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Oral versus axillary temperature.

by H. M. Aleem
The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India ()


Unilateral axillary temperature is recorded in unconscious patients and children due to its easy approach. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate variation of axillary temperature on the two sides and its correlation with oral temperature. SUBJECTS: One hundred and 46 healthy men and women, aged 12 through 52 years. METHODS: Axillary temperature from both sides and oral temperature were recorded using digital electronic thermometer in supine position with due precautions. RESULTS: Difference in temperature on the two sides of axilla was found to vary by as much as 0 degree F to 3.4 degrees F. Therefore, the data was grouped into higher and lower temperature ranges. The difference between mean oral and mean higher axillary temperature was found to be 0.5 degree F 0.6 degree F (r = 0.564) while that in comparison to mean lower axillary temperature was 1.0 degree F 0.89 degree F (r = 0.64). The difference between mean oral and mean axillary temperature was 1.0 degree F 0.80 degree F (r = 0.84). CONCLUSIONS: Based on our observations, it is found that an average of temperature of both sides of axilla represents the axillary temperature more accurately and to get the correct oral equivalent of axillary temperature one should add 1 degree F to the mean axillary temperature.

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