Brief communication (Original). The accuracy of the Broselow tape in the weight estimation of Thai children

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Abstract

Background: The effectiveness of medical treatment depends on proper drug dosing. The most accurate measurement of a child’s weight is by weighing the child on a scale, and can be done for stable children. However, an emergency, or other conditions may preclude normal weighing. The child’s weight must then be estimated quickly for treatment including drug dosages, equipment sizes, ventilator volume settings, and cardioversiondefibrillation.

Objectives: To assess the accuracy of the Broselow tape in the weight estimation of Thai children.

Methods: Retrospective analysis reviewing the hospital-based data of 4746 Thai children aged less than 15 years. Demographic data, measured weight (MW), and height were collected. The subjects were divided into nine color-coded groups according to the Broselow tape color range and the actual weight plotted according to their groups. Comparison between Broselow tape-predicted weight (TW), height and MW was explored.

Results: A total of 3869 children met the inclusion criteria, of whom 2121 (54.8%) were male. The overall agreement between actual weight and predicted weight was 62.1% (range 36.4-90.5 depending on color-code). The mean difference between TW and MW was -3.56% (95% CI -3.964 to -3.150) with SD 12.91%, P < 0.001. TW was within a 10% error for 58% of children.

Conclusions: The accuracy of the Broselow tape in the weight estimation of Thai children decreases with increasing height. The Broselow tape underestimates Thai children’s weight.

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