What body temperature warrants a trip to the ER in a 19 year old male?

March 24, 2010

The human body temperature is a very important aspect of the medical well being of any individual. Although body temperature is never constant, it will play a significant role in helping the medical team understand what complications are present in a patient. There are a number of factors that influence the body temperature at different times. Although up to a few years ago, the rule of thumb was that if an individual's body temperature was anything in excess of 37 degrees, the patient was considered to be sick. However, more recent research shows that body temperature is relative and gauged taking into account the variables it is exposed to. This research shows that the body temperature can vary, within healthy levels between 36.4 degrees Celsius and 37.7 degrees Celsius. The variables to be taken into consideration include the individual's age, time and location.

However, considerably higher body temperature is a clear sign of the presence of infection. When the body is attacked by some kind of bacterial or viral infection, it tries everything it can to make the body inhospitable for the foreign matter part of its strategy is to increase the body temperature to a level that will cause the infection to leave the body or die. In doing so, the affected individual will begin to develop a fever that will increase in intensity depending on how stubborn the infection is.

Alternatively, low body temperature will cause a number of other reactions, such as a constant shivering - which is essentially muscle reflex movements that help generate heat that will keep the body warm. If the body temperature is significantly low the nerve coordination within the body could adversely affect the body and could even render the patient unconscious. Some other factors that influence body temperature - whether too low or too high, include drugs, chemical compositions and levels within the body as well as intensity of physical activity. Environmental factors such as an extremely hot day or a very cold one will also affect the body temperature to a significant level. If you are worried that the 19 year old male's body temperature is too much, it is best to trust you instinct and take him to the hospital. This is primarily because of the fact that a high temperature is likely to be a symptom of a viral or bacterial infection present in the system. The faster it is detected, the easier it is to treat.

Submitted by N S on March 24, 2010 at 11:38

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