Objective: Methods to estimate weights of children requiring resuscitation appeared to underestimate the weight of Pacific Island and Maori children. This study sought to quantify differences between real and estimated weights, study links with ethnicity and derive a new estimation method for large-for-age children.
Method: Data were collected prospectively for 3 months. Weights were estimated by formulae described by Shann, Leffler, the Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) formula, the Oakley resuscitation chart and the Broselow tape.
Results: Of the 909 children included, 46% were of Pacific Island and 25% were of Maori origin. Differences between actual and estimated weights were significantly greater (P<0.05) for the Pacific Island group using all methods of estimation. Maori differences were significantly greater than European differences using Oakley and Broselow methods (P<0.05). The Broselow tape was the method most likely to underestimate weight in Pacific Island and Maori children. A new formula was derived from non-linear regression analysis, leading to a new chart.
Conclusion: Current emergency methods underestimate weight in Pacific Island and Maori children. We recommend a new chart for these children.