Comparison of conventional mercury thermometer and continuous thercom® temperature recording in hospitalized patients

Pradeepa H. Dakappa, Gopalkrishna K. Bhat, Ganaraja Bolumbu, Sathish B. Rao, Sushma Adappa, Chakrapani Mahabala

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Detection of accurate body temperature fluctuations 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 determined using 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 α= 0.540, which had moderate reliability. The corresponding coefficients at 8:00 PM and 5:00 AM were α=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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)OC43-OC46
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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