Cooling Blanket

Why is a cooling blanket used?

A cooling blanket is used to decrease a patient's body temperature when it is dangerously high. Typically, the cooling blanket is used only after other measures to lower the patient's body temperature have been unsuccessful. Cooling blankets may be placed over or under the patient. A sheet is usually placed between the cooling blanket and the patient.

Are drugs like acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin), or aspirin (e.g., Bayer) used to lower the patient's temperature?

These drugs are also used with cooling blankets to decrease body temperature. Talk with the doctor or nurse about why the cooling blanket is being used.

Is the blanket uncomfortable?

Occasionally, the patient may appear uncomfortable because of shivering, but the cooling blanket itself does not hurt the patient.

Is it harmful for the cooling blanket to be used for prolonged periods?

No. The nursing staff monitors the patient's skin and body temperature frequently while the blanket is in place to avoid complications.

A cooling blanket in place on top of the sheets covering a patient