Experimental Study on Comparison of Body Temperature Among 5min And 10min Glass Mercury Thermometers and Digital Thermometers In Under-5 Children with Febrile Illness at Axillary Site in Axum Saint Mary Hospital, Central Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: - Evaluation of body temperature is one of the oldest known diagnostic methods and still an important sign of health and disease. Since rectal and oral temperature measurement are uncomfortable, less hygienic and unacceptable in many cultures; axillary has been method of choice in many countries like Ethiopia. In children decisions concerning investigation and treatment may base on results of temperature alone. Although accuracy of axillary temperature measurement is affected by a number of factors, device dwell time and device type are common. Objective: - is to compare body temperature among 5and10Min glass-mercury thermometer (GMT) and digital thermometer (DT). Method: Experimental study design was used to compare body temperature among 5Min, 10Min GMT and DT. A total of 98 samples were taken. The GMT (5 and 10min) was taken at the same axilla where as DT on the opposite axilla, but randomization of right and left axilla was carried out within consecutive study subject and measurements were taken simultaneously. A statistical significance (p<0.01) and clinical significant (0.2oc) were used. Correlation and Bland- Altman plot were used to observe the agreements of the recording. Results: mean difference (MD) of 5 and10 GMT, 5min GMT and DT, and 10min GMT and DT were 0.13673 ±0.13112, -0.0082±0.15106 and 0.12857±0.10745 respectively. A statistically significant difference was noted in comparisons of mean temperatures of 10min GMT with 5min GMT and DT (P<0.000), but not in 5min GMT with DT (P>0.01). Clinically all were not significant (MD<0.2oc).in all comparison the correlation analysis also shows strong positive correlation(r>0.75) and all the MD were fall in the limit of agreement in Bland-Altman plot. Conclusion and Recommendations: Even a statistical significant (p<0.000) difference was observed in 5min with 10min GMT, and 10min GMT with DT the strong correlation, their good agreement and clinical insignificant, some important disadvantages of GMT and advantage of DT makes DT good alternative to the traditional glass mercury thermometer. Their variation in temperature is not likely to change any clinical decision. So health professionals should use DT for measuring body temperature in under-5 febrile illness except for neonate. Moreover researchers should repeat the study using core temperature as gold standard for comparison. Key Words: Body Temperature, Thermometers, Mean Difference, Dwelling Time, Comparison



Body Temperature, Thermometers, Mean Difference, Dwelling Time, Comparison