Can undergraduate paramedic students accurately estimate a patient's weight? - A Short Report

Brett Anthony Williams, Malcolm James Boyle

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Background: Accurate estimation of a patient s (adult and paediatric) weight is an important skill for paramedics. The patient s weight is often required for calculating medication dosages, correct sizing for equipment, defibrillation, and other invasive procedures. Only three previous studies have been located examining paramedic s ability to estimate a patient s weight.1-3 The objective of the study was to identify if undergraduate paramedic students could accurately estimate weight in selected patients. Methods: A prospective single-blinded observational pilot study requiring students to estimate the weight of seven selected patients (adult and paediatric). Results: The findings highlighted large variations in students ability to accurately estimate a patient s weight. The majority of patient weights were underestimated by undergraduate students. These results highlight the difficulties students have estimating patient s weight. Conclusions: Results from this pilot study have identified considerable variation in students ability to accurately estimate a patient s weight. The results provide teaching staff with feedback to incorporate into the curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 1
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Emergency Primary Health Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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