Instant cold compress

An instant cold pack is a medical device used in first aid to rapidly cool a wound. It contains two separate compartments, one with water and the other with a chemical salt. When these compartments are mixed, the compress cools instantly. It reduces inflammation, relieves pain, reduces swelling and can prevent bruising. Application is simple and safe, but it is recommended to protect the skin with a cloth. It is essential for the treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal trauma.


Dressing description

An instant cold pack, also known as a single-use cold pack or instant cold pack, is a medical device designed to provide rapid, temporary cooling to an injured or inflamed area of the body. It is commonly used in first aid to treat sports injuries, sprains, bruises, abrasions, blows and other musculoskeletal trauma.


The instant cold compress generally consists of two separate compartments: one containing water and the other containing a salt or chemical. When the compress is activated, these two compartments are mixed, triggering a chemical reaction that rapidly lowers the temperature of the compress. As a result, the compress becomes cold within seconds, without the need for refrigeration.


Applying an instant cold compress to a wound offers several advantages:

  • Reduced inflammation: Cold causes vasoconstriction, i.e. contraction of blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the affected area. This helps reduce the inflammation, swelling and pain associated with the injury.
  • Pain relief: Cold has an analgesic effect by numbing the injured area, which can relieve pain by reducing nerve sensitivity.
  • Reduced swelling: By reducing swelling, the instant cold compress can help speed up the healing process by enabling tissues to repair themselves more effectively.
  • Prevention of bruising: Cold can help limit the size and severity of bruises by minimizing the leakage of blood from damaged blood vessels.


Using an instant cold compress is simple and safe, but it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid any risk of frostbite or skin burns. It is recommended not to apply the compress directly to bare skin, but rather to wrap it in a cloth or towel to avoid direct contact with the skin.


In short, an instant cold compress is an effective medical device for reducing the inflammation, swelling and pain associated with an injury. Its quick and easy application makes it an essential part of first-aid kits, particularly in the treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal trauma. It provides immediate relief while promoting rapid recovery from injury.


Use of the dressing

Equipment required

  • Instant cold compress (available in first-aid kits or over-the-counter)
  • A thin cloth or towel (optional, to avoid direct skin contact)
  • Plastic bag or freezer bag (to avoid leaks)


Step 1: Preparation

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure you have the necessary materials to hand.


Step 2: Inspect the cold pack

  • Check that the instant cold pack is in good condition and undamaged. Make sure it hasn't expired.


Step 3: Activate the cold pack

  • If the instant cold pack requires activation, follow the manufacturer's specific instructions. In general, this involves folding or squeezing the compress to release the cooling chemical inside.


Step 4: Use a cloth or towel

  • To prevent any risk of frostbite or burns, we recommend wrapping the cold compress in a thin cloth or towel before applying it to the wound, especially if the skin around the injured area is sensitive. This will help reduce the sensation of intense cold.


Step 5: Applying the cold compress

  • Place the instant cold pack directly on the injured area. Make sure it covers the injured area. Avoid leaving the compress in direct contact with bare skin for long periods, as this can cause frostbite.


Step 6: Monitoring

  • Leave the cold compress in place for approximately 15-20 minutes. Monitor the skin for any adverse reactions, such as irritation or excessive redness. If the sensation of cold is too intense or the skin reacts negatively, remove the compress immediately.


Step 7: Removing the cold compress

  • After 15 to 20 minutes, gently remove the cold compress from the wound. Be careful not to pull the skin.


Step 8: Rest

  • Allow the wound to rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before reapplying the cold compress. It's essential to allow the skin to warm up between applications.


Step 9: Disposing of the cold compress

  • Properly dispose of the instant cold pack according to the manufacturer's instructions. In general, this means disposing of it in the ordinary garbage can.


Using an instant cold compress can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation when an injury occurs. Be sure to monitor the skin and not leave the compress in place for too long to avoid damage. If the injury is severe or pain persists, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation.

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Version 2023.