Objective To assess whether local active warming can lessen acute pelvic pain of gynaecological origin compared with traditional methods in a prehospital setting.
Design Prospective, randomised, single-blinded study.
Setting Prehospital emergency system.
Population Women calling emergency ambulance for pelvic pain.
Methods Women were randomised in two groups: resistive heating (group 1) or passive warming (group 2), each treatment was initiated at the emergency site.
Main outcome measures Pain on visual analogue scale (VAS), anxiety and nausea, given as mean (SD).
Results Prior to the interventions, all women were vasoconstricted and had comparable pain scores. Then, group 1 showed a significant (P < 0.01) reduction in pain (VAS: 72.2 [10.5] mm to 32.4 [18.0] mm), anxiety (VAS: 59.0 [10.9] mm to 37.5 [24.1] mm), nausea (VAS: 42.7 [6.2] mm to 21.6 [5.0] mm) and heart rate (101  beats per minute [bpm] to 59  bpm), as well as in the number of vasoconstricted women (from 19/19 constricted/dilated to 2/19 constricted/dilated), whereas scores in group 2 remained unchanged. There were no significant changes in blood pressure in either group.
Conclusions Local warming is an effective emergency care measure for acute pelvic pain.