How to Do Tepid Sponge Bath in a Hospital Setting


Tepid sponge bath is considered as one of the best cooling treatments. This method is recommended for febrile individuals, especially those with fever ranging from 102.2 F or higher. It is effective in relieving fever by reducing high temperature and also helpful in alleviating pain or discomfort. Read on to learn more about how to do tepid sponge bath in a hospital setting.

Things You'll Need

  • Basin
  • Pitcher filled with hot water
  • Pitcher filled with cold water
  • Small towels
  • Bath towel and blanket
  • Rubber sheet (for adults), bed protector (for children)
  • Thermometer (be sure to place it in a thermometer tray)
  • Gloves
  • Assess the condition of your patient. This data will serve as a basis in evaluating the patient's response to the treatment.

  • Explain the method to the patient or the watcher. By providing them some information about the procedure, it will be much easier for them to cooperate.

  • Bring all equipments and set them on the area near the bed. Carefully check all of your materials to make sure everything is there.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before starting the procedure.

  • Close the door or the partition sheets (if at the ward) to provide privacy.

  • Adjust the patient's bed on a certain height that is accessible for working. This is beneficial on your side as it protects you from straining your back.

  • Place the bed protector or rubber sheet on patient's bed to protect bed linens.

  • Put on your working gloves. This prevents transmission of contaminants.

  • Carefully remove patient's clothing and place the bath blanket on top of him to ensure privacy.

  • Fill in your basin with cold water and mixed it up with hot water. Make sure to check its temperature. It should be neither too hot nor too cold. Appropriate temperature is 27 to 37 degrees C.

  • Immerse or dip small towels in the lukewarm water. Squeeze it to avoid dripping, and gently apply on the forehead, the axilla or armpits and the groin area. Do this for about 20 to 30 minutes and repeat if necessary. Heat transfer is much more effective when compresses are applied on areas with large superficial blood vessels such as the axillary and groin areas.

  • Carefully wipe the patient's extremities for about five minutes. Then proceed with back area and buttocks for about five to 10 minutes. Abdomen and chest areas are usually not included.

  • Monitor the patients' response to the treatment by checking his temperature. If it is slightly above normal, discontinue the procedure.

  • Replace the patients' clothing and cover him with a light sheet. As much as possible, avoid letting your patient wear heavy clothing or excessive sheet covering as it will only elevate his temperature.

  • Now begin after care by doing the following: change bed linens and remove the equipments away from the bed to prevent transmission of microorganisms, lower the patient's bed back to a safer height, Remove gloves, and wash your hands thoroughly.

  • Document the procedure done, along with the patient's vital signs, response to treatment, and complications if any.

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