Evaluation of the Outcomes of Ice Application for the Control of Pain Associated with Chest Tube Irritation

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of ice for the control of pain associated with chest tube irritation. The randomized and single-blinded study consisted of 40 patients (20 in the control and 20 in the study group) who underwent thoracotomy with chest tube placement. The same general anesthesia protocol was used for all patients, and the procedure was performed by the same surgery team. Procedures such as decortication and thoracic wall resection were not included in the study. Standard postoperative analgesic methods were applied to all patients. Additionally, ice (in flexible and bendable cold gel packs wrapped in fine cloth sheaths) was applied to the chest tube insertion site at the 24th, 28th, 36th, and 40th postoperative hours for 20 minutes. To assess the effectiveness of ice application, Verbal Category Scale and Behavioral Pain Scale methods were used to measure the severity of pain. Average pain severity scores during the mobilization activities, including coughing and walking, were compared and found to be significantly lower in the study group patients who received cold therapy than in the control group patients (p <.05). Additionally, analgesic consumption was lower in the study group than in the control group patients (p <.05). As a result, the application of ice to the chest tube insertion site reduced pain associated with irritation along with the need for analgesics.

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