A comparison of four weight estimation systems for paediatric resuscitation
Background: One of the most important parameters that must be obtained when resuscitating a critically ill or injured paediatric patient is their weight. The best known paediatric weight estimation system is arguably the Broselow Tape, but the tape has been shown to be very inaccurate. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the accuracy of the Broselow tape, a modified Broselow tape system, the PAWPER XL tape and the hanging leg weight technique for potential utilisation in the paediatric resuscitation setting.
Methods: A convenience sample of 200 children between the ages of 1 month and 16 years were enrolled. All the children’s weights were estimated using the Broselow tape, a habitus-modified Broselow tape system, the PAWPER XL tape and the hanging leg weight technique. Overall accuracy was evaluated using the percentage of weight estimations falling within 10% of actual weight (PW10).
Results: The PAWPER XL tape performed the best, whilst the hanging leg weight technique performed the poorest with PW10s of 74% and 19.5%, respectively. The Broselow tape with and without habitus-modification only showed modest accuracy, with PW10s of 61.7% and 59.1% respectively.
Conclusions: The PAWPER XL tape performed significantly better than other weight estimation systems and is most appropriate for use in South African paediatric emergencies. The habitus-modified Broselow system produced only modest improvement in overall weight estimation accuracy of the Broselow tape.