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Temperature Measurement

by Thad Wilson, PhD
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    00:00 So how do you measure someone’s body temperature? We have six common ways in medicine that will measure body temperature.

    00:09 The first is via the axilla. So this is something where you’re putting a temperature probe in someone’s armpit.

    00:18 The nice thing about it, it’s very easy to do. All you have to have is a surface skin available.

    00:23 The down side of it, is that it’s not very accurate. So it is simply going to be used very sparingly and only when you don’t have access to another side.

    00:37 Blood temperature is another one that we can measure.

    00:41 This one is very accurate. But the only problem is you need have an indwelling catheter in place.

    00:47 So this is usually done in emergency medicine conditions, or in the ICU, or in clinical care unit.

    00:56 Esophageal temperature is a very accurate way to measure body temperature.

    01:01 And this is done by inserting a temperature probe up the nose and swallowed down to the height of the aorta.

    01:09 So you need to have someone who is awake and fairly motivated to be able to get the temperature probe in that location. But it is very accurate if it can be obtained.

    01:21 Oral temperature is done quite often. And this is done in many, many clinical situations.

    01:29 So this is a temperature probe, that’s placed in the sublingual focused, which is just below the tongue.

    01:35 And the only downside for this, is it needs to have low ventilation at this prime point.

    01:41 Because the more breathing rate that you have, the more you can cool off the oral tissues, and therefore, decrease body temperature.

    01:50 The other thing to think about is that almost always resolve to a lower body temperature.

    01:56 Then you would get from some body other mechanisms, such as blood temperature or esophageal temperature. It’s usually all about 0,4° less. And thats something to keep in mind when you’re trying determine someone has a fever.

    02:12 Rectal temperature is another way you can measure a body temperature. And this is often times done in children. And it is for a rectal temperature is usually a thermometer that is used.

    02:24 And for this, the only downside with it, is that the temperature changes that occur in the rectum are usually slower than a temperature changes that occur in the blood or in the esophagus and as because there’s less amount in the blood flow in the GI system.

    02:40 The final temperature measurement that people often times use is a tympanic membrane temperature.

    02:46 So this involves an infrared temperature that you try to bounce off a tympanic membrane.

    02:52 And this enteric could be accurate. The problem is, is that it’s very hard to bounce this wave right of the tympanic membrane. Usually, it bounce it off the external auditory meatus or the internal auditory meatus. And therefore, you don’t exactly get tympanic membrane temperature.

    03:12 And if this is the case, then that temperature measurement can be inaccurate. Also, even if you get an accurate temperature measurement or bounced it off in tympanic membrane, it usually has a little bit lower than even oral temperature. And so that’s needs to be taken in to a count.

    03:30 These are six ways to measure internal temperature.

    03:33 And again, if available, the blood is the best followed by the esophageal. And then, if you’re okay with stable temperature, rectal works really well. And then, oral temperature, followed by tympanic membrane temperature. And finally, if it’s the only thing available, axillary temperature.

    03:53 Now, when we classify someone in different body temperatures, we need to think about, what is a normal body temperature? So we need to account for a diurnal variation of a round, a half a degree from 37. So that be 36,5 to 37,5.

    04:12 We also if there of a woman of reproductive years, we need to also change, what is a normal body temperature, depending upon which phase of their menstrual cycle the woman is in.

    04:24 So normally, we think of body temperature as somewhere between 36,5 and 37,5 °C.

    04:34 If someone has a low-grade fever, we use classify that as 37,8 to 38,3 °C.

    04:42 A high-grade temperature is something between 39,4 to 40 °C.

    04:49 Finally, hyperpyrexia is a very dangerous condition which you can even involve some neurological damage.

    04:55 This is with temperatures above 41,1 °C.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Temperature Measurement by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Body Temperature Regulation.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Blood temperature
    2. Oral temperature
    3. Tympanic temperature
    4. Axillary temperature
    5. Rectal temperature
    1. Blood temperature
    2. Esophageal temperature
    3. Tympanic temperature
    4. Rectal temperature
    5. Oral temperature
    1. ...36.5C and 37.5C.
    2. ...98F and 99F.
    3. ...37.8C and 38.3C.
    4. ...100F to 101F.
    5. ...36C and 36.5C.
    1. A temperature over 41.1C
    2. A temperature over 103F
    3. A condition that is easily treatable without major consequences
    4. A temperature over 39.4C
    5. A tympanic temperature over 102F

    Author of lecture Temperature Measurement

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD


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