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Discharge Instructions: Using a Cold Water Therapy Device

Your healthcare provider prescribed a cold water therapy device. A cold water therapy device helps reduce pain and swelling and aids recovery. The device maintains a constant and precise temperature, providing up to several hours of continuous cold water therapy. Here’s what you need to know about home care.

Home care

Recommendations for home care include the following:

  • Use the cold water therapy device as directed by your healthcare provider. He or she will tell you how many hours a day you should use it.

  • Apply the pad to the area of your body that is injured. Don’t wrap the area too tightly. Firm pressure is enough.

  • Press the hand pump several times as directed. You will feel cold water fill the pad.

  • Pump again whenever the pad begins to feel warm (15 to 20 minutes). You can continuously circulate the cold water from the cooler. Most devices can provide several hours of cold therapy.

  • Take pain medicine as directed.

 

When to call your healthcare provider

Call 911 right away if you have:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

Otherwise, call your healthcare provider immediately if you have:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or shaking chills

  • Increased redness, tenderness, numbness, tingling, or swelling of the incision or injured limb

  • Drainage from the incision

  • Increased pain with or without activity

 

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