without fever the body temperature is normal.
An agent that reduces fever.
A temperature scale on which the freezing point of water is 0º and the boiling point is 100º; also called the centigrade sclae.
The transfer of energy, such as heat, from one object to another by direct contact.
The transfer of energy, such as heat, through air currents.
A sudden falling of an elevated body temperature to normal.
A temperature scale on which the freezing point of water is 32º and the boiling point is 212º.
Pertaining to fever.
The midline fold that connects the undersurface of the tongue with the floor of the mouth.
An extremely high fever. Temperature greater than 105.8ºF. A temperature greater than 109.4ºF is generally fatal.
An abnormally fast and deep type of breathing, usually associated with acute anxiety conditions.
A body temperature that is below normal. Body temperature less than 97ºF. The heat the body is losing is greater than the heat it is producing. A person usually cannot survive with a temperature less than 93.2ºF
A decrease in the oxygen saturation of the blood. May lead to Hypoxia.
A reduction in the oxygen supply to the tissues of the body.
A vague sense of body discomfort, weakness, and fatigue that often marks the onset of a disease and continues through the course of the illness.
The transfer of energy, such as heat, in the form of waves.
Four Guidelines of Vital Signs:
1. Be familiar with the normal ranges for all vital signs.
2. Make sure that all equipment for measuring vital signs is in proper working condition.
3. Eliminate or minimize factors that affect the vital signs.
4. Use an organized approach when measuring the vital signs.
Normal body temperature range:
97º F to 99º F
Rages for Pyrexia (Fever):
Body temperature greater than 104ºF
Between 99ºF and 100.4ºF is called low-grade fever
Range for Hyperpyrexia:
higher than 105.8ºF
List and Describe 7 Factors that can cause variation in the body temperature:
1. Age: Infants & young children have a higher body temperature than adults because their thermoregulatory system is not yet fully developed. Elderly usually have lower body temperature , loss of subcutaneous fat, lack of exercise, and loss of thermoregulatory control.
2. Diurnal Variations: During sleep, body metabolism slows down, as do muscle contractions. The body's temperature is lowest in the morning before metabolism and muscle contractions begin increasing.
3. Emotional States: Strong emotions, crying and anger can increase body temperature.
4. Environment: Cold weather tends to decrease the body temperature, whereas hot weather increases it.
5. Exercise: Vigorous physical exercise causes an increase in voluntary muscle contractions which elevates the body temperature.
6. Patient's normal body temperature: Some patients normally run a low or high temperature. The MA should review the patient's past vital sign recordings.
7. Pregnancy: Cell metabolism increases during pregnancy, and this elevates body temperature.
List and Describe the 3 stages of fever:
1. The onset when temperature first begins to increase. May be slow or sudden, pt often experiences coldness and chills, and the pulse and respiratory rate increase.
2. Course of a fever: The temperature rises and falls in one of the following three fever patterns: continuous, intermittent, or remittent. During this phase the pt has an increased pulse and respiratory rate and feels warm to the touch. The patient may experience one or more of the following symptoms: flushed appearance, increased thirst, loss of appetite, headache, and malaise.
3. Subsiding Stage: the temperature returns to normal. It can return to normal gradually or suddenly. As the body temperature is returning to normal, the pt usually perspires and may become dehydrated.
5 sites for taking body temperature:
convenient and one of the most common means for measuring body temperature. There is a rich blood supply under the tongue in the area on either side of the frenulum linguae. The thermometer should be placed in this area to receive the most accurate reading. The patient must keep the mouth closed space for the thermometer.
recommended as a site for measuring temperature in toddlers and preschoolers. The axillary site also should be used for mouth-breathing patients and for patients with oral inflammation or who have had oral surgery. Measures 1º lower than the same persons oral temperature. You would add 1º.
provides an extremely accurate measurement of body temperature because few factors can alter the results. The rectum is highly vascular and, of the five sites, provides the most closed cavity. The rectal method is generally used for infants and young children, unconscious patients, and mouth-breathing patients, and when greater accuracy in the body temperature is desired. The rectal site should not be used with newborns because of the danger of rectal trauma. Temperature runs 1º higher than their oral temperature. You would subtract 1º.
the aural (ear) site is used with the tympanic membrane thermometer. The ear provides a closed cavity that is easily accessible. Tympanic membrane thermometers provide instantaneous results, are easy to use, and are comfortable for the patient. They make it easier to measure the temperature of children younger than 6 years, uncooperative patients, and patients who are unable to have their temperatures taken orally.
