Advertisement

The use of calf compresses for gentle fever reduction- What do we know? A scoping review

Published:February 18, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2022.01.010

      Abstract

      Background

      Compresses are one of the water treatments of Traditional European Medicine and are used for a variety of indications in patient care. Calf compresses are used for gentle fever reduction. However, little is known about the origin and effectiveness of calf compresses.

      Aim

      We aimed to provide an overview regarding the evidence of the effects of the use of calf-compresses to reduce fever by means of a scoping review.

      Methods

      Five electronic databases and the “Library of the Institute for the History of Medicine” were searched in English and German language. Gray literature was also considered. The "PRISMA Scoping Review Guideline" was applied for the methodological preparation of the review.

      Results

      45 articles were included and divided into the sections history and origins (eight references), nursing guidance (eight references), trials regarding nursing inpatients (13 trials), and trials regarding patients at the Intensive Care Unit (16 trials). While several articles and trials regarding the use of sponging and other cooling strategies were available, the use of calf-compresses was only found in a minority of German speaking articles. Only two studies demonstrated the use of calf-compresses for gentle fever reduction. Overall, the literature and studies found a support for physical cooling practices mostly along with pharmacologic antipyretics. The way of cooling, cooling application temperatures, duration of applications and the definition of fever at all demonstrate controversy approaches of methods. In clinical trials worldwide, physical cooling to lower fever is associated with side effects and discomfort.

      Conclusion

      Calf compresses are well established in German-speaking countries. Based on the knowledge gaps identified in this scoping review, further studies would be needed to explore calf compresses in their antipyretic properties and in particular their mode of application including physiological considerations. Observation to fever onset and/or phases could be an identified key useful starting point for future research. Contraindications to a fever-reducing calf wrap must be strictly observed.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Collegian
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Agbolosu N.B.
        • Cuevas L.E.
        • Milligan P.
        • Broadhead R.L.
        • Brewster D.
        • Graham S.M.
        Efficacy of tepid sponging versus paracetamol in reducing temperature in febrile children.
        Annals of Tropical Paediatrics. 1997; 17: 283-288https://doi.org/10.1080/02724936.1997.11747899
        • Aksoylar S.
        • Akşit S.
        • Cağlayan S.
        • Yaprak I.
        • Bakiler R.
        • Cetin F.
        Evaluation of sponging and antipyretic medication to reduce body temperature in febrile children.
        Acta Paediatrica Japonica: Overseas Edition. 1997; 39: 215-217https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-200x.1997.tb03584.x
        • Al-Abtah J.
        • Ammann A.
        • Andreae S.
        I care Pflege: Phasenabhängige Pflege bei Fieber. (2. überarbeitete Auflage). I care.
        Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart2020
        • Aluka T.M.
        • Gyuse A.N.
        • Udonwa N.E.
        • Asibong U.E.
        • Meremikwu M.M.
        • Oyo-Ita A.
        Comparison of cold water sponging and acetaminophen in control of fever among children attending a tertiary hospital in South Nigeria.
        Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 2013; 2: 153-158https://doi.org/10.4103/2249-4863.117409
        • Alves J.G.B.
        • de Almeida N.D.C.M.
        • de Almeida C.D.C.M.
        Tepid sponging plus dipyrone versus dipyrone alone for reducing body temperature in febrile children.
        Sao Paulo Medical Journal = Revista Paulista De Medicina. 2008; 126: 107-111https://doi.org/10.1590/s1516-31802008000200008
        • Arias D.
        • Chen T.F.
        • Moles R.J.
        Educational interventions on fever management in children: a scoping review.
        Nursing open. 2019; 6: 713-721
        • Arksey H.
        • O'Malley L.
        Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework.
        International journal of social research methodology. 2005; 8: 19-32
        • Bachmann S.
        Hausmittel in der modernen Medizin: Tees, Wickel, Bäder & Co. Wadenwickel zur Fiebersenkung (1. Aufl.).
        Elsevier Urban & Fischer, München2005
        • Böhmer F.
        • Altiner A.
        Fieber bei Erwachsenen aus Sicht der Allgemeinmedizin.
        Notfall + Rettungsmedizin. 2016; 19: 250-256https://doi.org/10.1007/s10049-016-0177-2
        • Burserius von Kanilfeld J.B.
        Anleitung zur Kenntnis, und Heilung der Fieber.
        Krieger, Giessen, Marburg1785
        • Cannon J.G.
        Perspective on fever: the basic science and conventional medicine.
        Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2013; 21: S54-S60https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2011.08.002
        • Caruso C.C.
        • Hadley B.J.
        • Shukla R.
        • Frame P.
        • Khoury J.
        Cooling effects and comfort of four cooling blanket temperatures in humans with fever.
        Nursing Research. 1992; 41: 68-72
        • Celsus A.C.
        Die acht Bücher des hochberühmpten Aurelij Cornelij Celsi vo[n] beyderley Medicine: Das ist von der leib vnd wund artznei … /Newlich jetzo verdeutscht durch D. Johansen Khüffner ….
        (2.) Schöffer, Meyntz1531
        • Chiappini E.
        • Bortone B.
        • Galli L.
        • de Martino M.
        Guidelines for the symptomatic management of fever in children: systematic review of the literature and quality appraisal with AGREE II.
        BMJ Open. 2017; 7e015404https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015404
        • Dallimore J.
        • Ebmeier S.
        • Thayabaran D.
        • Bellomo R.
        • Bernard G.
        • Schortgen F.
        • et al.
        Effect of active temperature management on mortality in intensive care unit patients.
        Critical Care and Resuscitation: Journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine. 2018; 20: 150-163
      1. de Haen, A. (1777). Von den Fiebern. Gröll. Available from https://books.google.de/books?hl=de&lr=&id=q_TL-ISvyUQC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=+Von+den+Fiebern.+von+Anton+de+HAEN&ots=nC5A0ZSc_G&sig=VG5bdeoQ76GPAfR0e6iYNvt3RqM#v=onepage&q=Von%20den%20Fiebern.%20von%20Anton%20de%20HAEN&f=false (last Accessed 29 November 2021)

