Rectal thermometers are unacceptable and carry risks
WATERTOWN, MA, January 2013 – A recent study by hospital-based pediatricians published by the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock found that temporal artery thermometers are favored as “the methods of choice both among clinicians and parents,” and “in all age groups are taking precedence over other methods.”
The study was performed to determine whether there is a non-invasive method of temperature measurement that is both accurate and safe for all ages. For the purposes of this study, invasive temperature taking methods included pulmonary artery, distal esophagus, bladder and nasopharyngeal thermometry while rectal, sublingual, axillary, tympanic, temporal artery, cutaneous infrared and tactile thermometry were classified as non-invasive.
For rectal thermometry, the authors found: “The problems with rectal thermometry are that it is uncomfortable for, and unacceptable to, older children and adults and carries a risk of cross contamination. The measurements are affected by the presence of stool in the rectum, and by rectal blood flow. Risk of HIV transmission remains a concern when using this method. There is also a potential risk of rectal perforation in neonates.”
“The comparison of temporal artery to rectal and other thermometry performed in this study confirms that not only is temporal artery comparable in accuracy, but is much more conducive to a comfortable doctor-patient relationship, an important element in any health care setting,” said Dr. Francesco Pompei, CEO of Exergen Corporation, maker of the Exergen TemporalScanner. “The study firmly supports our mission of rendering rectal thermometry obsolete by replacing it with the temporal artery thermometry for all age groups.”
Exergen markets two models of the TemporalScanner thermometer: a professional version for doctors’ offices and hospitals, and a consumer model sold in major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, Costco, Sam’s Club, Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Kroger, and BJ’s. More than one billion temperatures are taken each year with the TemporalScanner. It is used in thousands of hospitals, clinics, and pediatricians’ offices in the country, as well as in millions of homes. For the third year in a row it is the #1 selling retail thermometer and #1 preference of pediatricians in the US. The Exergen TemporalScanner’s performance is supported by more than 50 peer-reviewed published studies covering all ages from preterm infants to geriatrics and all care areas in hospitals and homes. For additional information, visit www.exergen.com.
Batra et al. Thermometry in children. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2012 Jul-Sep; 5(3): 246–249.