Objective: To look at the performance of ThermoSpot liquid crystal thermometry in detecting neonatal hypothermia.
Design: A comparison was made between skin temperatures taken by ThermoSpot and axillary temperatures taken by digital electric thermometry. Non-medically trained local volunteers performed daily paired recordings on infants on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of life.
Setting: This is a non-hospital based study set in the homes of neonates in an underprivileged urban slum community in the developing world.
Subjects: Inclusion criteria: babies born at home. Exclusion criteria: hospital admission; parental refusal.
Interventions: The ThermoSpot was stuck to the neonate’s abdomen over the liver area on day 1 and removed on day 7.
Main outcome measures: Fixed test properties of ThermoSpot.
Results: Over 180 paired observations, the fixed test properties of ThermoSpot in the detection of hypothermia were: sensitivity 88%; specificity 97%; positive likelihood ratio 29; negative likelihood ratio 0.13.
Conclusions: ThermoSpot performed well when used by non-medically trained volunteers for the detection of neonatal hypothermia in the homes of an urban slum community.
- DET, digital electric thermometer
- LCT, liquid crystal thermometer
- liquid crystal thermometry
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Published online first 13 September 2005
Competing interests: none declared