To the Editors:

The article titled “Evaluation of Chemical Dot Thermometers in Orally Intubated Patients” (September 2003:403–408) by Potter and colleagues deserves comment and very cautious interpretation due to serious concerns with the statistical analysis.

The objective of this study was to “determine the accuracy of single-use chemical dot thermometers in orally intubated adults.” Accuracy is a term reserved for studies comparing a new measurement method with the gold standard method that provides the true value of the quantity being measured.1,2 When studies compare a new method with a clinical standard method (eg, electronic thermometers), accuracy cannot be determined since the true value of the measured variable remains unknown. Instead, the level of “agreement” is determined since each method contains its own level of measurement error.1,2 Although some may view this as semantics, standardization of...

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