Estimation of pediatric patient weight by EMT-PS

J Emerg Med. 2001 Aug;21(2):125-8. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(01)00354-7.


To determine paramedics' experience, comfort, and accuracy in the estimation of pediatric weights, paramedics were surveyed regarding their experience and training in estimating pediatric weights and then were presented with four children and asked to estimate their weights and to calculate the first round of i.v. epinephrine dose for asystole according to protocol. Twenty paramedics participated, with 55% stating they were uncomfortable on pediatric calls; 15 of 20 (75%) stated they were uncomfortable estimating children's weights. The majority of estimations were within 50% of the actual weights. Based on weight estimations, the epinephrine doses were calculated correctly in 88% of all cases. In 10% of cases, the epinephrine dose was incorrect by a factor of 10 times the appropriate dose. The weight range using the Broselow tape was determined correctly by all participants, with 95% correctly reporting the correct dose of epinephrine. Overall, paramedics were accurate in estimating pediatric weights, and use of the Broselow tape improved the precision of these estimations.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / education
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / psychology*
  • Epinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Humans


  • Epinephrine