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Pediatr Nurs. 2012 Jul-Aug;38(4):223-6.

Changes in infant disposable diaper weights at selected intervals post-wetting.

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  • 1Children's of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA.


Pediatric acute care nurses questioned the practice of weighing disposable infant diapers immediately after voiding. This study asked the research question, "Does volume of saline, diaper configuration, and/or size of diaper statistically effect changes in diaper weights over time?" The method was an experimental, laboratory model. Pre-set volumes of saline were added to disposable diapers that were then left folded or unfolded. Each diaper was weighed immediately post-wetting and re-weighed at hourly intervals for seven hours. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance (RMANOVA) with balanced data (F-test). Diaper weight changes over time were statistically significant for all time points and for all volumes regardless of diaper size; however, the changes in weight were small and without clinical significance. It is appropriate to weigh diapers at the end of eight hours without risk of altering subsequent fluid management of patients in open-air, non-humidified environments. This practice has led to more efficient use of nurses' time with fewer interruptions for patients and families.

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