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August 25, 1969

Tympanic Thermometry in Surgery and Anesthesia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesiology, District of Columbia General Hospital, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1969;209(8):1207-1211. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160210039009

Simultaneous, continuous recordings of tympanic and esophageal measurements of body temperature were obtained during anesthesia and surgery. Their patterns were found mutually consistent in the clinical situations as studied. Rectal patterns were abandoned as unpredictable in their relation to temperature in the cranium or at the crossroads of central circulation. Tympanic was the only measurement with unequivocally defined location of insertion. With the other methods a reproducible position could not be reached, maintained, or restored. In cleanliness (dry site and disposable probe); sterility; and minimum inconvenience, embarrassment or discomfort to patients, surgeons or physicians and medical personnel, men or women tympanic thermometry was superior to esophageal and rectal. It was never found to be out of place, and rarely contraindicated, while contraindications with rectal or esophageal measurements were frequent.