How are temperatures taken to determine hypothermia?

When someone is diagnosed by medical personnel as having hypothermia, how are they taking their temperature? By mouth? Rectally? One of those probes into the liver? Just how do you determine a person’s “core” temperature?

I’m curious because I’ve come in from being out in the cold for hours at a time on a couple of separate occasions this winter, taken my temperature orally (digital themometers…two different ones, actually, because I didn’t believe the reading the first time), and gotten readings of 94.7F and 95.2F which are pretty low but didn’t cause me to experience any of the symptoms of mild hypothermia.

In the ER, the temperature in suspected or confirmed hypothermia cases is taken rectally (up the butt), in the esophagus (down the throat) or in the bladder.

Oral is an okay measuring spot if your temperature isn’t drastically off normal, but only if you haven’t eaten or drunk, smoked a cigarette or been breathing with your mouth open for the last 20 minutes or so. My guess is, if you were so cold because you were outside, that you were probably panting, breathing mouth open, or sucking in cold air for some of the recent past before taking your temp by mouth.

Here’s a really cool chart* of places they can take your temperature, pros and cons and when they’d be likely to chose which site.

*Er…y’know…cool if you’re a total dork, like me. :smack:

Too late to edit:

I see the chart says “tympanic”, also, but I didn’t know that one. I’m *guessing *they mean the old internal styletympanic probes, not the things we call “tympanic” that are briefly stuck in the ear.