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The infrared tympanic thermometer, for example, popular among parents and community physicians, is extremely variable and provides inconsistent and inaccurate readings of body temperature due to the following factors: technique used by the parent; anatomy of the ear; size of the speculum in relationship to the size of the child's ear; pathology within the ear canal (i.e., exudate wax, bulging and inflamed tympanic membrane), and training of the user (Erickson & Woo, 1994; Lanham & Walker, 1999; Pontious, et al., 1994; Terndrugs, 1992; Yaron, Lowenstein, Koziol-McLain, 1995).
Measuring the accuracy of the infrared tympanic thermometer: Correlation does not signify agreement.
Trombley that there is a need to establish normal body temperature ranges with an infrared tympanic thermometer. Replication and publication of studies such as the one conducted by Chamberlain et al.
Mean Standard Range Deviation Rectal 38.28 0.86 36.7 - 41.0 Tympanic 37.08 0.99 35.6 - 40.4 Rectal/Tympanic -0.60 0.54 -2.4 - 0.8 Difference The accuracy of the infrared tympanic thermometer to detect fever was determined by sensitivity and specificity measures (see Box) using a 2 x 2 table (see Table 2).
Winset noted that this position was hard won, having spent four years developing a way to bring the $1000 price of infrared tympanic thermometers down to the consumer level of under $100.