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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1994 Apr;33(4):227-31.

Tepid sponging to reduce temperature in febrile children in a tropical climate.

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  • 1Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, England.

Abstract

The effectiveness of tepid sponging, in addition to antipyretic medication, in the reduction of temperature in febrile children living in a tropical environment, was assessed in a prospective, randomized, open trial. Seventy-five children aged between 6 and 53 months who attended the casualty department of the Children's Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, with fever (rectal temperature > or = 38.5 degrees C) of presumed viral origin were randomized to received either tepid sponging and oral paracetamol (sponged group) or paracetamol alone (control group). Rectal temperature and the occurrence of crying, irritability, and shivering were recorded over the following 2 hours. A greater and more rapid fall in mean rectal temperature occurred in the sponged group than in the control group. Temperature fell below 38.5 degrees C sooner in children in the sponged group than in control children (P < 0.001). At 60 minutes, 38 (95.0%) of the controls still had a temperature of 38.5 degrees C or greater, compared with only 15 children (42.9%) in the sponged group (P < 1 x 10(-5). Crying was associated with sponging, but shivering and irritability occurred in only one child who was being sponged. It is concluded that tepid sponging, in addition to antipyretic medication, is clearly more effective than antipyretic medication alone in reducing temperature in febrile children living in a tropical climate.

PMID:
8013170
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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