What is a thermometer?
A medical thermometer is an instrument that is used to measure the temperature of the human or animal body. To measure the temperature thermometer can be placed at various locations of the body: orally, from under the armpit (axillary temperature) or through the rectum (rectal temperature). The early origins of the medical thermometer lie in the invention of Galileo’s water thermometer; however, the first modern, practical clinical thermometer was created by an English physician Sir Thomas Allbutt.
What are the types of medical thermometers?
There are 3 common types of thermometers.
Analogue thermometer that is mercury-based in glass: Measures the body temperature through the thermal expansion of the metal. This type of thermometer was once very popular, however, the risk of exposure to mercury have now reduced this popularity compared to electronic thermometers. Precautions specific to the use of a mercury-based thermometer include the following:
The device needs to be shaken and reset to below 35°C (95°F) before each use.
The use of mercury-based thermometers should be limited as far as possible and especially avoided for pregnant or young patients. This device is not recommended as a baby thermometer.
Electronic or Digital thermometer: Measures oral, rectal or armpit temperature by means of a thermistor. They provide quick and highly accurate results and have an LCD display for viewing the measured temperature. Moreover, digital thermometersare generally known to be safer for medical use and are considered environment-friendly. Find the best digital thermometer on Smart Medical Buyer.
Infrared Thermometer: Measures thermal radiation that is emitted from the forehead and ear to infer body temperature. Infrared thermometer price is budget friendly and can be afforded by everyone.
What are some general guidelines for users of the clinical thermometer?
It is generally advised that the user compares the accuracy, suitability, convenience and the price of the instrument. A thermometer should be chosen based on its suitability to the individual patient’s age and health status. To avoid cross-infection and transmission of communicable diseases, afflicted persons should use either personal thermometers or clean the tip with rubbing alcohol after each use.
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