A New Pediatric Approach – The Handtevy System [The Pony Express]

Oct 18, 2014 | Article

Any time you are dispatched to a pediatric call, there is always an increased level of anxiety. Couple that with the fact that a majority of EMS calls involve adults and it’s no wonder that these low-volume, high-risk scenarios can cause even the most experienced medics stress. Adding to the anxiety is the real possibility of making a medication dosing error. One study demonstrated a medication dosing error rate of 34% among 5,547 pediatric patients treated in the field. Another study at a university-affiliated pediatric hospital found 252 tenfold medication errors were identified throughout a five-year period.

This summer, Washington County EMS (WCEMS) implemented a new system that helps staff better prepare for these situations. Using funds from community donations, WCEMS converted over to using the Handtevy system. Traditionally, rescuers have to wait to arrive on scene and use a Broselow tape to determine the child’s size and subsequent medication requirements. The new system allows rescuers to estimate the child’s weight and size based on age so that they can then begin to calculate the drug dosages that are going to be required. The initial calculations can be done while enroute, allowing rescuers to swiftly confirm…

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DISCLAIMER: Pediatric Emergency Standards Inc. does not make clinical or medical decisions.  The Handtevy System is intended to be utilized as a guide only.  Provider's experience and training should be the final determinant of clinical treatment decisions.