Title

Infrared Tympanic Thermometry for Neonatal Temperature Assessment

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Publication Date

11-1994

Publisher

Elsevier

Source Publication

Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing

Source ISSN

1552-6909

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the accuracy and precision of infrared tympanic thermometer use with neonates by comparing with axillary and rectal measurements. Design: Descriptive, comparative study.

Setting

Newborn nursery of a tertiary‐level perinatal center.

Subjects

Thirty‐four full‐term newborns.

Instruments

Infrared thermometers were used to collect tympanic temperatures. An electronic thermometer was used to collect axillary and rectal temperatures.

Results

There was no significant difference between tympanic and axillary temperatures. The range of variation (95% CI) was ± 0.7–.9°C. The mean difference between tympanic and rectal measurements was 0.4°C. The range of variation was ± 0.7–0.75°C. Right ear measurements produced the best approximation of axillary temperature, and protected ear measurements produced the best approximation of rectal temperature. The protected ear was 0.2–0.3°C higher than the exposed ear.

Conclusions

There was more variation between tympanic versus axillary and tympanic versus rectal measurements than between axillary and rectal measurements. Tympanic thermometry may be useful for rapid screening of neonatal temperature, but its usefulness for monitoring unstable neonates remains in question.

Comments

Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, Vol. 23, No. 9 (November 1994): 798-804. DOI.

Marianne E. Weiss was affiliated with Sharp Memorial Hospital Women's Center in San Diego, California at the time of publication.

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