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a hydrotherapeutic procedure that consists of carefully wrapping the nude patient in a sheet that is wetted with water at 25°-30°C and then covering with a woolen blanket. A wet pack can last from ten to 60 minutes. In one method the cold sheet becomes heated to the body temperature of the patient; the procedure lasts ten to 15 minutes and stimulates the nervous and cardiovascular systems, increasing metabolic rate and lowering body temperature. In another method, which lasts 30 to 40 minutes, the temperatures of the sheet and the patient’s body gradually equalize; this pack has a tranquilizing effect. When the procedure lasts from 50 to 60 minutes, the sheet is heated together with the body, and the patient perspires profusely from overheating. Brief packs are prescribed mainly as antipyretic and stimulant measures with infectious diseases, packs of medium duration are prescribed as a tranquilizing procedure with insomnia or nervous excitement, and long-lasting packs are prescribed to bring about diaphoresis.
A dry pack is applied by the same method, but with a dry sheet. It is used to tranquilize and to effect diaphoresis.