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Infrared Thermometers A Good Alternative For Use On Newborns

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Taking a newborn's temperature with an infrared thermometer placed under the arm is just as reliable as taking a rectal temperature, new research suggests.

Researchers found that using an infrared thermometer to take the axillary (or underarm) temperature of a newborn baby yielded results very similar to rectal temperature measurements -- at least for babies who were not under a radiant warmer.

"Rectal temperatures have been the gold standard in measuring a newborn's temperature," said John Seguin, associate professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University. "But underarm readings from infrared thermometers can be just as precise and safe and even quicker. It takes less than two seconds to get a result from this type of thermometer."

Nurses usually take an infant's temperature within the first 30 to 60 minutes after birth in order to determine if the infant is too hot or too cold. Fluctuations in temperature could indicate an infection or excessive heat loss, which can cause problems.

The research appears in a recent issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

Seguin and co-author Kimberlee Terry, a former Ohio State medical student, measured the axillary temperatures of 16 newborns using infrared thermometers. They simultaneously compared underarm temperatures to those taken by a rectal thermistor, or plastic-coate
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Contact: John Seguin
Seguinj@chi.osu.edu
614-722-4528
Ohio State University
1-Mar-1999


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