Importance of Identifying Fevers in Children

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    Nurses are on the frontline of patient care and it has always been the mission of Exergen – creators of the Exergen TemporalScanner – to support their work and help make their jobs easier and more effective. More than a billion temperatures are taken a year and every nurse needs a thermometer they can rely on to get the most accurate, quickest and convenient reading – every single time.

    Importance of Identifying Fevers in Children

    North America is continuing to see the effects of an intensive and dangerous flu season. The main culprit is the H3N2 virus, which is more deadly than the swine flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year's flu season has seen more outbreaks in more regions of the country than have been reported in the last seven years. As might be expected, the main demographic affected are children (five to nine years old) and adults over the age of 80. Since October, 2017, the CDC reports that 84 children have been reported dead from the flu and that number is rising.

    Recently, the CDC published a study in Pediatrics showing children's vulnerability to the flu in the United States. CDC reports, "The study, titled 'Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2010-2016,' analyzed reported flu-related deaths in children younger than 18 over the course of six flu seasons, from October 2010 through September 2016. Results showed that half of all flu-related deaths occurred in otherwise healthy children, 22 percent of whom were fully vaccinated."

    This study, solid nursing training and good common sense show that it is crucial at this time of year to recognize the symptoms of influenza. The primary indicator that differentiates a cold from the flu is a fever - and the only way to determine that is with an accurate thermometer.

    Parents can't always tell the difference between the cold and the flu, however, and even a cold can cause a slight fever. For this reason, it's important that nurses become advocates and educators for parents at home. Education is a crucial part of patient outcomes. After leaving the hospital or doctor's office, knowing how to accurately measure body temperature is essential, as the presence of a fever might mean further investigation or immediate treatment.

    School children are also vulnerable to catching germs from others who may be sick, so it is important to counsel parents on the importance of monitoring colds, fevers and worst case, the flu, when children come home from school.

    Nurses know that concerns about children and fever extend far beyond flu season, and no vital sign is as important to monitor as body temperature when it comes to determining the cause of a patient's condition or illness. Some diseases cause the body to become warmer than normal and some cause it to be cooler. Other times, the patient's body temperature will stay normal. For each of these scenarios, determining body temperature is a crucial first step when diagnosing a patient's health or condition.

    The Exergen TemporalScanner, used in the majority of hospitals across the U.S., is designed by nurses for nurses. The company's TemporalScanner is the number one preferred thermometer by both nurses and pediatricians, and is backed by more than 70 clinical studies proving its accuracy across all ages from preterm infants and babies to adults and geriatric patients.

    Exergen markets two models of the TemporalScanner: a professional version used in doctor's offices and a consumer model sold in major retailers nationwide. Between the two, more than one billion temperatures are taken each year. The professional model is used daily by more than 4,000 hospitals, tens of thousands of clinics, office-based practices, and nursing homes. And, more than 70 peer-reviewed published studies attest to its accuracy.

    The vast majority of hospitals have approved the use of an alcohol prep or other hospital approved disinfectant wipe of the TemporalScanner's probe head between patients, making disposable probe covers optional. This means that the TAT offers a 90 percent cost savings over other thermometers that require disposable probe covers. Disposable covers are available if preferred, and can be reused on the same patient. For isolation patients, a film sheath is available that encases the entire thermometer. In addition, the Exergen TemporalScanner's lifetime warranty, unique to thermometry, protects the entire instrument, and eliminates spare parts storage, biomedical engineering labor and any repair charges.

    As we ease out of flu season, we want to hear from you! Nurses are generally the first to take a child's vital signs - including temperature. They understand the importance of accurately measuring a child's temperature, as a few degrees of difference could mean an entirely different outcome. We're curious to hear what your experience has been in taking children's temperatures this flu season. Have you seen an increase in the number of pediatric patients running fevers vs. prior years? How sharply do you think these numbers will taper off in the coming months? Your input is valuable, so let us know!
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14

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    2 Comments so far...

  3. by   OldDude
    Opinions of thermometers are varied and endlessly diverse. Check out the school nurse threads if you're interested. My 20 years in pediatrics has shown me that fever is certainly a useful sign for identifying illness but it gets a bad rap and, generally, the public doesn't understand its benefits. Of course there is the occasional, and usually benign febrile seizure, but otherwise fever is a natural part of some illnesses. Fever is a cause for much unnecessary parental anxiety and worry in that it seems to me we have evolved into treating fever as an illness in and of itself instead of treating fever simply for the comfort measure the use of antipyretics is designed to facilitate. I haven't appreciated an increase in flu numbers this year but it does appear there are more cases of flu in those who received the flu vaccine, both at school and at the pedi urgent care I work at.
  4. by   Cat365
    Our ER is currently giving away free thermometers to parents. As well as education on fevers an proper medication. My fever conversations seem to go one of two ways lately. "He/She has a fever"
    "Did you take his temperature?"
    "No, but he/she feels hot."

    "My child has a fever."
    "Did you give them any medication for it?"
    "No, I brought them here."