Monitoring of Core Body Temperature During Exertional Heat Illnesses Emergencies.
This editorial is to promote the use of rectal thermometer devices during an exertional heat illnesses (EHI) emergency. With today’s technology, there are hand-held electronic monitors in
the market, that allow the athletic trainer on the field, to insert the probe end, and continually
monitor the core body temperature while cooling efforts are attempted, and emergency medical services (EMS) is activated. Time is an issue, seconds count.
Unfortunately, these signs and symptoms may also present themselves with head trauma/concussion.1-5 The ONLY confirmation of an EHI is the elevated core body temperature of >40 °C (>104 °F).1 Oral, tympanic, axillary or temporal methods of taking the temperature using external thermometers are not as reliable as the rectal thermometer in assessing elevated core body temperature. During a suspected EHI, the athletic trainer should remove the athlete from direct sunlight and seek a cooler, shaded area or go indoors to an air-conditioned room.
Time is of the essences, the sooner you can establish a core body temperature readings, the sooner you have an EHI diagnosis and can begin treatment and activate EMS. Cooling via cold-water immersion up to the neck is the most effective way to treat an athlete with EHI, and having the (rectal) core body temperature monitoring device inserted, the athletic trainer can continue to monitor the core body temperature. In my opinion (based solely on personal conversations), we have athletic trainers that do not feel comfortable administering a rectal thermometer to a patient.
Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2017; 3(3): e1- e2. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-3-e003