Galinstan thermometer is more accurate than digital for the measurement of body temperature in children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The mercury thermometer (MT) was considered the reference standard for the evaluation of body temperature; however, since April 2009, it has no longer been available in Italy. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of digital thermometer (DT) and galinstan thermometer (GT) in comparison with the MT. Methods: We prospectively recruited 284 children (age, 1 month to 17 years; mean, 8.5 years) seen in the emergency department of a tertiary pediatric hospital between November and December 2010. For each patient, body temperature was measured sequentially in the right axilla in a randomized fashion using DT, GT, and MT. Fever was defined as an axillary temperature of 37.5-C or greater. The temperature readings with DT and GTwere compared statistically with those of MT (reference standard). Results: No statistically significant difference in mean temperature was found between MT and GT in pairwise comparison (P = 0.06), whereas significant differences were found between MT and DT ( P <0.001) and between GT and DT ( P <0.001). Sensitivity and specificity of DT were 67.5% and 98.0%, respectively. When considering children with a temperature of 39-C or higher, the false-negative rate was 65.4% with DTand 30.8% with GT. Conclusions: Although both DT and GT had good specificity and positive predictive value compared withMT, GT had higher sensitivity and a lower rate of false-negative rates. Galinstan thermometer is more accurate in the measurement of body temperature compared with DT or MT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-199
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Digital thermometers
  • Fever
  • Galinstan thermometers
  • Mercury thermometers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine

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