The use of a rectal thermometer may be associated with a number of acute complications.
perforation, especially in neonates and infants
distance from anus to peritoneum overlying rectosigmoid colon is less than 3 cm in newborn infants
anorectal mucosal tear
breakage or shattering
risk of bowel damage and bleeding; need to retrieve all pieces
leakage of elemental mercury from broken thermometer
retrieval of a full and intact bulb may indicate minimal loss
antegrade movement with loss of contact
need to retrieve; smooth surface and length may complicate removal
• Most modern thermometers use a red fluid (dibutyl phthalate). However, many homes still have mercury thermometers.
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Specialty: Gastroenterology, Pedatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery, general