Body temperature is one of the four main vital signs that must be monitored to ensure safe and effective care. It is important to measure it accurately. To do this you need to choose an appropriate measurement device and to measure temperature using one of the common methods described below.
Most European countries use the rectal temperature measurement method because it is believed to be the most accurate one for determining body temperature. The duration of this procedure is less than a minute. Normal results are between 36.2 - 37.7°С.
In the post-Soviet space, Central Asia and the Middle East the axillary temperature measurement method is widespread. The thermometer is placed under the armpit and held there for several minutes until the result is determined. Temperature is measured at the axilla by placing the thermometer in the central position and adducting the arm close to the chest wall. Body readings of 35.3 - 36.8°С are considered normal. For greater accuracy, it is recommended to measure the temperature in the left armpit. Under the right armpit, the body temperature is lower by 0.1 - 0.3°С than in the left one.
The American continent is accustomed to measuring temperature orally. The oral cavity temperature is considered to be reliable when the thermometer is placed posteriorly into the sublingual pocket. To take the measurement, a digital thermometer is placed under the tongue. Normal values are 35.7 - 37.3°С, because the temperature of the oral cavity is on average 0.5°С higher than in the whole body.
And in Asia, non-contact infrared thermometers and screenings are popular. These devices have proven to be very helpful during the SARS outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic. Temperature can be measured in the ear, forehead and temple. The infrared thermometers sense infrared emissions radiating from the human body and objects.
You should know that there are some factors affecting accuracy of the temperature measurement. They include recent ingestion of food or fluid, having a respiratory rate >18 per minute, age, time of the day, physical activity, environment temperature, menstruation cycle phase, presence of skin secretion, clothes and smoking.
It is essential to use the most appropriate technique to ensure that temperature is measured accurately. Inaccurate results may influence diagnosis and treatment, lead to a failure to identify patient deterioration and compromise patient safety.
Whichever method you use to measure body temperature, our digital and infrared thermometers will always show you an accurate result and help you monitor your health.