2 HYDROCOLLATOR PACKSThe hydro-collator unit is a stainless steel tank in which silica gel packs are heated.The capacities of the machines vary, and all units have insulated bases, the larger machines being insulated with fiberglass.The units contain a wire rack which acts as divider for the packs and prevents contact of packs with the bottom of the tank.The heater is thermostatically controlled and maintains water in the unit at a temperature between 76°C and 80°C.It can be left on continuously as long as there is enough water in the tank.
3 A Hydro collator PackA hydro collator pack is a fabric envelope containing silica gel.The main property of the gel is its capability to absorb many times its own volume of water and when heated, to give moist heat for 30 to 40 minutes. The packs are heated in a hydro-collator unit.Packs come in various sizes and shapesThe packs last about six months.When they begin to wear out the filler leaks out and makes the water cloudy; they should then be replaced.
4 A special collar pattern pack for the neck is usually available. The packs are wrapped in:Turkish towelsSpecial terry cloth blankets. ( absorbent)Large packs may be wrapped in bath blankets
5 Hydrocollator packs are used to give gentle moist heat to superficial regions of the body, The part selected to be treated must be able to tolerate the pressure of the pack (approximately 500 to 800 grams) and to tolerate a 7° C to 10°C rise in temperature.It is also necessary to ensure that the circulation can dissipate heat and that skin sensation responses to thermal differences are normal as it is easy to produce a burn.The pack retains its heat for 30 minutes but after 10 minutes, the patient may regard the pack as cool and comfortable.Nevertheless, the rise in temperature of the region under pack averages 5°C.The pack is applied to the body after being wrapped adequately in toweling or blankets. Care must be taken to have a layer of toweling and to avoid excessive pressure by weight being placed on bony points.
6 Biological Effects of Hydro-collator Packs Heat productionTemperature ElevationSkin ToleranceThermal gradient in the tissuesSkin temperatureSubcutaneous tissue and muscles temperatureHyperemiaSedative Effects:Muscle SpindleSmall myelinated “c” nerve fibers
7 Indications for Hydrocollator Packs Pain and muscle spasm.Inflammation.Oedema.Adhesions.
8 Contra-indications for Hydrocollator Packs: Impaired Skin SensationCirculatory dysfunctionAnalgesic drugsInfections and open woundsCancer and TuberculosisGross OedemaLack of ComprehensionDeep X-Ray TherapyLiniment
9 Advantages:A hydro-collator pack is easy to apply; it saves time for personnel and is efficient in heat conduction depending on the area treated.The packs are of various sizes which fit most clinical needs.Moist heat has a more sedative effect than dry heat.Maximal temperatures are more uniform than in electrically-heated pads.The patient does not need much handling.The pads can be laid out ready for the patient to place on the affected part.
10 Disadvantages:A hydro-collator pack is not easily applied around shoulders and hips. It is somewhat heavy and should not be used on extremely sensitive patients, since it can create discomfort.Sometimes moist packs have a tendency to cause a skin rash.