Length of perineal pain relief after ice pack application: A quasi-experimental study

C. de Souza Bosco Paiva, S.M. Junqueira Vasconcellos de Oliveira, A. Amorim Francisco, R.L. da Silva, E. de Paula Batista Mendes, M. Steen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction
Ice pack is effective for alleviating postpartum perineal pain in primiparous women while multiparous women's levels of perineal pain appear to be poorly explored. Ice pack is a low-cost non-invasive localised treatment that can be used with no impact on breastfeeding. However, how long perineal analgesia persists after applying an ice pack is still unknown.

Objective
To evaluate if perineal analgesia is maintained up to 2 h after applying an ice pack to the perineum for 20 min.

Method
A quasi-experimental study, using a pre and post-test design, was undertaken with a sample size of 50 multiparous women in Brazil. Data was collected by structured interview. The intervention involved a single application of an ice pack applied for 20 min to the perineal area of women who reported perineal pain ≥3 by use of a numeric rating scale (0–10), with intact perineum, 1st or 2nd degree lacerations or episiotomy, between 6 and 24 h after spontaneous vaginal birth. Perineal pain was evaluated at three points of time: before, immediately after and 2 h after applying an ice pack.

Results
Immediately after applying an ice pack to the perineal area, there was a significant reduction in the severity of perineal pain reported (5.4 vs. 1.0, p < 0.0005), which continued for 1 h 35 min up to 2 h after the local application.

Conclusion
Ice pack application for 20 min is effective for alleviating postpartum perineal pain and continues to be effective between 1 h 35 min for up to 2 h.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

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