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Accuracy of Critical Care Transport Team Estimation of Patient Height and Weight in Scene Responses

Published:April 30, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amj.2020.04.010

      Abstract

      Estimates of clinically relevant information, such as height, weight, blood loss, and burn area, have consistently been fraught with error in the health care setting. Seemingly little has been done in health care education to improve estimate outcomes. Standardized tools, most often in pediatric populations, have become commonplace to guide acute care management when misestimation of data points like height or weight would likely have its biggest impact on patient care and outcome. This article is a retrospective study of a critical care transport team's abilities to estimate patient height and weight in scene responses using the Glasgow Coma Scale score as an indicator for the likelihood of patient input. Ultimately, height was removed as a variable because of the paucity and unreliability of the collected data. The expected outcome with respect to weight estimates was observed; with decreased patient Glasgow Coma Scale scores, the discrepancy in provider estimate increased from 8% to 12%. Although statistically significant, it does not represent the level of aberrancy noted in other studies, which has been reported to be as high as 40%.
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