NewsCAP: Use of temporal thermometers may not identify fever in Black patients. : AJN The American Journal of Nursing

Journal Logo

In the News

NewsCAP: Use of temporal thermometers may not identify fever in Black patients.

AJN, American Journal of Nursing 122(12):p 16, December 2022. | DOI: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000904048.36076.3e
  • Free

Use of temporal thermometers may not identify fever in Black patients. In a study in the September 6 JAMA, researchers compared the use of temporal versus oral thermometers for detecting fever in Black and White patients admitted with suspected infections in four hospitals. They found that temperatures taken with temporal (forehead) thermometers were significantly lower in Black patients than temperatures taken orally, but there was virtually no difference in White patients. The results indicate that 23% of fevers may be missed in Black patients. This can have serious implications for care and patient outcomes, as thresholds for treatment may be missed, such as in pathways for sepsis alerts, delaying initiation of antibiotics, or other medical treatment. Earlier studies have found similar racial disparities with use of pulse oximetry, reinforcing the imperative for more diversity and inclusiveness in research.

Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.