Comparison of Conventional Mercury Thermometer and Continuous TherCom® Temperature Recording in Hospitalized Patients OC43-OC46
Dr. Chakrapani Mahabala,
Kasturba Medical College, Light House Hill Road, Hampankatta,
Mangalore- 575001, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Detection of accurate body temperature fluctu-ations in hospitalized patients is crucial for appropriate clinical decision-making. The accuracy and reliability of body temperature assessment may significantly affect the proper treatment.
Aim: To compare the conventional and continuous body temperature recordings in hospitalized patients.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out at a tertiary care centre and study included 55 patients aged between 18-65 years with a history of fever admitted to a tertiary care hospital. A noninvasive continuous temperature recording was done using TherCom® device through tympanic temperature probe at tympanic site at one-minute intervals for 24 hours. The conventional temperatures were recorded in the axilla using mercury thermometer at specific time intervals at 12:00 noon, 8:00 PM and 5:00 AM. Peak temperature differences between continuous and conventional methods were compared by applying Independent sample t-test. Intra class Correlation Coefficient (ICC) test was performed to assess the reliability between two temperature-monitoring methods. A p<0.05 was considered as significant.
Results: The average peak temperature by non-invasive continuous recording method was 39.07°C ±0.76°C while it was 37.55°C ±0.62°C by the conventional method. A significant temperature difference of 1.52°C [p<0.001;95% CI(1.26-1.78)] was observed between continuous and conventional temperature methods. Intra class Correlation Coefficient (ICC) between continuous and conventional temperature readings at 12:00 noon was a= 0.540, which had moderate reliability. The corresponding coefficients at 8:00 PM and 5:00 AM were a=0.425 and 0.435, respectively, which had poor reliability.
Conclusion: The conventional recording of temperature is routinely practiced and does not reflect the true temperature fluctuations. However, the continuous non-invasive temperature recording is simple, inexpensive and a better tool for recording the actual temperature changes.