d. In some women, ovulation may be signaled by a slight drop in body temperature
12 to 24 hours before a postovulation rise in temperature of about 0.4F to 0.8F.
TERMINOLOGY RELATED TO BODY TEMPERATURE
Body temperature rises when heat production increases or when heat loss
decreases; both may be going on at the same time.
a. Everyone has a temperature; when the temperature is elevated, then pyrexia or
a fever is present. A fever is a symptom of some disorder. It often accompanies illness;
usually when the body is fighting an infection. An antipyretic is a fever-reducing agent
such as aspirin.
b. A temperature significantly below normal is called hypothermia. Such
temperatures often precede normal death. Hypothermia may occur as a result of
overexposure to winter elements or to cold water. Accidental hypothermia is life
threatening and must be treated immediately. Clinical hypothermia is often used to
perform surgical procedures because the lowered body temperature slows metabolism
and thus decreases the need for oxygen.
c. The patients most at risk of hypothermia are:
(2) Newborn infants exposed to room temperatures before their body
temperature has stabilized.
Elderly or debilitated patients.
TAKING THE TEMPERATURE
Regardless of the type of thermometer or measuring probe used, certain rules
a. The bulb or electronic probe is placed so it will be completely surrounded by
b. Multi-use thermometers and temperature probes are covered when used. The
cover is removed and discarded after the temperature is taken. Prelubricated covers are
used for rectal thermometers.
c. The temperature is recorded on the patient's graphic chart to the even two
tenths of a degree (unless the electronic thermometer is used). An electronic thermometer
is not calibrated with multiple numbers. It displays only the measured temperature.
Record the measured temperature.