Thesis - University Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Department / School
Obtaining an accurate temperature reading from patients is important in the intensive care unit (ICU) to assist health professionals to implement appropriate interventions. Tympanic membrane (TM) temperatures are a non-invasive and safe alternative when pulmonary artery (PA) catheters are not used. There has been some controversy in the literature as to the accuracy of TM thermometers and the correct technique to use when obtaining the temperatures. This study investigated the accuracy of TM temperatures with and without an ear tug compared to temperatures taken via PA catheter in the ICU. The correlation between TM temperatures with and without an ear tug and PA temperatures and data on the use of vasopressors and/or vasodilators was also examined. Results from this study showed no significant differences between temperatures taken with a TM thermometer with and without an ear tug. There were no significant differences in PA and TM temperatures with and without an ear tug. All results in this study showed a strong positive correlation between TM and PA temperatures. There was no significant difference between PA and TM temperatures with and without use of a vasodilator. Findings varied with the use of a vasopressor. On the basis of the results from this study, TM temperature measurements would be an appropriate substitute for PA temperatures in the ICU.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Body temperature -- Measurement
Intensive care nursing
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Chaussee, Sheryl L., "The Accuracy of Tympanic Membrane Temperatures in Patients in the Intensive Care Unit" (2000). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 735.