Accuracy of chemical dot thermometers in critically ill adults and young children

Roberta S. Erickson, Linda T. Meyer, Teri Moser Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Chemical dot thermometers are used widely, but their clinical accuracy is not well documented. Temperature measurements with chemical dot and electronic thermometers were compared at the oral site in 27 adults and the axillary site in 44 adults and 34 young children in critical care units. In adults, mean readings with chemical dot thermometers were lower by -0.4°C orally, but higher by 0.4°C in the axilla. Axillary readings in children did not differ significantly with the two methods, although individual differences of ±0.4°C or more were common. Chemical dot thermometers provided rough temperature estimates, performing differently at the oral and axillary sites and in the two age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996


  • Body temperature
  • Temperature measurement
  • Thermometers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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