Problems of Traditional Thermometry

Problems of Continuous Invasive Methods:
(Esophageal, Foley, Pulmonary Artery Catheters)

  • Esophageal and Foley catheters are invasive and uncomfortable
  • Bladder and stomach content as well as surgical site environment significantly affect accuracy
  • Catheters can become colonized by organisms and cause infection, sepsis and death
  • 15 million central venous catheters days occur in ICUs each year
  • According to the CDC, an estimated 250,000 catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) occur in U.S. hospitals each year: an estimated 28,000 of these patients die annually
  • The estimated annual cost of caring for patients with CRBSIs ranges from $296 million to $2.3 billion
  • The urinary tract is the most common site of healthcare-associated infection, accounting for more than 40% of the total number reported by acute-care hospitals and affecting an estimated 600,000 patients per year
  • Two million hospital infection cases each year -- resulting in 90,000 deaths annually -- according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Problems of Spot-Check Predictive Methods:
(Oral, Tympanic, Axillary, Forehead, Rectal Thermometers)

  • Mercury thermometers are antiquated technology that are dangerous if broken
  • Continuous monitoring is not possible
  • Numerous studies have shown the problems of predictive thermometers, which overestimate or underestimate temperature
  • False indication of fever triggers needless diagnostic tests and therapies, causing unnecessary increase in health care costs and patient suffering
  • Oral and ear thermometers enter the body and contact internal secretions, risking cross contamination
  • Patient temperature is checked approximately 2 billion times a year in U.S. hospitals and clinics alone; even a small percentage of false diagnosis of fever may lead to an unnecessary increase in health care costs and patient suffering.
  • Because the body's fat layer provides insulation and prevents adequate thermal emission, the skin surface, such as the forehead, cannot provide accurate thermal measurement; forehead thermometers are thereby forced to rely on artificial calculations, which can lead to overestimation and underestimation.

Reference: "A Perfect Storm: Wrong Thermometry and Wrong Temperature Can Cause Social and Economic Turmoil During a Flu Pandemic" (Click HERE to View Full Article)

Reference: "Problems of Thermometers.pdf"
(Click HERE to View Excerpts from Numerous Articles)

Reference: "Core Temperature Measurement - M277Moran.pdf"
(Click HERE to View Full Article)