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A Written Account Of Laboratory Work: Body Temperature

1716 words - 7 pages

Body Temperature represents the balance of heat produced and heat lost. In order for optimum functioning, the body needs to maintain a core temperature within the ranges of 36.1 to 37.8 degrees Celsius (Marieb, 2000). The purpose of this laboratory report is firstlty to describe the normal physiology of temperature control. The assignment will then focus on an experiment that was carried out in order to determine the effect that ingestion of hot and cold drinks would have on both oral and axilla temperature. Subjects used will be discussed and methodology along with issues relating to ensuring safe practice will be explained. Results of the investigations will then be displayed in ...view middle of the document...

Dermal blood vessels dilate (Vasodilatation) causing heat to be lost via radiation (Thermal energy), conduction, convection and evaporation (Perspiration) (Marieb, 2000). In addition, changes in activities such as eating and drinking, exercise regime and removal of clothing worn are normally natural responses carried out to reduce body temperature.When body temperature is lowered, the posterior heat production center initiates responses that produce and conserve heat. In order to raise core temperaturesympathetic fibres are activated, leading to blood vessels of the skin constricting to decrease the transfer of heat from internal organs to the skin (Vasoconstriction). Tortora and Anagnostakos (1994) further suggest that heat is also gained via sympathetic stimulation by means of hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine being released into the blood, leading to increased cellular metabolism, which produces body heat. In addition, thyroxine is released, further increasing the metabolic rate. The brain also triggers muscle tone to contract, stretch and become more active and indices shivering to warm the body and compensate for heat lost.SUBJECTS AND METHODSFor the purpose of this report 20 student nurses including the author were used, of which 18 were fenmale and 2 were male. Ages of the subjects ranged between 18 and 48. All were dressed in clothing appropriate for the external environment and were requested not to eat, drink or smoke 15 minutes prior to the experiment, having been informed that the results of the experiment would be used for the laboratory report. All subjects had agreed to participate.A range of temperature measurement devices are available, the most traditional being the mercury in glass. However, health and safety issues such as mercury spillage and rectal peroration due to breakage have increased the use of alternative equipment (O'Toole, 1998, a). For this experiment a digital analogue thermometer recommended for both oral and axilla siters was used. The device releases an audible signal and digital display once detecting two consistent readings, thus indicating peak temperature (O'Toole, 1998, b).In order to monitor the effects that the ingestion of drinks may have on temperature regulation, base-line readings in both oral and axilla sites neede to be established. Guidelines were followed before commencement in order to ensure safe and accurate practice. Alcohol swabs were used to clean the thermometere and disposable sheaths were changed before and after use as evidence that inadequate cleansing during this procedure can increase the spread of infections such as herpes and salmonella (Cutter, 1994). Hand washing would also be expected before commencing in the interests of maintaining universal precautions. Thermometers were then checked to ensure that they were in good working order.Subjects were asked to place thermometers in the oral and axilla sites simultaneously, attention was paid to the correct positioning of the...

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