The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved marketing of Mercy babyTAPE. Developed by PTN’s Dr. Susan Abdel-Rahman of Children’s Mercy Hospital, the Mercy babyTAPE device is intended for use by health care professionals to estimate the body weight of infants from birth to 90 days of age.
“Weight is the foremost marker of health and health outcomes in infants. A weighing scale remains the universal gold standard for obtaining weight in children and is highlighted by the World Health Organization as one of four essential pieces of equipment needed when caring for newborns. However, the vast majority of healthcare providers in remote, resource-constrained settings simply do not have access to functional, calibrated scales with the precision necessary to accurately determine weight,” Dr. Abdel-Rahman said.
Many critically ill newborns in the U.S. suffer similar challenges when it comes to weight assessment. For infants receiving care in a neonatal intensive care unit, it can be nearly impossible to remove or account for the weight of life-sustaining medical equipment, prior to obtaining a scale-based weight. The relative error introduced by such equipment can significantly affect the safety profile of the medicines these infants receive. As a result, dosing errors are more likely to occur.
The approved marketing of Mercy babyTAPE is a substantial accomplishment in PTN’s quest to improve healthcare for children by determining optimal dosing of commonly used medications.