        • Demir F.
        • Sekreter O.
        Knowledge, attitudes and misconceptions of primary care physicians regarding fever in children: a cross sectional study.
        Italian Journal of Pediatrics. 2012; 38: 40https://doi.org/10.1186/1824-7288-38-40
        • Doria M.
        • Careddu D.
        • Ceschin F.
        • Libranti M.
        • Pierattelli M.
        • Perelli V.
        • et al.
        Understanding discomfort in order to appropriately treat fever.
        International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; : 16https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224487
        • Doyle J.F.
        • Schortgen F.
        Should we treat pyrexia? And how do we do it?.
        Critical Care (London, England). 2016; 20: 303https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-016-1467-2
        • Elizabeth A.A.
        • Dottie B.
        • Carlton G.B.
        Understanding the pathophysiology of fever.
        Nursing. 2008; 38: 56cc1-56cc2https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NURSE.0000327497.08688.47
      2. Enke, F. (1842). Der Wasserfreund: Oder allgemeine Zeitschrift zur Beförderung der Wasserheilkunde und der Gesundheitspflege. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Digitalisiert 14. Jan. 2010(1-52). Available from https://books.google.de/books?id=vHZAAAAAcAAJ; Accessed 13 December 2021

        • Evans S.S.
        • Repasky E.A.
        • Fisher D.T.
        Fever and the thermal regulation of immunity: the immune system feels the heat.
        Nature Reviews. Immunology. 2015; 15: 335-349https://doi.org/10.1038/nri3843
        • Faschingbauer C.
        Schonendere Fiebersenkung durch Zitronenwickel.
        Pflegepraxis. 1995; 48: 332-340
        • Fingado M.
        Therapeutische Wickel und Kompressen: Handbuch aus der Ita-Wegman-Klinik. Wadenwickel (Fieberwickel) mit Zitronenwasser (5. Aufl.).
        Natura-Verlag, Dornach2012
        • Fink W.
        • Haidinger G.
        Die Häufigkeit von Gesundheitsstörungen in 10 Jahren Allgemeinpraxis.
        ZFA - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeinmedizin. 2007; 83: 102-108https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-968157
        • Friedman A.D.
        • Barton L.L.
        Efficacy of sponging vs acetaminophen for reduction of fever. Sponging study group.
        Pediatric Emergency Care. 1990; 6: 6-7https://doi.org/10.1097/00006565-199003000-00003
        • Gozzoli V.
        • Schöttker P.
        • Suter P.M.
        • Ricou B.
        Is it worth treating fever in intensive care unit patients? Preliminary results from a randomized trial of the effect of external cooling.
        Archives of Internal Medicine. 2001; 161: 121-123https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.161.1.121
        • Gozzoli V.
        • Treggiari M.M.
        • Kleger G.R.
        • Roux-Lombard P.
        • Fathi M.
        • Pichard C.
        • et al.
        Randomized trial of the effect of antipyresis by metamizol, propacetamol or external cooling on metabolism, hemodynamics and inflammatory response.
        Intensive Care Medicine. 2004; 30 ([Valerio]): 401-407https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-003-2087-2
        • Green C.
        • Krafft H.
        • Guyatt G.
        • Martin D.
        Symptomatic fever management in children: a systematic review of national and international guidelines.
        PloS One. 2021; 16e0245815https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0245815
        • Hahn J.S.
        Unterricht von Krafft und Würckung des frischen Wassers in die Leiber der Menschen, besonders der Krancken bey dessen innerlichen und äusserlichen Gebrauch, aus Vernunfft-Gründen erläutert.
        D. Pietsch, Breslau und leipzig1743
        • Hammond N.E.
        • Boyle M.
        Pharmacological versus non-pharmacological antipyretic treatments in febrile critically ill adult patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
        Australian Critical Care: Official Journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses. 2011; 24: 4-17https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aucc.2010.11.002
        • Hunter J.
        Study of antipyretic therapy in current use.
        Archives of Disease in Childhood. 1973; 48: 313-315https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.48.4.313
        • Hussein O.
        • Torbey M.
        Hyperpyrexia as the presenting symptom of intracranial hypotension.
        Neurocritical Care. 2018; 28: 395-399https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-017-0481-9
        • Kallinich T.
        Handlungsempfehlung nach der Leitlinie „Fieber unklarer Genese.
        Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde. 2014; 162: 644-648https://doi.org/10.1007/s00112-013-3063-8
        • Kielblock A.J.
        • van Rensburg J.P.
        • Franz R.M.
        Body cooling as a method for reducing hyperthermia. An evaluation of techniques.
        South African Medical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif Vir Geneeskunde. 1986; 69: 378-380
        • Kinmonth A.L.
        • Fulton Y.
        • Campbell M.J.
        Management of feverish children at home.
        BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.). 1992; 305: 1134-1136https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.305.6862.1134
      3. Klich-Heartt, E. (2003).[Eira] External calf compresses with lemon as a nursing adjunct for fever treatment. Master's thesis.https://doi.org/ 10.33015/dominican.edu/2005.nurs.01

