Temperatures taken orally or by temporal artery thermometry 'are an accurate means of temperature assessment for adult patients undergoing colorectal or gynecology surgery,' according to a new study.

The study was designed to determine the difference, if any, between core temperature as measured by an esophageal thermometer and temperatures measured by oral and temporal artery methods in the two types of surgery patients.

After leaving the operating room, the endotracheal tube (ET) or a bladder temperature device is usually discontinued and nurses in the post anesthesia care unit usually assess patient temperature by oral, tympanic or temporal approaches.

But a recent systematic review has shown inaccuracies in tympanic (ear) temperature readings and recommended oral thermometry as the most accurate means of temperature assessment in adult, acutely ill patients. Taking oral readings poses challenges, however, when dealing with patients intubated or receiving oxygen.

All data for the study was collected during the intraoperative period of hospitalisation over a two-week period in August 2008 by a postanesthesia recovery nurse.

Temporal artery temperatures were taken using the TAT 5000 from Exergen. A repeated-measures designed was used with a sample of 23 patients undergoing colorectal or gynecology surgery.

Exergen CEO Francesco Pompei said they developed this technology in response to healthcare providers’ need for an accurate and noninvasive method of thermometry that was suitable for all phases of care.

"This research shows Exergen’s TemporalScanner is a reliable tool for PACU staff at this critical point in hospitalisation. Exergen’s TemporalScanner, now with 35 published studies attesting to its accuracy across all ages and clinical settings, has become the standard for thermometry in thousands of healthcare facilities and millions of homes," Pompei said.

Exergen is a manufacturer of patented infrared thermometers, scanners, sensors and controls.