Handtevy Method : Emergency Drug Dose by Age

To obtain the correct weight for each age, assign each finger a chronological odd number starting with 1, representing the age in years. Now, using the same fingers, count in the multiples of 5, starting with 10 to obtain the corresponding ideal body weight in kilograms. For the even ages, add 2 to the prior odd weight or subtract 3 from the subsequent odd weight.

Age (years)Estimated weight (kg)
Handtevy method

Handtevy Drug Volume in ml (Doses) by Weight

Epinephrine 1:1000 IM (1 mg/ml): Move the decimal point twice to left

Epinephrine 1:10000 IV (1 mg/10ml): Move the decimal point once to left

Amiodarone (150 mg/3ml): Move the decimal point once to left

Bicarbonate 8.4%: Same as weight

D25W: Double the weight

Normal saline bolus: Double the weight and move the decimal point once to right

Lorazepam (2 mg/ml): Half the weight and move the decimal point once to left

Example: For a 1 year child, estimated weight is 10 kg. The drug doses according to Handtevy method would be –

Epinephrine 1:1000 IM (1 mg/ml): 0.1 ml

Epinephrine 1:10000 IV (1 mg/10ml): 1 ml

Amiodarone (150 mg/3ml): 1 ml

Bicarbonate 8.4%: 10 ml

D25W: 20 ml

Normal saline bolus: 200 ml

Lorazepam (2 mg/ml): 0.5 ml

Pediatric weight estimation using the finger counting method for children between the ages of 1 and 9 is an acceptable alternative to the Broselow method. Predicted weights from the Handtevy age-based weight estimation method accurately predict pediatric normal weights.

Bella Vista, AR website reveals that this system has been federally approved as an alternative to PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support), in which members of Bella Vista’s EMS department are currently certified.

Further reading:

  1. Young TP, Chen BG, Kim TY, Thorp AW, Brown L. Finger counting: an alternative method for estimating pediatric weights. Am J Emerg Med. 2014 Mar;32(3):243-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.11.034. Epub 2013 Nov 26. PMID: 24370066.
  2. https://www.jems.com/patient-care/handtevy-method-helps-providers-rapidly/

Note: Data and information are provided for informational purposes only.

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