        • Klich-Heartt E.
        External calf compresses with lemon as a nursing adjunct for fever treatment.
        Merkurstab. 2016; 69: 51-52
        • Kluger M.J.
        Fever vs. hyperthermia.
        The New England Journal of Medicine. 1978; 299: 555https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM197809072991020
        • Kluger M.J.
        Fever revisited.
        Pediatrics. 1992; 90: 846-850
        • Langer T.
        • Pfeifer M.
        • Soenmez A.
        • Tarhan B.
        • Jeschke E.
        • Ostermann T.
        Fearful or functional–a cross-sectional survey of the concepts of childhood fever among German and Turkish mothers in Germany.
        BMC Pediatrics. 2011; 11: 41https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2431-11-41
        • Leung L.
        A survey on fever management practices among pedriatic nurses in three regional acute hospitals in Hong Kong.
        Macao Journal of Nursing. 2008; 7: 5-12
        • Loke A.Y.
        • Chan H.C.L.
        • Chan T.M.F.
        Comparing the effectiveness of two types of cooling blankets for febrile patients.
        Nursing in Critical Care. 2005; 10: 247-254https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1362-1017.2005.00133.x
        • Mader F.H.
        • Riedl B.
        Uncharakteristisches Fieber (UF), afebrile Allgemeinreaktion (AFAR), Luftwegekatarrhe, Tonsillitis.
        Allgemeinmedizin Und Praxis. 2018; : 33-51https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-54347-4_2
        • Mahar A.F.
        • Allen S.J.
        • Milligan P.
        • Suthumnirund S.
        • Chotpitayasunondh T.
        • Sabchareon A.
        • Coulter J.B.
        Tepid sponging to reduce temperature in febrile children in a tropical climate.
        Clinical Pediatrics. 1994; 33: 227-231https://doi.org/10.1177/000992289403300407
        • Manthous C.A.
        • Hall J.B.
        • Olson D.
        • Singh M.
        • Chatila W.
        • Pohlman A.
        • et al.
        Effect of cooling on oxygen consumption in febrile critically ill patients.
        American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1995; 151: 10-14https://doi.org/10.1164/ajrccm.151.1.7812538
        • Martin D.D.
        Fever: views in anthroposophic medicine and their scientific validity.
        Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM. 2016; 20163642659https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/3642659
        • Martin D.
        Fieberkrämpfe: Hilft Wärme im Fieberanstieg?.
        Zeitschrift Für Komplementärmedizin. 2017; 09: 38-41https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-100123
        • Martin D.
        Fieber aus anthroposophischer Sicht.
        Zeitschrift Für Komplementärmedizin. 2017; 09: 32-37https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0042-119762
        • Mensdorf B.
        Eine traditionelle Methode zur Fiebersenkung: Schritt für Schritt zur Handlungssicherheit: - Teil 12: Wadenwickel.
        Pflegezeitschrift. 2008; 61: 224-227
        • Newman J.
        Evaluation of sponging to reduce body temperature in febrile children.
        Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1985; 132: 641-642
        • Niehues T.
        The febrile child: diagnosis and treatment.
        Deutsches Arzteblatt International. 2013; 110 (quiz 774https://doi.org/): 764-773https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2013.0764
        • O'Donnell J.
        • Axelrod P.
        • Fisher C.
        • Lorber B.
        Use and effectiveness of hypothermia blankets for febrile patients in the intensive care unit.
        Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 1997; 24: 1208-1213https://doi.org/10.1086/513660
        • Plaisance K.I.
        • Mackowiak P.A.
