Adherence to Standards of Care and Implications of Body Temperature Measurement in Trauma Patients

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To identify adherence to the standard that rauma patients have body temperature (T) recorded, range-of-temperature measurements, and the incidence of hypothermia recorded; and to examine the relationship between (T) and Injury Severity Score (ISS).


A retrospective review of the records of 60 trauma patients was conducted.


Forty percent of the patient records had temperatures recorded with values that ranged from (T) 87–100.6°F; 33% of the patients had hypothermia as defined by a temperature of 96.6°F or less. There appeared to be a significant inverse relationship between (T) and ISS.


Based on the data, temperatures was recorded in only 40% of the cases sampled. Adherence to the standard of measuring and recording a value was only intermittently followed. Nursing personnel should be educated to appreciate the potential for unsuspected hypothermia and to respond by following the standards of care.

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