In paediatric emergencies we need to quickly estimate the childs weight. We need to know the weight in order to calculate drug doses, tube sizes, defibrillation energies and what not. We have various formulas of which (age x 3)+7 is likely the most accurate. We also rely on the Broselow tape.

The Broselow tape is a tape scale that estimates kids´weight based on how tall they are. It was developed in the eighties and was accurate then. Since then we had the global fat epidemic. Is it still accurate?

A canadian study in Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine say it isn´t. The researchers obtained length and weight data from 6,361 kids. They compared the estimated Broselow weight to actual weight. Median age was 3,9y (1,5+7,6y) weighing  17,2kg.

The study demonstrated how the Broselow tape on average will underestimate weight by 1,62kg. Keep that in mind when sorting out those post global fat epidemic fatties.


Ontario children have outgrown the Broselow tape.
Ken Milne W, Yasin A, Knight J, Noel D, Lubell R, Filler G.
CJEM. 2012 Jan 1;14(1):25-30.

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