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Opportunistic growth measurements are not frequently done in hospital
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  • Published on:
    Children's growth: measured but rarely plotted
    • Louisa Pollock, Specialty Registrar Paediatrics
    • Other Contributors:
      • Paul Higgins, and Adrienne Sullivan

    Lek and Hughes(1) recently highlighted concerns that opportunities for growth measurement in children attending hospital are frequently missed. This has important implications for the current UK policy for growth monitoring, which encourages opportunistic measurement. It also has important implications for clinical practice –growth faltering may result from any chronic illness or may be the only marker of abuse or neglect...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Patients are weighed but not plotted

    Most patients presenting to a paediatric department for acute care will be weighed as part of the nursing assessment especially because weights are important for drug and fluid prescriptions. Junior doctors however generally fail to take the next step in this opportunistic contact to plot these weights. Unless clinically indicated e.g. as part of body surface area for drug prescriptions, the height is often not measured,...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Assessment of growth

    The paper by Lek and Hughes highlights a serious deficiency in the assessment of children admitted to their hospital and there is no reason to think that their findings are atypical. However, there are two important issues arising from their work.

    First, the authors failed to define good practice. Is it realistic to expect specialist surgeons to measure a child’s height and weight in their outpatient consul...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.