Monday, February 6“Racism never sleeps.”

Study: Forehead thermometer readings possibly less accurate among Black patients

A new study indicates forehead thermometers are possibly not as accurate when it comes to reading temperatures for Black patients compared with oral thermometers.

Forehead thermometer readings were 26% lower than oral thermometers, according to the study conducted by researchers at Emory University and the University of Hawaii.

Researchers noted that though the differences were not high, fevers could go unrecognized if the reading is below the common figures used to determine fever.

The study also said this difference could contribute to a higher death rate among Black patients.

For the study, the temperatures of 2,031 Black patients and 2,344 White patients were taken within the first hour of hospitalization. Temperatures only varied among Black patients.

Researchers said skin pigmentation could affect the thermometers ability to emit light, radiation or heat. They also said the different temporal thermometer readings may be due to the forehead temperatures readings not being performed properly.

More about the study can be found here.