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Usability of heightboard Seca 250?

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Robert Johnston

Nutrition Specialist UNICEF

Normal user

24 Apr 2009, 11:13

Dear All,

Does anyone have experience with the plastic infantometer/stadiometer SECA 250?

It does not look like a bad product from the flyer but I have never used it and am worried that it might not be appropriate for rough field conditions.

The only detail that I don't like is that it can measure to 1 mm precision for standing height and only to 2mm precision for recumbent length.

Any comments on the use of this product are welcome.

Thanks,

Kate Ogden

Normal user

9 Sep 2009, 11:37

Dear Robert

I do not have experience of using the SECA 250 but WFP/UNHCR were recently supplied with SECA 217 height boards for measuring adults and children in a refugee settlement. (They were MoH property but had not been used).

Whilst they were great for carrying around - they came in back-packs and were easy to assemble - we had issues with accuracy mostly related to their stability. The board cannot be placed against a vertical surface for support as the shape of the stand does not allow this. This height column does move slightly depending on the pressure put on it but this has the effect of adding or removing around 1 cm (soemtimes more) on the height. In addition the headpiece is quite small and in the case of a female adult with large hips for example the headpiece does not sit well on her head again problematic for accuracy.

Does any else have experience with this measuring board? Other than being very strict on enumerator training and supervision we had no solution to ensure accuracy.

Thanks

Allen salvatierra md

Chief of hospital/ municipal healt officer

Normal user

29 Oct 2013, 09:12

Im dr allen municipal health officer of trento, agusan del sur philippines. I want to share with you my innovation for height ang lenght measurement it s called "allenstick" its a portable ,durable, accurate lightwt safe and easy to use. It was presented at the canadian global health conference recently.

Sonya LeJeune

Normal user

30 Oct 2013, 08:24

hi Dr Allen
do you have a link to further details about the 'allenstick'?
Thanks

Allen salvatierra md

Chief of hospital/ municipal healt officer

Normal user

30 Oct 2013, 08:41

As of now I have no link for allenstick. It was developed thru experience as implementor of WHO cgs prog as an alternative to bulky, heavy and unsafe wooden board. It is lighter coz its made up of alluminum. Much more durable compare to wood. Portable. Safe ( no risk of accidental fall of the heavy headboard) and it easy to use. Weighing 2kg

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

30 Oct 2013, 14:36

Here are a couple of links:

Facebook page

A blog

I have used aluminium height sticks and height boards several times and find that they can get very hot. Sometimes too hot to use without the use of blanket material to protect the child. I have also found issues with cursors jamming because of differential expansion of metal parts and so would disagree about reliability. My experience is that the wooden tool is more durable, less prone to mechanical failure, and not prone to heating. I agree that the conventional wooden board is somewhat cumbersome but I would not typify them as being "unsafe".

I cannot recommend the use of metal height boards / sticks for use in surveys in warm climate countries. These sorts of boards might have in-clinic applications but height measurement and W/H are not parts of IMCI.

Want something quick, cheap, light, and useful? Get a MUAC strap!

Allen salvatierra md

Chief of hospital/ municipal healt officer

Normal user

30 Oct 2013, 18:53

Yes metal expand when heated. These are measuring instrument that need xtra care in of terms of handling and doing the procedure. Failure to these gives you Erroneous results rle of thumb...allenstick is an alternative tool for rough field and for mobile purposes in the Philippines. Several accidents have
been noted with wooden htboard that the headpiece
Accidentally release causing head injury to the child
May be our woodenht board are not the same. Muac is great tool I aggre with that. Monitoring the ht is a good indicator such as stunting for chronic malnutrition

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

31 Oct 2013, 12:46

I can imagine that dropping the headpiece could fetch the child a nasty clonk on the head. I've measured lots (i.e. many thousands) of children and never done this or heard of this being a problem. The height board shown on the link above looks pretty standard to me.

I have some questions ...

We usually measure children 65-110 cm in (e.g.) SMART surveys. How do you do this with a 100 cm device?

We usually measure younger children supine. How do you do this with your device?

And an observation ...

The problem with H/A is that IMCI does not cover height measurement and height boards are not commonly part of essential clinic equipment packs. This restricts the use of any indicator that uses height. Better IMO, to monitor weight over time as in a growth monitoring program and use MUAC to identify wasting.

Allen salvatierra md

Chief of hospital/ municipal healt officer

Normal user

31 Oct 2013, 15:10

My device is 150 cm far beyond the recommended standard of WHO. I will not argue with you and I think we have different instrument. Safety is our concern and we need to address that.

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

31 Oct 2013, 15:29

Ah ... I see now ... there is a retractable extension to take it to 150 cm. Any problems with supine measurements?

Saskia van der Kam, MSF

nutrition specialist

Normal user

31 Oct 2013, 15:46

Hi all,

NGO’s (eg MSF) and several universities have used an aluminium measuring board (ICAM: Infant, child, adult measuring board made by the company Promes) for research purposes.
The board is very precise (1 mm), robust, hygienic, portable and can be used for children and adults. It can be used for measuring length and height and the device is extendable to 2.10 meter, while the precision is still intact.
We have used it in hot (> 40 degrees Celsius), damp and sandy conditions without any problems (or complaints about boards being too hot) and the boards are still in good condition.
Email for pictures in information to infopromes@planet.nl

Allen salvatierra md

Chief of hospital/ municipal healt officer

Normal user

2 Nov 2013, 12:45

no problem with supine. no sense of compression unlike the wooden ht board wherein the infant head is placed against the fixed foot plate.

Allen salvatierra md

Chief of hospital/ municipal healt officer

Normal user

2 Nov 2013, 12:45

no problem with supine. no sense of compression unlike the wooden ht board wherein the infant head is placed against the fixed foot plate.

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