DOTmed Home MRI Oncology Ultrasound Molecular Imaging X-Ray Cardiology Health IT Business Affairs
News Home Parts & Service Operating Room CT Women's Health Proton Therapy Endoscopy HTMs Mobile Imaging
Current Location:
> This Story

Log in or Register to rate this News Story
Forward Printable StoryPrint Comment




More This Month in Medical History

We all bleed the same color – the legacy of Dr. Charles Richard Drew Get to know the 'Father of the Blood Bank'

This month in medical history: Handing epidemics Dr. John Snow and the origins of epidemiology

Louis Braille - The world’s knowledge at his fingertips The life of a man who brought reading to the blind

The first (and only) female Medal of Honor winner How a doctor turned Civil War spy left her mark in history

Jonas Salk’s gift to the world Polio was a scourge, his education matched well with what was needed to find a cure

See All This Month in Medical History  

More Industry Headlines

AMA survey: Radiologists top users of telemedicine for patient interactions First nationally representative estimates on usage

Sectra showcases work-in-progress, AI functionality at RSNA Gives radiologist greater control over findings

PortaVision unveils new rad and fluoro X-ray systems at RSNA Overcome limitations of C-arm technology

Emory University opens first proton therapy center in Georgia 28th PT center in the U.S.

New VR app may ease MR anxiety Hope to cut down on the need to sedate patients

Scalable AI utilization insights from Montefiore at RSNA Starting with patients at risk for respiratory failure

NYU releases biggest ever MR data set in AI Facebook collaboration With fastMRI, acceleration of imaging by factor of four 'already possible'

Ramsoft partners with QliqSOFT Enables secure messaging of information on mobiles among doctors and patients

Hitachi unveils new CT scanner, Scenaria View 128, at RSNA Provides better workflow with SynergyDrive and large, 80 cm aperture

GE and VA partner to build 3D printing network Holds promise for reducing surgery imaging preparation time

Dr. Allbutt and the incredible shrinking thermometer

by Diana Bradley , Staff Writer
From the February 2013 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

On par with the stethoscope, a thermometer is one of those key clinical (and even household) doohickeys that just seem to have been a part of the doctor’s tool set for ever. But it actually wasn’t too long ago that it was swept aside as nothing more than a hefty, foot-long inconvenience, requiring upwards of 20 minutes to take a patient’s temperature.

Physicians were already linking extreme temperature variations with specific illnesses even a century ago. But due to the size and fragility of the only capable thermometers, a patient was forced to head to the hospital to have his or her temperature taken. And in more rural settings, like the Old West, the frontier doctor would usually have to ascertain a patient’s temperature through the not-so-reliable medium of touch, as the dainty thermometers would more often than not get crushed in their saddlebags. Fortunately, due to one man’s ingenuity, thermometers went from a nuisance to a must-have. February marks 88 years since the death of Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt, the doctor responsible for inventing today’s more practical and indispensable short or “pocket” clinical thermometer.

Story Continues Below Advertisement

RaySafe helps you avoid unnecessary radiation

RaySafe solutions are designed to minimize the need for user interaction, bringing unprecedented simplicity & usability to the X-ray room. We're committed to establishing a radiation safety culture wherever technicians & medical staff encounter radiation.

Born in England’s Yorkshire region in 1836, Allbutt trained in London and Cambridge at St. Peter’s School and St. George’s Hospital, eventually moving to Leeds, where he worked as a physician at the Leeds General Infirmary for twenty years.

Not long after arriving at the infirmary, Allbutt devised a new and improved clinical thermometer in 1866. After much trial and error, he had successfully refined the instrument, halving its size from 12 to 6-inches. The mercury-filled tube could record a person’s temperature within a record five minutes.

Word of the Allbutt Clinical Thermometer got out to the medical profession through trade catalogues after the physician was able to persuade Leeds-based medical instrument makers Harvey & Reynolds to manufacture his creation. He proceeded to sell and market his thermometer, making the design freely available worldwide.

Because temperatures could now be taken swiftly and, therefore, more frequently, Allbutt’s thermometer enabled doctors to track a fever’s course with ease. Right off the bat, it was a huge hit with British doctors. For nearly a century and a half, his diagnostic tool remained virtually unchanged, closely resembling the modern-day thermometer.

Among other accomplishments, Allbutt was one of the first to employ the ophthalmoscope in Britain, and he was a noted medical historian, publishing works including: Diseases of the Arteries, Including Angina Pectoris, Greek Medicine in Rome and established and edited the System of Medicine. He delivered the Goulstonian Lectures in 1884, was named the Regius Professor of the Physic at Cambridge University in 1892 and elected as physician to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Allbutt went on to deliver the Harveian Oration in 1900, and the Fitzpatrick Lectures in 1909–10. He was knighted in 1907 and awarded the Moxon Medal in 1921, becoming a censor. He was a founding member of the Medical Research Council, and in 1916 was elected president of the British Medical Association—an office he held until 1921.

Allbutt died in February 1925, in Cambridge, England.


You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment

Increase Your
Brand Awareness
Auctions + Private Sales
Get The
Best Price
Buy Equipment/Parts
Find The
Lowest Price
Daily News
Read The
Latest News
Browse All
DOTmed Users
Ethics on DOTmed
View Our
Ethics Program
Gold Parts Vendor Program
Receive PH
Gold Service Dealer Program
Receive RFP/PS
Healthcare Providers
See all
HCP Tools
A Job
Parts Hunter +EasyPay
Get Parts
Recently Certified
View Recently
Certified Users
Recently Rated
View Recently
Certified Users
Rental Central
Rent Equipment
For Less
Sell Equipment/Parts
Get The
Most Money
Service Technicians Forum
Find Help
And Advice
Simple RFP
Get Equipment
Virtual Trade Show
Find Service
For Equipment
Access and use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions of our LEGAL NOTICE & PRIVACY NOTICE
Property of and Proprietary to, Inc. Copyright ©2001-2018, Inc.