Enhanced Patient Care
In the healthcare environment, understanding a patient’s core body temperature is of paramount importance. Medical thermometers serve as indispensable diagnostic tools for nurses and healthcare professionals, offering invaluable insights into a patient’s health status. This article delves deeper into the significance of medical thermometers in healthcare, and the evolution of temperature measurement devices, and highlights the cutting-edge technology of the TRITEMP™ Non-Contact Thermometer.
Understanding The Vital Role of Medical Thermometers
Accurate diagnosis is particularly critical when caring for patients of all ages and health concerns. Medical thermometers enable healthcare providers to deliver precision in their assessments. These thermometers can measure body temperature in various locations known for maintaining stable temperatures, including the oral, axillary (armpit), rectal, tympanic (ear), and temporal (forehead) regions.
A body temperature reading exceeding 38°C typically indicates fever or illness in a patient. Accurate temperature measurement is crucial for assessing health conditions, monitoring fevers, and guiding medical treatment. While there is no ‘Gold Standard’ for temperature measurement, accuracy can be ensured by several precautionary measures and standards to ensure the best results. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for the specific type of medical thermometer being used to obtain reliable temperature readings. Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene and cleaning procedures is crucial to prevent the spread of infections, especially in clinical settings.
The Evolution of Medical Thermometers
Over the centuries, technology and innovation have significantly transformed medical thermometers. While the concept of body temperature as a health indicator has been understood for ages, clinical thermometers only emerged in the 16th century. Even at this stage medical thermometers were very different from what we know today. The introduction of the Mercury thermometer changed the medical landscape, however, the safety and accuracy of such devices were often questioned. Traditionally, temperature was taken in hospitals by inserting the thermometer under the tongue which ultimately posed some safety concerns. In more recent years, temperature has more commonly been taken using axilla thermometers placed under the armpit, or tympanic which is placed in the ear. Today, medical thermometers provide accurate readings through digital technology.
Types of Medical Thermometers
A medical thermometer is a specialised device used to measure a person’s body temperature accurately. It is an essential tool in healthcare settings, clinics, hospitals, and homes for monitoring health and diagnosing illnesses, particularly fever, which is a common symptom of many medical conditions.
There are several types of thermometers, each with its own method of temperature measurement:
Oral thermometers are placed under the tongue to measure body temperature. They are widely used and are suitable for adults and older children who can hold the device under their tongue without moving. However, a higher rate of disturbance and discomfort can be seen in patients using this contact device.
These are placed in the armpit to measure body temperature. They are commonly used for infants, young children, and people who cannot use oral thermometers. The probe of the thermometer is placed under the arm and held in position for up to 1 to 3 minutes depending on the device. This method of temperature measurement is commonly used for children and small babies. However, it is particularly difficult to obtain accurate readings and often not acting as a true reflection of core body temperature with this method. A patient’s movement can impact the reading making it difficult to use on children who are prone to shifting the thermometer out of place. This method can also cause some disturbance to patients as it requires the removal of clothing, and they can experience some discomfort in the process.
Ear Thermometers (Tympanic Thermometers)
These are designed to measure the temperature inside the ear canal. Tympanic thermometers capture infrared energy emitted from the ear canal and convert this into body temperature. Once positioned in the ear, tympanic thermometers take approximately a minute per reading. Although one of the most common methods of temperature measurement it is important to note tympanic devices are not suitable for children under 2 years old. Furthermore, there can be difficulty obtaining accurate core body measurements from tympanic devices as obstacles such as hair or wax are not easily identifiable or removable.
Another method of temperature measurement is the rectal method. Although this method has been steadily decreasing in its use, some clinicians still recommend its use for newborns or young children. This method is not incredibly popular for the obvious discomfort it causes the patient. This method also poses a significant infection risk and should never be used on patients who have a low or weakened immune system.
Infrared Thermometers (Non-Clinical)
These thermometers use infrared technology to measure temperature from a distance. They are often used for rapid, non-contact temperature readings, such as screening for fever in large groups of people. Retail versions of these devices can be found in pharmacies or online. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in the sale of retail thermometers, with many new products entering the market. However, it must be kept in mind that retail thermometers were not designed for or intended to be used to diagnose or make medical decisions. Furthermore, some of these retail infrared thermometers were never intended to measure human temperature. The MHRA has warned against the use of such retail thermometers that were designed for non-medical purposes. This is because retail thermometers do not offer the same level of accuracy and quality as medically graded thermometers.
The Rise of Digital Technology in Temperature Measurement
Today, digital technology has revolutionised temperature measurement in healthcare. These modern devices have improved patient comfort and convenience while delivering accurate temperature readings.
The Advent of Non-Contact Thermometers
A new era of contactless thermometers is reshaping the landscape of temperature measurement, particularly in the context of infection control, a key concern highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. TriMedika, a leader in the field, is at the forefront of providing medically graded non-contact clinical thermometers. Non-contact thermometers use infrared technology in the form of a sensor that collects infrared rays emitted by the patient. The TRITEMPTM uses multiple algorithms to convert the temperature from the forehead to a core body temperature which is then used to diagnose the patient along with the other vital signs.
TriMedika’s TRITEMP: The Best Non-Contact Medically Graded Thermometer
Non-contact medically graded thermometers offer several advantages, including enhanced clarity, improved safety, and rapid results. Despite minimal changes in the thermometer industry over the past decade, innovative solutions like TriMedika’s TRITEMP™ Non-Contact Thermometer are now leading the way in delivering heightened safety and accuracy when it is needed most.
Medical thermometers are indispensable tools for healthcare professionals, providing vital information for diagnosis and patient care. The evolution of these thermometers has been marked by technological advancements, with non-contact thermometers like TriMedika’s TRITEMP™ setting a new standard for accuracy, safety, and efficiency in temperature measurement.
The TRITEMP Non-Contact Thermometer is the chosen device for medical professionals and home users alike because it offers several advantages over other types of thermometers. It is quick and easy to use, it is clinically accurate, it eliminates the risk of cross-contamination, and it is cost-effective. TRITEMP™ incorporates unique technology that not only ensures infection control by never coming into direct contact with patients but also offers cost savings and sustainability benefits by eliminating the need for single-use plastic probe covers.
For those seeking superior performance and infection control, TRITEMP™ stands as a beacon of innovation in the medical thermometer industry. As technology continues to advance, the healthcare community can look forward to even more sophisticated tools that enhance patient care and improve overall healthcare outcomes. TriMedika’s TRITEMP™ represents a significant step forward in achieving these goals and ensuring the well-being of patients worldwide.
- Mayo Clinic: Thermometers: Understand the options: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/in-depth/thermometers/art-20046737
- Cleveland Clinic: Thermometers: How To Take Your Temperature: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/thermometers-how-to-take-your-temperature/ Healthline: Types of Thermometers, Their Accuracy, and How to Use Them: https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-thermometers
- Medisupplies: Medical Thermometers: https://www.medisupplies.co.uk/Diagnostic-Equipment/Medical-Thermometers
- History of the Thermometer: https://www.thoughtco.com/the-history-of-the-thermometer-1992525
- Evolution of Medical Thermometers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7120475/
- Types of Thermometers: https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-thermometers
- How to Take Your Temperature: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/in-depth/thermometers/art-20046737
- Types of Thermometers: Taken from old TriMedika Blog…