Tympanic measurement of body temperature with FirstTemp tympanic thermometer was compared with mercury rectal thermometers in 155 adult patients in a department of abdominal surgery. The tympanic thermometer did not correlate well with the mercury rectal thermometer with a correlation coefficient of 0.70. The median rectal temperature differed from the median tympanic temperature by 0.34 degree C, a factor which could be corrected by changing the temperature shown on the display from the "oral" mode into the 0.40 degree C higher rectal "mode". Care should be taken not to measure the temperature in an ear, on which the patient has been lying recently.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 1999 Jan 18;161(3):27810025234