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April 11, 1986

Urine Temperature and Core Temperature-Reply

Author Affiliations

Maine Medical Center Portland

JAMA. 1986;255(14):1880-1881. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370140078021

In Reply.—  The selection of our urine temperature-measuring device was based on a number of factors. The first was ease of use by geriatric patients in a community setting. The mercury-in-glass thermometer is used widely and requires little instruction to be given to the patient. The second was comparability with the funneling device used in the British National Survey. A thorough scientific description of this apparatus was published by Fox et al.1 Our project merely increased the minimum requirement of urine volume, which we assumed would result in greater specificity.Dr Ehrenkranz' criticisms illustrate the very problem we had with the British National Survey; namely, by a minor modification in the urine-collecting apparatus we were able to "eliminate" the prevalence of low (<35.5 °C) temperature readings. The fact that these readings approximated rectal temperature reinforces our notion that chronic geriatric hypothermia may be a result of artifactual readings obtained