Published Jul 23, 2009
Hello my fellow trauma friends,
This is just a question....how many of you give warm blankets to patients with a fever?
Halinja, BSN, RN
I'm not trauma, so maybe you know something I don't. I wouldn't give a warm blanket to someone with a fever. I guess I'd assume that would merely increase body temp, and that wouldn't be good. What would the rationale on that be? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm curious.
Heatherheartsou, BSN, RN
In the emergency department I work in, if the pt has a fever.... NO blanket. They usually precede to get angry about it. However, I educate them about increasing their body temperature.
I haven't worked trauma, but we never give blankets to pts with fevers. I would even take all their blankets and sheets if their fever wouldn't come down. Once their fever finally did come down they generally wouldn't feel cold anymore...
but I know everyone is different....
I do give warm blankets if the pt. is chilling during a temp spike. Let the pt. go ahead and spike then remove the blankets. This is easier on the pt. vs. the shaking and shivering that is the body way to elevate temp. All you do is help the body do its job and the pt. is more comfortable while the temp. elevates. ✌️?
GleeGum, BSN, RN
No blanket and no warm blanket if a fever. I will give them a sheet though - makes you feel covered.
I think this becomes a power struggle between the patient, family, and the nurse. Pick your battles. It's like the parents who layer their kids w/ clothes who have a fever, depsite your best efforts to teach them about clothing and temps, after you undress them what happens??????? The next time you come back to the room, the kid is all bundled up again. Just go bang your head against the wall.
Use common sense, a slight fever, give the patient a blanket, makes them comfortable (which increase press gainey scores---you know that is what it all boils down to in the end anyway;) ). It really won't make that much iof a difference.
Besides, when you are sick and at home, what do you do when you have a fever? Take meds then crawl back to bed......under your covers when you're feeling chilly......admit it we all do it!
Virgo_RN, BSN, RN
4theBetterGetter said:I do give warm blankets if the pt. is chilling during a temp spike. Let the pt. go ahead and spike then remove the blankets. This is easier on the pt. vs. the shaking and shivering that is the body way to elevate temp. All you do is help the body do its job and the pt. is more comfortable while the temp. elevates. ✌️?
We usually remove the blankets and turn the heat down in the rooms to bring the fever down. I do believe these people think an 80 degree room is good for you?!
F.E.R.N., BSN, RN
My ER has no written policy, and I've never heard the docs express an opinion on the matter, but I think most of the nurses at my ER remove blankets. I am probably the only one who DOESN'T, unless the fever is really high.
My reasoning: We're always telling our patients that most fevers are beneficial, with the body increasing temp to fight the infection. In fact, our ER resists giving antipyretics in adults unless the fever is over 101. And I bet that plenty of nurses and non-nurses are like me...if I have a fever at home, you can bet I'm taking Tylenol and bundling up for comfort. Unless the fever is dangerously high, or I am trying to get an accurate temp reading to determine treatment, I give a blanket.
canoehead, BSN, RN
I give blankets, but I start to talk about not artificially making the fever too high at about 5 blankets. There are times when you could use all the blankets you have and the patient will still feel chilled, until we give them antipyretics.
With adults, yes I do. I agree with the thought already posted that an ill patient who is chilled/shaking/shivering w/ goose bumps is well on his/her way to spiking a temp regardless of blanket or no blanket, and to my knowledge there is no good evidence that giving a warm blanket is going to make the temp spike higher than it naturally would, or withholding a blanket is going to prevent it altogether (I'm pretty sure I've read an article about how the practice of withholding warm blankets in the adult population is not an evidence-based practice, but if I'm mistaken I would be happy to read evidence to the contrary). It's a comfort measure. I think it's almost natural/instinctive to want to bundle up with chills/fever and I have never heard of a case where doing so altered an adult's outcome negatively.
Or maybe the real reason is because patients seem to have enough to complain about without me arguing about a warm blanket. These days I bring them to people by the stack, even if they don't ask. It's amazing what will make people really happy.
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