The Paraffin Bath
The paraffin bath affords a simple and efficient method for applying heat to the surfaces of the body, especially to the hands and feet. During the World War, Dr. James A. Dickson of our Orthopedic Department had an extensive experience in the use of paraffin in injuries of the extremities. He used a bath which was enclosed with a water jacket and heated with gas. The results from this type of equipment were so gratifying that an electrically controlled bath which we now use was developed. These baths are available for hospital, office and home use (Figs. 1 and 2). The inside of such a bath is constructed of stainless metal, and the outside casing is of chrome plated steel. Built in are the melting and maintenance elements which are insulated with firmly packed mineral wool. Slats of bakelite or wood fastened to strips of stainless metal are placed on the bottom of the bath to protect the patient’s extremities from touching the heated metal. The melting and maintenance elements are controlled by thermostatic time switches. If the paraffin is congealed, the melting element is used until the paraffin is nearly at the operating temperature, then the maintenance element, independent of the melting element, keeps the bath at that temperature.
Ordinary commercial paraffin is used. This may be obtained at different melting temperatures which range from 123° to 136° F. By the addition of paraffin oil the melting point can readily be controlled. Our baths are operated at a temperature. . .