Many nurses are hesitant to use the oral site to measure body temperature when patients are orally intubated with an endotracheal tube. It is often thought that the temperature of the gases flowing through the tube and the patient's inability to form a tight seal around the tube may result in an inaccurate measurement that does not reflect body temperature. Consequently, other sites such as the rectum are used, resulting in embarrassment and increased stress for patients, increased use of resources, and inappropriate use of nursing time. An integrated review and synthesis of research on the validity of using the posterior sublingual site to measure temperature in critically ill patients intubated with an oral endotracheal tube were done to determine if a change in nursing practice is indicated for these patients. Of 10 studies that address this topic, 5 specifically investigated this nursing area. The results indicate that for critically ill patients with stable hemodynamic status, the posterior sublingual pocket is a valid site for measurement of body temperature in patients who are orally intubated with an endotracheal tube.
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Articles| September 01 2000
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WM Fallis; Oral measurement of temperature in orally intubated critical care patients: state-of-the-science review. Am J Crit Care 1 September 2000; 9 (5): 334–343. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2000.9.5.334
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