Human body temperature like all warm blooded animals, remains almost constant. Though there may may be variation of about 0.5 degree centigrade in the day. The highest temperature is usually found to be between 5 and 8 p.m and the lowest is between 2 and 6 a.m. But there are some factors in health which may cause a greater variation. for example: vigorous exercise, excessive external heat and excessive cold.
Heat is produced in the body by metabolism, that is the chemical changes taking place within the body and it is lost mainly by the evaporation of sweat from the surface of the body and in the excretions.
The temperature of the body is controlled by the heat regulating centre in the medulla oblongata which is so delicate that it responds quickly to any abnormal conditions within the body. Therefore any lasting change in the temperature can be regarded as a sign of disease.
The normal temperature of the body is between 36.6 degree centigrade and 37.2 degree centigrade (98 degree F and 99 degree F), the average being 36.6 degree centigrade (98.4 degree F). The nurse should report any body temperature above 36.9 degree centigrade( 98.4 F).
PARTS OF THE BODY THAT BODY TEMPERATURE CAN BE TAKEN
- In the groin
- In the mouth
- In the axilla
- In the rectum
The rectal temperature is considered to be the most accurate and is usually found to be 0.25 degree centigrade higher than in the mouth and that of the mouth 0.25 degree centigrade higher than the axillary or the groin temperature. When the patient is in hospital for a time one site should be used if possible, since the variations in temperature are found to be a better guide to his condition if the same site is used each time the temperature is taken.