        Antipyretic therapy: physiologic rationale, diagnostic implications, and clinical consequences.
        Archives of Internal Medicine. 2000; 160: 449-456https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.160.4.449
        • Poblete B.
        • Romand J.A.
        • Pichard C.C.
        • König P.
        • Suter P.M.
        Metabolic effects of i.V. Propacetamol, metamizol or external cooling in critically ill febrile sedated patients.
        British Journal of Anaesthesia. 1997; 78: 123-127
        • Reil J.C.
        Ueber die Erkenntniß und Cur der Fieber: Allgemeine Fieberlehre.
        Gehlen, Wien1800
        • Sakkat A.
        • Alquraini M.
        • Aljazeeri J.
        • Farooqi M.A.
        • Alshamsi F.
        • Alhazzani W.
        Temperature control in critically ill patients with fever: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
        Journal of Critical Care. 2021; 61: 89-95https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.10.016
        • Salgado P.d.O.
        • Silva L.C.R.d.
        • Silva P.M.A.
        • Chianca T.C.M.
        Physical methods for the treatment of fever in critically ill patients: a randomized controlled trial.
        Revista Da Escola De Enfermagem Da U S P. 2016; 50: 823-830https://doi.org/10.1590/S0080-623420160000600016
        • Salgado P.D.O.
        • Silva L.C.R.
        • Silva P.M.A.
        • Paiva I.R.A.
        • Macieira T.G.R.
        • Chianca T.C.M.
        Nursing care to pacients with high body temperature: an integrative review.
        Rev Min Enferm. 2015; 19: 220-226
        • Saxena M.K.
        • Taylor C.
        • Billot L.
        • Bompoint S.
        • Gowardman J.
        • Roberts J.A.
        • et al.
        The effect of paracetamol on core body temperature in acute traumatic brain injury: a randomised, controlled clinical trial.
        PloS One. 2015; 10e0144740https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144740
        • Schortgen F.
        Fever in sepsis.
        Minerva Anestesiologica. 2012; 78: 1254-1264
        • Schortgen F.
        • Charles-Nelson A.
        • Bouadma L.
        • Bizouard G.
        • Brochard L.
        • Katsahian S.
        Respective impact of lowering body temperature and heart rate on mortality in septic shock: mediation analysis of a randomized trial.
        Intensive Care Medicine. 2015; 41: 1800-1808https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-015-3987-7
        • Schulman C.I.
        • Namias N.
        • Doherty J.
        • Manning R.J.
        • Li P.
        • Elhaddad A.
        • et al.
        The effect of antipyretic therapy upon outcomes in critically ill patients: A randomized, prospective study.
        Surgical Infections. 2005; 6: 369-375https://doi.org/10.1089/sur.2005.6.369
        • Shakeel, S.A.D.I.A
        • Iffat, W.A.J.I.H.A
        • Qamar, A.M.B.R.E.E.N
        Physicians’ apprehensions in managing a febrile child.
        Asian J Pharm Clin Res. 2014; 7: 173-177
        • Sharber J.
        The efficacy of tepid sponge bathing to reduce fever in young children.
        The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 1997; 15: 188-192https://doi.org/10.1016/S0735-6757(97)90099-1
        • Sinclair W.H.
        • Rudzki S.J.
        • Leicht A.S.
        • Fogarty A.L.
        • Winter S.K.
        • Patterson M.J.
        Efficacy of field treatments to reduce body core temperature in hyperthermic subjects.
        Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2009; 41: 1984-1990https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a7ae82
      4. Sitzmann, F. (1998).(Ed.) Pflegehandbuch Herdecke (3., vollständig überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage). Berlin, Heidelberg, s.l.: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/ 10.1007/978-3-662-09247-7

