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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Comparison between temporal and rectal temperature measurement

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Introduction – Various digital thermometers for non-invasive use have been used increasingly in Danish hospitals, including the Temporal Artery Thermometer (TAT). However, previous studies have concluded that the accuracy of the TAT is unsatisfying at paediatric, surgical, cancer and intensive care patients. The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of the TAT to a conventional rectal thermometer within acutely admitted medical patients at the Emergency Department.
Method - The study was designed as a prospective, comparative research. For two months, 381 patients were included. With no more than 7 minutes apart the temperature was measured first with an Exergen TAT-5000 and then controlled with a rectal thermometer from Omron MC-341-E. The measurements were analysed in a Bland-Altman plot, and the sensitivity and specificity of the TAT were calculated.
Result – The differences between TAT and rectal thermometer spread from -1.7°C – 1.7°C. The mean of the differences was drawn in the Bland-Altman plot through 0.17 with a standard deviation at 0.47. The sensitivity and specificity were calculated to 67 % and 96 %, respectively.
Conclusion – Based on this study, we do not recommend the use of TAT as an alternative to rectal thermometer for non-invasive measuring of the body temperature in acutely admitted medical patients.
Funding and trial registration - All authors received honoraria from The Region Capital of Denmark. Study procedures were approved by the local ethical committee and submitted to www.clinicaltrials.org (NCT01817881).
Translated title of the contributionSammenlignende undersøgelse af temporal arterie termometer og rektal termometer for voksne i Akutmodtagelsen
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA04200270
JournalUgeskrift for Læger
Volume67
Issue number11
ISSN0041-5782
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020

ID: 60309006