Background In 2011 the advanced life support group (alsg) of the United Kingdom introduced a new formula for calculation of weight from age for paediatric emergencies. We present the first study validating this formula in a multi-ethnic population and comparing its performance to the formula currently used by the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and other formulas.
Methods Prospective audit of weight versus calculated weight comparing alsg formula with ERC guideline, the Luscombe, Argall and Best Guess formulas analysed for gender, age and ethnic groups.
Results We included prospectively 599 children aged 1 month to 12 years of age. There were 157 Asian, 268 Caucasian and 174 children from other and mixed ethnic origin. In infants (n=184) there was no significant difference between actual weight and alsg formula calculated weight. Between the age of one to ten years the ERC formula underestimated the weight significantly by a progressively larger amount with advancing years in both Asian and Caucasian children with the Luscombe formula performing best. In the 6–10 year age group the ERC formula underestimated the weight by a mean of 6.6 kg (22.2%, p<0.001) with the alsg and Luscombe formulas performing best. In this age group female Asian children’s weight was underestimated most (mean of 9.5kg, 29.1%). In 11–12 year old children the alsg formula fitted well.
Conclusion In one to ten year old children the Luscombe formula provided a better weight estimate than alsg and European Resuscitation Council formulas in a multi-ethnic population in the United Kindom.