Thursday, March 13

BD: Big Duh?

My basal thermometer wandered off.

Actually I'm pretty sure it was assisted by my 19-month-old. But she's not telling, and neither is her sidekick the pink elephant.

However, I am sick of the rigid basal thermometer that I've been using since 2001. I'd really prefer a flex-tip (makes temping while half-asleep easier, as I tend to lack jaw control at that hour.)

I'd heard from many sources that the BD fever thermometers are as sensitive as the basal thermometers. But I'd never actually confirmed that, so I called up their technical support line (cue the laughter.)

I spoke with a very nice gentleman who was, at the very least, aware that his company sold basal thermometers. One point for BD. But then I asked the really tough question: what is the technical difference between the two?

Well, he said, the basal thermometers are more sensitive than the fever thermometers.

The basal thermometers are accurate within .1° of a degree, right?

Yes, he said. (He knew off the top of his head! Two points for BD.)

And is the fever thermometer accurate within, what, .2°?

No, he replied, the fever thermometer are accurate within .1°.

So . . . doesn't that mean they're equally sensitive?

No, he replied. Minus ten for BD.

But if they're both sensitive to within .1°, aren't they the same?

No, he said. The basal thermometers are used for something different than fevers.

Yeah, I've been using the BD basal thermometer for over 7 years. I know how they work. But usually fever thermometers are calibrated with a larger margin of error; the BD fever thermometers are a superior product (flattery can't hurt) and are sensitive within .1° just like the basal thermometers.

At this point, he asked to place me on hold. Oh sure, why the heck not.

After several minutes, he came back and informed me that the basal thermometers come packaged with charts and a free trial of charting software. Obviously the most crucial difference between the two!

Thanks for your help, I said. So, just to recap: the basal thermometers are accurate within .1°?

Yes, they are.

And the fever thermometers are accurate with .1°?

Yes. But-the-basal-thermometers-are-more-sensitive.

Got it. Thanks so much for your help!

*click* *blink blink*

You can feel free to repeat my experiment by dialing BD thermometer support at 1-800-511-9223. And now I'm off to buy my flex-tip BD fever thermometer.