Thermometers are helpful in two ways.

For victims with a fever (pyrexia), the extent of fever can be determined.

For victims with hypothermia (abnormally low temperatures), the recovery can be monitored more precisely.

Body core temperature (normally about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius) can be measured either orally or rectally. 

  • Clean the thermometer with alcohol (if possible) or any other cleansing agent to prevent transmission of bacteria and viruses from the previous user.
  • Shake down the thermometer until the fluid inside measures less than the index.
  • Place the tip of the thermometer in the victims mouth, if conscious and able to cooperate. The tip should be held underneath the tongue. 
  • If the victim is unconscious or unable to cooperate (small children, for example), lubricate the tip of the thermometer with vaseline or any oily substance, then insert the thermometer 1/2" inside the rectum. Hold it in place.
  • After two minutes, the thermometer can be removed and read.

A relatively easy (though a little less accurate) technique is to place the thermometer under the armpit (axilla). Keep the armpit closed for 3 minutes, and then read the value. These axillary temperatures are about 1 degree (F) lower than the core temperature. This means an axillary temperature of 99.5 degrees reflects a body core temperature of 100.5 degrees.

After use, clean the thermometer (preferably with alcohol), and replace it back in its' protective case.

There is no practical difference between a "rectal" thermometer and an "oral" thermometer. Either can be used orally or rectally.

Thermometer Clinical Human Rectal Fahrenheit Scale Red Tip

Weight: 0.06 pounds

NSN: 6515-00-149-1407

Thermometer Clinical Human Rectal Subnormal Low Reading 86-100 Degree Fahrenheit 

Weight: 0.06 Pounds

NSN: 6515-01-375-3244

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