The Effectiveness of Active External Warming of Patient Concurrently With Ice Application on the Incision Site on Post-Thoracotomy Pain and Analgesic Consumption

Clin Nurs Res. 2023 Feb;32(2):323-336. doi: 10.1177/10547738221101729. Epub 2022 Jun 21.


The aim of study is to investigate the effects of active external warming of patient concurrently with application of ice to incision site on thoracotomy pain and analgesic consumption. The research is a quasi-experimental design with control and study groups. The study was conducted in 2018 and 2019. A total of 70 patients were included in the study: 35 in the control group and 35 in the study group. The mean verbal pain scale values were significantly lower in the intervention group (2.85 point) than in the control group (4.57 point; p < .001). Opioid consumption rate was high in control group patients (77.1% tramadol 30 mg; 45.7% morphine sulfate 5 mg) In contrast, the rate of opioid consumption was lower in patients in the intervention group (40% tramadol 30 mg; 17% morphine sulfate 5 mg). Active external warming and ice application on the incision area, could reduce the intensity of thoracotomy pain.

Keywords: external heating; ice application; pain management; thoracotomy pain.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Analgesics, Opioid* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Ice
  • Morphine
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy
  • Thoracotomy / adverse effects
  • Tramadol*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Morphine
  • Tramadol
  • Ice
  • Analgesics