The temporal artery is a major artery of the head that runs laterally across the forehead and down the side of the neck. In the area of the forehead, it is located approximately 2 mm below the surface of the skin. Because the temporal artery is located so close to the skin surface and is easily accessible, the forehead provides an ideal site for obtaining a body temperature measurement. The forehead site can be used to measure body temperature using a temporal artery thermometer in individuals of all ages (newborns, infants, children, adults, and elderly. Measures 1º higher than oral temperature so you would subtract 1º.
Four types of thermometers:
Tympanic Membrane Thermometer
Temporal Artery Thermometer
Electronic thermometers are portable and measure oral, axillary, and rectal temperatures ranging from 84ºF to 108ºF. Takes 4 to 20 seconds to get results. Results displayed on a LCD screen. Has interchangeable oral and rectal probes. Oral probe Blue and Rectal probe is Red. You should always use plastic probe cover to prevent transmission of microorganisms. Should be cleaned regularly with warm water and disinfectant on a damp soft cloth.
Tympanic Membrane Thermometer:
is used at the aural site (ear). Thermometer functions by detecting thermal energy that is naturally radiated from the body. The tympanic membrane gives off heat waves known as infrared waves. It functions like a camera by taking a picture of these infrared waves. The thermometer calculates the body temperature from the energy generated by the waves and converts it to an oral or rectal equivalent. Use a disposable plastic probe cover and place it in the outer third of the external ear canal. Depress the activation button and results are displayed in 1 to 2 seconds. Dispose of cover in regular waste container. Children 3 and up pull the upper lobe up and 3 and under you would pull the lower lobe down.
Temporal Artery Thermometer:
Newest method for assessing body temperature. Scan button is continually depressed while the probe is gently and slowly moved across the patient's forehead. During this process, the probe sensor scans the forehead for the infrared heat given off by the temporal artery. The probe sensor captures the highest temperature or peak temperature in the area being scanned. This is done because there is a small heat loss from the forehead that occurs as a result of cooling by ambient temperature. The thermometer's computer determines and automatically corrects for any effect from ambient temperature.
Contain chemicals that are heat sensitive and include disposable chemical single-use thermometers and temperature-sensitive strips. Used mostly at home and are less accurate than other types of thermometers, they assist in providing a general assessment of body temperature. Should be stored in a cool area and should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
109.4ºF and 93.2ºF
105.8ºF to 109.4ºF
100.4ºF to 105.8ºF
Low-grade fever range:
99ºF to 100.4ºF
Normal body temperature range:
97ºF to 99ºF
93.2ºF to 97ºF
Average temperature by age:
Newborn 97ºF to 100ºF axillary
1yr 99.7ºF Oral
5yr 98.6ºF Oral
- Adult 98.6ºF Oral
- 99.6ºF Rectal
- 97.6ºF Axillary
- 98.6ºF Aural
Elderly 96.8ºF Oral
Most body heat is produced through voluntary and involuntary muscle contractions. Voluntary muscle contractions involve the muscles over which a person has control, example: moving arms or legs. Involuntary muscle contractions involve the muscles over which a person has no control; digestion, beating of the heart shivering. Body heat is also produced by cell metabolism. Heat is produced when nutrients are broken down in the cells. Fever and strong emotional states also can increase heat production in the body.
Heat is lost from the body through the urine and feces and in water vapor from the lungs. Perspiration also contributes to heat loss. When the moisture evaporates, heat is released and the body is cooled. Radiation, conduction, and convection all cause loss of heat from the body.
Regulation of body temperature:
Body temperature is maintained by the hypothalamus, which is located in the brain. The hypothalamus funcions as the body 's thermostat. It normally allows the body temperature to vary by only about 1º to 2º F throughout the day. A constant temperature range must be maintained for the body to function properly. When minor changes in the temperature of the body occur, the hypothalamus senses this and makes adjustments as necessary to ensure that the body temperature stays within a normal and safe range.