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Evaluation of three paediatric weight estimation methods in Singapore


  • Institution where work was undertaken: Department of Emergency Medicine, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore.
  • Conflict of interest: None.

Correspondence: Dr Pei Ying Loo, Paediatrics Department, Ballarat Health Services, Drummond Street North, Ballarat, Vic. 3350, Australia. Fax: +613 5320 4966; email:



Rapid paediatric weight estimation methods in the emergency setting have not been evaluated for South East Asian children. This study aims to assess the accuracy and precision of three such methods in Singapore children: Broselow-Luten (BL) tape, Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) (estimated weight (kg) = 2 (age + 4)) and Luscombe (estimated weight (kg) = 3 (age) + 7) formulae.


We recruited 875 patients aged 1–10 years in a Paediatric Emergency Department in Singapore over a 2-month period. For each patient, true weight and height were determined. True height was cross-referenced to the BL tape markings and used to derive estimated weight (virtual BL tape method), while patient's round-down age (in years) was used to derive estimated weights using APLS and Luscombe formulae, respectively. The percentage difference between the true and estimated weights was calculated. For each method, the bias and extent of agreement were quantified using Bland–Altman method (mean percentage difference (MPD) and 95% limits of agreement (LOA)). The proportion of weight estimates within 10% of true weight (p10) was determined.


The BL tape method marginally underestimated weights (MPD +0.6%; 95% LOA −26.8% to +28.1%; p10 58.9%). The APLS formula underestimated weights (MPD +7.6%; 95% LOA −26.5% to +41.7%; p10 45.7%). The Luscombe formula overestimated weights (MPD −7.4%; 95% LOA −51.0% to +36.2%; p10 37.7%).


Of the three methods we evaluated, the BL tape method provided the most accurate and precise weight estimation for Singapore children. The APLS and Luscombe formulae underestimated and overestimated the children's weights, respectively, and were considerably less precise.