        • Steele R.W.
        • Tanaka P.T.
        • Lara R.P.
        • Bass J.W.
        Evaluation of sponging and of oral antipyretic therapy to reduce fever.
        The Journal of Pediatrics. 1970; 77: 824-829https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3476(70)80242-6
        • Thomas S.
        • Vijaykumar C.
        • Naik R.
        • Moses P.D.
        • Antonisamy B.
        Comparative effectiveness of tepid sponging and antipyretic drug versus only antipyretic drug in the management of fever among children: a randomized controlled trial.
        Indian Pediatrics. 2009; 46: 133-136
        • Thüler M.
        • Häderli H.P.
        Wohltuende Wickel: Wickel und Kompressen in der Kranken- und Gesundheitspflege. Die fiebersenkenden Wadenwickel oder Essigsöckli (9., durchges. Aufl.).
        Thüler, Worb2003
        • Tipton M.J.
        • Collier N.
        • Massey H.
        • Corbett J.
        • Harper M.
        Cold water immersion: kill or cure?.
        Experimental Physiology. 2017; 102: 1335-1355https://doi.org/10.1113/EP086283
        • Tricco A.C.
        • Lillie E.
        • Zarin W.
        • O'Brien K.K.
        • Colquhoun H.
        • Levac D.
        • et al.
        Prisma Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR): checklist and explanation.
        Annals of Internal Medicine. 2018; 169: 467-473
        • Walter E.J.
        • Hanna-Jumma S.
        • Carraretto M.
        • Forni L.
        The pathophysiological basis and consequences of fever.
        Critical Care (London, England). 2016; 20: 200https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-016-1375-5
        • Walter E.
        • Carraretto M.
        Getting hot and bothered….
        Journal of the Intensive Care Society. 2015; 16: 189-192https://doi.org/10.1177/1751143715578668
        • Welcker G.
        Das Fieber und seine Behandlung nach der Natur-Heilmethode.
        Gebrüder Knauer, Frankfurt am Main1890
        • Yang Y.
        • Liu D.
        • Wang X.
        • Long Y.
        • Zhou X.
        • Chai W.
        Body temperature control in patients with refractory septic shock: too much may be harmful.
        Chinese Medical Journal. 2013; 126: 1809-1813
        • Young P.J.
        • Bailey M.J.
        • Bass F.
        • Beasley R.W.
        • Freebairn R.C.
        • Hammond N.E.
        • et al.
        Randomised evaluation of active control of temperature versus ordinary temperature management (REACTOR) trial.
        Intensive Care Medicine. 2019; 45: 1382-1391https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-019-05729-4
      5. Zedler, J. Z. (Ed.) (1731 -1754). Johann Heinrich Zedlers Universal-Lexicon: Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek; Kategorie Medizin . Available from https://www.zedler-lexikon.de//index.html?c=erkunden-kategorien&kategorie=8&l=de; Accessed 13 December 2021.

        • Ziai W.C.
        • Shah D.
        • Assis F.R.
        • Tandri H.
        • Geocadin R.G.
        Feasibility and safety of transnasal high flow air to reduce core body temperature in febrile neurocritical care patients: a pilot study.
        Neurocritical Care. 2019; 31: 280-287https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-019-00702-x

      Further reading

        • Axelrod P.
        External cooling in the management of fever.
        Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2000; 31: S224-S229https://doi.org/10.1086/317516