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Finger Counting Method for Pediatric Weight Estimation including Simplified Pediatric Vital Signs

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

During every Pediatric Resuscitation, healthcare providers must be able to quickly and accurately calculate doses based on mg/kg dosing. Ideally, you should use the child’s weight or a length-based tape. What if you cannot weigh a child or don’t have a length-based tape?

Dr. Alson Inaba, a Pediatric Emergency Physician from Hawaii, created a system based on a child’s age. 🚑 See the video 😀

To use it, count age in odd years on the one hand, and then weights starting at 10 kg and increasing by 5 kg on the other hand. To estimate weights, match fingers. If it’s an even age, split the difference between adjacent fingers.

📹: @thegurneyroom

The Handtevy TM further expanded on the finger counting method and created the Handtevy Drug Volume in ml (Doses) by Weight:

Epinephrine 1:1000 IM (1 mg/ml): Move the decimal point twice to the left

Epinephrine 1:10 000 IV (1 mg/10ml): Move the decimal point once to the left

Amiodarone (150 mg/3ml): Move the decimal point once to the left

Bicarbonate 8.4%: Same as weight

D25W: Double the weight

D50W: Same as the weight

Normal Saline Bolus (20ml/kg): Double the weight and move the decimal point once to the right

Normal Saline Bolus (10ml/kg): The weight and move the decimal point once to the right

A study by Young et al. in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine concluded that pediatric weight estimation using the finger counting method for children between the ages of 1 and 9 is an acceptable alternative to the Broselow method.

For the study: PMID: 24370066. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.11.034

Dr. Al's Simplified Pediatric Vital Signs & Weight estimation table as published by American Heart Association, Currents In Emergency Cardiovascular Care, Volume 20, Number 3, Page 25. Fall 2009:

To learn more about Handtevy:

Disclaimer: This video/ post is for educational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. While we strive for 100% accuracy, errors may occur, and medications or protocols may change over time.


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