‘Body temperature 37 degrees is out of date’

People’s body temperature of 37 degrees would become an outdated idea. Experts today are debating whether physicians should begin to use different values ​​when treating patients.

“Everyone thinks the average body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius, but it’s based on very old measurements from the 19th century,” says cardiologist Luke Otterspur in the newspaper. NOS Radio 1 News“Temperatures have been declining for the last decade. The average is now 36.4 degrees.”

Physicians with significant experience in cooling and warming patients are speaking about this today at the International Symposium on Temperature and Temperature Management. In Eindhoven. The conference is co-hosted by Catherine Hospital, Ottersburg.


Temperatures have dropped somewhat as people have become healthier over the course of the twentieth century. Ottersbourg: “More and more patients were on the move in the nineteenth century, so I think the average temperature might be higher.” He cites syphilis as an example that can be treated well with antibiotics today, but not yet.

Otterspur cannot say whether the changed average temperature will lead to other treatments. But he thinks doctors should be aware of this. “We’re going to talk about those kinds of values ​​and whether we need to fix them today.” This can lead to a different vision when there is a fever.

But it is difficult to determine when there really is a fever, says a cardiologist. “In intensive care alone it is well defined as a temperature of 38.4 degrees or higher, but it is very difficult to determine in general practice or at home.” An additional difficulty is that the elderly, for example, become ill, but then have no fever.

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Cooling after a heart attack

In his own workplace in Otterspur, he is involved in cooling patients after a heart attack. “When a person has a heart attack and starts bleeding again, the brain does not have oxygen for a while. Then swelling occurs, but it does not go anywhere in the skull. That’s why the idea of ​​adding cooling to them arose. Patients apply. “

This method was widely used at the beginning of this century, but for him now it is seen differently. “People come back a little bit and say it’s not important to be cold individually, but it’s important to keep those patients free of the flu.”

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