Accuracy of Non-contact Infrared Thermometry Versus Rectal Thermometry in Young Children Evaluated in the Emergency Department for Fever

Ezio L. Fortuna*, Michele M. Carney, Michelle Macy, Rachel M. Stanley, John G. Younger, Stuart A. Bradin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We evaluated the accuracy of a non-contact infrared thermometer compared with a rectal thermometer. Methods: Two hundred patients, ages 1 month to 4 years, were included in the study. Each child underwent contemporaneous standard rectal thermometry and mid forehead non-contact infrared thermometry. Clinical features, including chief complaint, recently administered antipyretic agents, and ambient temperature at the time of measurement, were included. Analysis: Linear models were used to compare agreement between the 2 techniques, as well as to determine bias of infrared thermometry at different rectal temperatures. Multivariate linear models were used to evaluate the impact of clinical variables and ambient temperature. Results: A linear relationship between rectal and infrared temperature measurements was observed; however, the coefficient of determination (r2) value between was only 0.48 (P < 0.01). Infrared thermometry tended to overestimate the temperature of afebrile children and underestimate the temperature of febrile patients (P < .01). Ambient temperature and child age did not affect the accuracy of the device. Conclusion: In this study, non-contact infrared thermometry did not sufficiently agree with rectal thermometer to indicate its routine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-104
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • Non-contact infrared
  • Rectal thermometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Accuracy of Non-contact Infrared Thermometry Versus Rectal Thermometry in Young Children Evaluated in the Emergency Department for Fever'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this