth? In a baggie? I'm wondering if the cloth needs to be directly on her skin or if it's the heat that we need.

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I left a message for the nurse to call me back...and she didn't, of course.

Grrr...

cdjack
07-14-2008, 06:52 PM
I don't know if this would work or not, but how about therma-care wraps? I use them for fibromyalgia flare ups all the time. They stay hot for about 8 hours at a time. Of course, if the infection needs to be covered with something hot and wet, the wraps won't work...

jcmom
07-14-2008, 06:57 PM
A quick hot compress is to put some rice into a clean sock and heat it in the microwave. Then again.......this idea depends on whether you can put it directly on her and whether it needs to be sterilized. I guess you could put a clean cloth between the heat and the infected area and just change that.
At any rate, :pray: for you both.

auburnchick
07-14-2008, 07:00 PM
Thanks, y'all. I think I'm probably making this way more complicated than it needs to be. I just want the infection to get better quickly...she's got a major soccer tournament coming up soon. Plus, staph infections scare the bejeepers out of me.

Sigh...

figaro
07-14-2008, 07:26 PM
How about one of those hot water bottles wrapped up in a towel?

Good luck!

newamy
07-14-2008, 08:48 PM
Warm up your wet wet wash cloth.
Apply it to the area.
cover with a towel.
Cover with a heating pad.
Wrap the whole thing up in a bath towel.

That should insulate the heat from the heating pad to keep everything warm.

Is she supposed to do this constantly? Or just several times a day for 20 minutes?

You are right about laundry.If it's draining anything that comes in contact with it should be washed or discarded. Practice lots of good hand washing.

Puddinpop
07-14-2008, 09:26 PM
A friend of mine's son kept getting staph infections and the doctor said that everyone carries staph and he was probably getting his from his nose. He had been working in a paper plant that kept his nose irritated.

I think you are smart to be very careful about washing cloths and washing your hands. I pray that she will get rid of the infection quickly and I hope you don't stress too much.

Jeremy
07-14-2008, 10:55 PM
When I was a nurse we used to put a wash cloth under hot water, apply it and wrap the cloth and the area around it in Saran Wrap. It kept the cloth warm for at least 20 minutes.

auburnchick
07-14-2008, 11:27 PM
the doctor said that everyone carries staph

Yes, the doctor (dermatologist) told me the same thing. Somehow, when the staph met my daughter's open sore, the two didn't play nicely.

When I was a nurse we used to put a wash cloth under hot water, apply it and wrap the cloth and the area around it in Saran Wrap. It kept the cloth warm for at least 20 minutes.


GREAT idea! We're going to try the Saran Wrap tomorrow.

Thanks so much, everyone, for the ideas. I've had the crockpot going all afternoon, have been dumping used cloths in the washer, and will go out and buy disposable cloths in the morning. My daughter is kind of irritated by how crazy I'm getting, but I'm trying to teach her that it's serious...without freaking her out too much...

:hug:

PurlyGyrl
07-15-2008, 08:09 AM
Bless her heart. :heart:Hope she heals quickly. Staph can spread so easily. Last fall lots of our local athletic teams (high school football, baseball & basketball especially) had widespread outbreaks of staph--something about the locker room environment and the usual cuts and scrapes athletes get while playing caused it to run rampant. All the locker rooms were cleaned with bleach after every use. You may want to tell her to be especially careful in the locker room. (Yeah, like you can tell a teenager ANYTHING! :teehee: ) It sounds like you have a good start and are doing all the right things to keep it from getting serious. :hug:

cindycactus
07-15-2008, 09:45 AM
When I was a nurse we used to put a wash cloth under hot water, apply it and wrap the cloth and the area around it in Saran Wrap. It kept the cloth warm for at least 20 minutes.

I used to have to do this for my mother when she had blood clots in her legs. I did what Jeremy did. It works. Be very careful about washing your hands and she should too. Staph spreads easily.

kellee0302
07-15-2008, 11:54 AM
Thanks, y'all. I think I'm probably making this way more complicated than it needs to be. I just want the infection to get better quickly...she's got a major soccer tournament coming up soon. Plus, staph infections scare the bejeepers out of me.

Sigh...

Good Luck to you and you're daughter. My son wrestles and they have to wash the mats with bleach after every use. Also, when he was at wrestling camp last week, the college he was at demanded that the campers shower after every session with antibacterial soap provided by the college.
Last winter we had several local schools with staph outbreaks and I was a freak. So you're not alone in thinking this way.
Good Luck with the infection and the soccer tournament.