Pediatric Corner

Give life-saving meds faster with new e-Broselow system

Guesswork is eliminated

Dosages based on the color-coded Broselow Pediatric Emergency tape will soon be displayed on a large LCD monitor for all ED staff to see, says Andre A. Muelenaer Jr., part of the product's developmental team and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke.

"The driving force behind this innovation was a desire for access to the content of the Broselow-Luten tape during resuscitation," according to Muelenaer.

More rapid response

The device gives a time-stamped display of medications administered, display of elapsed time since administration of each medication, and alerts for time-sensitive medications, such as epinephrine, requiring repeat dosing at specific time intervals, adds Muelenaer.

"We believe that this device will be available by the end of 2011," he says. Muelenaer says that the impact on emergency nursing clinical practice "is unlimited. It will enable each member of the resuscitation team to have immediate access to critical information."

This permits less experienced personnel to assist in resuscitation, explains Muelenaer. "For example, we recently gave a quick demonstration of the device to a group of college summer interns," he says. "We then set up a simulated cardiac arrest in the simulation lab."

The students were able to provide correct equipment and medications because all the information was available to them, he says. "It appears that efficiency will permit more rapid response to needs and marked reduction in errors," adds Muelenaer.

No more guesswork

ED nurses at Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, FL are already using the electronic Broselow system, reports Michelle Tracy, RN, MA, CEN, director of emergency services. "We made it available on every computer. Staff may access it by the hospital's intranet site," says Tracy.

Tracy says the system alleviates the guesswork out of making sure that you are delivering an accurate dose of medication to a child.  "With a few clicks of a mouse and a weight/and or height of a patient, you can pull up the dosages of multiple medications that you have to give to the child," she says.

The ED uses standardized dosages according to the recommendations from the Broselow-Luten System, adds Tracy. "This allows for not only a correct dose, but it also tells you how many CCs of the medication to give to a child," she says.

If a child comes in needing intubation or in full cardiac arrest, ED nurses find the color code and it automatically shows all of the dosages, says Tracy.

"The patient gets the medications much faster than by using the old calculating method of trying to figure it out under stress," says Tracy. "This shaves important minutes off of the time a child goes without medications."


For more information on the electronic Broselow system, contact:

Andre A. Muelenaer, Jr., M.D.,M.S., FAAP,FCCP, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke. Phone: (540) 985-9810. Fax: (540) 985-4018. E-mail:

Michelle Tracy, RN, MA, CEN, Director, Emergency Services, Osceola Regional Medical Center, Kissimmee, FL. Phone: (407) 518-3208. E-mail: