Characteristics of Dynamic Patient Temperature Monitoring Enhanced non-invasive temperature monitoring solutions that are easy to use and accurate, and provide for a continuum of care, are available. Currently, non-invasive thermom- technologies include

eter An advantage to selecting the skin chemical

strips and infrared devices, but inter- mittently checking a patient’s tem- perature can be labor intensive, tech- nique dependent and unreliable. Also, temperature taking versus temperature monitoring takes valuable time away from healthcare staff. The key to continuous temperature monitoring is to select a site that pro- vides consistent measurement without interruption. The following sites are accepted by the ASC-13 Normother- mia Measure: axillary, bladder, core, esophageal, oral, rectal, skin, temporal artery or tympanic.

site as a possible temperature measur- ing site is that it is non-invasive and more comfortable for the patient. Skin temperatures are generally 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit lower than core temperature; thus, a correla- tion is to be considered when approxi- mating core body temperatures, accord- ing to a study “Temperature Monitoring and Perioperative Thermoregulation” by Daniel I. Sessler, MD, published in the August 2008 issue of Anesthesiology. This underscores the advantage of establishing the patient’s baseline tem- perature in preop. When selecting a continuous tem- perature monitor, certain features and attributes should be considered: ■■

capability to travel with patients from Pre-Op to PACU without being discon- nected, thus preventing interruptions in continuous temperature monitoring;


alarm capability that can alert staff when patent temperatures are trend- ing toward hypothermia, producing a faster staff response time; and

capability to record temperatures and generate an ASC-13 compliant report summary. As new non-invasive dynamic patient temperature monitor devices are introduced to the ASC market, all members of the ASC surgical team can take part in proactively prevent- ing PH by monitoring a patient’s temperature continuously from Pre- Op to the PACU. Continuous temper- ature monitoring allows the clinician to proactively maintain normother- mia and prevent PH.


Mary LeTourneau, RN, is the director of clinical regulatory affairs at RG Medical Diagnostics in Wixom, Michigan. Write her at

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