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Ann Med Res. 1994; 1(4): 260-262

How many centimeters and how much time do we need for inserting and holding the rectal thermometer?



Recep AKDAĞ*, MD., Fatma GÜDÜCÜ*, RN, MS., Cahit KARAKELLEOĞLU*, MD., Naci CEVİZ*, MD.






We are not aware of any standardization on thermometer insertion depth and holding time for rectal tem/ierature measurements. Our study is aimed to document the differences of maximal temperature readings aI different depths in rectum and the mean time of thermometer placement necessary to reach maximal temperature at each depth, lie performed three sequential rectal readings at 2-, 3- and 4- cm depths on each of 30 infants. Temperatures were recorded every 30 seconds until the reading remained constant for 90 seconds (stabilization). We found that all infants, except one. reached a stable rectal temperature within a 2- minute period. There urn no statistical significance between the temperature stabilization times at 2-, 3- and 4- cm depths. Mean difference between 2nd and 3rd cm readings was - 0.161: between 3rd and 4th cm wav - 0.13V. Differences were statistically significant (p 0.05 and p 0.001. respectively). In conclusion, we propose to standardize the rectal temperature measurement as placing the thermometer at 3 cm depth in rectum and holding it there for 2- minute period. It may enable us to interpret the rectal temperature measurements more precisely. This proposal needs further studies based on larger-size sample groups. [Journal of Turgut Özal Medical ('enter 1(4):260-262.1994]

Key words: Rectal tem]>erature, children

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