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Keywords

cost savings, cost-benefit analysis, infant, temperature, thermometers

 

Authors

  1. SGANGA, ANGELA BSN, RN, CLC
  2. WALLACE, RUTH MSN, RNC
  3. KIEHL, ERMALYNN PhD, RN, ARNP
  4. IRVING, TONYA BSN, RN
  5. WITTER, LISA MN, RN, ARNP-C

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to: (a) compare newborn temperature measurements obtained by digital disposable, electronic, and tympanic thermometers with glass mercury thermometers, and (b) compare financial implications of each method.

 

Methods: In this correlational study, 12 perinatal and neonatal nurses obtained temperature measurements of 184 newborns between 1 and 168 hours of age. The stratified convenience sample was selected using medical records numbers. Temperature instruments included glass thermometer, tympanic thermometer, electronic thermometer, and a digital thermometer. Data were analyzed by Pearson r coefficients, mean, standard deviation, and range using an SPSS statistical package.

 

Results: The glass thermometer, electronic thermometer, and digital thermometer temperature assessments were highly correlated (0.748 - 1.0). The tympanic thermometer had a low correlation coefficient (0.35). Use of the glass thermometer had the highest accompanying cost. Tympanic thermometers were the most cost effective.

 

Clinical Implications: In healthy newborns, the use of electronic and digital thermometers can be encouraged if there is concern about using glass thermometers. These results cannot be extrapolated to sick infants. While tympanic thermometers had the lowest associated cost, their lack of correlation with the gold standard glass thermometers for accurate temperature assessment makes them a poor choice for healthy newborns.