Objective: To evaluate the performance of the PAWPER (Pediatric Advanced Weight Prediction in the Emergency Room) tape, a new weight-estimation tool with a modifier for body habitus, in our increasingly obese population.
Study design: A convenience sample of children presenting to the pediatric emergency department of an urban public hospital was enrolled. A nurse or doctor assigned the patient a body habitus score and used the PAWPER tape to estimate the weight. The true weight was then recorded for comparison.The estimated weight was considered accurate if it was within 10% of the true weight.
Results: We enrolled 1698 patients; 579 (34%) were overweight or obese. Overall, the estimated weight was accurate for 64% of patients (95% CI 61%-65%). For children with an above-average body habitus, the tape was accurate 50% of the time (95% CI 46%-55%). There was no significant difference in the accuracy of the PAWPER tape for children assessed during medical and trauma resuscitations.
Conclusion: Although the PAWPER tape may ultimately be useful, its initial performance was not replicated in our population. A simple, accurate method of weight estimation remains elusive.
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